Working with Union Learning Fund (ULF)
ULF online reporting database
The online system for managing ULF is something you will become very familiar with over the lifetime of your project!
It is designed to help unions manage and administer ULF projects and has proved to be very effective over the years. You will be able to see all information that is relevant to your project and save key documents and information so you have everything in one place. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with databases - it is very user-friendly, and the ULF team can provide you with help and training.
The site is secure and you will be given a password and unique login to be able to see your details. The login/password will be provided at the start of your project unless yours is a continuing project.
Elements of your bid
When you log on, you will see that the ULF database has converted your bid into four elements:
- Main - the terms and conditions of the contract
- Schedule 1 – the basis of the bid, particularly in terms of outcomes
- Schedule 2 – the finances
- Schedule 3 – ad hoc terms and conditions of the contract
The database also gathers the financial information that ULF requires and you will be able to see which reports are due, where you are up to with expenditure and progress against achieving your project’s outcomes.
You can store a variety of information such as agendas (e.g. of steering group and team meetings) case studies and other project materials and share them with other members of the project team. You can also share resources and good practice examples with other ULF project managers and their teams via the Extranet.
As part of your contract, you need to collect numerical and other evidence of what your project is achieving. As part of your bid, you would have estimated a range of outcomes you hoped your project would achieve, ranging from the number of ULRs trained to the numbers of learners accessing learning. Each month, you will be collating and forwarding this data to unionlearn through your online reports.
To be able to capture the different sorts of project information, you will need to set up systems to monitor progress in achieving your outcomes, and the finances needed to deliver them.
The ULF team will review all projects to see how they are performing and offer support where it is needed. So if you need some help, you only have to ask.
So how is your data used? The figures you supply each month are a vital part of the management of the fund by unionlearn. Information is analysed on a quarterly basis and reported into the ULF Steering Group, which meets four times a year to discuss the effective management and progress of the fund. Unionlearn has its own targets set by DIUS, and the evidence from your project is vital in proving the value of the fund, the importance of union learning, and to secure future funding.
All project managers will need to produce an evaluation report at the end of their project. One role of your project steering group is to review progress at each of their meetings, using information supplied by the project team’s evaluations of progress against the action plan. Gathering this information will help you to compile the final project report as well as help you to review, plan and formulate the next steps. Unionlearn may also ask for information relating to key themes or key learning and skills priorities for evaluation reports they produce. A sample Steering Group report shows the kind of information you might need to capture to demonstrate your project’s progress.