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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-social-fund-publicity-toolkit/esf-publicity-toolkit
This publication is withdrawn
The European Social Fund (ESF) programme for 2007 to 2013 in England and Gibraltar has closed. For funding from 2014 to 2020, apply for European Structural and Investment Funds.
The European Social Fund (ESF) publicity toolkit is aimed at anyone working for:
- ESF providers and their sub-contractors receiving ESF funds
- organisations receiving match-funding – national funding that is used by co-financing organisations (CFOs) to match ESF funded provision
- ESF CFOs and intermediate bodies
The publicity toolkit helps you to:
- meet your contractual obligations for receiving ESF funding
- publicise your ESF activity and achievements
- promote your organisation
What you must do
Organisations receiving (ESF) or match funds must comply with the information and publicity regulatory requirements of the European Union (EU) and the England ESF programme.
Your publicity must include the activities explained in this section. You must:
- use the ESF logo
- display project plaques
- inform participants about ESF and EU support
- spread the word – publicise project activity
- promote the national message
- meet your contractual requirements
Use the ESF logo
All information, publicity measures and websites related to the 2007 to 2013 England and Gibraltar ESF programme, including both ESF and match-funded activity, must include:
- the ESF programme logo (this is an EU regulatory requirement)
- a reference to financial support from the European Union, for example “This project is financed by the European Union”
This is to help make sure as many people as possible get to know about ESF and what it does. Use the logo on, for example:
- all information and publicity materials including websites
- ESF programme and project documents
- advertisements, press releases and similar material
Read our guidance on Using the ESF logo
Display project plaques
Providers and sub-contractors must display ESF project plaques where they carry out their main ESF and match-funded activities for the 2007 to 2013 ESF programme.
These plaques are available at no cost to the project. Plaque display is monitored and you risk a financial penalty if they are not displayed.
Read our guidance on ESF plaques including how to order them.
You must inform all participants in ESF or match-funded provision about the support from ESF and the European Union (EU) at the start of and throughout their activity.
Make sure that EU and ESF support is explained clearly in induction presentations, handouts and leaflets, for example, and remember to include the ESF logo. Consider handing out low cost ESF promotional materials such as pens that include the ESF logo.
Throughout participants’ involvement you can, for example:
- display posters and the ESF project plaque prominently
- remind participants of ESF support during training and other classroom sessions, for example on or around Europe Day (9 May each year)
- make sure all project materials include the ESF logo
- encourage participants to use online EU and ESF material
The booklet ESF in England: Improving people’s live 2013 to 2014 explains how ESF is making real and lasting changes to people’s lives and contributing to local growth.
You can tell participants how to apply for ESF individual awards and help them fill in the nomination forms. For example, the annual Festival of Learning awards (run by the Learning and Work Institute) recognise learning achievements. Other national and local awards are available. Your CFO will have details of any awards in your area.
Spread the word – publicise project activity and achievements
Providers and sub-contractors receiving ESF or match funds must publicise project funding, activity, achievements and impact to wider audiences through a range of information and publicity measures. Remember that you are seeking to promote and raise awareness of the ESF programme, as well as the activity or main story.
As far as possible, your communications should include:
- a clear reference to the European Social Fund – in full, not just the ESF abbreviation
- an acknowledgement of EU support – for example, “This project is financed by the European Union” – and details of what activity it is funding
- the ESF logo
- a general message about what ESF does
National and local messages
The main national message to promote about the 2007 to 2013 England ESF programme is:
The European Social Fund in England is investing in jobs and skills – focusing on people who need support the most and helping them fulfil their potential.
Wherever possible, use this message in your publicity, especially for the media and the public.
Consider including background information about ESF and any relevant statistics. Shorter, general messages can explain, for example, how the programme and your project are:
- transforming lives through better skills and better job prospects
- adding value to EU and national strategies
- contributing to policies to increase employment and develop a skilled and adaptable workforce
- dealing with distinctive local labour market needs
- promoting equal opportunities and sustainable development
Ask your project manager, CFO or ESF funder if they have any branding or other guidance about messages that you can use.
Compliance and monitoring
ESF funding can be withdrawn if you don’t comply with the publicity requirements. Please retain evidence of your compliance.
Co-financing organisations (CFOs) and other ESF funders must pass on the requirements that apply to providers and sub-contractors through contractual agreements and supporting guidance and resources.
You risk financial penalties if you don’t comply with your contractual requirements.
Contractual requirements and monitoring
The ESF publicity requirements set out here are included in the agreement your organisation has with your CFO or funder. Providers and their sub-contractors should consult their CFO or funder before undertaking any external public relations activity.
