CWRG Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Evaluation

When can I apply?
Applications are accepted throughout the year, depending on the project start date. Please visit the stream pages on the Community Workforce Response Grant program (CWRG) web page for details. Grant streams close once funding targets for the intake period are reached.

How do I apply for the grant?
Complete an online application through the Skills Training Grants System. To access the system, you will need a Business BCeID account. It can take up to two weeks to apply for and receive a BCeID.

Please review the Application Prep Checklist & Support resource document before applying.  It provides a summary of the information that will be required in your application. If you have additional questions, please contact the CWRG team at CWRG@gov.bc.ca, or by phone at 250-952-6914 (toll free 1-877-952-6914).

Does the Applicant need to use their own BCeID to submit the application?
Yes. For all streams, Applicants must use their own Business BCeID to submit the application. You are not permitted to share your Business BCeID and password, and another organization cannot submit an application on your behalf. Review the Business BCeID Questions and Answers document for more information.
 
What specific information do I need to have regarding my project?
Before applying, please review the Application Prep Checklist & Support resource document as it provides a summary of the information that will be required on the application. Letters of support and proof of insurance are mandatory for all streams.

When your application is being evaluated, additional information about your project may be required. This may include details on recruitment, participant costs, course outlines, employer letters of support, and budget. Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria for submission requirements.

In the application, what is the difference between Project Delivery Dates and Training Dates?
The Project Delivery Dates are the start and end dates of the entire Project. The timeframe between the Project Delivery Start Date and the Project Delivery End date should encompass, for example, the time you need to recruit participants, organize a training facility, deliver training, submit your claim for reimbursement and forward a proof of payment to CWRG. You will also want to ensure there is sufficient time after training ends to measure outcomes and submit the required reporting. Completion Reports must be submitted within 30 days after the Project Delivery End Date. 
 
The Training Start Date and Training End Date reflect the day participants start the skills training and the last day of the skills training. Training Dates will always fall within the Project Delivery Dates.

Can the CWRG project include funding from another party?
Yes, a CWRG project may be funded through multiple sources. However, funding from another source cannot be used for project delivery costs covered by the CWRG. Costs covered by other funding should not be included in your application for CWRG funding, but this information must be reported at the time of application by specifying which aspects of the project will be paid for by another funding source. 
 
Can the CWRG project be delivered as part of a larger project?
Yes, a CWRG project may be a component of a larger project.  However, project delivery costs funded by the CWRG cannot be covered by another source. It is recommended you submit information about the larger project in your CWRG application.
 
The project has started. Can I apply for a grant?
No. Projects cannot have started prior to an application being submitted. If the project begins before your application has been approved, you are responsible for all project costs should the application not be approved by the Province.

How do I find the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes?
In the application, you are required to provide the four-digit NAICS code that matches the industry in which the participants will be employed after the training. Subsector descriptions and corresponding four-digit NAICS codes can be found here.

Can I make changes to my application after it has been submitted?
You cannot make changes to your application in the online system after it has been submitted. If you made an error or forgot to include something in your application, please contact CWRG@gov.bc.ca as soon as possible.

What happens if I realize that I applied under the wrong stream?
If you applied under the wrong stream, please contact the CWRG team at CWRG@gov.bc.ca as soon as possible.

How are applications evaluated?
Applications are evaluated using stream specific eligibility criteria. Before creating a funding application, please review the Eligibility Criteria for each stream. All decisions regarding eligibility are made by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training on a case-by-case basis and solely at its discretion.

Where the number of applications exceeds funding available, applications will be prioritized based on program criteria, labour demands as articulated in B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook, and anticipated impact of the project on participants.

Please ensure you include in your application a rationale for your project based on local and regional labour market needs. Letters of support from potential employers, sector associations, local governments and/or other stakeholders can be included to demonstrate alignment of the project with labour needs in the community or sector and how the project will impact employment opportunities for participants.
 
In addition, applications that support communities and sectors that have not been funded before will be prioritized for evaluation.

Letters of support from employers should be specific to your project indicating that employers are familiar with your proposed project, that they understand the level of credential to be provided, and, whether they will be willing to hire, or at least interview, participants who completed training.

