A Guide to Eligibility in Software (Part 1 of 2)


Identifying eligibility in software systems is notoriously difficult. With technology changing so quickly, and clients often blurring the line between what is commercially new and technologically new, it can be hard to say with confidence which parts of a client’s project should be claimed as eligible.

For many providers, this has led to unease about how to speak to software companies, and how to tell the ineligible from the eligible.

This is a two part course – Part 2 explains how the guidance can be applied in practice.

Course outcomes

After taking this course, you’ll be more able to distinguish between companies with eligible projects, and those which shouldn’t be claiming. This should give you more confidence when talking to software clients, and stronger, more defensible claims.


  • Unit 1: Context
  • Unit 2: Understanding Software Basics
  • Unit 3: HMRC’s guidance on software (The Theory)

Course overview

Ready to take the course?

Key topics from the course


Software concepts

We explain important concepts in software development, to help you discuss with clients.


Software professionals

We explain the differences between software engineers, developers and hobbyists.


HMRC's guidance on software

We examine the parts of HMRC’s guidance that discuss software development.

Our Membership

Interested in taking the training?

All our training courses are available to members of The R&D Community. Our monthly subscription includes video-based training courses with full reporting, assessments and oversight for your team.

We also have support services which can help you with tricky eligibility conversations, screening clients and all aspects of claims and enquiries.

04: Different types of software (from firmware to applications)

Want to watch one of the course videos for free?

This video explains all the different types of software, and how they relate to each other.