SCOs explained

Interreg turns 30 years old in 2020, celebrating 30 years of working together across borders, connecting people and territories, facing common challenges and trying to provide common solutions. Much has changed in these 30 years. Interreg has grown from solely cross-border cooperation to transnational and interregional cooperation too, from 1 billion EUR of support to more than 10 billion EUR, from 11 to 27 Member States.

The world was not holding on either. You can now get live updates from the US president via Twitter quicker than you can from TV. The Europe 2020 strategy is not somewhere in the far future, but here in the present. A self-driving car may be next to you on the road. Climate change effects are not things you only see in sci-fi movies, but in reality too …

The only way to keep up with any change is to be prepared for it, and the best way to do this is to observe and adapt.

Since the very beginning of Interreg, projects have been implemented using the real costs approach. Projects would receive money back once the programme had checked that money had been spent on the planned activities. The current system and volume of rules create a huge administrative burden for the beneficiaries, thus ‘simplification’ and ‘harmonisation’ became headlines in the 2014-2020 period.

Simplified cost options (SCOs) is one of the simplification measures developed to reduce the administrative burden for beneficiaries and programmes. They simplify the management processes and allow the programme to focus on the project’s outputs and results instead of having to trace every single euro of expenditure.

As you have probably realised, there are few online resources providing a comprehensive overview of the simplified cost options in Interreg world (or at least not for free!). SCOs have become a ‘trending’ thing – everyone is interested and everyone wants to learn more about them.

So let’s get straight to business.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • types of SCOs (lump sums, flat rates, the standard scale of unit costs) and how to calculate them,
  • the implementation options of SCOs (off-the-shelf, programme-specific and copy-paste SCOs),
  • the process of designing an SCO in a programme: where to start, where to go, who to involve, how to do it (calculation methodologies, data),
  • practical advantages of SCOs and things to bear in mind,
  • audit and control of SCOs.

This course is particularly for you if:

  • you are new to the topic and would like to learn the essentials of SCOs,
  • you are considering using SCOs in your programme, but are uncertain of where to start, which of the SCOs to choose, how the process looks,
  • you are already working with off-the-shelf SCOs in your programme but would like to design your own programme-specific SCO,
  • you would like to practice what you already know about SCOs and maybe learn something new – you can be sure you will find plenty of practical examples here!

Giant leaps often start with small steps. So why not start with this unique course?

Happy learning!

Course Information

Estimated Time: 5 hours

Course Instructor

Iuliia Kauk Iuliia Kauk Course developer

Free of charge


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