How long will it take to receive a decision on my grant application?
Decisions may take up to 60 calendar days. Please consider this when applying, particularly in relation to training start dates.

Funding

What is the maximum grant amount?
Each CWRG stream has its own funding limit. Please review the criteria for each stream by clicking on the links below. What happens if the number of actual participants varies from what is in my Agreement?
The total funding amount that an Agreement holder will receive is based on the number of participants who participate in the project, up to the maximum allowable under the Agreement.  A complete Participant Information Form (PIF) should be submitted by each eligible participant before the training begins, but no later than seven (7) days after the training start date. If the number of participants is less than originally planned, the total grant funding amount will be reduced.

What information do I need to submit a claim for reimbursement?
The required invoices, receipts and forms differ between streams. Please see Claim Submission Guidelines.
 
Are there any guidelines for creating a budget?
When creating a budget for your application, it is important to be as accurate as possible as this will form part of the Agreement between you and the Province. Your budget must be reasonable and demonstrate value for money. Costs that do not directly support the project should not be included. During the evaluation process, you may be asked to provide supporting information for project costs.

You should obtain quotes from Third-Party providers to ensure you have accurate budget information and aim for best value-for-money. Please upload quotes at time of application and indicate why you've chosen one training provider over another. Applicants applying through the Skills Training for Economic Recovery stream must upload quotes if engaging Third-Party providers for skills training and employment services.

What should l check for when reviewing quotes?
Quotes may include cost of training per participant, resource materials (e.g. textbooks, online access to materials, etc.), instructor travel and accommodation costs, as well as classroom/facility rental fees.  Quotes from Third-Party providers should include GST (if applicable) as this cost cannot be added once a CWRG funding agreement has been accepted. You should also ensure the training provider can commit to training dates that fit the needs of your project.
 
Is there a list of eligible administrative costs?
Administrative costs must directly relate to project delivery to be eligible. Examples include:
  • Costs for any materials, tools and proportioned salaries used in coordinating, organizing or administering project components, such as project management and claims and reporting submissions
  • Facility lease/rental to provide a training space (if paid by Agreement holder directly)
CWRG pays a maximum of 10% of the total budget (skills training, employment assistance services and participant financial supports) for administration. Only approved applicants whose name appears in the CWRG agreement are eligible to receive administration fees. CWRG funding does cover project administration fees expensed by third party service providers for skills training or employment assistance services.

What is considered an eligible Participant Financial Support?
Participant Financial Supports are intended to remove barriers to individual participants’ success in the project. These costs support the participants to participate in training and services and/or to obtain employment. If an item, such as equipment, is purchased for the participant, it must remain with the participant after the project is completed.

For example:
  • Supports to care for a participant’s child(ren) while the participant attends training or other services.
  • Supports to enable the participant to travel to training, services or work experience, including bus passes and mileage.
  • Disability supports provided to persons with disabilities to assist them in participating in training/services, obtaining and maintaining employment (including financial supports deemed reasonable by the service provider) and specialized equipment.
  • Accommodations while attending training.
  • Personal protective equipment, such as masks, work boots, or gloves, or other equipment required for training or the job.
  • Laptop computers required for training and/or to obtain employment.
For participants in self-employment projects, business start-up costs may be included, for example: business cards, the first month of domain hosting, and other reasonable costs.

What kinds of items are eligible as “personal protective equipment” or “other equipment”?
Personal protective equipment can include safety footwear, safety headgear, eye, face and hearing protection, high-visibility clothing, masks, etc.  - any equipment that is required for the participant to safely engage in training or required for safety on the job.  Other equipment could include specialized equipment that enables persons with disabilities to participate in training or to obtain employment. If you are unsure, please contact the CWRG at CWRG@gov.bc.ca.

