Universal Credit Overview

Please note: this course was previously called 'Introduction to Universal Credit'. This practical course, being run in partnership with The Benefits Training Company, provides a complete introduction to and overview of Universal Credit (UC). It looks at how amounts are worked out, claimed and paid. Being run in partnership with The Benefits Training Company the course includes access to 12 months ongoing advice and support from The Benefits Training Co, via phone and email.


COVID-19 UPDATE: Following the government’s announcements on 16 March, it is clear we are entering a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic. As such, we feel it is best to stop delivery of all face-to-face training until further notice.


If you would like this training delivered to a group of 5 or more staff at your premises please enquire below or phone Alex on 0344 515 1155. Please note this option does not include the 12 months advice offer. We can tailor the course content to meet the specific needs of the group.

Group training (5-18 staff): Commercial rate £955; Standard / Concessionary £890 + plus trainer’s expenses + VAT

‘This is a very complicated subject but (our trainer) explained things very well.’

Resettlement Coordinator, Vulnerable Adults Service, Wakefield Council

Course contains

  • Overview of Universal Credit
  • Who can claim Universal Credit?
  • Effect on the wider system
  • How amounts are worked out
  • Universal Credit elements
  • The effect of income and work
  • Claims, payments and changes in circumstances
  • The single monthly payment and safeguards
  • The Benefit Cap
  • Work related requirements and claimant sanctions
  • Tackling sanctions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Know who is eligible for Universal Credit (UC);
  • Know how the wider benefits system is affected by Universal Credit;
  • Be able to advise when to claim UC and when to continue claiming legacy benefits
  • Understand how Universal Credit amounts are worked out;
  • Be able to help people who cannot manage a single monthly payment of benefit;
  • Understand work-related conditions for both Universal Credit and existing benefits and how to deal with sanctions;
  • Be able to advise people affected by the cap on total benefits;
  • Be able to initiate an appeal;

Suitable for

This course is relevant to anyone who works with claimants of working age. Participants should have a working knowledge of the wider benefits system. 

Please note: we also offer 'Introduction to Welfare Benefits', 'Universal Credit: The Housing Element' and 'Universal Credit in Practice' programmes.

Meet the trainers

David Stickland

David has been a Shelter trainer since 2003. He has extensive experience as a Citizens Advice and local authority benefits caseworker.

David now combines training with working in frontline advice. He is the lead trainer at the Benefits Training Company and works as an adviser on a busy telephone advice service in London. He runs a large number of Shelter's Housing Benefit and Welfare Benefits courses.

Before becoming a benefits adviser, David worked abroad as an English language teacher where he developed an interactive training style that is engaging, informative and enjoyable.

CPD hours 5