Customer Activation

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March 2009

Table of Contents


Strategic Framework

New Service Delivery Model

Customer Activation

Features of the Customer Activation Process

Advantages of the Customer Activation Approach

Current level of interaction with Customers

Role of ACTs in the Customer Activation Process


Step 1 Claimload Profile

Step 2 Prioritise Customer‑Base

Step 3 Notifying Target Grouping(s)

Step 4 Substantive Interview.

Step 5 Referral

Step 6 Follow‑up Action.

Step 7 Decision Making.

Customer Activation Administration.

Appendix 1 - Suggested customer profile questioning approach & Jobseeker Record.



Appendix 2 - How to use the Mail Merge option on PC.

Appendix 3 - Letter to issue following failure to attend substantive interview.

Appendix 4 - Declaration & Action Plan.

Appendix 5(a) - Letter to issue following failure to attend referral interview.

Appendix 5(b) - Letter to issue following refusal of offer at referral interview.

Appendix 6 - Customer Activation Administration Template.




The Department of Social Protections' mission is:

'To promote social well‑being through income and other supports which enable people to participate in society in a positive way'

Strategy Statement 1998‑2001 (1998)

Supporting this mission, inter alia, are the Department's high level goals of ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of social security benefits and supports and to promote an awareness of the shared responsibility that exists between customer and provider in the accurate delivery of social security payments. 

Strategic Framework

Within its strategic framework, the Department has committed itself to ensuring that social protection is provided in an employment friendly manner and that it will:

  • promote the provision of training and education, where appropriate, for customers to meet their needs in terms of self‑development and participation in the workforce
  • encourage the take‑up of further education, training and employment opportunities by customers
  • advocate, support and strengthen measures to help customers with literacy problems
  • encourage the co‑ordination of government and agency services to facilitate participation in the labour market
  • work to ensure the implementation of the EU Employment Guidelines in so far as they relate to the Department's services
  • liaise closely with the business sector in order to increase the opportunities for employment of customers and encourage further enterprise
  • encourage and promote the provision of opportunities, for those other groups within the community which have had difficulties accessing the labour market in the past, including disadvantaged youth, people with disabilities and members of the travelling community.


New Service Delivery Model

The central principle of the new service delivery model is to reorganise and integrate services around the customer by changing processes, organisational structures and support systems to deliver high quality service which takes into account best practice and standards of other leading indigenous customer service organisations.

Under this initiative, the Department is committed to providing a differentiated response to customers based on their needs.  An example of this is the move towards a 'case management' approach for customers whose needs are complex and who may require help in establishing self sufficiency.  In a Local Office live register management context this approach, known as 'customer activation' will seek to fulfil this commitment. 


Customer Activation

Customer Activation in a Department of Social Protection context means the provision of high maintenance customer care.  It involves taking a holistic view of the needs of the customer by identifying non‑payment sources of support such as assistance from other agencies and opportunities for training and sustainable employment.

Features of the Customer Activation Process

Customer Activation has the following characteristics:

  • all aspects of a claim are dealt with together
  • the same person works through all claim elements with the customer over a period of time
  • full information from different sources, including from other officials, is available
  • customer is activated arising from the event of being unemployed rather than on a claim functional basis such as signing
  • referral to other complementary services, FÁS, LES etc. is enhanced and the linkages with these agencies is improved

In addition, the customer activation approach, in relation to managing the live register has the following implications:

  • requires a new way of looking at the claimload taking into account the individual customer's distance from the labour market
  • is not suitable for every customer, for example, its application must have regard for the individual's claim pattern, duration of claim etc.
  • requires more time and effort from staff when dealing with a customer which limits the number of customers that can be processed by each official
  • must be based on a clear focus i.e. assisting the customer to return to a sustainable position in the workforce 
  • deals with the event of being unemployed in a comprehensive way rather than the scheme functional elements (i.e. conditionality, means, signing etc.) but must include these aspects
  • requires a review of current control processes from an effectiveness perspective

When implemented systematically, the customer activation approach can effectively attain the Department's objective of 'service with control' by achieving the following outcomes:

  • an accurate and up‑to‑date assessment and analysis of the  customer's employment facilitation needs
  • a meaningful, agreed and realistic plan that reflects those needs
  • a commitment to overseeing that the services identified are secured, accessible and facilitated
  • a systematic monitoring and feedback mechanism to assure that the services provided remain relevant and that, if necessary, remedial action can be taken either from the customer or service perspective
  • a sound basis on which to ground appropriate decision making


Advantages of the Customer Activation Approach

The following are some advantages of customer activation from both the customer and the Department perspectives:

  • information dissemination (employment and educational supports etc.)
  • customer service (how the Department can assist the customer)
  • deals with all aspects of the customer's obligations and requirements in a systematic, thorough and holistic manner
  • effective and contextual method of applying scheme conditionality
  • opportunity for staff development and enhanced job satisfaction
  • individual attention (a customer can be matched to appropriate schemes/job placements)
  • facilitates accurate LR categorisation and profiling (employability, job readiness, skills/training required etc.)
  • accommodates meaningful feedback from the customer on employment, educational or training barriers being experienced
  • the customer can make an informed declaration of unemployment
  • control 'savings' should accrue


Current level of interaction with Customers

Most jobseeker scheme customers 'sign‑on' at Local and Branch Offices once a month.  The main purpose of this procedure is to satisfy the scheme legislative requirement to 'prove unemployment' and in its present form it does not readily create the basis for a meaningful service‑oriented interface with the customer on a regular basis. 'Signing', (being a declaration of unemployment) while having a critical role in the prosecution process is not a substantive control measure on its own. 'Postal' customers who are at a distance from Local/Branch Office locations don't even have this minimum monthly face‑to‑face 'signing' contact.

Some Local Offices take an opportunistic approach to the 'signing' regime and incorporate a range of more meaningful interventions including group information sessions, selective interviewing and FÁS scheme services presentations into this customer interactive process.  These initiatives tend to vary greatly across offices and a more consistent and systematic approach is required to ensure all the Department's customers are treated in a fair and qualitative manner.


Role of ACTs in the Customer Activation Process

When established in September 1996, the primary objective of the Activation and Control Teams (ACTs) was to provide a proactive force for the management and co‑ordination of live register control activity.  Their involvement in the customer activation approach in this context will expand the role of the ACTs by incorporating a more formalised 'service with control' element to their brief as well as enhancing their freedom to be innovative, flexible and adaptable at local level in their overall live register management approach.  This initiative should also improve the team-managing, team‑working and communication processes already in place and developed since 1996.

In order to effectively administer the customer activation process, it is essential that it be adequately resourced on an on‑going basis.

ACTs may decide to have a dedicated unit to undertake the intervention.  The staffing of such a unit would be influenced by the claimload chosen to undergo the process as well as  available staff i.e. Local Office, Job Facilitator, Inspector etc.  It may also have 'associate membership' i.e. local FÁS placement personnel.


Taking a systematic approach is the key to successful customer activation and the following 7 Step process is recommended:


Step 1 Claimload Profile

The profiling of the Local Office customer‑base consists of two distinct but related processes: 

            A)   Customer Profile

            B)    Risk Analysis

It is essential to get an accurate, relevant and timely customer profile before a meaningful risk analysis can be undertaken.

A)   Customer Profile

As the customer activation initiative is introduced simultaneously to new applicants as well as the current customer cadre, it is necessary to ascertain a profile of each customer as a first step in the process.

It is envisaged that the questioning to complete the claim profile will be carried out at claim taking stage for new customers and on a progressive basis, resources permitting, for existing customers.  

To cater for these two distinct groupings, a two‑pronged approach is suggested:

1.   New Customers

Each customer must provide detailed information at the claim‑taking stage in order to enable a 'profile' to be created.  A suggested customer profile questionnaire and Jobseeker Record Sheet is attached at Appendix 1.  This format assumes that the normal claim taking processes and related criteria i.e. identity, residence, dependants, etc. have been applied fully.  This exercise also provides for the appropriate occupational coding to be recorded in respect of each customer.

2.    Existing Customers

Existing customers must be interviewed, the customer profile questionnaire completed and the record issued in order to obtain as accurate and up‑to‑date customer information as is possible. 

While acknowledging that each Local Office Manager would have some general knowledge of the claimload, it is obviously better if review decisions can be based on a structured approach.

