After approval of the application and when the grant agreement is signed by both parties, the applicant institution becomes beneficiary of an EU grant. The beneficiary is the responsible for the development and good management of the respective project and for reporting.
THE BENEFICIARY IS THE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
In the frame of Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission has prepared a document containing a set of suggestions to deal with the challenges this situation poses to institutions and participants involved in Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps projects. Read it here.
The NA informs the beneficiary institution of who is the Programme officer to follow and monitor the project; this officer can be consulted on all subjects relevant to the execution of the project.
The lifecycle of projects includes from the signing of the grant agreement and project implementation to the final report stage and possible audits to the project, decided at National or Community level in accordance with funding regulations in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.
Careful project planning is a necessary task; it saves time when problems need to be solved and the work done and the results obtained need to be reported to the NA. Only those activities undertaken during the project’s implementation period are considered eligible for funding.
Although, as of midnight on 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom has ceased to be a Member State of the European Union, it remains a Programme Country until the end of Erasmus + (2014-2020). Thus, even after Brexit, activities carried out by organizations in this country within the scope of projects financed by this Programme are eligible.
The UK's participation in future Erasmus + successor programmes, namely in the period 2021-2027, will depend on the outcome of the negotiations between the two parties.
For KA1 projects, the beneficiary institution chooses the participants in project activities according to previously defined criteria. The selection process must be fair, transparent, coherent and documented; it should be disclosed to all involved parties.
As projects are implemented, all commitments assumed in the approved application and spelled out in the agreement must be respected; this protects the interests of project participants (learners, educators and staff) and guarantees the proposed results are achieved.
Administrative and financial rules are described in the grant agreement and in respective annexes signed by the NA and by the beneficiary institution, as are detailed provisions that deal with control and audits.
Organization Registration System
Organizations must keep their organization information updated in the Organization Registration System. Keeping the updated information is in the interest of the beneficiary because it allows the National Agency to respond faster to all requirements.
Beneficiaries only have to provide proof that agreement activities were completed, except in the case of Exceptional costs and special needs support. All beneficiaries are subject to European rules, namely financial regulations; this means that auditors may request accounting documents to confirm those declared activities were carried out. Keep these invoices and receipts for at least 5 years after the end of the project, or up to 3 years in the case of grants under 60,000.00 €.
Institutions must regularly assess project implementation, namely:
RELEVANCE AND OPERATIONALISATION
The relevance of project activities and project operationalisation, including the appropriateness of available financial resources for the planned activities, the means of dissemination and the selection criteria for project participants.
The main results of the project, either direct or indirect, as well as undesirable and unexpected results. Analysis of effectiveness compares results achieved to the objectives conveyed in the application and expected results; efficiency analysis analyses the results achieved.
The level of activity execution planned in the application, the degree of adhesion on the part of participants, the difficulties and barriers met and the measures taken to address them.
When applicable, the institution submits an Interim Report on the Mobility Tool+; this report details project execution and covers the period from the beginning of project to the time of reporting.
At the end of the project the institution submits a Final Report on the Mobility Tool+ covering all the implementation period.
AT THE END OF THE PROJECT THE INSTITUTION SUBMITS A FINAL REPORT ON THE MOBILITY TOOL+
The form must be completed and submitted electronically, always according to the instructions in the Mobility Tool+ user’s manual (available on the first page of this tool).
Final payment or request for reimbursement will be issued within 60 days from the date the Final Report is received.
More information on the Mobility Tool+ is provided in the financial agreement between the NA and the beneficiary institution.
At the end of the mobility period, all participants must submit a final report on the Mobility Tool+.
A refund will not be sought when a participant’s mobility is interrupted for reasons of force majeure, which must be approved in writing by the NA. If participants do not present this report, the NA may request total or partial return of the grant.
Key Action 2
INTERIM OR PROGRESS REPORT
Institutions that benefit from Strategic Partnerships must present Interim or Progress Reports that outline progress achieved during the execution of the project; in some cases, these accompany requests for funding.
SCHOOL EXCHANGE PARTNERSHIPS
In the specific case of School Exchange Partnerships, each institution prepares a Report to be sent to its respective NA.
END OF THE PROJECT
At the end of the project and when all activities, products and results have been finalised, including all agreed mobility initiatives, the coordinating institution will prepare a Final Report to be presented by the deadline stipulated in the agreement.
The NA follows and monitors the quality of project implementation by e-mail, phone call, document analysis and on-site visits.
The NA, National Authorities, the European Commission and other national and European bodies, namely national and European auditing authorities, can engage in project monitoring during and after the project, with all financial balances regularized; all documents relevant to the project must be kept for up to 3 years after payment of the final balance for grants that do not exceed 60,000.00 € and for up to 5 years for all other projects.
The agreement indicates how project performance is reflected on the final grant payment and future participation in the Programme.
SUPPORT FOR THE BENEFICIARY
The NA provides a set of guides, whose objective is to support the projects financial management. These Guides can be found in the General Documentation in the corresponding year of the beginning of the project (choose the year in Selection for ____; by default, the page opens in the current year).
Tracking and Monitoring
NA MONITORS THE PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
INTERIM AND FINAL ASSESSMENT
All funded projects are assessed through Final Reports and, when applicable, Interim and Progress Reports. Project assessment reflects the degree of compliance with the contracted activities. Results are communicated by the NA, followed by a complaint period.
Dissemination and Exploitation of Results
Each project represents a step towards achieving the general objectives defined by the Programme to improve, modernise and internationalise systems of education and training.
By communicating and disseminating results, participants in Erasmus+ projects can showcase and share details of their work and the results obtained. By sharing results, lessons learned and achievement and conclusions with other entities beyond participating organisations, the general community is able to benefit from the work funded by the EU. Sharing also encourages effort on the part of organisations to achieve Erasmus+ objectives, as a fundamental link between the Programme results and the development of education and training policy. For more information, see Annex II of the Erasmus+ Guide and visit the Erasmus+ Project Results Plataform.
The dissemination of project results shall focus on the following aspects, among others:
Changes observed in participants, organisations and educational systems.
Improvement of project quality and results.
The promotion of innovative practices that are likely to generate participation in new projects and/or project participation on a greater scale.
Recognition of learning results is an important part of the Erasmus+ Programme; to do so, organisations involved in mobility projects and strategic partnerships must agree to issue a Europass mobility certificate, an ECVET certificate in the case of Vocational, Education and Training or other recognized certification at the end of the mobility period.
The European Commission and the NA use indicators and tools to measure project results and impact in accordance with Regulation (EU) 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, December 11, 2013.
Any communication or publication from the beneficiary related to the project, including at conferences, seminars or any other informative or promotional materials (brochures, flyers, posters, presentations, etc.) must indicate that the project received EU funding and must contain the EU symbol and the official logo of the Erasmus+ Programme, following the guidelines related to visual identity.