European Social Fund: participant guidance

Guidance regarding employment status, barriers to employment and qualifications for participants in the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Monitoring and evaluation

More detailed guidance on monitoring and evaluation of participant information is contained within the European Commission's 'Monitoring and Evaluation of European Cohesion Policy – European Social Fund' guidance.

However, the following should be considered:

  • Lead Partners should ensure that delivery agents or delivery organisations comply with all Data Protection legislation when gathering and storing information
  • if a participant enters and leave the same operation several times during one or several reporting years, data relating to this participant should be recorded, stored and reported only once. The start date and information relating to output indicators should always refer to the first participation (i.e. not changed upon re-entry). The exit date should however be updated to reflect the final exit date and any other previously recorded result indicators should be updated accordingly
  • if a participant leaves one operation and registers with a different operation, the individual can be considered/recorded as a new participant
  • the total number of participants can be calculated by totalling the number of participants within the common output indicators relating to the individual’s employment status i.e. unemployed (including long-term unemployed), inactive and employed (including self-employed) – only one of these categories can be picked for each participant
  • common immediate result indicators should only relate to results achieved in the 4 week period after the participant has exited the operation
  • common longer-term results should only relate to results achieved 6 months after the participant has exited the operation
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