Small Business Specialist Counseling Pathways Program

Eligibility Criteria

This program is for employing small businesses that are established and have been in operation since at least July 1, 2020.

To be eligible for a grant under the Small Business Specialist Counseling Pathway Program, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a legally structured company registered in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on or after 1 July 2020
  • Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria
  • Employ 1 to 19 full-time equivalent employees.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and accept the conditions outlined in the program guidelines in order to be successful in the program.

Businesses will not be eligible for a grant if any information in their application is found to be knowingly false or misleading.

How does the program and application process work?

  1. Read the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs), then use the ABN Checker to check if your ABN has been registered since July 1, 2020.
  2. A $2,000 grant per ABN is available for eligible expenditures on relevant professional advice and services under the program, where the minimum cost of spending is $2,000 (ex GST)
  3. The applicant will receive an initial payment of $1,000 to contract with their preferred qualified service provider.
  4. The applicant will receive the final installment of the $1,000 grant upon successful completion of the service activity. Approved businesses will be asked to complete a claim form to confirm that the project has been completed and;
    1. Provide a legal statement that the activity has been completed and the qualified service provider has been paid. A legal declaration form is available here.
    2. Please complete the online claim form by 5:00 pm on January 31, 2023.
  5. Companies will be required to respond to a short survey six months after submitting their application. We greatly appreciate feedback from companies to improve our programs and processes.

Program Guidelines

Specialist Counseling Pathways Program Guidelines (PDF 323.11KB)pdf icon

Specialist Counseling Pathways Program Guidelines (DOCX 1612.44KB)docx icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Read the full list of frequently asked questions.

Check if your ABN is eligible

To check if your Australian Business Number (ABN) has been registered since July 1, 2020, please enter your ABN in the Checker below. If you are not sure what your ABN is, you can use the ABN lookup tool.

If your ABN is valid for this program, you will be given access to a link to begin your application.


Your ABN has been registered since at least July 1, 2020.

Proceed to apply for the Specialist Counseling Pathway Program.

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Thank you for your interest in the Specialist Counseling Pathways Program.

The ABN you provided indicates that you did not register on or before July 1, 2020. If you think you may be eligible for the program, please verify the ABN you provided, read the program guidelines carefully, and ensure that the business linked to the provided ABN meets the following criteria:

  • Be a legally structured company registered in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have had that ABN as of 1 July 2020.

Only one successful grant is allowed per eligible ABN. If you still believe you are eligible for this program and continue to receive this message, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or submit an inquiry through our Contact Us page. Indicate that the query is related to the Specialist Counseling Pathways Program.

You may be eligible for support under another Victorian government grant or support programme. All information on the Victorian Government’s support for business can be found in our Grants and Programs section.

Evaluation of your application

We will endeavor to review your application and notify you of the result by October 2022. There may be delays in notifying you of a result if your application:

  • You do not meet all the eligibility criteria
  • Requires you to provide additional information
  • It is a duplicate application for the same business
  • Contains incorrect Qualified Service Provider details
  • You have incorrect information such as ABN or WorkCover Employee Number (WEN)
  • It does not include current or accurate information registered with the relevant regulators or associated agencies (such as the Australian Business Register or WorkSafe Victoria).

Key Program Dates

The program will be open for applications from 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29 until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022 or when funds run out, whichever comes first.

Sworn declaration

Successful businesses will be asked to complete a claim form and provide a legal declaration to receive the final $1,000 grant installment, when the service activity is complete.

You can download the legal declaration form here:

Statutory Declaration of Final Delivery of Expertise Pathways Grant (DOC 121KB)document icon

More information

We will contact you with updates about your application or to request additional information to process your application. Applicants must meet all eligibility criteria outlined in the program guidelines to be considered for a grant.

You will need to provide one of the following forms of identification in your application:

  • Driver’s license or learner’s permit issued by Vic Roads
  • australian passport
  • Medicare card
  • Foreign passport for those issued on an Australian visa.

If you’re having trouble uploading your ID or need help, check out our identity verification test user guide.

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Business Victoria grant portal.

If you have questions about this program, please see the Small Business Specialist Counseling Pathways Program FAQ.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions reserves the right to change program guidelines and application terms at any time.

If you have any further queries, please call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 before the closing date. The hotline operates seven days a week.

If you need a translator, let the operator know and they will call the Translation and Interpretation Service for you.

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