SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 SEMINAR GUIDE Version Changes Date of release 1.00 Initial version 4/10/2007 2.00 After Programme Management seminars 24/01/2008 1 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION...................................................................................3 1.1. What is a Seminar?..................................................................................................... 3 2. STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE .....................................................................4 2.1. STEP ONE: Initiating the seminar ............................................................................. 4 2.2. STEP TWO: Organising the seminar ......................................................................... 4 3. REPORTING AND EVALUATION ..............................................................9 4. TEMPLATES.........................................................................................9 5. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ........................................................ 10 5.1. Is the number of delegates per participating country in a seminar limited? ............ 10 5.2. Can delegates from other (than customs or tax) national administrations or bodies participate in a Seminar? ...................................................................................................... 10 5.3. Can experts participate in a Seminar? ...................................................................... 10 5.4. What is a suitable venue for a seminar? ................................................................... 11 5.5. What interpretation is available at a programme seminar? ...................................... 11 5.6. How many interpretation booths are needed ? ......................................................... 12 5.7. What can be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs?............. 12 5.8. What cannot be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs?........ 12 5.9. What determines the duration of a seminar? ............................................................ 13 5.10. What is the length of a working day at a seminar? .............................................. 13 5.11. What questions may need to be dealt with during the preparation meeting for a seminar? 13 5.12. How is the secretarial work organised during the seminar?................................. 17 5.13. How and when will delegates receive the seminar documents ? ......................... 17 2 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. What is a Seminar? A seminar is one of the tools of the Fiscalis 20131 and Customs 20132 programmes. A seminar (including forum / conference) is a one-off event providing an opportunity to bring the administrations of all Participating Countries together to examine specific topics. It can: provide a vehicle to exchange information and share knowledge, specialisation and experience of other countries; establish a basis for best common practice and develop guidance; provide improved understanding of procedures and legislation both amongst administrations and with economic operators; help to launch new initiatives. Seminars generally consist of an event with a number of plenary sessions and workshops. The aim is to hear the different views of all Participating Countries and to agree on how to proceed in the future. Participants will therefore need an appropriate level of subject expertise and active knowledge of at least one of the languages for which interpretation is provided. 1 Article 8 of Decision No 1482/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 establishing a Community programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the internal market (Fiscalis 2013), OJ L 330, 15.12.2007, p.1. 2 Article 9 of Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 establishing an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2013). OJ L 154, 14.06.2007, p. 25. 3 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 2. STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE Several steps need to be followed in view of the launching and organisation of a seminar. They are described below in detail. 2.1. STEP ONE: Initiating the seminar A seminar can be initiated by a Participating Country or by the Commission by submitting a proposal to the CPMT. The proposal procedure for programme actions is described in the Management Guide of the programmes. For organisational reasons, proposals for seminars need to be launched ideally 6 months before the event. 2.2. STEP TWO: Organising the seminar As soon as the proposal is approved by the CPMT, the Commission and the host administration can start the preparation of the seminar as described in the following steps. Each approved seminar is identified by a unique financial code: CSM/### under Customs 2013 and FSM/### under Fiscalis. Determining the date and venue Date and venue for a seminar are determined in agreement with the Commission's business unit, the CPMT and the proposed hosting administration. When looking for a suitable location, the National Programme Coordinator takes into account the rules and procedures on public procurement as described in the Financial Guide, as well as a number of organisational requirements. Preparatory meetings One or more preparatory meetings are organised to discuss content and practical details. Representatives from the business units of both the Commission and the host country, any other subject experts required and the National Programme Coordinator of the host administration and the CPMT attend these meetings. The CPMT issues an invitation for each preparatory meeting. 