CIF Bids

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The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding opportunity for academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding.

The core priority of CIF funding is to address significant condition need, keeping buildings safe and in good working order.

We can support the application process on a ‘no-win-no-fee’ basis for schools agreeing to award the professional services contracts to PSG once funding has been awarded.

Using the funding you have been awarded, we can provide you with an award winning multi-disciplinary design service which can ensure that you maximise the potential of your existing buildings.  Using the latest state-of-the-art software, incorporating Building Information Modelling (BIM), we deliver sustainable and cost effective building projects. 

CIF - Frequently asked questions:

When is the deadline for CIF bid submission?

The deadline is to be announced by the ESFA but is usually early December.

What projects are eligible for CIF funding?

Projects which address poor building condition, building compliance, energy efficiency or health and safety.

The highest priority to condition projects that address compliance and health and safety issues. These include fire protection systems, gas safety, electrical safety or emergency asbestos removal.  Priority is then given to projects that ensure weather tight buildings and continuous heating and water supply.

See ESFA guidance for more details

What is the criteria for assessing the bids?

Bids are assessed by the ESFA based on assessment criteria with the following weighting:  Project Need 60%, Project Planning 15%, Project Cost 25%.

See ESFA guidance for more details

How can PSG assist with your CIF bid application? 

PSG can provide the CIF bid supporting information which the ESFA use to assess the CIF bid based on the above criteria.

Our professional Surveyors will inspect the condition and produce a survey document to evidence the project need.  The survey will give a condition score which the ESFA will assess in the submission.  PSG will also produce a cost estimate for the works to evidence project cost.  To evidence ‘project planning’ PSG produce outline programme for the proposed works and a risk register.

Will PSG submit my bid to ESFA?

The bid to the ESFA must come from the Academy themselves who should submit the application on the online portal.  PSG provide all the necessary supporting information to attach to the application.  PSG can also provide support and guidance for completing the online submission.

Why was my previous bid unsuccessful ?

From assessing feedback from previous unsuccessful bids submissions have been marked down for the following:

  • Insufficient evidence of impact on the School and/or evidence of risk of School closure
  • Lack of supporting financial contribution from the Academy from reserves or a loan, ESFA are typically looking for a 10% contribution
  • Project not meeting the ‘Highest’ priority rating for condition projects ie. Legislation Compliance and Health & Safety
  • Due to the volume of applications received by the ESFA under CIF only a relatively small number are successful (roughly 30% nationally).  The scoring threshold for successful bids has risen year on year and last year was 77%

When will I be notified if the bid has been successful ?

As the applicant the Academy will be notified whether the bid has been successful, this will usually be around the start of April.

How do I submit the CIF bid to the ESFA?

Via the online portal :

The academy or the individual School will need to register if they are first time applicants

What fee will PSG charge for this service?

PSG offers to assist with your CIF bid on a no-win-no-fee basis.  Should the bid be successful PSG will manage the procurement and delivery of the project and charge a percentage fee for this service.