The outcomes of the customer profiling exercise should be that:

  • the required information to enable a meaningful risk analysis of the customer to be undertaken is available
  • the customer is fully aware of the next stage in the process (i.e. that they will be interviewed in‑depth in future)
  • the customer is made fully aware of their obligations to satisfy the conditions for the relevant jobseekers scheme i.e. seek employment, retain evidence of efforts such as the on‑going completion of Jobseeker Record Sheet etc.
  • the customer has been assessed for job readiness i.e. conditionality, availability of employment, location, etc.


The customer should be in no doubt after this interaction that there will be a follow‑up interview and that they will be expected to do what they are being asked to do in the meantime.

In addition to the information gleaned from the customer, IDEA and/or Access software can assist in the quantifying aspect of customers if necessary. Factors such as:

  • location
  • educational standards
  • work availability
  • age
  • occupation (including self‑employment)
  • previous 'employment' history (training, employment, schemes)
  • marital status (which may affect availability, mobility, acceptable rates of pay etc.)
  • abode (flat‑dwellers more transient than mortgage holders perhaps?)
  • 'irregular' households (where the Increase for Qualified Adult (IQA) and/or Child dependants Increase (CDI) is in payment in respect of non-resident dependants for example)
  • duration of claim

may also inform the Manager of current claimload characteristics.

B     Risk Analysis

The risk analysis element is an integrated part of the customer profiling exercise.  Previous 'claiming' history (including UA/UB/DB/SWA scheme hopping as well as any evidence of abuse previously) should be considered when analysing control 'risk' in this context.

Proven cases of CW&S, personation, multiple claiming, missing signing day, delay in returning dockets (postal), irregular encashment patterns and persistent allegations of irregularities would indicate the need for regular and thorough review.  Requests by Inspectors for customer review should also be taken into account when undertaking this analysis.

Step 2 Prioritise Customer‑Base

Once a comprehensive claimload profile (including the risk analysis element) has been undertaken, a decision on which element(s) of the customer‑base is suitable to undergo the customer activation process must be made.  Such a decision does not have to await all customers being individually ‘profiled’; the activation process should be introduced on a progressive basis as profiling proceeds.  The selected customer cadre should include that appropriate to any affiliated Branch Office(s).  Postal customers either at Local or Branch Office should also be included.

Those short‑listed for attention should be analysed and any cases that have been referred to the SIU for fraud investigation should be excluded as any additional intervention may compromise action already in progress.  Similarly, full knowledge of any other actions ongoing on any of the selected cases should be ascertained and noted.

While factors such as Local Office resources, size of customer cadre requiring attention, geographical location etc. will influence the decision on the scope of the target customer‑base, it is expected that the risk analysis element of Step 1 will also inform the selection process for customer activation.

The signing regime for those selected to undergo customer activation should be continued and facilitated as part of that process.  A declaration on the CSD or Signing Dockets (UP 11, UP 11b, CAS.COM), as appropriate must form part of the substantive interview (Step 4).  In this context, contact with the activated customer should be of a frequency that ensures effective control and should not exceed 3 months. In addition, the customer should make a declaration each time they attend the Local Office under the customer activation process. 


Step 3 Notifying Target Grouping(s)

Personalised letters/questionnaires or other types of forms can be produced using the Mail Merge facility on PC and issued to selected customers either by hand or by post. Appendix 2 outlines how to use this option.  The communication should outline to the customer:


  • what the contact is about (i.e. following on the interview at claim‑taking stage or customer profile discussion when the customer would have been informed that they will be interviewed again later)
  • what the next step is (i.e. interview at a certain time and place etc.)
  • what documentation they should bring with him/her (i.e. up‑to‑date CV, completed Jobseeker Record Sheet, documentary evidence of recent efforts to secure employment etc.)
  • what sanctions will be applied should they fail to co‑operate

Any customer who does not present him/herself for interview as notified should have appropriate sanctions applied subject to the provisions of natural justice.  Suggested action to take in this situation is to write to the customer as outlined at Appendix 3.

In the event of contact being made, a thorough examination of the reason(s) for non‑co‑operation should be carried out and a date/time for a re-scheduled interview agreed with the customer.

Step 4 Substantive Interview

The substantive interview should be scheduled for a time sufficiently close to the customer profile interview to ensure continuity while allowing sufficient time for the customer to fulfil their obligations arising from the initial interaction at Step 1.  Timing of this interview may also be influenced by the live register exit rates at particular Local/Branch Offices.

 The interviewer should have collated all available information on the customer, customer profile, claim papers, relevant local job vacancies, FÁS training options, eligibility for DSP, BTWA schemes etc.

When the customer presents him/herself, the interviewer should introduce him/herself and also remind the customer of the reason for the interview and the format it will take, including the intention to take note of customer's responses. 

While the substantive interview may be more unstructured than the initial 'profiling' one, its focus should not be ambiguous and it should, at a minimum, cover the following elements:

(a)    Outline the conditions that must be satisfied in respect of the particular jobseekers payment/scheme the customer is getting (JB, JA or Credits).

(b)   Clarify customer's occupation and confirm if any trade or professional qualifications are held. Check that these are consistent with customer profile and CV (if produced).

(c)    Define the reasons why the customer remains unemployed.  Adopt a positive tone in this context For example, state the fact that the customer is unemployed for XXX period (acknowledge any interventions in the period for CE schemes or whatever) and ask directly what factors are stopping them securing employment.  The response should be viewed critically and probed until the interviewer is satisfied or otherwise with the reason(s) as outlined. 

The customer should be given as much time as they need to explain their situation.                               

  (d)   The extent to which the customer satisfies the availability condition should be explored. Issues like location, transport, family circumstances etc. may be offered as mitigating circumstances by the customer but the interviewer must be satisfied that the customer is available for work and should question further if necessary to be sure of this. 

(e)    The genuinely seeking work condition must be satisfied (except in the case of Credits). Here the customer is expected to provide sufficient and convincing evidence (both documentary and non‑documentary) of satisfying this condition following on from the customer profiling exercise at Step 1. The interviewer should check that the documentation produced, such as a completed Jobseeker Record Sheet is relevant i.e. recent, appropriate to the customer's ability and represents a genuine effort to seek suitable employment or training over a reasonable period of time.  Ideally, such evidence (either written or oral) should span the period between the 'profiling' interview and the substantive interview and be from a range of employers.

Note that documentary evidence dated a few days before the interview or after the issue of interview invitation should be raised with the customer and further and/or supporting evidence requested.  The interviewer should request non‑documentary evidence also (e.g. name(s) of those contacted, date(s) employer visited and other efforts such as word of mouth enquiries etc.).

Any suspected shortcoming should be brought to the customer's attention. Failure to provide any or insufficient evidence to satisfy the GSW condition should be dealt with in a follow‑up interview with customer ideally within 14 days.

(f)     Depending on the outcome of (d) & (e), it might be appropriate to remind the customer of the services available to assist him/her back to work or education. Referral to the Job Facilitator may be considered.

(g)    Ask if customer's means (from UA perspective) have changed since last review (UA1 file should be to hand).  Spouse/partner's means (from dependency perspective) may also be explored.  Follow‑up action to be taken and the services of the Inspector should be employed as appropriate.

(h)    Once the interview has concluded, the usual declaration of unemployment must be signed by the customer e.g. CSD.  In addition, a plan of action must be agreed with and co‑signed by the customer.  This may take the form of a 'contract' with the customer ‑ draft at Appendix 4 ‑ on agreed actions the customer will take over a specified period of time to enhance their prospects to secure employment and/or training.  It is essential to ensure continuity and reinforce the seriousness of this 'contract' that the first activity on the action plan (for example a meeting with the Job Facilitator) should be arranged before the interview concludes (if possible).

To be fair and ensure balance to this 'contract' the obligations of the Department to the customer should be brought to their attention and the customer service leaflet 'Quality Customer Service' which includes a section headed 'What you can expect from us' should be given to the customer in this context.

It must be made clear to the customer that the 'contract' will be enforced through constant monitoring and, if necessary, follow‑up interview.

A copy of the co‑signed and dated action plan should be given to the customer.                  

(i)      To close, it is always useful and courteous to ask the customer if they has any questions or needs clarification on any element of the interview, the 'contract' or the jobseeker scheme in general.

Post‑interview, a full, objective and informative report should be completed by the interviewer.  This facilitates an effective and efficient case hand‑over procedure to Job Facilitator, Deciding Officer or Inspector as necessary. It also ensures an appropriate follow‑up of the case if the interviewer is not the person to continue to the next step of the process.  At a minimum it assists the interviewer to resume the activity at the relevant 'take up' point when next speaking to the customer.  A copy of this report should be given to the customer, if they should request it.

A review/referral date appropriate to the action plan activity should be entered on ISTS to inform next interaction with the customer.  This date should not exceed 3 months from date of substantive interview.

Step 5 Referral

Arising from the substantive interview outlined above, employment, educational, training or rehabilitative supports will more than likely be identified as part of the action plan or 'contract' agreed with the customer.  The referral process is essentially concerned with providing the services the customer requires to enhance their job acquisition potential.  If at all possible, an appointment should be made with the Job Facilitator, FÁS Placement Officer or other service provider (as appropriate) and agreed with the customer at the 'contract' stage of Step 4 but if this is not feasible, follow‑up should be immediate post‑interview.

Local Offices should be innovative and proactive in this regard and a range of service referrals (as appropriate to the customer) should result i.e. literacy programmes, resource centre, LES, VTOS, employers etc.

Any subsequent call for referral interview with the customer should include an indication that there will be an employment or educational opportunity offered and that failure to attend such an interview or refusal of that offer should trigger a disqualification in addition to any consideration of the refusal or failure to indicate non‑fulfilment of the conditions. 

Suggested templates for corresponding with the customer in the case of failure to attend referral interview and in the event of refusal of a progression offer made at referral interview stage are at Appendix 5(a) & (b).

Staff are advised that the period of disqualification cannot exceed 9 weeks from the date of the failure to attend the referral interview or accept the offer.  

Cases may be referred to an Inspector if there are outstanding issues relating to the means of the customer and/or spouse/partner.

In some cases, a decision on the customer's conditionality may be the most appropriate course of action following the substantive interview process, for example, if customer is unavailable for work, refused to agree a plan of action etc.

Job Facilitators and Inspectors must be aware of the importance of noting the outcome(s) of their interaction with the customer as such feedback will inform Local Office personnel of customer's progress.

Step 6 Follow‑up Action

Where there is any suspicion on the veracity of the customer's responses to any of the issues covered in the substantive interview, appropriate follow-up action must be taken i.e. contacting employers to verify stated or even documented job‑seeking efforts etc.

Follow‑up action on the action plan or 'contract' will take place at various times depending on what was agreed with the customer.  No customer should be without face‑to‑face contact for a period exceeding 3 months.  Follow‑up activity by the interviewer should usually take the form of an interview which is focused entirely on the agreed terms of the 'contract'. This interview should have one of the following outcomes: 

(1)   Customer fulfilled their obligations in relation to the action plan or 'contract'.  This requires a new (possibly more challenging) plan or 'contract' to be agreed and the process from Step 4 begins again.

(2)   Customer has not followed the action plan or 'contract'. The reasons why customer did not follow through must be ascertained and evaluated.  Consideration should be given to disallowing entitlement in such circumstances.

(3)   Customer has followed the action plan or 'contract' only in part. The reasons why this is the situation must be established and assessed.  The interviewer must decide on the merits of the case whether outcome (1) or (2) above is appropriate.

(4)   Customer requires and has agreed a medium to long‑term plan of action possibly requiring bridging interventions, i.e. literacy, re-training etc. The follow‑up approach in this scenario may be to review checkpoints or milestones along the way.  An interview may not be necessary as it may be possible for the interviewer to check progress through the relevant support agencies i.e. FÁS or through the claim pattern i.e. signed off to attend course etc. However, direct contact with the customer is required periodically to sustain the action plan's momentum. Some level of contact should be instigated at least monthly in this situation, ideally face‑to‑face but at least by telephone. 


Step 7 Decision Making

The customer activation process, if undertaken systematically, will have afforded each customer who participated, every opportunity to show that the conditions for receipt of a jobseeker payment have been satisfied in their particular case.  If the customer remains on the live register following all efforts to encourage him/her to undertake employment or the means to undertake employment, the question of whether the conditions for receipt of a jobseeker payment remain satisfied arises.  If they has failed to so satisfy, a disallowance is justified and under the circumstances, would be well grounded and enable a qualitative and sustainable decision to be made. 


Customer Activation Administration

Once an individual customer activation intervention has begun, local office staff should enter the category code of CACT on ISTS.  This code should be used for all activated customers with the exception of those with a claim category of ASE or REF.  Using the CACT code through IDEA or ACCESS will help to identify cases processed under the customer activation intervention for on‑going reference, monitoring or information purposes.

All documentation relating to the customer arising from the activation process i.e. claim papers, profile, UA1 file (as appropriate) should be held together for the duration of the intervention. In the event of a customer transferring hitheyr claim to another Local/Branch Office during the course of the activation process, all papers should be transferred accordingly.  The CACT code should alert the receiving Office of the customer's activated status.

In the absence of an appropriate on‑line system to support the on‑going administration of the initiative, it is recommended that all monitoring of customers under the customer activation process should be PC based.

Managers should ensure that the confidentiality, integrity and access to information held on PC relating to customers activated under the process is maintained, appropriate and secure.

The use of a PC enables the customisation of letters, the production of profile forms, Jobseeker Record Sheets and interview templates as well as the recording of outcomes and the provision of statistical information.  It also facilitates the adoption of a professional approach throughout the process. 

Appendix 6 outlines a suggested template for the recording of information on customers processed under the initiative.


Appendix 1 - Suggested customer profile questioning approach & Jobseeker Record

This approach assumes that the claim taking criteria are fulfilled i.e. identity, residence, occupation etc.

The purpose of seeking the information should be explained to the customer.

Record all customer responses as comprehensively as possible without detracting from the fluency of the process.




A1  ______________________________________________________________________




Q2     What level of education and qualifications (including trades) do you have?


A2  ______________________________________________________________________



Q3     What type of work are you looking for? (is the response consistent with responses to level of education, skills and occupation? ‑ if no, seek clarification).

A3  ______________________________________________________________________




Q4     Do you understand the conditions under which a jobseeker payment is made?  


A4 ______________________________________________________________________




Q5     Do you have a copy of the Department of Social Protection booklet ‘Unemployed? Checklist’?  If no, give customer a copy, bringing attention to the conditions of entitlement (pages 5‑7) and change in circumstances (pages 8-9).


A5  ______________________________________________________________________




Q6     Is there anything that is likely to prevent you from satisfying these conditions? (If yes, ask what it is and advise on alternative schemes as appropriate).


A6  ______________________________________________________________________




Q7     Do you understand what your obligations are in order to satisfy the conditions? 


A7  ______________________________________________________________________





Q8    Are you registered with FÁS? If no, advise that failure to register casts a very serious doubt on efforts to get work.

If yes, ask if the customer has been in regular contact with FÁS?  If no, ascertain the reason(s) why.


A8  ______________________________________________________________________




SAY  I must tell you that future entitlement to a jobseeker payment is conditional on your making and continue to make adequate and meaningful efforts to seek employment.  You will be asked to produce written evidence of your efforts in this regard in the near future. ( Give customer a jobseeker record sheet and explain how theyshould use it).


Q9     Ask if they understands the position.


A9  ______________________________________________________________________





Q10      Ask only if it applies to the particular customer

Do you know about the range of employment and educational supports available to long‑term jobseekers returning to work?   If no, give a copy of 'It pays to Work' to the customer.


A10   ______________________________________________________________________




SAY  You will be interviewed again in connection with your claim and evidence of your efforts to find work will be requested.  Please retain all evidence of when and where you went to look for work, what type of work it was, who you spoke to and what the result was.


Q11      Are there any questions you want to ask me?


A11   ______________________________________________________________________



SAY     Before you sign this declaration of unemployment ( show CSDto customer); I want to point out that you are signing to acknowledge that. ( read out the declaration and warning). 


Q12      Do you understand what you are signing?  If no, ask what element is not understood and explain as appropriate.


A12   ______________________________________________________________________





Signed:_________________________    Date: ___________        

Local Officer



1. To Qualify for Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance, you must at all times be:

  • Capable of work
  • Available for, and
  • Genuinely seeking work.

