Providing you meet the eligibility criteria, Serving personnel and Service leavers, can claim assistance with higher level learning. This includes GCSE, A-level and above in up to three separate financial years. Information on accessing Early Learning Credits is something we get asked a lot about at SaluteMyJob so here we have answered some common FAQs and signposted you to the experts.
1. WHAT IS THE ENHANCED LEARNING CREDIT SCHEME?
The MoD’s Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELC) provides funding support to Armed Forces Personnel looking to enhance their education, academic, professional or vocational achievements.
2. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ELC AWARDS? AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE ENHANCED LEARNING CREDIT SCHEME?
There are three types of ELC awards available and the eligibility for each are:
The Lower Tier level provides funding for up to a maximum of three awards of up to £1,000 per financial year. Service personnel must have completed either four or more years’ qualifying Service before April 1st, 2017, or six or more years’ Service on or after April 1st, 2017.
Aggregated Lower Tier award provides a single award of up to £3,000.This award was made available from April 1st, 2016 for Service personnel who have completed six or more years’ qualifying Service on or after April 1st, 2016. This type of award can not be taken by Service personnel or Service leavers who previously accessed a Lower Tier award - or who qualify for Higher Tier awards.
The Higher Tier level provides funding for up to a maximum of three awards of up to £2,000 per financial year. Service personnel must have completed eight or more years’ qualifying Service.
3. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOWER AND HIGHER TIER?
For lower tier, the funding can be used to cover 80% of the cost of a level three or above course up to the maximum of £1,000. With higher tier, funding is up to £2,000 per ELC claim.
4. WHAT EXAMPLES OF LEVEL 3 QUALIFICATIONS ARE THERE?
5. HOW DO I CHOOSE AN ELC TRAINING COURSE?
All training courses must be from an ELC approved provider. You can search for a learning provider here. To make an ELC claim, you must have an account set up with ELCAS.
If you are still deciding what career you want to pursue in order to choose the right training courses, read our ‘How to Pick a Career after the Military’ guide to help you make your decision.
6. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE MY ENHANCED LEARNING CREDITS?
You can submit your final claim before the 10th anniversary of your last day of Service if you left before the 16th April, 2016. If you left on or after the 16th April, 2016 then you only have five years from your last day of Service to submit your final claim.
7. WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO IF I WAS MEDICALLY DISCHARGED?
If you were medically discharged, we advise you get in touch with your Single Service Representative (SSR) who will be able to answer your queries.
8. WHAT IS THE PUBLICLY FUNDED FURTHER EDUCATION/HIGHER EDUCATION SCHEME?
This scheme provides Service leavers and Service personnel in their qualifying resettlement phase with access to a first full Level three (GCE-A-level or vocational equivalent), or a first higher education qualification (a foundation degree or a first undergraduate degree or equivalent) free from tuition fees. Find out more here.
9. WHO CAN ADVISE ME FURTHER ON LEARNING CREDITS?
If you are still serving, speak to your local education staff, if you are no longer serving or medically discharged, speak directly to your Single Service Representative.