1. About professional development grants and rights of Fund members
1.1. Grants for professional development. These are special professonal development grants that are intended to further improve job development opportunities for Fund members and are related to the professional development plans of institutions or the professional development of applicants.
1.2. Right to apply for grants
1.2.1. Fund members can apply for a professional development grant when their employer has paid contributions to the Fund for 6 out of the previous 12 months.
1.2.2. Fund members must be employed, both when they apply for a grant and when they use it.
1.2.3. Fund members who are looking for employment/on parental leave can use their accrued rights if they choose to pay their union fees during their job search/parental leave.
1.2.4. If contributions to the Fund cease temporarily due to illness, parental leave or leave without pay, the period in question shall be considered as if contributions were paid, provided that the employment relationship is active, confirmation of which by the employer must be submitted.
1.2.5. End of membership. Entitlements lapse 2 months after the final contribution to the Fund has been received.
2. Conditions that programmes must fulfil
2.1. The following is eligible:
2.1.1. University-level education and preparatory studies for the university level.
2.1.2. Professional studies, courses and conferences related to the job or career development of the individual.
2.1.3. Language and information technology studies and courses related to professional development.
2.2. As a rule, grants are not allocated for any self-help or self-reinforcement programmes (e.g. mindfulness courses, stress management courses, anti-burnout courses, etc.). Leisure courses are not eligible for grants.
2.3. In order to eligible for a grant, the studies should meet general quality requirements or be quality certified/accredited.
2.4. Reasoning must be provided for the place of study if the location requires travel expenses abroad.
2.5. What is funded?
Grants are provided for the following cost factors:
2.5.1. Tuition fees
2.5.2. Course fees
2.5.3. Conference fees
2.5.4. Travelling expenses incurred by 2.5.1. to 2.5.3. Fund members shall endeavour to find the most advantageous prices for flight and accommodation. The following is considered part of travel expenses:
126.96.36.199. Flight costs
188.8.131.52. Costs of accommodation, only for overnight stays while a project (e.g. a conference) is ongoing. The grant only extends to the member, not travel companions, e.g. a spouse our children.
184.108.40.206. Travel to and from international airports overseas
220.127.116.11. Domestic travelling expenses, for which a fixed grant is provided according to the following criteria:
• If the distance from the legal domicile to the place of learning/conference or international airport is more than 100 kilometers, a payment of ISK 15,000 is made.
• If this distance is more than 250 kilometers a payment of ISK 30,000 is made.
• If the distance from the legal domicile to an international airport is less than 100 kilometres, a payment of ISK 7,000 is made.
• In the case of travelling expenses for domestic distance learning, a fixed grant is awarded once a semester and the Fund member must submit a confirmation of attendance from the school/education provider (e.g. attendance at in-person sessions).
2.6. What is not funded?
Living expenses (food cost), travel within cities and municipalities, petrol rental cars, loss of wages, study materials.
3. Grant amount
3.1. The maximum grant for professional development projects is ISK 370,000 over a 24-month period.
3.1.1. Fund members who have paid ISK 20,000 or more in membership fees in the preceding 12 months are entitled to a full grant of ISK 370,000.
3.1.2. Fund members who have paid ISK 10,000-19,999 in membership fees in the preceding 12 months are entitled to half a grant of ISK 185,000.
3.1.3. Fund members who have paid less than ISK 10,000 in membership fees in the preceding 12 months are not entitled to a grant.
3.2. The maximum grant for university-level tuition fees not related to professional development in the applicant’s current job cannot exceed half of the maximum grant according to Article 3.1. Thus, the grant will be ISK 185,000 over a 24-month period based on entitlement according to Article 3.1.1 and ISK 92,500. based on entitlement according to Article 3.1.2. An employer's confirmation that university studies are related to professional development must be submitted if a higher grant is to be requested over a 24-month period.
4. Application and disbursement of grant
4.1. Applications and accompanying documents
An online application must be submitted on Sameyki’s My Pages at www.sameyki.is. Invoices, payment receipts and other supporting documents should be attached to the online application or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be submitted at Sameyki's office at Grettisgata 89, 105 Reykjavík. A supervisor’s confirmation of a link to a professional development plan must be submitted if available.
4.2. Supervisor’s confirmation for overseas conferences
In the case of overseas conferences, a letter must be sent from the applicant's workplace, stating the purpose and objectives of the trip and how it relates to the applicant’s professional development. This statement must be signed by the supervisor.
Payments are made upon presentation of an invoice and payment receipts proving that the invoice has been verifiably paid. Original copies are generally not required, although the Board of the Fund reserves the right to do so if deemed necessary. If another party, e.g. a company, institution or colleague, has covered the costs, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has reimbursed the party in question for their part of the cost.
Professional development grants are disbursed as soon as circumstances permit in each case. Payments are usually made at the end of each week. Prerequisites for payment are that a representative or the Board of Sameyki’s Vocational Training Fund has approved the application and the required supporting documents have been received in time. The Board of Sameyki’s Vocational Training Fund resolves any issues and may lower grant amounts if there are other cost participants.
A payment notification is attached to the application when the grant is disbursed and accessible on May Pages, where the processing of the application can also be observed.
4.4. Preparation and processing of applications
Fund members prepare their application carefully, stating what they intend to study, the purpose of the studies is and how these studies will be useful in their work. A correctly filled in application is a requirement for a grant being allocated. When an application needs to be submitted to a meeting of the Fund’s Board, the conclusion is announced in an e-mail message detailing the documentation that must be submitted to receive the grant. If all documentation has been received, the application will be processed on the next payment day.
5. Frequency of grants, lapse, etc.
5.1. Frequency of grant disbursements.
A Fund member with full rights (see Articles 1.2 and 3) can receive a maximum grant of ISK 370,000 over a 24-month period, which means that a Fund member can apply for more than one grant during the period, until the maximum amount is reached.
5.2. Retroactive applications.
A grant application around must be received within one year from the end of the studies/project. Invoices older than 12 months cannot be submitted, however.
5.3. Lapse of right to grant disbursement.
If an applicant has not submitted the required documentation within 12 months from the submission of the application, the right to payment lapses.
5.4. Double payment or overpayment of a grant.
If a mistake occurs in the handling of a grant application or payment of a grant, Sameyki’s staff will endeavour to correct the error as soon as possible. Fund members must notify Sameyki's office in the event of overpayment and repay the overpaid amount immediately.
5.5. The right to cancel an application.
If applicants do not accept the grant offer or cancel their application before disbursement, the application has no effect on their rights in the Fund.
5.6. Information for tax authorities.
Provided educational grants are pre-filled in the tax return. Fund members must retain the original invoice for the expense for which a grant has been obtained to present to the tax authorities if requested. Deductible expenses may be recorded when the tax return is submitted, in accordance with the rules of the Directorate of Internal Revenue.
If the Fund dries up or the Board believes the Fund to be at a disadvantage in terms of income and expected obligations, those members who have never previously received a grant from the Fund shall have priority above others. If there is still a need for prioritisation, the Fund’s Board may give job-related projects priority over others.
7. Right of referral
Fund members always have the right to refer their case back to the Board of the Vocational Training Fund if they are unhappy with the processing of their application, in which case the Board will review the application again at its next meeting.
8. Entry into force
These rules were approved by the Board of the Vocational Training Fund on 10 December 2020 and enter into force on 1 January 2021. Upon entry into force, previous rules of procedure and other decisions which are not in accordance with these rules shall cease to apply. The rules may be amended pursuant to the decision of the Board at each time, based on the Fund’s financial position.