So that you understand your responsibilities, these are explained in more detail:

2. Available for Work this means that:

  • You are looking for full‑time work that is suitable to you
  • You are willing and able to accept a suitable offer of work immediately.

You will be required to attend for interview from time to time to show that you still satisfy this condition.  At the interview, you will be asked about the kind of work you are looking for, i.e.:

  • Your skills, qualifications and abilities
  • Your employment & unemployment history
  • The availability of job vacancies suitable to you.

You will also be asked whether there are any restrictions on the type, place or hours of work that you are looking for.  For instance, if you have domestic commitments, you will be asked about the arrangements if you go to work.

3. Genuinely seeking work:

This means that you must make genuine efforts to obtain work that is suitable to you.  At the interview, you will be questioned about the efforts you have been making to satisfy this condition.  You will need to bring with you copies of any written applications for jobs, replies from employers, details of non‑written job applications (e.g. the dates and the names of the people you spoke to etc.).

You will be asked about the specific efforts you have made to obtain employment, in particular:

  • How do you find out about job vacancies?
  • What type of work have you applied for?
  • What employers have you contacted about a job?
  • When was the last time you applied for a job?
  • Have you registered with FÁS to go on a scheme or training course?   


In order to show that you are actively looking for work, you are required to have this Jobseeker Record completed as far as possible.  This record should be held for presentation at interview.

Office Stamp


Issued by: _______________  Date issued: _______________     

Customer’s Signature: ________________________         




Name of Employer Approached


Employer’s Signature and Comment

Training & Development Courses

Customer’s Signature & Comment































Appendix 2 - How to use the Mail Merge option on PC

Follow below steps to merge data from Excel to Word document


2. Select Tools from Menu Bar, click on Mail merge (Mail Merge Helper box appears)


3. Click on {Create} and select Form Letters


4. Click on Active Window for (New Document)


5. Click on {Get Data}, select Open Data Source and when Open dialogue box appears click on drop down box and select MS Excel Worksheets.


6. Select excel file and return on open. (When small MS EXCEL dialogue box appears click on OK)


7. When back to Mail Merge Helper select edit Main Doc.


8. Insert Merge Fields on Word Document


9. Click on <<ABC>> to view merged data If happy....


10. On toolbar, click on merge to new document icon.


Appendix 3 - Letter to issue following failure to attend substantive interview



On XXX date a letter was issued to you requesting you to attend at this office on XXX date for an interview with regard to your search for employment.  The letter stated that disallowance of your jobseeker payment might result if you fail to attend this interview.

I have been advised that you failed to attend this interview.

Please note that if there was a genuine reason why you could not attend as requested, you should call to see me at this office on or before XXX date * and bring in such evidence as may be appropriate to verify the reason.  You should also bring in with you the documentation which you were requested to bring to the interview of XXX date.

If you fail to contact me by XXX date, your jobseeker’s payment will be suspended on XXX date**.

I also wish to advise you that if you do not satisfy me that there was a genuine reason for your failure to attend this interview, and/or do not satisfy me that you are genuinely seeking work, I will consider a disallowance of your claim on the ground that you do not satisfy this condition for receipt of jobseekers benefit or allowance.

Yours sincerely


Local Officer



* Date should be the final date that the suspension can be lifted.

** Date should be the second date of payment following the date of substantive interview, provided that allows at least 7 days for response by customer.


Appendix 4 - Declaration & Action Plan



To give false information may result in prosecution.

Any person who deliberately supplies false information or conceals any facts in order to obtain a jobseeker payment for themselves or any other person is guilty of an offence.  Such a person may be prosecuted and, on conviction, is liable to a fine or to imprisonment or to both for each offence.

I___________________________ of ____________________declare that:


I am unemployed, capable of, available for and genuinely seeking, but unable to obtain suitable employment.

Aside from those changes which I have notified to my Local Social Welfare Office, there has been no change whatsoever in my own or my spouse/partner's income/means or other circumstances since I first claimed.

* I am continuing to claim increases in respect of my qualified adult and child dependants as already notified to my Local Social Welfare Office. ( * delete if inapplicable).

I am not engaged in a course of study.

I understand that it is an offence to supply false information or to conceal any facts in order to obtain a jobseeker payment.

I have noted and understood the above warning notice.