What is ineligible for funding?
Expenditures that are not related to the project and project delivery are considered ineligible. These include but are not limited to:
  • Costs related to the development of the proposal or project application
  • Costs not directly associated with the delivery of the project or not directly required to meet the deliverables of the project
  • Costs incurred before the start date or after the end date of the project
  • Administrative salaries that are not directly tied to project management or project delivery
  • Staff salary bonuses
  • Legal fees, court awards, fines and penalties (e.g. parking tickets)
  • Out-of-province travel costs for project staff or participants
  • Annual membership fees to associations or private clubs (e.g. gyms, golf courses)
  • Costs related to annual general meetings, budget deficits, membership fees, fundraising activities, committee and political meetings or religious activities
  • Costs for any materials, tools, techniques, approaches, developments or salaries used in training, work placements or other project components that have already been reimbursed to the Agreement holder under any other funding agreement
  • Reimbursement for airfare purchased with personal frequent flyer points programs
  • Losses on other projects or contracts
  • Interest charges
  • Purchase of alcoholic beverages or cannabis products
  • Participant wages
  • Purchase of capital assets intended for exclusive use in the applicant’s organization and the long-term operational support of that organization.
If you are not sure about the eligibility of components of the project, please contact CWRG (CWRG@gov.bc.ca).

Can I add GST to any portion of my claims?
GST can be included in a claim if it was included in the approved budget in Schedule A of the Agreement.  If GST was not included in the application, it cannot be included in the claim.

Is funding through the grant considered business income that would need to be declared for tax purposes?
Please consult your accountant or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax advice.

Do participants who have their tuition paid from the grant have to pay tax?
Please consult your accountant or the CRA for tax advice.

Eligibility

Am I an eligible applicant?
Before applying, please review the Eligibility Criteria for each stream. This will assist you in determining if you are an eligible applicant and under which stream you should apply.

Examples of ineligible applicants:

  • Public sector organizations, such as Crown corporations and agencies, hospitals and health authorities
  • Federal and provincial departments/ministries

Can a participant apply for a grant directly?
No. Participants cannot apply directly. Please see the Eligibility Criteria for a list of eligible applicants under each stream.

Are temporary foreign workers, international students or people with working holiday visas eligible participants?
Participants must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons (as designated under the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) entitled to work in Canada. Please see the section “Participant Eligibility” in the Eligibility Criteria for each stream for details.

Are participants in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or Income Assistance (IA) benefits eligible for training?
Yes, please review Appendix A in the Eligibility Criteria for each stream as requirements for each stream may differ. EI and IA clients wishing to participate in training must obtain approval in order to continue to be eligible for these benefits while participating in the training.

How do I know if my participants are eligible for training?
Each stream has its own set of criteria. Open the stream criteria you are applying under and scroll down to “Eligible Participants.”

As the applicant, it is your responsibility to determine if a participant is eligible to participate in your training project. Each participant must meet the criteria for age, citizenship and possessing a valid Social Insurance Number, as well as their level of employment. 

Citizenship:

If a potential participant is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, please request the papers that (1) designate them as a protected person and (2) confirm that they have a valid work permit that entitles them to work in Canada, before the training start date. Please note that the Skills Training Grant System does NOT alert Agreement holders if a participant does not meet CWRG participant eligibility. CWRG Agreement holders must ensure participants meet CWRG eligibility criteria before the training start date. 

Employment Statuses:

  • Full-time employed persons are those working more than 30 hours per week.
  • Part-time workers are those working less than 30 hours per week.
  • Unemployed persons include those who have barriers to entering workforce; those currently receiving EI or IA but searching for work; those working less than 20 hours per week.
  • Precariously employed means employment is unstable due to circumstances such as: having just cause to leave one’s employment; having received a lay-off notice; self-employment income is below the poverty line; the job is likely to be replaced with automation; an industry shut down is imminent or there have been changes in the marketplace due to the pandemic.
  • Casual or on-call work means working only when needed, often on short notice.
  • Seasonal work means working steady, possibly long hours for some but not all months of the year (e.g. landscaping, tree planting, wildland firefighting, etc.)
For further assistance, please refer to the Participant Eligibility Checklist.


Skills Training and Service Provider Eligibility

Is there a list of approved skills training providers or service providers?
No. Previous approval of a skills training provider or a service provider does not guarantee approval in the future. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria for the stream under which you are applying.

