However it should be remembered that if service user trainers are not workingregularly or are new to training the issue of payment can be made problematicby the complexity of the benefits system. Some service users can face the lossof benefits when declaring income from paid work. This is because paymentmay be viewed as evidence of fitness to work. Unfortunately even doing workon an unpaid basis that might have been paid can effect ‘fitness to work’. Other welfare benefits are reduced if the claimant earns more than a certainamount of money and this may be a disincentive for service users to accept paidwork (they may be no better off for having been paid). This is a complex subjectand one that is individual to each person. Therefore it is always advisable toseek expert advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or via a welfare rightsadvice service.The Standards We Expect project issued letters of contract to each trainer itworked with. These simply explained what each side should expect of the other.They were signed by both the project and the trainer (see appendix 5). CHECKLIST: PAYING THE TRAINERSWhat is the right amount of money to pay the trainer?Can you find out what other trainers are paid?Could trainers who are service users lose welfare benefits or have moneyproblems because they take part?Where can service users find out more about how payments might affecttheir benefits?Will you have a written contract with the trainer(s) for the training?5) Working out a programme for the trainingMaking a ChangePage 9
TOP TIP: You will need a programme for each bit oftraining. A programme shows what a trainer willdo, and when. You should find out what help your trainer needswith this. If there are lots of trainers you could holda meeting with them. To help trainers in the development of the programme for their workshop theStandards We Expect project arranged a one-day meeting for all the trainers(the project used 14 different trainers in total). The aim of the session was toprovide background information and discuss how to deliver the training (seeappendix 3 and 4). This meeting enabled the different trainers to meet togetherand benefit from each other’s experience and perspectives. The trainers werealso able to share particular exercises and useful approaches to the training.Afterwards we circulated notes of the meeting including individual trainer’s ideasabout how to deliver the sessions, in the form of draft programmes (seeappendix 6). The trainers’ fees were set to include their time spent attendingthis meeting. The cost of trainer’s travel to and from the meeting and related outof pocket expenses were met by the project.Each pair of trainers then devised their own programme for the 2 day workshop.