The Rules of Procedure for the Commercial Workers’ Vocational Training Fund

Individual grants

1. The formation of the rights of individuals
In order to be able to apply for a grant from the Fund, the membership fee must have been received for three months of the last twelve months, of which at least one of the previous six months. All rights lapse when membership fees have not been received for the previous six months.

A member with wages that are equal to or higher than the starting wages of sales staff in stores, according to the collective wage agreement between VR/LÍV, is entitled to a maximum grant of ISK 180,000 per calendar year.

Entitlements to a grant are calculated as a percentage of a member’s wages of the starting wages of sales staff in a 100% position over a 12-month period. The calculation of entitlements is based on the final month of the above period being two months before the application is received. Example: Applications are received in April - the reference period is therefore from February and the previous 11 months.

If the applicant’s premiums are in arrears and the applicant is the employer’s representative, spouse, relative, or otherwise closely related, the Fund is not permitted to pay grants to the fund member.

1.1. Formation of the rights of individuals who are temporarily out of the labour market
Anyone who pays a membership fee and is looking for work, on maternity and parental leave, or receives a sickness per diem from a trade union within LÍV retains their rights while membership fees are received by the trade union.

1.2. The rights of individuals leaving the labour market
Those who have begun drawing old-age pensions, receive rehabilitation pension, or receive disability pension retain full rights for 12 months from the cessation of payments and for 36 months for leisure grants. Entitlement is based on the last payments made to the Fund.

2. The amount of vocational training grants to individuals and what is considered eligible
A vocational training grant is paid up to a maximum of ISK 180,000 per year, but never higher than 90% of the tuition/participation fee. No grant for accommodation or living expenses is provided for vocational training.

a) Vocational training grants include work-related courses, work-related online courses, studies for credits and qualifications, real skills assessment, conference fees abroad and domestically, domestic self-empowerment courses, and language studies. Management training and work-related life coaching, up to a maximum of 12 hours within a calendar year, is also covered by work-related grants. The invoice for management training and job-related life coaching must state that the training is work-related and the number of hours.

b) The Fund is not intended to support physical exercise, training fees, or courses that aim to work with the loss of health of individuals. Courses that are part of treatment options for loss of health are therefore not specifically funded by the Vocational Training Fund.

c) Job-related online studies: Individual course or subscription to a website/content provider with work-related courses. It is not possible to apply for a grant for the purchase of software, even if study materials are included.

d) For work-related conferences abroad and domestically, the agenda of the conference must be included in the application as well as a link to a website. Reasons for connection to work must also be included if it is unclear. Only the conference fee is eligible.

2.1. Accumulated grant
If a member has not received a work-related grant from the Fund in the previous 36 months, the accumulated grant for work-related studies/course can be a maximum of ISK 390,000 per year, but never higher than 90% of the tuition/participation fee for one consecutive study course. The grant can only be applied for as a lump sum.

a) Payments to the Fund must have been received for a minimum of 30 months out of the previous 36 months before the date of application and in addition fulfill the conditions of the first paragraph of these Rules of Procedure. It is based on the starting salary of sales staff in a 100% position during the period.

b) The remainder of the ISK 390,000 accumulated rights to work-related studies can be used for travel grants, cf. item D in Article 2.3.

2.2. Leisure grant
A 50% grant is provided for the course fee for leisure courses up to a maximum of ISK 30,000 per year. The amount is deducted from the maximum grant each year, but it does not affect accumulation. Leisure grants only cover domestic leisure courses.

2.3. Travel grant
A 50% grant is provided for travel and accommodation costs up to a maximum of ISK 40,000 per year when a member attends work-related studies, courses, a work-related visit to a company, or a conference outside the legal domicile. The travel grant is deducted from the annual maximum grant.

a) The distance between the place of residence and the educational institution must be at least 50 km.

b) If the person in question travels in their own car, they can apply for a travel grant, which amounts to 50% of the kilometre fee. The calculation of the kilometre fee is based on the driving fee of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs at any given time. Applications for travel grants for personal vehicles must be accompanied by:

  • The number of kilometres each time and the date of travel,
  • confirmation of attendance on the days when a travel grant is applied for.

c) For applications for work-related visits, the following must accompany the application:

  • Itinerary of the trip, which states which locations are visited, what the content of the presentation is in each location and the times,
  • confirmation of a member’s participation in the form of a signed letter from a supervisor or trip administrator. The letter shall describe the trip and explain its purpose.

d) The remainder of the ISK 390,000 accumulated rights to work-related studies can be used for travel grants up to a maximum of ISK 120,000 but not more than 50% of the travel costs.

