With our training membership, things are a bit different. Instead of paying for a single course, you pay a monthly fee to access all our courses and webinars, and our extra support resources. And the time you might spend on the training in a given month can be completely variable.

So we completely understand why you might feel like a long term training membership is a more difficult decision!

What is The R&D Community?

For those of you who don’t know, The R&D Community is a training academy and support service for R&D advisors – accountants and consultants – who want to grow a profitable, ethical and competitive R&D service.

We have courses on claim preparation, industry specifics, and the R&D scheme itself. We support our members with an R&D helpline. And we offer hands-on help with eligibility conversations, enquiry defence, reviewing their claims and other tasks.

We believe that standards in the R&D tax relief market should be higher. We’re doing everything we can to help advisors who offer an R&D service that prioritises quality and compliance.

Concerns you might have about joining The R&D Community

If you’re thinking of joining our membership, we’ll address any concerns you might have below. The decision is ultimately yours, but we want to make sure you have all the information you need before you make this commitment.

Can you afford another monthly fee

No doubt you already have monthly subscription fees for software, helplines, and outsourced services – why add another?

Is The R&D Community worth the money?

Let’s say you enrol two team members in The R&D Community for 6 months, to test how well it suits your team.

And let’s say your average client is claiming for £60,000 tax relief, and you charge 15% +VAT to prepare the claim.

If they learn enough in those 6 months to prepare just one more claim between them, you’ll earn back £9k. That’s 7.5 times what you’ve spent on your membership in that first 6 months.

We think that’s excellent value for money!

Our goal is to help you build a more profitable, and competitive R&D service. Taking training:

  • means your sales team will be better able to qualify leads, so you waste less time on clients who are non-starters.
  • speeds up the on-ramp for new staff, so they can contribute more value to your team more quickly.
  • can also help you avoid costly enquiries by increase the quality of the claims you’re preparing.

So even if you aren’t preparing more claims in the first 6 months, there are lots of other ways that your membership will pay for itself.

How much time you’ll have to spend on the training

A key part of the membership is of course the training academy. Most of our members dive right into the courses as soon as they join.

Is our training worth the time?

Our carefully structured training courses are made up of short videos – most of them less than 5 minutes. These alternate with assessment questions to make sure you learn something from each video.

If you want, you can do our courses in the bite-sized pieces of time you might otherwise waste deleting junk emails or scrolling through LinkedIn. Or you can set aside an hour at a time to work through courses in larger chunks. However it fits into your schedule, the training is fully flexible and available 24/7.

It also means we’ve completely cut the fluff, so every minute of training will teach you something valuable. Yes, you can learn a lot just by getting stuck in and working on a claim! But since HMRC don’t provide feedback on submitted claims, there’s no way of knowing whether you’re getting it right every time. Our training is structured around the assessments, so you always know you’re making progress.

You’re already confident preparing R&D claims

If you already know what you’re doing with your R&D claims, that’s fantastic! If you have the skills and experience needed to handle your current clients, then why would you invest in a membership based on a training academy?

Is it worth joining if you’re an experienced advisor?

We built The R&D Community to serve all kinds of R&D advisors, which means even if you already know what you’re doing, we still have something to offer.

First, our support services are incredibly useful if you’re looking for a second opinion on something new to you. If we don’t have a video which answers your unique question, our Helpline means we can always provide the information you need on a specific case.

Second, you can use our training to develop your team. If you want to have someone else help you prepare claims, you can train them yourself – or save a load of time and effort by putting them through our training courses. If you have a salesperson on your team, you can put them through our courses on Eligibility and the R&D industry. With a better understanding, they can do a better job of screening leads and save you time talking to SMEs who don’t have any eligible work.

Third, you can take our advanced courses to expand your own portfolio. Lots of experienced advisors have worked mainly in one industry. However, after a certain point you may need to expand into another industry, to find or support new clients. We have Industry Guides which can give you insights into specific industries, and help you apply your existing knowledge to new areas.

And finally, it gives you the opportunity to prove that you’re invested in improving standards across the industry – like we are. We have a directory of all our members so your potential clients can see you’re involved. Plus, we use our collective voice to talk to HMRC and potentially lend more weight to your views.

You don’t have room for any new R&D clients

If your R&D service is already at capacity, the chances are you’re short on time, and there’s no need to learn new skills to help you win new business… right?

