Applying to your employer for funding support

If you are intending to apply to your employer for funding support to become a member of the Avenue Professional Development Programme you may find the draft application below helpful. It is worded with the Silver pathway in mind so you will need to amend it if you wish to apply for the Gold pathway. Copy and paste the text below and use it as the basis of your letter or email. Good luck!


The Avenue Professional Development Programme

I would like to make application for funding to be a member of this learning programme for a 12-month period. It has been set up by the highly respected author and very experienced educator, Dr Neil Thompson. Neil manages the Programme and acts as a tutor for the group.

The subscription fee for the Silver Pathway is only £99 plus VAT for a whole year, less than many courses cost for a single day. But this is not a course in the conventional sense. It is an innovative approach to continuous professional development based on ‘community of learning’ principles. Basically it works like this:  

Members have access to a secure, password-protected website. On the website are discussion forums that Neil contributes to; a growing library of multimedia resources produced by Neil and his colleagues; an e-portfolio which is ideal for recording and consolidating learning and evidencing continuous professional development for professional registration purposes; a reflective diary facility; and opportunities for online socialising with other members from a wide range of backgrounds.

Members have access to the Learning to Learn e-learning module written and presented by Neil. This is the equivalent of a full day’s continuous professional development and helps to lay the foundations for optimising learning.

There are also two e-books provided, one that is very helpful for establishing your own learning pathway as a basis for supported self-directed learning and the other that serves as a workbook to be completed very three to six months to review progress towards the learning goals identified via the first e-book (and to consolidate the learning gained).

In addition, there is a ‘wiki’ facility, a mini-encyclopaedia that members are encouraged to contribute to as part of their learning process.

The Programme is flexible but structured around six learning themes and six learning domains (that is, areas of work to which the learning themes can be applied). The learning themes spell out SILVER: 

Self-management skills | Interpersonal skills | Leadership |

Values-based learning | Empowerment | Rapport building and networking

and the learning domains spell out PLACES:

Professionalism | Learning and Development | Aiming higher |

Competent practice | Employee well-being | Spirituality

Together they form the SILVER / PLACES structure on which the Programme is based.

There is also a Gold pathway available at a premium subscription rate. It has all the facilities of the Silver pathway, but with e-mentoring with Neil in addition.

I see the Programme as a helpful way of maximising my professional development, and so I would like to make application for funding at £99 plus VAT for a year’s membership. If you want to know more about the Programme before making a decision, there is a full-colour brochure and an introductory video available at If you want to know more about Neil Thompson and his work please visit

You may also be interested to know that there is a Corporate Membership scheme available whereby organisations can buy bulk places on the Programme for as little as £35 plus VAT per person per year. If you want to know more about this or any other aspect of the Programme, Neil is happy for you to contact him directly ([email protected]).

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely,