Simplification in Structural and Cohesion Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – From Basic to Advanced Simplified Cost Options (SCO)

Project number: 2030207

- Online Course -

Date & pricing

09/11/2020 - 11/11/2020
Register before: 31/10/2020

€ 700,00 per attendee

€ 630,00 for EIPA members*

Simplification in Structural and Cohesion Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 – From Basic to Advanced Simplified Cost Options (SCO)

From:  630,00

This online course 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

Watch project leader Marco Lopriore explain how Cohesion Policy helps respond to the COVID health crisis in his recent video series.

About this online course

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 online course of EIPA 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 start from the experience of the current Regulations, the changes brought by the OMNIBUS Regulation and the proposed CPR regulation for 2021-2027. The online course 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 increasing use of SCO across EU programmes such as Horizon 2020.

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. Other experts of Managing Authorities will share their experience on the ground.

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

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 online course 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 online course as interactive as possible. Participants will have ample opportunity to exchange views informally in the online course. Breakout rooms 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 course, if they wish. We will do our best to address the problems / answer the questions during the course! 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.

What you will learn in this online 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) ?
  • What are financing not linked to cost ?
  • 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.

Luca Santin

Luca Santin

EU Structural Funds

Louis Vervloet

Louis Vervloet

ESF Flanders
ESI Funds Simplification

Practical information

Online Course
For this online course we make use of Zoom

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

EIPA offers a 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.

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 € 50 for cancellations received within 7 days before the activity begins.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 1 week before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed.

I have a question

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The programme

10.00 Opening of the Zoom Platform
10.15 Welcome of participants, objectives of the course and tour de table
Marco Lopriore, Expert, European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht (NL)
10.30 Using the simplified cost options (SCO) : moving from the OMNIBUS and 2014-2020 to 2021-2027

  • Overview of rules on standard scales of unit costs, flat rates and lump-sums
  • How the OMNIBUS Regulation changed SCO in post 2020
  • Draft proposals for 2021-2027
  • The template in Annex V

Marco Lopriore

11.30 Virtual coffee break
11.45 Exercises on flat-rates SCO in break out rooms
12.00 Plenary assessment
12.15 Exercises  on unit costs SCO in break out rooms

  • calculating staff hourly rates
  • using the 1720 hours and the pro-rata rule in defining hourly rates
  • corrections and adaptations of standard  scales of unit costs
12.30 Plenary assessment
12.45 End of first day
13.15 Opening of the Zoom Platform
13.25 Review of day 1
Marco Lopriore, Expert, European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht (NL)
13.30 Overview of SCOs in the Member States relevant for ERDF/CF/ESF

  • Choices of Member States in SCOs
  • Q&A session

Luca Santin, Thematic expert, Transnational platform on simplification

14.45 Virtual coffee break
15.00 Good (and not-so-good) SCO practices and lessons learned from the Member States to prepare for 2020+

  • The decision making process
  • When and why use SCOs
  • Setting up the SCO system
  • Management & control and audit
  • Conclusions and lessons learned
  • Q&A session

Luca Santin

16.15 Virtual coffee break
16.30 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
  • Insight into Czech methodologies and combination of SCO
  • Q&A session

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

17.30 End of second day
13.15 Opening of the zoom platform and review of day 2
13.30 Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 1)

  • 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

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

14.30 Virtual coffee break
14.45 Using SCO in Flanders Region (part 2)
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
  • Flat rates for simplification of employers costs
  • Preparing SCO in 2021-2017 Operational Programmes

Louis Vervloet

16.00 Virtual coffee break
16.15 Break out rooms exercises on SCO irregularities

  • examining different cases of irregularities
  • verifications in SCO
  • mandatory element in 2021-2027
16.30 Plenary assessment


Break out rooms exercises on SCO: State Aid/Public Procurement

  • using flat-rates and unit costs compliant to GBER Regulation and public procurement
  • taking revenue generation in account
17.30 Feedback and conclusion of online course
Marco Lopriore