7. HR Training for SMEs

Funded HR for SMEs Training 

HR is a topic that affects every employer, regardless of their industry or size.

Within SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) there can be limited resources and often ‘HR’ is looked after by just one person or may be given to someone as an additional responsibility (e.g., the office manager or accounts).

They may have little or no HR training and this can mean that there is limited expertise and/or resource. This can be worrying for the person looking after HR and can make the organisation vulnerable.

This is where HR Training can add real value to the organisation and those looking after HR.

Practical HR and Crown Vocational Training have therefore come together to offer affordable and practical HR training for anyone who looks after or has responsibility for HR within an SME, regardless of their job title.

What is the cost?

This is amazing. The cost of the training is £4500, but because it is 95% government funded* (subject to eligibility criteria) it will cost just £225 per participant.

Who is this training for?

This training is for anyone who looks after or has responsibility for HR within an SME organisation, who wants to develop their skills and knowledge and gain a recognised qualification.

You may have HR in your job title, but you don’t have to! You may be a manager responsible for HR for your team, or the office manager who has been given HR as an additional responsibility. You may be an HR person and want to expand or endorse your current knowledge.

How long is the training?

The course runs across 12-15 months. It is designed to be very practical and allow you use your newfound knowledge and skills within the workplace (for the benefit of the company and your own development).

What’s covered in the course?

The course covers the following:

  • Business understanding (HR should be commercially focused)
  • Personal development
  • The HR function
  • HR systems, processes and information and process improvement
  • HR legislation / employment law and HR policy
  • Employment rights and responsibilities
  • Service delivery
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Problem solving.


Participants will be allocated a specialist tutor.  They will also be given handouts, slide pack, and will attend online workshops (or college).

Participants will also be given access to a library of HR guidance and templates via the Practical HR online resource YourHR.guide. This will be used as a key resource and will provide guidance and information to assist with any assignments, and with day-to-day HR.

Participants will also be encouraged to attend any CIPD networking events, many of which are held online.  

How is the training delivered?

The training is a mixture of blended learning including group and 1-2-1 sessions, assignments, guided learning, and college. The training can be delivered remotely (e.g., session via video conferencing), so location is not an issue.

Over the entire course there are approximately 40 hours of online and workshop sessions, and this is flexible to fit around the business needs.  


Participants will gain a more detailed understanding of HR by attending this course and generally expand their knowledge and skills which will be demonstrated through assignments and a portfolio of evidence.

Throughout the course they will be able to use the resources provided to support any HR situations that arise in the workplace and implement HR documentation and processes.

They can also choose a final project that will provide a direct benefit to the organisation. This could be anything from absence management, performance management or employee handbooks and communication.

The end point assessment is by the CIPD (Certified Institute of Personnel and Development).

The case studies at the end provide examples of how the training can support the business and add value.

How to get Started

It’s really easy to get started. All you need to do is contact Crown Vocational Training (contact details are at the end) and tell them you are interested in the HR Training.

Here is what the plan looks like: 

Step 1

  • We take some details of who is interested in the training and check eligibility for the funding.
  • We make it as easy as possible for you so complete all the forms that are needed for the funding and application (but will need you to check them).

Step 2

  • We introduce you to your Tutor who will run through the course details with you.
  • We provide you with your Premium log-in to YourHR.guide.

Step 3

  • Crown Vocational Training support you through the entire programme.
  • Your knowledge and skills grow, and you use this to make improvements in the Company.

Step 4

  • HR success.


Case study 1:

Absence Management

Jenny is the Office Manager at a property management and maintenance company who employ around 40 people. She had also been given responsibility of HR. She felt a little out of her depth as she had no formal training in HR. This worried her and she was concerned that she may not be doing things correctly.

She asked her director if she could do the Level 3 HR Apprentice course, pointing out that the cost to the business was minimal, but it would help the organisation as she would be able to manage HR more effectively.

Jenny started her programme and immediately had access to resources and guidance that helped her.  She also met others who looked after HR in organisations and found that sharing experience was useful and reassuring. The group soon started to share knowledge and information between them. 