We’re not so sure! Whilst winning new business is one of the potential benefits of joining The R&D Community, there’s lots of other ways it can help!

Is it worth it if you don’t have capacity for new clients?

Taking our structured training courses inside The R&D Community can improve the value of the service you offer to your current clients. When it comes to renewing contracts, this gives you more reason to hold firm on fee rates when negotiating.

Membership is a way to make yourself, and your commitment to quality, more visible to clients. As HMRC are increasing scrutiny, more SMEs are starting to realise that quality matters more than price.

Learning more about how to establish eligibility early on will make you more efficient. That means you can spend less time on conversations which don’t lead to claims, and focus on clients with eligible work. Efficiency can also expand your capacity and raise the cap on the number of clients you can handle.

As your skills and understanding of the guidance improve, you’ll get fewer enquiries. The ones that do crop up will be easier to handle too, which is always going to be good for the bottom line.

Finally, it can dramatically reduce the onboarding time for new staff members. If you’re at max capacity because you need to hire new or replace staff, you can get yourself out of the weeds much faster with a more effective method of training.

You’re not sure we can offer the support you need

If you’ve seen we have an R&D Helpline and a Claim Support service, you may be wondering what the limitations are on your access to both of those.

Are there limitations on our support services?

Our Helpline service is free to members, and in general we operate a reasonable use policy. That means we don’t tightly track the time spent or the number of enquiries from any individual or company. As a guide, we typically wouldn’t spend more than 20 or 30 minutes on an individual helpline enquiry. Per month, it would be unusual to get more than 5-6 enquiries from any one member – although if you have a larger team, then of course that’s a little different.

If you have more complex questions, then our Claim Support service will be more appropriate. You can only access this as a member, and it costs £195+VAT per hour. There’s no fixed limit on the number of hours per month you can request. It is subject to availability, so it may be that we can’t take on larger support projects, or that we would need to spread something out over time.

For example, one of our members has reviewed his portfolio, and found a list of 80 companies who might a claim. He doesn’t have the capacity to interview all of these companies himself, so he’s using our claim support service to outsource that work. We don’t have capacity to do 80 screening calls in a month either, so we’ve agreed to do a smaller number of calls per month, over a fixed period. This means he knows exactly what costs to expect and when, and we’re able to continue creating training courses and providing support to all our members.

What other support do we offer?

As well as the Helpline and Claim Support services, we also offer two other services to support you. All members are invited to join a closed WhatsApp group, where you can ask questions and find partners to work with on projects. This is a great place to get additional support and find out how others in the business are tackling a specific issue.

We also offer live training webinars to our members on topical matters. For example, when HMRC updated the rules on subcontracting, we held a webinar for members to discuss the new rules and how to apply them. If you have specific topics you would like us to cover in these sessions, we welcome suggestions and ideas from our members.

Should you spend your whole training budget in one place

You might feel it’s risky to commit your entire training budget to one provider. After all, you could take a range of training courses, and avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

Is it worth committing to a single training academy?

Well, you can breathe a small sigh of relief, because our membership is on a month-to-month basis, and there’s no fixed term. So if you sign up, take a few courses, and decide you’re done with it, you can peace out right away, and we won’t make any difficulties for you. We’re pretty sure our membership is so great that you won’t want to – but it’s an option if you need it.

If you’re still nervous about our training quality, you can try one of our courses – An Introduction to R&D Tax Relief – completely for free!

And if you aren’t convinced, we’re curious to know where else you’re finding the type of nuanced, advanced training that’s included inside The R&D Community! We’ve scoured the industry and asked everyone in our network to find good training options for R&D advisors. And we couldn’t find any courses that offered the level of detail that we felt was necessary. Everything we explored was pretty basic – either a general, or an industry specific introduction. That was one of our strongest motivators for creating The R&D Community. We think this knowledge should be more readily available, and we believe that filling the gap will help raise standards across the industry. So if you do decide you’ll skip our training and take other courses instead – let us know which ones you’d recommend!

How to join

If you do want to join The R&D Community, you can sign up right away – there’s no waiting for the doors to open, you can start today! Membership rates start at £150+VAT per month.

Any concerns we haven’t answered?

These are the most common concerns we have heard about our membership – but we may not have covered everything! If you have a question we didn’t answer, you can send us an email and we’ll get back to you right away.