ESF Information Memo 17/22 - ESF Call 3 - ‘On the Spot’ (OTS) checks and document retention regulations

Guidance for projects around document retention and OTS checks for ESF Programme 2014 - 2020.

Dear Project Promoter

In line with guidance set out in ESF Information Memo 11/22 the ESF Managing Authority (MA) has been carrying out remote ‘On the Spot’ (OTS) checks which specifically focus on project staffing and evidence of the delivery of activities.

There are however some OTS checks – primarily around branding and publicity- which PDB will be dealing with.

These checks wilI be carried out remotely, by email correspondence, with projects contacted on a project by project basis.

Full branding and publicity requirements can be found at NI European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 branding and publicity requirements

The outstanding checks are:

  • evidence the A3 poster with the Call 3 project name is being displayed in a prominent place within your organisation (section 3.1.)
  • checks that appropriate approval has been sought for use of ESF/DfE logos on marketing material (section 3.2.)
  • project websites need reviewed to ensure the ESF and DfE logos and funding details can be read without scrolling down the page, that logos conform in terms of size and colour and that a project’s website includes a short description of the ESF project (section 3.3.)
  • checks that ESF funding has been mentioned in any promotional material/literature produced by the project for social media/media or events including speeches (section 3.6).

In addition to the above, projects will be asked to provide a copy of the bank statement showing receipt of their latest claim payment and evidence of signed timesheets.

2014 - 20 programme document retention

To ensure that documents are available to the European commission and the European Court of Auditors upon requests in accordance with Article 140(1) of Regulation (EU) no 1303/2013 all projects funded under ESF 2014-20 programme must retain records until December 2030. Prior to destruction of any documents, confirmation should be sought from the Managing Authority.

If you have any queries regarding this memo please contact Patricia Baird at

Kathleen McStravick
ESF Project Delivery Branch

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