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We have moved, 10 Manor Gardens London N7 6LA, new telephone number 0208 064 0161

Celebrating 10 years of CSO

Capacity Building in Resilience: Benefits, Money & Debt Advice and Mental Health Awareness


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We will be offering the following by Zoom online:

  • Training in Benefits Advice by the Benefits Training Company, will result in advice sector recognised certificate in the following four areas:
    • Introduction to Welfare Benefits - this course teaches the main principles which underpin the wider benefits system and provides a foundation. There is a focus on recognising entitlement across the whole benefits system and maximising income for people in the community.
    • Universal Credit Overview - we consider who should claim UC, how the rollout of UC affects the wider system, how amounts are calculated, the claims process and work requirements in UC.
    • Personal Independence Payment - this course focuses on making successful applications, particularly the disability criteria and how to fill out the application form effectively.
    • Benefits for EEA nationals - we look at the various tests which affect European nationals focussing mostly on the Habitual Residence Test and the Right to Reside requirement. 

Each course is split into four parts or modules which together make up the equivalent of a one day course. The delivery will be over 8 consequent days of ½ days. Each 1/2 course will consist of two modules of 2.5 hours each.

This training will permit organisations to have the qualified staff and volunteers in order to become formally an advice centre on benefits.


  • Training in Money & Debt Advice which will result in Certificate which is accredited by the Advice UK and recognised by the Money & Pensions Service & FCA.

The training will involve pre-course reading, a live online 2 hour Zoom session with the tutor, homework such as case studies and exercises then a final 2 hour live online session about 5 working days after the first live online session.

All organisations offering money and debt advice have to individually apply to the FCA for a licence to practice once the staff have completed the accredited training. They can thereafter access specialist debt advice training through the Money Advice Trust.


  • Training in Mental Health Awareness via online,  will result in a Certificate of Competion.

This course will allow participants to recognise the symptoms of mental health issues and provide initial help, signposting and guide a person towards appropriate professional help. This course is for ½ day over 2.5 hours.

Who can participate in the Training?

Organisations- We are offering this training to CSO Member organisations in the UK. There are 30 organisation places on offer. We will also place a limitation on the allocation on a geographical basis of 50% to London based organisations and 50% to those in the regions. We will offer on a first come first served basis.

Individuals- We are offering 300 training places for employees of CSO Member organisations and their volunteers. This offer is also open to Somali graduates who are unemployed and looking for job opportunities in the advice sector. If it is possible we will link volunteers for work experience within our CSO Member organisations if organisations indicate willingness to offer places.

Duration of Offer:

The training will be offered in 15 cohorts of 20 participants and will run from mid September 2020 to end of February 2021. We will notify participants close to the date of the scheduling of each cohort and you will be expected to continue with the training within the allocated cohort time table. We will try to accommodate choices where we can but the dates will be fixed well ahead of time in order to permit a wide selection of options.

Conditions of the Offer:

It is mandatory that each person who signs up for the training programme to complete all the training for the certificates to be issued.

Incentive for Participants/Organisations:

CSO is offering £150 for each participant who completes all the training. Each participant must also complete any course work required as part of the training. Payment will only be made once the training provider certifies that the participant has completed all training and confirmation is received of completed training from all the providers.  Pro rata payment will be made for part participation only if 90% completion rate is achieved.

Additional Incentive Organisations:

CSO will be offering each organisation that signs up for the training with a minimum of 5 staff and/or volunteers 2 tablets with headsets valued at £550. Organisations will keep these equipment for future training opportunities and use them for their work also. This offer is not open to individual participants.



Organisation registration

Individual registration