CPAG Welfare Rights Conference 2024

Join us in London and Manchester this autumn for our annual Welfare Rights Conference - a must-attend event for advisers committed to learning about and discussing the latest developments in social security.

The event

This year’s event promises to be our most impactful yet, featuring:

  • Expert speakers - including an afternoon workshop led by Judge Jacobs.
  • Focused workshops – participate in sessions led by our expert team, tailored to enhance your knowledge and expertise.
  • Networking – connect with peers, vendors and experts, and expand your professional network. 
  • Comprehensive materials – take home training materials and watch pre-recorded versions of the workshops at your convenience after the live events.


As we did last year, we'll be holding the same event in two locations:

  • Friday 20 September 2024 - London
  • Thursday 10 October 2024 - Manchester 

See venue locations

Book your place

Buy your ticket and choose your workshops


9.15 – 10.00Arrival and registration, tea and coffee
10.00 – 11.00Host welcome and keynote
11.00 – 11.20Refreshment break & viewing of exhibition stands
11.20 – 12.30Morning workshop session
12.30 – 13.20Lunch
13.20 – 14.30Afternoon workshop session
14.30 – 14.50Refreshment break & viewing of exhibition stands
14.50 – 16.00Afternoon grand workshop with Judge Jacobs and closing remarks

Key note speakers

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers for our Welfare Rights conferences.

Tom Royston (London)
Barrister at Garden Court North Chambers

Tom Royston specialises in immigration, housing, mental capacity and social security law. He won a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award in 2017, was shortlisted as the Legal 500 Regional Junior of the Year in 2019 and as The Legal 500 Public Law Junior of the Year in 2023, was a Times Lawyer of the Week in 2020. He has appeared eight times in the UK Supreme Court, and has experience of international litigation in the CJEU and ECSR. Most of his work is in tribunals, the county court and the Administrative Court. 

Councillor Arooj Shah (Manchester)
Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member 

Councillor Arooj Shah serves as the Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Reform and Regeneration. 

As Oldham’s Cabinet Member for Reform and Regeneration, she has responsibility for reducing inequality and tackling poverty, as well as overseeing regeneration plans, transport and the overall borough strategy.  

Prior to becoming Leader, Arooj had served as Deputy Leader and held a number of Cabinet roles including being responsible for Covid-19 and pandemic recovery, neighbourhoods and communities. 

Dr Marsha Wood (London)
Research Associate at the University of Bath

Marsha Wood is a Research Associate at the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath where she has been working on projects relating to Universal Credit for the last six years. Most recently Marsha has been working with Rita Griffiths on a study funded by abdrn FFT about Universal Credit and monthly assessment. Prior to this she worked as a researcher at the University of Bristol for around 10 years on studies about child and family welfare. Marsha has recently published papers on the topic of childcare and Universal Credit and young parents and Universal Credit. 

Dr Rita Griffiths (London & Manchester)
Research Fellow at the University of Bath

Dr Rita Griffiths is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. Her main area of research interest and expertise lies in the field of social security and poverty alleviation. Prior to moving into academia in 2016, she worked in the private sector for 25 years as a social policy research consultant. As a founding partner of Insite Research and Consulting, she designed and delivered in the region of 60 qualitative research, evaluation and consultancy projects on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, European Commission and a range of statutory, voluntary and third sector clients. In her academic role, for the past six years, she has been leading a series of qualitative research projects into the experiences of Universal Credit claimants. She has given oral evidence about Universal Credit to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee and House of Lords Economic Committee

Format and workshops

With four expert workshops to choose from, a conference ticket provides access to two live workshops - both selected at the time of booking - refreshments, lunch and conference materials. 

In addition, delegates will have time-limited access to recordings of all 4 workshops, so you won't miss any content from this year's event!

The transitional SDP element

Simon Osborne, welfare rights adviser at CPAG

Some claimants with severe disabilities get an extra amount in their universal credit on transfer from legacy benefits, specifically to compensate for the absence of disability elements in universal credit. This is the transitional SDP element. But who can get it, and how does this differ from the transitional protection that is promised as part of the managed migration process? 

This workshop will give an update on the caselaw and look at what the transitional SDP element is, who qualifies and why it is mainly a feature of the natural migration process.

Tribunal Procedure Rules: an underused but useful toolbox?

Martin Williams, welfare rights adviser at CPAG

The Procedure Rules for the First-tier and Upper Tribunals this year will have been in force for 16 years. All advisers assisting claimants with appeals should take these rules into careful consideration.

This workshop will discuss the Rules and how advisers can use them to assist claimants. Issues covered will include:

  • The centrality of the “overriding objective”
  • Applying for and complying with directions
  • Time limits and extending or shortening time
  • Expediting urgent cases

Continuing complexity for claimants with pre-settled status

Rebecca Walker, Benefits for Migrants Handbook author and CPAG trainer

Despite recent legal successes, obtaining key benefit entitlements for many claimants with pre-settled status continues to be complex. 

This workshop will cover recent developments and discuss which claimants can benefit from them - including:

  • Which claimants may be able to use the SSWP v AT judgement to obtain means-tested benefits
  • The relevance of recent immigration changes for benefit claimants

Same PIP, different day: Personal Independence Payment in 2024

Carri Swann, welfare rights adviser at CPAG

This workshop is a practical refresher, covering the latest PIP caselaw, guidance and DWP policies. We will also look at DWP’s plans for PIP in 2025 and beyond.

Advisers will come away with up-to-date knowledge on PIP rules and processes, and with some fresh ideas for challenging decisions.

  • Caselaw round-up
  • The latest on reassessment delays
  • Fast-tracking, enhanced support and ‘specialist’ assessors
  • Online claims and digital forms
  • The PIP green paper

Workshop leaders

Carri Swann is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. She is co-author of CPAG and Mind’s Mental Health and Benefits Handbook and also writes for CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, Universal Credit: What You Need to Know, Financial Help for Families, and Welfare Rights Bulletin.

Martin Williams is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He has over twenty five years experience at representing claimants in the tribunal system. He is currently an author of CPAG’s Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit: the legislation.

Rebecca Walker has worked in welfare rights since 1993 including for various citizens advice bureaux, Terrence Higgins Trust, Refugee Outreach and Advice Partnership and LASA. She is currently an advice worker with Sheffield Citizens Advice and Law Centre, and a freelance trainer and writer on welfare rights. For over ten years she has been an author of the Benefits for Migrants Handbook, the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook and the Disability Rights Handbook.

Simon Osborne is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He is content consultant and an author of the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, editor of and contributor to the Welfare Rights Bulletin, author of Winning Your Benefit Appeal and contributor to Legal Action magazine.

Prices and how to book

Price: £260 (£208 for members)

The price includes attendance at two expert workshops, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, conference materials and access to pre-recorded content after the event.

Book your place

Exhibition stands

We will have exhibition spaces at both events. Exhibitors can showcase their work, products and services.

An exhibition package includes:

  • An exhibition table and access to the networking spaces for 2 people
  • One delegate ticket with access to workshops 
  • A profile added to the CPAG website with your organisation information
  • Lunch and refreshments for 2 people 

Price of exhibition package £370 (plus VAT)

To book an exhibition package please email [email protected].


We're excited to announce that this year’s events will be held at two new venues, conveniently located closer to major transportation hubs. This change is aimed at facilitating easier access for all attendees.


Friday 20 September 

Leonardo Royal Hotel London City
8-14 Cooper’s Row
London EC3N 2BQ


Thursday 10 October

thestudio Manchester
The Hive, 51 Lever Street
Manchester M1 1FN