Can third party skills training providers and employment assistance providers subcontract training and services?
No. The skills training provider and employment assistance services provider cannot subcontract their services to another organization or person. Only those third party providers stated in the application and listed in Schedule A of a CWRG Agreement are permitted to provide training and services.

Agreement

Can changes be made to an Agreement once it has been accepted? If so, what kinds of changes are allowed?
Some changes are allowed after an Agreement has been accepted.  Details regarding allowable changes and when these can be made are provided in the Agreement.  These changes can be made by the Agreement holder through the Skills Training Grants System. Contact the CWRG team at CWRG@gov.bc.ca for more information.

Who is responsible for monitoring the funded project and reporting to the Ministry?
As the Agreement holder, you are responsible for monitoring and reporting on the project as per your CWRG Agreement. Refer to Appendix C in all stream criteria for Agreement holder expectations in monitoring the funded skills training project.

What if I cannot proceed with the project in my Agreement?
If you are unable to proceed, you must cancel your Agreement through the Skills Training Grants System, or inform the CWRG team as soon as possible at CWRG@gov.bc.ca. Failure to do so could make you ineligible to apply for a Grant in the future. See section 7 of your Agreement for more details.

Communications

Can I make a public announcement once I accept an Agreement?
Prior to making any public announcements with respect to your CWRG project, you must obtain Ministry approval. For more information, contact the CWRG team at CWRG@gov.bc.ca.

Can I promote my project in the community?
If you are interested in promoting the project in the community through posters, rack-cards, newspaper ads, internet or radio, etc., Ministry approval is required. You must apply to use a funding logo and follow the appropriate guidelines.
 
To obtain the application form, logo and guidelines, click here and select “Workforce Development Agreement funding lock-up” from the drop-down.  Send your marketing material with the completed Application for WDA Third Party Use form to CWRG@gov.bc.ca. The material will be reviewed to ensure guidelines are met (Depending on volumes, turnaround time is approximately seven to ten days).
 
For the provincially-funded Skills Training for Economic Recovery stream, visit the Download Government Marks webpage and select “Supported by the Province of British Columbia” Mark from the drop-down list. Review the "Guidelines for Use of the Supported by BC Mark (PDF)" and send your marketing materials along with a completed “Application for Third Party Use form (PDF)” to CWRG@gov.bc.ca. The material will be reviewed to ensure guidelines are met (Depending on volumes, turnaround time is approximately seven to ten days).

You may also wish to contact your local WorkBC Centre or other service providers in your community for referrals to your project.

How do I share a participant’s success story with the CWRG?
If you would like to share a participant's success story or testimonial, with or without photos, the participant must complete and sign a Testimonial Consent and Release form. Send the success story/testimonial and photo (if applicable) with the signed and witnessed Testimonial Consent and Release form to CWRG@gov.bc.ca. Testimonials can be signed digitally by downloading the Testimonial Consent and Release form and using Adobe Acrobat to fill in the required fields (for additional help, see Signing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat), or by downloading the form and signing a printed version. For group pictures, each person in the photo must complete the Testimonial Consent and Release form.

What do I need to do in order to publish a participant’s success story on my webpage?
You must have the participant's consent as required under the privacy legislation that is applicable to you. To obtain the participant's consent, you may use your own consent form, or you may use the Testimonial Consent and Release form. If you choose to use the provided Testimonial Consent and Release form, the signed copy must be submitted to the Province, at CWRG@gov.bc.ca, prior to posting the story on your website.

Reporting Requirements

What are the reporting requirements if I accept a CWRG Agreement?
  • Once the training start date has been confirmed, Participant Information Forms (PIFs) must be submitted online by participants five days before the first day of training. PIFs submitted more than seven business days after the start of training will NOT be accepted.
  • Claims for reimbursement must be submitted through the Skills Training Grants System once the Agreement has been accepted and all PIFs have been received by the Province. It is recommended that claims be submitted within 14 days after the training start date.  All claims must be submitted in the fiscal year in which the Application is approved. Fiscal year end is March 31st and it is recommended that all claims be submitted prior to March 1st.  Each stream may have different requirements for claims submission.  Please refer to the Claims Submission Guidelines for each stream.
  • A Completion Report is required within 30 days after the project delivery end date.