3. Individual application – documents and process
The applicant must fill in the application either electronically or on a form that can be obtained from the Fund’s member associations. Applications must be submitted to the relevant trade union.

a) An application for a grant must be accompanied by a certified invoice paid in the name of the member, stating the following items:

  • Course description,
  • member name and ID no.,
  • educator name and ID no.,
  • date of payment.

b) It is not possible to apply for a grant if the invoice is older than 12 months from the date of application or issued before the applicant becomes a member.

c) It is not possible to apply for a grant more than once for the same invoice.

d) Information on applications for invoices issued in languages other than Icelandic or English must be translated into Icelandic or English for the Fund to process the application.

4. Invoice payer
A condition for a work-related grant, leisure grant, or travel grant is that the member submits a paid invoice with the application and pays for their participation themselves. An exception is made for applications for joint grants from a company and an individual, cf. Article 9.

5. Course definitions and conditions
The Fund’s criteria for defining the term course are as follows: A specific area of studies that follows a pre-determined plan or definition and usually ends with a certification of performance or another type of confirmation. Counselling or guidance does not meet the requirements of a course on the part of the Fund.
The conditions that a course must meet in order to be called a course by the Fund are:

  • A defined beginning, end, and advisor;
  • information on the course must be accessible;
  • the course must be publicly accessible.

6. Not eligible
Grants are not provided for living expenses, sales/product exhibitions, vocational training, treatments, guidance, psychological support, counselling, self-empowerment courses abroad, leisure courses abroad, annual fees, books, or study materials.
Company Grants

7. Formation of company rights
A company has the right to a maximum of ISK 3 million per calendar year. Grants awarded amount to a maximum of 90% of work-related course, study, and conference fees. The maximum grant amount is ISK 390,000 per person who belongs to VR/LÍV.

a) Companies that have paid premiums to the Fund for 12 consecutive months as of the date of application and are not in arrears are eligible to apply for a grant.
b) Companies may not apply for travel or leisure grants. In all other respects the same criteria for the processing of grants apply to companies as well as individuals, cf. Article 7.
c) If a company receives a grant, no individual who works for the company may apply for a grant for the same course unless applying for a joint grant, cf. Article 9.
d) It is not possible to apply for a grant if the invoice is older than 12 months from the date of application.
e) The Board is authorised to grant a special exemption from these provisions if the project involves entrepreneurial work or innovation.
f) The Board is authorised to condition the awarding of grants.

8. Company application – documents and process
Companies fill out an electronic application on The application must include a description of the educational project for which a grant is sought, its organisation, cost, and a list of participants including names, ID numbers, and participants’ union membership.

9. Joint grant for individual and company
Union members and companies have the option of applying for a joint grant from the Fund if a member’s studies cost ISK 200,000 or more. An exemptions to this amount is only made for Diploma in Business Administration and Retail Management applications. Applications are processed according to the Fund’s rules and eligibility criteria.

a) Members apply for joint grants through their union. Applications must include:

  • Paid invoice,
  • description of studies,
  • and a signed declaration from the company. The declaration must state that this is a joint application and that the studies are part of the individual’s career development plan.

b) Upon approval of the application, the grant amount is deducted from the rights of both the member and the company, and the grant is paid into the accounts of both.

c) The maximum grant may amount to a total of an individual’s and company’s maximum right, but may not exceed 90% of the cost of tuition.

10. Company e-learning subscriptions
Subscriptions to a company’s e-learning system are eligible for a grant of 90% of the invoiced amount but may not exceed ISK 6000 per member per year. A condition is that a subscription contract is agreed upon and paid for at least 6 months.

Applications must include a report that addresses the following:

  • A description of the education or training offered via e-learning environment,
  • how educational or training materials are prepared for use,
  • how educational or training materials are accessed/purchased or developed,
  • how the company intends to present the material to employees,
  • and when and how employees are intended to utilise the education or training.

11. Company subscription of digital learning packages

Company subscription of digital learning packages is eligible for a grant of 90% of the invoiced amount. Grants for such learning packages can only be applied for after 6 months of a current subscription have passed with visible company activity in purchased packages.*

Applications must include a report that addresses the following:

  • The company’s education and training programme
  • How the company intends to present the material to
    certain groups within the company
  • What education and training** has been conducted using a subscription and what
    education and training is planned for specific groups within the company
  • When and how employees are intended to utilise
    the education or training
  • Demonstrate that 80% of members have taken part in education or training
    as a part of the career development of employees
  • In addition general application conditions apply as well as supporting documents.

