CIF bids

We survey school sites and prepare Condition improvement fund (CIF) applications that give your school the best chance of securing funding for building repair, renovation and expansion works

The expert knowledge you need with the personal service you expect.

CIF funding applications


What do we do? 

Our Chartered Surveyors work with single academies, small multi academy trusts (MAT) and sixth form colleges to prepare government backed funding bids for building repair, renovation and expansion works.

Condition improvement fund (CIF) bids must aim to improve a freehold or long lease capital asset used for the provision of education for pupils between 2-19 years old, and cannot be used for land purchases.

As part of the process we will summarise the most important features and rationale behind a planned improvement project, provide supporting documentation including evidence to support the case being made, and ensure submission deadlines are met.



  • The annual bidding process opens – October each year
  • Deadline for new applicants to register – end of November
  • Deadline for applications – early December
  • Notified of outcome – spring

We recommend talking to a Surveyor well in advance of submitting a bid and the exact bid process dates for each year can be found online here:


Contact our team of surveyors if you’re interested in

  • Finding out more about the CIF process
  • Informal discussiond about planned maintenance programs at your school
  • Health and safety works
  • Roof surveys

To discuss a CIF bid or school site maintenance works further


Frequently asked questions about CIF funding

What is CIF funding?

CIF stands for condition improvement fund (CIF). It is a government backed fund that is administered by the Education Funding agency (EFA) for academies and sixth form colleges with plans to improve their premises.

The need to improve school buildings can arise from health and safety concerns, managed maintenance and improvement plans, expansions or security matters.  


Is my school eligible for CIF funding?

If your education facility needs repair, renovation or expansion works, and you are a single academy, part of a small multi academy trust (MAT) or a sixth Form College, then you can submit a bid for CIF.

For other types of schools, further funding is available. Visit for the latest information.


What kind of works are covered by CIF?

The highest priority works are those that address compliance and health and safety issues. These include, fire protection systems, gas safety, electrical safety or emergency asbestos removal. Second to that, projects that ensure weather tight building and continuous heating and water supply will be assessed.

Expansion projects are supported for academies and sixth form colleges that Ofsted has rated good or outstanding that need to expand their facilities and/or floor space to either increase admissions or address overcrowding.


How can Kempton Carr Croft assist with CIF funding bids?

Following an initial discussion regarding your plans for school building improvements or any concerns that you may have relating to the condition of school buildings, we will conduct a thorough survey of all areas and report our initial findings.

The report will highlight any areas of concern, particularly relating to health and safety, breaches to current regulations and areas that have reached the end of their lifecycle, along with a summary of actions, planned maintenance or replacement projects needed to resolve them.

At this point you can then instruct our surveyors to provide full costings and analysis to deliver the works identified as part of the CIF bid process.

Benefits to instructing our Surveyors to assist in the preparation of a bid include:

  • Time saved for bursars and business managers
  • Experienced in submitting successful bids
  • Knowledge and experience of the end to end process of surveying, specification, contract administration and building regulations – to ensure you know the true cost and scale of works and submit and accurate bid first time.
  • Our team is made up of Chartered Surveyors, Principal Designers. Project Managers specialising in the build and renovation of buildings.
  • The expertise needed to keep your academy or sixth form college safe and in good working order
  • Drafting bids in a format that supports the weighted assessment criteria of project need (60%), project planning (15%), project cost. (25%)
  • Detailed supporting costings of proposed works
  • Specified works that meet the ‘output specification 2017’ to ensure appropriate quality is met for funding consideration.
  • Ability to demonstrate a high project need, supported with evidence, and which align closely with the priorities of CIF
  • Consult your local planning authority to check if planning permission is required before applying to CIF.


How are CIF bids awarded?

There are 3 categories of CIF project: condition, condition with expansion, and expansion.  Projects may be re-categorised by the DfE if they do not meet the qualification criteria for the selected category.  

Project bids will be scored against 3 weighted assessment criteria:  

  • project need 60%
  • project planning 15%
  • project cost 25%


A CIF application will be either fully funded or unsuccessful. It will not fund part of the proposed works within an application and retrospective projects will not be funded. 


What can CIF funding be used for?

CIF projects must aim to improve a capital asset held in freehold or on a long lease for education provision for pupils between 2-19 years old. You cannot use CIF funding to purchase land.


How much funding can be applied for via CIF bids?

The minimum project threshold is £20,000 for Primary and special schools, £50,000 for Secondary and sixth form colleges, with a maximum threshold of £4,000,000 for each.


Can you submit a CIF bid for our school?

You can use technical advisers or representatives such as Surveyors to help prepare your application and to deliver the works but we cannot apply on your behalf. The bid applications process requires that the responsible official for funding at the institution, or a senior member of the senior management team submits the bid on behalf of the school but we will ensure you have all the information you need and a strong bid document prior to submission.


Do you conduct CIF bids in my area?

Kempton Carr Croft’s Chartered Surveyors can assist with CIF bid applications throughout London and the whole of the South East of England. The team works from offices in Basingstoke, Camberley, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, London, Reading, Staines and Windsor.


What are your fees for CIF bid projects?

As the work involved in each bid process varies greatly depending on the size of the school and level or complexity of building works required, we can’t provide you with a quote until we have spoken to you directly.

The professional fees payable however will always reflect the particular requirements of your premises and the time which it is anticipated will be devoted to the matter. As an indicative guide, fees will usually be based on an hourly fee of £250 + VAT.


Where can I find more information about the CIF bid process?

Read this guide if your school is considering CIF bid process