Throughout the course Jenny’s knowledge and confidence grew.  She was able to organise the HR administration in a more efficient way as she understood what was needed and why. She also introduced a computerised system to hold records and provide better information.

She focused her portfolio of coursework on areas of the business that needed attention. This added real value. Her final project on absence management allowed her to write and implement an absence management policy, introduce some procedures and to train managers. The outcome was a 3% reduction in absence which translated into a saving on overtime of over £10,000 and an overall increase in productivity.

Case Study 2:


Helena is the HR Assistant for a large logistics company, with responsibility for all aspects of HR as part of her role.

The broad curriculum of the course allowed Helena to develop her knowledge and skills in many areas of HR, but as recruitment forms a large part of her role, she decided to focus her final project on that aspect of her HR Function.

This involved a review of the current methods used to attract candidates to vacant roles, to understand where cost savings can be made, how the process can be sped up and to improve the overall recruitment process.  As part of the review, the recruitment sourcing process was assessed, the existing HR recruitment process and procedures were evaluated, and recruitment costs were analysed. 

On completion of the project the recommended improvements meant that the whole recruitment process was streamlined and easier for HR staff and recruiting managers to follow and adhere to, recruitment methods were changed which meant time to recruit reduced by over 20% and forecasted recruitment costs were cut by 31%.

The Director at this company said “… without Helena embarking on this programme and undertaking this improvement project, we would not have had this great opportunity to make these valuable improvements. Even without the project, the course has made a huge difference to Helena in terms of her development and progress, which has benefited the whole HR team and the wider business.”

Case Study 3:

Working from home

Harvey is an HR and Facilities Administrator, reporting to the Office Manager for a medium sized manufacturing company.  Neither Harvey nor his manager had any formal training or qualifications in HR, which the MD and Office Manager felt was a risk to the company and also unfair to Harvey as he had the responsibility for all the HR administration and processes without the necessary level of knowledge or experience required for such a role.

Harvey joined the HR Support level 3 course and received training in topics such as HR policy and procedures, HR law including disciplinary and grievance matters, employment rights and wider areas such as problem solving and communication.  Meaning Harvey was much better equipped to manage the HR administration function and support the other manager in the business with their HR related enquiries.

For Harvey’s improvement project he conducted a feasibility study of homeworking as a permanent model for the management and administration staff within the business.  Most of the staff were forced to work from home due to the pandemic, but the company wanted to see if this would be a feasible option going forward.  The study looked into staff preference, wellbeing and morale (including a staff survey), health & safety considerations, confidentiality and GDPR implications and impact on productivity.  As a result of the review a new Work from Home policy was created. Benefits included increased staff morale and flexibility, reduced absenteeism, continued productivity but with a reduction in costs (travel, expenses, alternative utilisation of office space).  The company are also working to become more environmentally friendly as part of their strategic goals, and the reduction of staff cars on the road was also an added benefit.


“The HR Support Level 3 programme was ideal for my team member as it covered all the main aspects of HR that they needed to use on a daily basis.  The development of HR knowledge and skills whilst on the programme means that they will now move on to wider projects within the HR team to support our business needs and their career progression”.

Janice Thomas
HR Operations Manager, Konica Minolta

“As part of the HR Support Level 3 programme I have been able to progress in my role and widen my HR knowledge, especially the employment law side which has been really beneficial to me. The support materials and my tutor were very helpful throughout, which meant I enjoyed my course and felt it has really helped me on a day to day basis at work.  I feel much more confident now and have taken on some further responsibilities as part of my HR role”.

Eleana Candler
HR Co-ordinator, Uniserve

Contact Details / Getting in Touch

Crown Vocational Training 

Sophie Chowdhury
Email - schowdhury@crownvt.co.uk
Telephone – 01702 597499
Mobile - 07508 758970

Practical HR

Email - hello@practicalHR.co.uk
Telephone - 01702 216573

*Funding is via the Government Apprentice Scheme. Please do not let the word ‘apprentice’ put you off! It is just the mechanism and framework to access Government funding.  Anyone, of any age, can do an apprenticeship (subject to eligibility) and benefit from the funding. Apprenticeships cover a wide range of job roles and skills, right up to degree level qualifications.