I undertake to notify my Local Social Welfare Office immediately:

  • if I obtain employment
  • if I cease to be available for employment
  • of any change in my own or my spouse/partner's circumstances including a change in income/means

Signed_______________________       Date_________________


I agree to take the following actions in order to seek suitable employment within the timeframe outlined.

I agree that the actions outlined below are reasonable.

 Action      Timeframe
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________
 ________________________  ________________________

I understand that my payment may be affected if I, without good cause, do not undertake the above actions as agreed with the Local Officer.

I acknowledge receipt of a copy of the agreed action plan.

I acknowledge receipt of a copy of the 'Quality Customer Care' leaflet.


Signed____________________   Date__________________  

Signed____________________    Date__________________

Local Officer

Appendix 5(a) - Letter to issue following failure to attend referral interview


On XXX date, a letter was issued to you requesting you to attend this office on XXX date for an interview with regard to your search for employment.  The letter stated that an offer of training/employment would be made at the interview and warned that a disallowance of your jobseeker payment might result if you should fail to attend this interview

I have been advised that you failed to attend this interview.

Please note that if there was a genuine reason why you could not attend as requested, you should call to see me at this office on or before XXX date * and bring in such evidence as may be appropriate to verify the reason.  You should also bring in with you all documentation which you were requested to bring to the interview of XXX date.

If you fail to contact me by XXX date, or do not satisfy me that there was a genuine reason for your failure to attend this interview, I will make a decision to disqualify you for receipt of jobseekers allowance/benefit for        weeks with effect from XXX date **.

I also wish to advise you that if you do not satisfy me that you are genuinely seeking work, I will also consider a disallowance of your claim on the ground that you do not fulfil this condition for receipt of jobseekers benefit/allowance. This disallowance is open‑ended for as long as you fail to fulfil this condition and is not limited to the period of disqualification.

Yours sincerely



Local Officer



* Date should be the final date that the stop‑payment can be lifted.

** Date should be the second date of payment following the date of referral interview, provided that allows at least 7 days for response by customer.


Appendix 5(b) - Letter to issue following refusal of offer at referral interview


On XXX date, you were offered an opportunity of training/employment and were warned (both in the notification of the interview and at the interview) that a disallowance of your jobseeker claim might result if you should fail without good cause to avail of this offer.

I have been advised that you have refused to accept this offer of/failed to attend for this training/employment opportunity (delete as appropriate).

Please note that if there is a genuine reason why you consider this offer unsuitable, you should call to see me at this office on or before XXX date * and bring in such evidence as may be appropriate to verify the reason.  You should also bring in with you any documentation which may show that you are continuing to make all reasonable efforts to obtain employment.

If you fail to contact me by XXX date, or do not satisfy me that there was a genuine reason for your failure to accept this offer, I will make a decision to disqualify you for receipt of jobseekers benefit/allowance  for        weeks with effect from XXX date **.

I also wish to advise you that if you do not satisfy me that you are genuinely seeking work, I will also consider a disallowance of your claim on the ground that you do not satisfy this condition for receipt of jobseekers benefit/allowance.  This disallowance is open‑ended for as long as you fail to fulfil this condition and is not limited to the period of disqualification.

Yours faithfully,



Local Officer



* Date should be the final date that the stop‑payment can be lifted.

**  Date should be the second date of payment following the date of referral interview, provided that allows at least 7 days for response by customer.

Appendix 6 - Customer Activation Administration Template


Personal Details

In this section record customer's:


  • Name & Address
  • Date of Birth & Mother's Birth Surname
  • PPS Number
  • Current Rate of Payment
  • Jobseeker’s Scheme
  • Dependants ‑ number & type
  • Duration of claim ‑ pay‑days


Customer Activation

In this section record:


  • Employment Support Scheme entitlement?  Y or N, if Y state rate
  • Customer Profile Form completed? Y or N, if Y state date completed and name of Local Officer
  • Action Plan agreed? Y or N, if Y state date completed and the name of Local Officer
  • Follow‑up interview attended? Y or N, if Y state date and name of Local Officer
  • Outline outcome(s) of process, state date of sign‑off, further review, new Action Plan agreed etc.
  • Entitlement disallowed? Y or N, if Y state date and reason(s)
Last modified:31/05/2010

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