Our training courses


Mac User and PC User colliide during a GMWRAG training sessionGMWRAG offers good value training courses and workshops on welfare rights topics for advisers and local groups. One of the great advantages of GMWRAG is that it offers the opportunity to look at training needs across boundaries; share information, knowledge and skills and therefore minimise duplication.

GMWRAG meetings offer the chance to find common training needs and the opportunity to work with colleagues to design and offer that training to the benefit of all. Why write a training course when someone else could already have something you could use? GMWRAG has a Training Sub-Group to plan courses.

In addition, many members of GMWRAG offer welfare rights training courses for staff in their organisation, or other organisations in their geographical area. GMWRAG positively encourages members to make their existing courses available to all and offers the opportunity to attend training events that might not otherwise be available in your area.

The next round of courses is always being planned and will be advertised here soon. You can also request a repeat training session.


Does your organisation or group need training on any or all aspects of the welfare reforms that are rolling out now? (See possible courses or units below). The long-standing Greater Manchester Welfare Rights Advisers Group (GMWRAG) can match you with expert, experienced trainers who will deliver training at a very competitive price. All training is with the latest rules, guidance, procedures, examples, experiences, challenges and future thinking or debate.

Training is offered at all levels: introductory, intermediate or advanced and can be delivered anywhere that suits, across the country. Training is available in one day or half day sessions, always tailored to suit your needs, building up the key topics for you. If you have a local venue, we could explore inviting other agencies to also attend and split costs.

Whatever your setting, whether housing, health, social, advice, voluntary, financial or something else DM us on @GMWRAGtweets with details of your training needs and to express interest!

Possible courses or topics, amongst many:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

– detailed rules, procedures, timescales, implications and challenges for different client groups, such as people with learning disabilities, mental health issues, sensory impairment or other conditions.

Bedroom Tax, Benefit Cap, Council Tax Support and Local Welfare Assistance

– all you need to know for your area(s). Who is affected, what are the practicalities and what can be done to cope with the new rules and procedures?

Universal Credit

– examining the full detail of entitlements, sanctions, responsibilities and procedures, gains and losses for this new provision. Explore impacts on particular groups, including people facing domestic violence, people with mental health difficulties, self employed, social tenants, home owners and many more.

Employment Support Allowance

– How is the current rent Work Capability Assessment operating? What are the new rules from February 2013? What are the best tactics to challenge refusals and unfair decisions? What are the new procedures in 2013 for appeals?

Benefits for People from Abroad: the new rules

– understand the new rules and forthcoming issues facing people who have come to the UK from abroad, whether from EEA countries or non-EEA countries. This training explores residence tests, habitual residence, right to reside, family relationships, legal challenges and realities of destitution.

Young People and Benefits

– understand the new benefit rules facing young people. Exploring issues for under 18s, Universal Credit, study or apprenticeships, including pointers for care leavers and impacts for all young people, including disabled young people, their families and much more.

Women and Benefits

– Women disproportionately bear the brunt of benefit cuts. Explore all aspects of harmful impacts of benefit freezes, benefit caps and Universal Credit. Particular attention will attend to issues of budgeting, childcare, children, relationship breakdown and much more.

Benefits for Trade Unionists

– How can you advise and support your members about the transitions and hardships as benefits and tax credits are cut, with the Bedroom Tax, benefit cuts and freezes? Will Universal Credit help or hinder people in work? Explore all issues and options, as independent advice centres are also cut.

Welfare Reform and Social Care – What are the implications of welfare benefit changes for people who need social care services, such as home care? How will changes with the introduction of Personal Independence Payment or Universal Credit affect service users and charging policies? How do benefit changes sit with other changes such as the loss of the Independent Living Fund, restrictions on Individual Budgets or the latest proposals on capping costs of future care?

Benefits for Older People

– understand the current entitlements and protections for older people, as well as ongoing and planned future changes. Explore complications under Universal Credit for couples where one person is under Pension Credit age, changes in ‘Local Welfare Assistance’, the proposed ‘flat rate pension’ and diverse issues from means-testing to social care.

Introduction to Benefits

– Understand the new range of entitlements and the agencies now involved. Did you know, for example, that ‘Jobcentre Plus’ no longer exists? Who can claim what, when, where and how (‘digital by default’), as the welfare reforms take effect? What can staff do to assist local people facing the new arrangements, restrictions, and any opportunities?

We cater for advisers in Greater Manchester and often further afield too!

Recent courses:

* Sensory Impairment DLA claims and appeal tribunals
* New Housing Benefit? An Introduction and Update
* Study and Benefits
* Pension Credit – Your Mother Should Know!
* Mental Health Awareness
* Young People and Benefits
* Preparing for the New Tax Credits
* The Community Care Maze Explained and Made Easy
* WordPress Overview for GMWRAG
* Appeals to the Social Security Commissioner.


If you are a GMWRAG member and would like us to publicise training provided by your service please let us know via a DM to @GMWRAGtweets.