4 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 Key documents for a seminar The seminar invitation is issued via CIRCA and contains a draft agenda as well as information on objectives, expected results, profile of the participants, date and venue, hotel costs, reimbursement, registration form, etc (see template). The host administration does not hire interpreters; these are provided by the Commission Interpretation Service (SCIC). It provides however the technical equipment for the interpretation. In order to receive SCIC approval of this equipment, the National Programme Coordinator must send the completed technical questionnaire (see template) within the deadline set by SCIC. This questionnaire should include a plan of the meeting room with indication of the interpretation booths. Background and working documents are issued via CIRCA before the seminar, in English, French and German language versions where available. Presentations are uploaded on CIRCA after the seminar. Each day of the seminar, all participants need to sign an attendance list in order to ensure their reimbursement. Participants also receive an evaluation form to be completed at the end of the event. Check-list of tasks The following list gives an indicative overview of the different tasks and responsibilities of all stakeholders in hosting and organising a programme seminar after the approval of the seminar proposal. The suggested timing does not take account of possible holiday periods in between! The actors are: Business unit in the host administration (HBU); National Programme Coordinator of the host administration (NPC); Business unit within the Commission (CBU); Commission Programme Management Team (CPMT). 5 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 Timing Task Actor (indicative) 1. Submit the proposal to the CPMT Start – 6 months NPC or CBU 2. Approve the proposal and inform Start – 5 months CPMT the initiator 3. Contact CBU and CPMT to set a Start – 4 months HBU + NPC date for a preparatory meeting. 4. Issue invitation preparatory CBU + Start – 4 months meeting via CIRCA CPMT 5. Collect price offers for accommodation and conference Start – 4 months NPC rooms (See Financial Guide 3.4.3) 6. Check the interpretation equipment available at the conference rooms. Collect price Start – 4 months NPC offers if equipment has to be rented elsewhere (See Financial Guide 3.4.3) 7. Exchange views on the seminar Start – 4 months CBU + HBU content 8. Select a hotel and an equipment provider on the basis of the offers Start – 3 months NPC received 9. HBU + NPC Attend preparatory meeting Start – 3 months + CBU + CPMT 10. Draft a first version of the seminar Start – 2,5 months CBU invitation 11. Complete seminar invitation including practical details (address, Start – 2,5 months HBU + NPC prices, transport details) 12. Launch official request for interpretation within the Start – 2,5 months CPMT Commission 13. Complete and issue final seminar Start – 2 months CPMT invitation (via CIRCA) 14. Issue personal invitations to Start – 2 months CBU "contributors" and "experts" 15. Prepare working documents and provide translations into 3 Start – 2 months CBU languages where possible 6 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 16. Complete and send the technical Start – 7 weeks NPC (+ questionnaire for interpretation equipment equipment and a plan of the (deadline !) provider ) meeting room to the Commission 17. Appoint one person responsible for technical issues (microphones, projection, IT, …) during the Start – 1 month NPC seminar. This person should be able to communicate in either EN or FR. 18. Appoint a team that will fulfil secretarial tasks during the seminar. At least one person of the Start – 1 month HBU + NPC team should be able to communicate in either EN or FR. 19. Collect and process the application forms (including those from Commission delegates and Deadline set in the NPC interpreters). invitation The Commission may send reminders on request. 20. Assign chairman, speakers, and chairmen and rapporteurs for the Start – 1 month CBU + HBU workshops, … 21. Compose the working groups (on the basis of linguistic preferences, Start – 1 month HBU + CBU chosen workshops, …) 22. Publish working documents (via CIRCA) (in 3 language versions if Start – 1 month CPMT available). 23. Check if names, flight numbers and other details of all participants Start – 2 weeks NPC are known. 24. Collect electronic copies of all the presentations and send them to Start – 2 weeks CBU + HBU the CBU and CPMT 25. Send an electronic copy of all documents and presentations to Start – 1 week CBU the interpreters. 26. Check hotel reservations in relation to final number of Start – 1 week NPC participants. 27. Check transport arrangements Start – 1 week NPC from the airport to the hotel (if 7 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 required). 28. Check conference facilities (conference room and workshop rooms) for seating, presentation equipment, microphones, Start – 1 week NPC interpretation booths, air conditioning, refreshments and so on. 29. Make paper copies of all documents and presentations for Start – 1 week HBU + NPC the interpreters (obligatory). 30. Make copies of documents and presentations for participants Start – 1 week HBU + NPC (optional). 31. Print attendance lists for each day and copy evaluation forms (as sent Start – 1 week NPC to NPC by the CPMT) 32. Organise pre-meeting with HBU + NPU chairmen, rapporteurs and Start – 1 day + CBU speakers. 33. Organise the registration of the Start – 1 day NPC participants (+ name badges) 34. Organise the signing of the Each day of the NPC attendance list by all participants seminar ! 35. Check transport arrangements from the hotel to the airport (if End – 1 day NPC required). 36. Distribute and collect evaluation End NPC forms. 37. Hand over the ORIGINALS of signed attendance lists and End NPC completed evaluation forms to a Commission delegate. 38. Collect and pay invoices for organisational costs from the / NPC programme budget advances held in the national administration. 39. Draft the report of the seminar. End + 1 month HBU + CBU 40. Provide translations (EN-FR-DE) of / CBU the report if possible 41. Publish the seminar report on / CBU + 8 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 CIRCA CPMT 3. REPORTING AND EVALUATION After each seminar, a report needs to be drafted, containing the main results and conclusions plus possibly a copy of presentations. The report is drafted either by the host administration or by the Commission based on prior agreement between the parties. The report is uploaded on CIRCA. Evaluation forms must be completed by all participants at the end of the seminar. The completed forms are processed by the Commission and the results are used for the general programme evaluation. 4. TEMPLATES The following templates are available on CIRCA: Proposal form Invitation to a preparatory meeting Technical questionnaire for SCIC, including technical standards to be respected Seminar Invitation Attendance list Seminar evaluation form Seating order of participating countries 9 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 5. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 5.1. Is the number of delegates per participating country in a seminar limited? Generally, 2 or 3 delegates per country are invited. Depending on the subject, it may be decided to exceptionally invite only 1 or more than 3 per country. It may also be decided that national officials making a presentation at the seminar, can be reimbursed in addition to the normal delegation. In this case, they receive a separate invitation. 5.2. Can delegates from other (than customs or tax) national administrations or bodies participate in a Seminar? Sometimes the topic covered by the seminar touches upon the competencies of different national administrations or services. In such cases, the requested delegate profiles may require participation of officials from other government departments or delegates from companies dealing with outsourced services. These participants are considered to be part of the PC's delegation and it is therefore for the National Programme Coordinator to arrange their reimbursement from the programme advances held in the national administration, under the same rules and conditions as their own officials. 5.3. Can experts participate in a Seminar? Yes, experts (from trade, third countries, international organisations, etc.) can be invited to a seminar under the programme budget, where this is necessary in order to reach the seminar objectives. They will always receive a personal invitation from the Commission. They will be reimbursed by the Commission directly. Number and profile of these experts should be mentioned in the seminar proposal. 10 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 5.4. What is a suitable venue for a seminar? In order to avoid additional transport, it is advisable to select a hotel which has a conference room and working rooms as required and which can at the same time accommodate all participants. Seminar facilities would include: one Conference room to be used for the plenary sessions and for the multi-lingual working group (setting in a U-shape if the number of participants allows for it); a table for the chairmen (host country + the Commission); 2/4 smaller rooms for workshops depending on the number of participants/groups a small room or area for the secretariat. When selecting a seminar venue, the following is to be taken into account: the price of the hotel should take account of the maximum organisational costs available for the seminar (as decided by the CPMT) and of the ceiling for reimbursement of hotel accommodation. the conference room should offer enough space for the number of delegates to be invited and for the interpretation booths. enough workshop rooms should be available, offering the space required for the size of the groups. interpretation booths must be positioned in such a way that interpreters have a full view over the room and the screens (no pillars !) and that interpreters can see each other. a properly functioning air-conditioning should be available if the climate requires this. the conference environment should not be noisy and should provide a good working atmosphere. 5.5. What interpretation is available at a programme seminar? Interpretation is normally provided into English, French and German plus the language of the host country, where this is different. 11 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 For some subjects, the Commission and the host administration may decide that not all of these languages are needed or even that the seminar can be held in English only. Interpretation is only provided in the plenary room. Where workshops are organised within the seminar, the plenary room will also be used for the multi-lingual working group. Any other groups will have to work in one language (generally in English). Interpretation during a seminar can only be provided by the Commission’s Interpretation Services (SCIC). The late return of the SCIC technical questionnaire by the NPC and/or not respecting the booths sizes and the technical standards for the equipment may jeopardise the granting of interpretation. The completed questionnaire needs to be sent to SCIC - Mr. Hespel, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org or taxud- email@example.com as appropriate. 5.6. How many interpretation booths are needed ? One interpretation booth is needed for each language into which interpretation is provided. Thus, there will generally be 3 or 4 booths. These booths need to be placed in the meeting room in such a way that all interpreters have an undisturbed view over the room (no pillars !) and that they can see their colleagues in the other booths. SCIC requires a plan of the plenary room indicating the position of the booths, before approving the technical equipment. 5.7. What can be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs? Organisational costs cover expenses to be paid by the host country for costs related to the organisation of the seminar such as hiring of conference and working rooms, interpretation booths and equipment, other technical equipment, refreshments during the meeting, floral arrangements, organised transport, as well as all kinds of office costs like photocopying, paper, pens and badges. It is advisable to include a small contingency sum in the contract for the seminar organisation, in order to cover unexpected extra costs. 5.8. What cannot be financed from the amount foreseen for organisational costs? 12 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 Accommodation costs need to be paid individually by every participant. Interpreters are hired and paid directly by the Commission. Social events and transport organised to reach the venue of these events cannot be financed under the organisational costs. They need to be covered from the host's national budget. For optional sight seeing visits, etc. a contribution may be asked from the participants. This should be mentioned in the invitation. 