Tools and templates

Officials must develop grant opportunity guidelines for all new and revised granting activities. A 'Grant Opportunity' is a collective term to describe any grant round, invitation to apply or other such time when an applicant can be considered for a grant as defined under the CGRGs.  

Grant Opportunity Guideline Templates

The CGRGs outlines the types of selection processes available and provides information on each type of grant opportunity.  Grant opportunity guidelines must be consistent with the CGRGs and be published on GrantConnect.

Like the CGRGs, the PGPA Rule sets out requirements for written guidelines, which also must be published on GrantConnect. Corporate Commonwealth entities are encouraged to use these templates to provide consistency and as a better practice guide when preparing grant guidelines.

Grant opportunities using an open competitive selection process as well as open non-competitive; targeted competitive; or closed non-competitive selection processes use the:

Grant opportunities which require only eligibility criteria and do not have a merit process using assessment criteria use the: 

A checklist is provided to help you when preparing your grant opportunity guidelines 

Which template to use?

There are a number of factors to consider when determining which grant opportunity template to use:

  • What is the eligibility criteria?
  • Does the selection process consider eligibility and assessment?
  • Does the selection process assess for merit using assessment criteria, but not assess against other potential grantees?
  • Are potential grantees compared against each other?
  • Does the grant meet the one-off ad hoc grant definition?

A decision tree is available to assist in selecting the correct template for your grant opportunity.

One-off or ad hoc grants

One-off or ad hoc grants are generally due to an urgent matter or circumstance and do not involve planned selection processes, nor are they available on an ongoing basis. For one-off ad hoc grants use the:

Grant opportunity guidelines are required for all grants, including one-off or ad hoc grants. However, the format, complexity and approval processes may vary, depending on the grant.

For example, if an entity provides a sponsorship grant, and this sponsorship does not fall within an existing grant opportunity, then officials may either develop overarching guidelines that would cover all sponsorships, or develop specific guidelines attached or incorporated into a brief to the decision-maker or sponsorship letter.

At a minimum, guidelines for one-off or ad hoc grants should include the purpose or description of the granting activity, the objectives, expected outcome, how to apply, the selection process, any reporting and acquittal requirements and any evaluation mechanisms. (see CGRGs 9.3 or PGPA Rule s25B(4))

Guidelines for one-off or ad hoc grants are not required to be published on an entity's website, and are not subject to the mandatory processes relating to approval of new or revised grant opportunity guidelines. For transparency purposes, entities may still choose to publish these guidelines on GrantConnect.

Grant Agreement templates and user guides

There are a number of different grant agreements that can be used for different situations.

Finance has developed a suite of whole-of-government grant agreement templates for use by entities when entering into grants. A user guide for each template has been developed to provide step-by-step guidance to officials.

Types of agreements and their templates

Note: The blue highlights in the grant agreement templates, clause bank and user guides are recent minor amendments to provide for the National Redress Scheme and to ensure that child safety obligations are included in grant agreement subcontracts and secondary subcontracts (as at 21 April 2022).

AgreementUseTemplateUser Guide
Letter of AgreementThis approach may be the best option to use with straightforward, low risk grants
Commonwealth Simple Grant AgreementFormerly titled the 'low-risk grant agreement' template, this is for use with low risk grants which require a more detailed agreement with simple terms and conditions.
Commonwealth Standard Grant AgreementThis template is for grants which are rated as medium to high risk and includes a standard set of terms and conditions.  The Clause Bank (link) may be used to supplement the standard clauses if required due to the complexity of the grant activities or the risk associated with the grantee.

Grant Variations

The templates below are used when changes are required to an existing agreement and selection may be determined by the complexity of the variations necessary. The Deed requires signing by the grantee and the Commonwealth (or corporate Commonwealth entity)

Variation typeUseTemplateUser Guide
Letter of VariationThis template may be used for less complex alterations to obligations or terms established through a Letter of Agreement, or under a Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement or Commonwealth Standard Grant Agreement.
Deed of VariationThis template may be used to make more complex alterations to obligations or terms established through a letter of Agreement, or under an existing signed Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement or Commonwealth Standard Grant Agreement.
Notice of ChangeThis template has been developed for either the Grantee or Commonwealth entity to notify each other of minor administrative changes that do not have the effect of increasing the grantees' obligations under the agreement. 

 Ministerial Reporting

There are many considerations that a minister needs to take into account before deciding to award a grant. This checklist contains a list of items that officials may consider when preparing the brief for ministers:

 Template – Grants awarded in Minister’s own electorate:

 Template – Annual ministerial reporting:

Grants Prioritisation Guide

Please use this link for the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s Grants Prioritisation Guide. The Guide provides Commonwealth agencies with suggested approaches to prioritise funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations during grant design and administration.

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