Simplification and Results in ESIF programmes and Projects in 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – How to Use Simplified Cost Options (SCO)?

04/11/2019 - 05/11/2019
Location: Prague (CZ)
Project number: 1930207

Simplification and Results in ESIF programmes and Projects in 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – How to Use Simplified Cost Options (SCO)?

From:  990,00

Many Member States took up Simplified cost options (SCO) in their ESI Operational Programmes during the current 2014-2020 programming period but more can be done in 2021-2027. What are the challenges for uptake and how can you plan SCO in the next programming period 2021-2027?

This 2-day EIPA seminar looks at simplifying ESI procedures and reducing the administration burden for programmes and projects through the use of SCOs in order to enhance the delivery and produce long lasting results. We will focus on the details of the current Regulations, the changes brought by the OMNIBUS Regulation and the proposed CPR regulation for 2021-2027. The seminar will help you get all the details of proper use of flat-rates, unit costs and lump sums and to address the questions of carrying out verifications in SCO. Participants will also be carrying out exercises on SCO and learn how to make them compliant with state aid rules and how to mitigate the impact of public procurement. Finally, we review the use of synergies between EU funds such as Horizon 2020 through the Seal of Excellence for ERDF and ESF.

A member of the High Level Group on simplification will share the contribution of the expert group in using SCO. A senior EC official will share the latest development at EU level and describe the advanced options of SCO, when they should be used and how to agree them with the EC.

EIPA experts will build on the work carried out by the EC Simplification Thematic Network and two delivered recently seminar-workshops under contract to DG EMPL on the new SCO generation. Furthermore, the seminar will illustrate best practices in different Member States such as Czech Republic, Belgium and Italy.

What you will learn from this course:

Participants will learn:

  • How to develop good methodologies for flat-rates, lump-sums and standard scales of unit costs both in all funds (ESF+, ERDF, CF, EMFF) ?
  • Which SCO option is suited for which type of ESI operations?
  • Which steps to consider when negotiating advanced options with the EC?
  • How to carry proper management verifications when using SCO?
  • How can we prevent irregularities in SCO?
  • How do we take revenue generation, state aid and public procurement into account?
By the end of the course, you will:

Participants will have a clear picture where ESI simplifications need to be used more widely in future programmes and projects for 2021-2027. Participants will be better placed to guide project promoters to implement SCO correctly in their projects.

Who is this course for?
  • officials from EU institutions for instance from EC or from the ECA
  • Managing Authorities, Certifying and Audit Authorities
  • Intermediate bodies and other stakeholders implementing the ESI funds
  • private sector service providers, funders and professional advisers in EU Member States,
  • officials from pre-accession countries in charge of Chapter 22
  • academics and project promoters
Course methodology:

The seminar will be led by highly experienced EIPA experts/consultants, Marco Lopriore, Luca Santin and Louis Vervloet who have been working with the ESI funds for several programming periods. There will be 2 keynote interventions – from the European Commission and from a Czech Ministry.

We aim to make the seminar as interactive as possible. Participants will have ample opportunity to exchange views informally on the seminar topics. Workshops will be used to help participants get to grips with practical tools and methodologies.

Participants are invited to send us their problems, issues and questions before the seminar, if they wish. We will do our best to address the problems / answer the questions during the seminar! You wil also receive a copy of the EU simplification handbook for 2021-27 and you can stay in touch with us for further questions.




Registration of participants




Welcome of participants and opening of the conference
Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA Maastricht




Using the simplified cost options (SCO) : the OMNIBUS and moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • Overview of rules on standard scales of unit costs, flat rates and lumpsums
  • How the OMNIBUS Regulation changed SCO
  • Simplification proposals for 2021-2027
  • Gold-plating issues

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA Maastricht


Coffee break




What can we learn from EU practices on ESI Simplification

  • Experiences of simplification from EU Member states
  • Lessons learned 2007-2013 on using SCOs
  • Risks and experiences and considerations for MA/IB
  • Recommendations from the transnational group

Luca Santin, ESF thematic expert, Transnational platform on simplification




Using the simplified cost options (SCO) : the OMNIBUS and moving from 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • Exercise on mandatory element of SCO
  • Exercise with standard scales of unit costs and flat rates

Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA Maastricht




Lunch Break




Workshop on best use of SCO in ESI funds

  • Problems and solutions to using SCO in various areas (developing proper methodologies, choosing among SCO options, targeting ESF or ERDF/CF, audit and control)

Luca Santin, ESF thematic expert, Transnational platform on simplification




Coffee break




SCO practice in the Research and Education area

  • Applying flat rates for indirect costs in Czech Republic
  • Calculating and using standard scale of unit costs for education  

Ing. Helena Viktorie Barbořáková, Managing Authority, Operational Programme – Research, Development and Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Czech Republic




Exercises on SCO

  • calculating grants for flat-rates using different SCO options of the CPR regulation
  • Using the 1720 hours and the pro-rata rule in defining hourly rates
  • taking revenue generation in account

Marco Lopriore




End of first day













 Latest EU level developments on SCO

  • Planning for SCO in 2021-2027
  • Flat rate for technical assistance
  • Payment based on conditions
  • Audit approach to SCO

Michael Grosse, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Unit E.1 ESF Policy and Legislation(to be confirmed)




Coffee break




Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 1)

Louis Vervloet, Director, European Social Fund Agency of the Flemish Region, Member of the High Level group on simplification

  • Lessons learned 2014-2020
  • Management and control systems and simplification
  • Approach to result-oriented programming and to project delivery
  • Flat rates and the 3 P model
  • Benefits and risks




Exercise on calculating result –oriented standard scales of unit costs
Marco Lopriore




Lunch break




Exercises on irregularities and SCO

Marco Lopriore




Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 2)

Louis Vervloet, Director, European Social Fund Agency of the Flemish Region, Member of the High Level group on simplification

  • Practical examples of lump-sums, flat rates and standard scales of unit costs
  • Applying Art 14.1 and delegated acts
  • Lessons from the management verifications of SCO
  • Preparing for 2021-2017 Operational Programmes




Coffee Break




Exercise on SCO and State Aid/Public Procurement

  • using flat-rates and unit costs compliant to GBER Regulation and public procurement
  • synergies with other EU funds; Seal of Excellence with ERDF and ESF

Marco Lopriore




Conclusion & Seminar Feedback
Marco Lopriore




Close of seminar

Course venue
Rezidence Dlouhá 17
Dlouhá 17
110 00 Praha 1

Programme Organiser
Ms Nancy Vermeulen
Tel: +31 43 32 96 212

The fee includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

EIPA offers a 10% discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Lunches, the reception or dinner will be served at a restaurant in town. Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.

Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.). 


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