5.9. What determines the duration of a seminar? The duration of a seminar will be determined in function of the objectives to be reached. In general seminars last 2 to 3 days. 5.10. What is the length of a working day at a seminar? A normal working day at a seminar starts around 9:00 and ends between 17:00 and 18:00. In order to comply with SCIC rules, the working day must respect the following timetable: maximum 4 hours in the morning, minimum 1 ½ hour for lunch and maximum 10 hours per day (including the lunch break). Please note that for interpretation in Luxembourg there are different rules for working hours. Where social events and sight seeing visits are organised, these must be planned either outside the normal working hours (in the evening) or after the end of the seminar. 5.11. What questions may need to be dealt with during the preparation meeting for a seminar? Draft Agenda The draft agenda is elaborated at the preparatory meeting. It specifies the seminar content, the exact duration, the planned presentations and speakers, the sequence of plenary sessions, workshops and possible site visits, etc. Workshops If it is foreseen to have a number of workshops, on what basis will the groups be composed? What is the maximum number of persons in each workshop? 13 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 How many workshops/groups will be operating simultaneously? The number of conference rooms required will be determined by the answer to this question. If workshops run simultaneously, which one will use the interpretation facilities in the plenary room? Presentations Presentations need to be drafted in one of the seminar working languages. Whereas translations cannot be made available, hand-outs should preferably be made in English. Plan of the meeting rooms What is the shape of the plenary room (U-shape, academic, other) ? Who will sit at the Chairman's table ? Where will screen(s) be installed ? Where can the interpretation booths be installed ? In the plenary room, delegations are seated in the official EU seating order, i.e. in alphabetical order or the country names in their own national language (see template) Technical equipment : overhead screen and projector computer with MS PowerPoint and Internet connection access to photocopying, fax and e-mail one or more lap-top computers for the Commission participants and/or reporters to enable them to take "on the spot" notes during the workshops (if requested) flipcharts for the workshop Interpretation equipment : interpretation booths (see SCIC Technical Questionnaire for the technical specifications) 1 booth per language = minimum 3 (EN, FR, DE + host language if different) 14 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 loudspeakers, amplifier, mixing unit etc. headphones/receivers for each participant + interpreters table mounted microphones: one for every 2 or 3 participants one wireless tie-microphone for people making presentations hire, installation (and removal), insurance and transportation of the equipment technical assistance : a technician should be available to solve technical problems with the interpretation equipment at any time during the seminar Contact SCIC in case of questions about the interpretation equipment (Mr. Didier HESPEL – see SCIC form) Planning deadlines and distribution of tasks The check-list of tasks under 2.2.4 can be used as a guidance. When does the hotel need the confirmation of room reservations for the delegates? Interpreters may not be able to meet this deadline, because they are assigned at a later stage. The host should therefore keep a pre-reservation for the maximum number of interpreters until about two weeks before the event. When should the final invitation be issued ? When shall the invitations fro experts be issued ? What is the deadline for the SCIC questionnaire ? When should the working documents be issued ? When should the presentations be ready ? When does the host need the documents which need to be printed ? Welcome How will participants get to the hotel from the airport (public transport or will transport be provided)? Does the host intend to offer a welcome drink on the evening before the seminar? 15 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 How will the registration of delegates be organised? Should a presentation kit be presented to each participant? What Fiscalis 2013 or Customs 2013 promotional items are needed for distribution at the seminar? These are provided by the CPMT upon request by the host National Programme Coordinator. Meals What menus are available for lunches? Buffets are best and easiest to manage. It is advisable to ensure at least one vegetarian menu to cover the possibility of religious or health motivated dietary restrictions. Fruit juice and water should also be available. Does the host administration intend to offer a dinner or another social event (not obligatory!)? Can a vegetarian menu be provided there as well? Coffee breaks / refreshments : one in the morning, one in the afternoon coffee, tea, water, fruit juice, biscuits and cakes refreshments during the day : water for the conference room and working rooms High level participation Will a Commissioner or a Minister open and/or close the Seminar ? Are there any special arrangements that need to be made for such participants? Are any of them expected to stay for the duration of the seminar? What transport arrangements are being made to ferry these high level participants to and from the conference centre? Security Should security arrangements be considered for the event? 16 of 17 SEMINAR GUIDE 2013 What are the consequences of such security arrangements for the organisation of the event? How will participants be able to identify themselves at the hotel? When would the security agents need to have the final participants list? 5.12. How is the secretarial work organised during the seminar? The host administration assigns a secretarial team, which will be available throughout the seminar. 5.13. How and when will delegates receive the seminar documents ? The invitation and documents are published to the national Programme Co-ordinators via the CIRCA Interest Group for the relevant programme. These Co-ordinators are responsible for distributing the documents to their delegates. Delegates are expected to bring paper copies of the documents to the seminar. Printed copies of the documents will not be available on the spot. Hand-outs of presentations will on the contrary be provided at the seminar. The presentations are published on CIRCA after the seminar has taken place. 17 of 17
"Seminar Invitation Templates - PDF"