Compliance with ESF publicity requirements is monitored by your CFO or funder and by the ESF Managing Authority. You will need to retain evidence of publicity measures through which you are meeting the requirements.
Financial penalties can (and have been) imposed on projects if they don’t meet the publicity requirements or there is a lack of evidence of compliance.
Providers are responsible for asking sub-contractors to comply with contractual requirements and follow any publicity guidelines and procedures from their CFO or funder.
Participant awareness of ESF and EU support and measures taken to inform them are monitored and maybe audited externally. A lack of participant awareness or of evidence of measures taken is likely to be viewed as non-compliance with requirements – leading to a risk of a financial penalty being imposed.
You must get the full and formal consent of everyone featured in a story, photos, case studies, news items or other features. They must understand what giving consent means.
The Data Protection Act requires that the person knows:
- who you are
- what their information or photo will be used for
- who else it may be given to
The best way to meet these requirements is to ask them to complete a consent form and to clear the proposed material with them before it’s published for the first time. Your manager or marketing or communications colleagues may have a consent form you can use.
If children are featured, you must have written consent from their parent or legal guardian. You can use the sample consent form in this toolkit to record children’s details and the parent or guardian’s consent.
Whatever form you use, you should consult your colleagues responsible for marketing and legal and data protection issues.
Consent form template
If you don’t already have a consent form or access to a marketing or communications department, you can use our consent form template. Please check its suitability with the people in your organisation who advise on legal and data protection issues.
Retain consent forms
Keep completed consent forms securely for at least as long as your project or organisation is using the publicity material. This may be after you have stopped promoting a story or item, as it may still be accessible, through booklets, newsletters or online, for example.
It’s good practice to:
- retain consent forms for as long as other documents being kept for the 2007 to 2013 programme, for monitoring and audit checks
- give the person who has completed the consent form a copy of the form before the material they feature in is published
It’s an EU regulatory requirement that all ESF and match providers and their sub-contractors display an ESF plaque at their ‘main delivery location’.
A main delivery location is defined as “the most commonly attended location by participants at each provider (and each of their sub-contractors) during the lifetime of the project. Providers and their sub-contractors are asked to determine this on the basis of the location that they expect to receive the highest number of participant day’s attendance.”
Plaques should be displayed in a prominent place where they are clearly visible to all participants, staff and others using the building, such as reception areas.
Small community organisations or voluntary bodies in receipt only of an ESF Community Grant are exempted from the requirement to display a plaque at their main location. As a minimum regulatory requirement, these providers should, as an alternative to displaying a plaque, display an ESF poster or posters at their main location to publicise the ESF support they receive. This exemption does not extend to ESF Community Grant co-ordinating bodies.
How to order an ESF plaque
ESF plaques are available free of charge.
Contact your CFO funder. If you’re a main provider or lead partner, you can request one or more ESF project plaques. These can cover your and any sub-contractor’s needs – but should not exceed one per project partner organisation. Please pass on a project plaque to each project sub-contractor.
Contact your main project partner or funder who will arrange to supply you with an ESF plaque.
Employers involved in ESF projects that are providing learning, skills or other support for their employees are not required to display an ESF plaque. However, they and the ESF provider should:
- inform the employees of the ESF and EU support
- use visual materials, such as ESF posters in the workplaces or learning locations, to publicise the ESF and EU support, where possible
Plaque posters and other publicity material
Free A3 size posters based on the design of the ESF project plaque are available. They have a white background and are for display in locations where participant activity takes place and where there is no contractual requirement to display a plaque. Use of the posters is encouraged but not mandatory.
Contact ESF to order plaque posters.
Improving people’s lives – booklet
The Improving people’s lives booklet summarises progress and achievements in the delivery of the 2007 to 2013 ESF programme in England. It explains how ESF is making real and sustained changes to people’s lives and contributing to local growth, and looks forward to the 2014 to 2020 programme.
EU videos and photographs
The EU website has videos and photographs of ESF activity and stories from across Europe.
There is information about other publicity on the older version of this toolkit on The National Archives website.
Contact the Managing Authority with:
- general questions
- comments on the toolkit
- examples of good practice
European Social Fund Division
Level 2 West
123 West Street
Questions about ESF publicity requirements
Contact your CFO or Managing Authority contract manager with questions about:
- ESF publicity requirements as set out in your contract
- this toolkit
- how to access publicity resources
If you are unsure who to contact, please ask your colleagues or the overall project manager (particularly if you are a sub-contractor).