*Not applicable when learning packages are purchased for individual employees.
**courses, sprints, specific packages, or other falling under education or training.

Rule 11 does not apply to company subscription of Icelandic language apps. The Fund’s general allocations rules apply in the processing of such applications.

12. Company grants for the development of learning material in an e-learning environment
Companies that create their own electronic learning material in an e-learning environment for SV members may apply specifically for a grant from the Fund for the development of learning material. The Fund awards a grant of up to ISK 400,000 for the development of a company's own learning material. A maximum of four grants per calendar year are awarded for the development of learning materials. The grant is calculated according to the proportion of SV members in the learning material’s target group and is based on 90% of the invoice amount.

Criteria and supporting documents:

  • An e-learning environment must be in place at the company
  • Detailed course description and manuscript
  • Information about the course’s target group
  • Number of hours spent developing learning material

13. Exemption from full contributions - eligibility
Companies may apply to reduce the contributions that they pay into the Fund from 0.3% to 0.1% provided that the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The company must be the buyer of the courses in question (an exception is made in the case of a joint grant for an individual and a company, cf. Article 9,)
  • the company’s education and training program is available,
  • the company has stated an active educational policy and employees who belong VR/LÍV have the option to attend the courses offered. The Fund reserves the right to verify the company's education policy,
  • offering both professional and general courses.
  • The following must be available whenever a company uses an in-house e-learning environment:
    - A clear web management system for electronic education and training,
    - over 80% participation by VR/LÍV members in the e-learning environment,
    - ease of access for VR/LÍV members and preparation for participation in the e-learning environment.
  • The cost of education and training for VR/LÍV members over a 12-month period (less wage, travel, food, and accommodation expenses,) exceeds 0.30% of their total salary during that period. (In cases where this amount is not reached, special consideration is paid to the e-learning environment and its implementation within the company.)
  • The company must not be in arrears with the Fund and has paid contributions for the past 12 consecutive months as of the application date.
  • Companies paying reduced contributions may not apply for other grants from the Fund. (Companies paying reduced contributions may apply for a joint grant, but the grant is not paid by the Fund. The grant must instead be listed separately as an itemised expense.)

13.1. Application for reduction of contributions - documents and process
Applications for a reduced contribution must include:

  • An itemised overview of the company’s education and training expenses for VR/LÍV members over the last 12 months, and the number of participants of both in-house education and training and those services purchased externally. It is important that the information requested is delivered to the Fund in a clear manner. We recommend using this application form.
  • An education and training program for the coming year, either a curriculum or other comparable document verifying that an active educational policy is in place, cf. Article 19.
  • Application renewals require, in addition to the above documents, information about VR/LÍV member participation and the company's total expenses incurred by their education and training since the previous application.

If the Board approves of a reduction of contribution payments from 0.30% to 0.10%, the reduction comes into effect at the beginning of the month following approval and remains in effect for one year. If the company renews its request for an exemption, that exemption is in effect for two years at a time. Required documentation must accompany every request for exemption. Renewal applications must be submitted to the Fund at least one month before the current exemption expires, thereby increasing contributions to 0.30%

Other grants

14. Development grants - eligibility
The Fund awards development grants to companies, education/training providers accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, as well as specialists from the university community.

a) Emphasis on innovation and development projects with application potential in other areas, projects of use within the sector, and research on industry affairs are given priority.

b) Applications must be submitted via application form.

15. LÍV affiliate rights
The Fund subsidises education and training held by LÍV affiliate unions on behalf of their members. The grant may amount to a maximum of ISK 500,000 per year, but never exceeds 50% of an affiliate's annual contribution. The Fund’s allocation rules apply and are upheld.
Rules of procedure here.

16. Formulation of rules
The Board is authorised to formulate rules of procedure according to the Fund’s experience and activities as applicable.

17. Who can apply for a grant
The Fund awards grants to individuals and companies in order to fulfill the Fund’s aim, cf. Article 2 of the Fund’s Regulation.

18. Operation of the Fund
The Board of the Fund entrusts VR with the day-to-day operation and management of the Fund and to agree in writing with affiliate unions regarding the collection of contributions.

19. False/misleading information and its consequences
Members who provide false or misleading information and/or withhold necessary information forfeit their right to a grant. Members may be required to repay the full grant amount plus penalty interest.

20. Amendments to rules
The Board reserves the right to amend these rules without notice.

These Rules were approved at the meeting of the Board on 19 November 2002 and were reviewed on 22 December 2022 and 13 December 2023.