Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme
The MoD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) is an initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces.
The ELC scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. You are reminded that ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e. for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England and Wales), a Level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification.
As such you must ensure that you are able to demonstrate the level of the course to your Education Staff / Single Service Representative when asking them to authorise your claim.
There are several stages to the ELC process. Full information is set out in Joint Service Publications (JSP) 898 Part 4, Chapter 3 – The Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme: The Sponsorship of Service Personnel for Personal Development.
Have a look at the claim procedure flow chart (page 36) to the JSP.
• First you must register to become a Scheme Member and accrue a sufficient amount of service before you can submit a claim
• Then you must select a relevant course ensuring that it meets the higher level learning criteria (level three or above) and an Approved ELC Provider
• Thirdly, you must complete and submit an ELC claim, approved by an authorised Education Staff if you are in service or your Single Service Representative if you are out of service. For further details regarding claiming out of service, ex-service personnel should visit www.enhancedlearningcredits.com/Claiming/Ex-service%20Personnel/
• Finally you must complete your Course Evaluation Form via the website. Please note that further claims cannot be processed until evaluation forms are received for all previous courses (even those still underway).
The Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) provide the administrative support for the ELC Scheme. Education Staff and Single Service Representative are responsible for approval of both ELC Application and Claims.
How to Claim
Before registering for any learning activity serving personnel must get authorisation from their line manager (part four of the claim form) and Education Staff (part five) to ensure that their chosen course meets the MoD requirements for ELC funding.
Ex-Service personnel must get authorisation at part five of the claim form from their Single Service Representative (www.enhancedlearningcredits.com/Claiming/Ex-service%20Personnel). There are several factors to consider:
You must fully research both the Provider that you choose and the course that you wish to study.
TOP TIP: Please note that providers may move on and off the approved list and so it is advisable to check your provider is approved before you undertake any claim.
ELC funding is only available for courses that result in a Nationally Recognised Qualification at level three or above on the National Qualification Framework or level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Just because an organisation is listed as an Approved Provider does not mean that all of their courses are of the required level.
TOP TIP: A list of the references to help with course level research may be found on our useful contacts page under the claiming tab. You must refer to the Joint Service Publications (JSP) 898 Part 4, Chapter 3 – The Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme: The Sponsorship of Service Personnel for Personal Development and your Education Staff for guidance with regard to eligible activities.
You must present your Claim Authorisation Note (CAN) to your chosen Provider before your course start date. If for any reason you do not undertake the course you must submit a request to cancel/reinstate the claim. Failure to do so may result in the loss of Scheme Membership, which will prevent any future claims.
TOP TIP: Keep a copy of your CAN as you will need the reference numbers for completing your evaluation from.
Requests to cancel claims must be authorised by your Educational Officer and then the Single Service Representative and as such you must ensure that you fully research the course and the requirements prior to submitting a claim for ELC funding. Claimants need to be aware of the implications of cancelling or withdrawing from a course of study funded by ELC. Always consult Education Staff before doing either in the first instance, as it can have a serious effect on future ELC eligibility. (See cancellation/reinstatement section).
For all claimants in Service the proposed learning activity must be of benefit to the Service. Applicants are required to demonstrate that their proposed course of study is as a result of careful planning (use Personal Development Records).
You must make a personal contribution of at least 20% towards the total course cost. You will also be responsible for any costs associated with food, accommodation, course books, material, travel and subsistence. Learners are to meet the cost of their minimum 20% personal contribution from their own resources.
BE AWARE: MoD rules strictly forbid the acceptance of inducements or incentives from providers including subsidies, free accommodation, travel and equipment. Learners who breach these rules risk forfeiting their ELC membership.
If you are making a second or third claim you must first ensure that you have completed the Evaluation Form via the website for all previous courses funded using ELC. You must also provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you have completed previous courses to your Education Staff / Single Service Representative.
TOP TIP: MoD and ELCAS rely on accurate completion of evaluation forms to help us assess Learning Provider performance. Please help your fellow claimants to access the best possible learning provision by providing timely and accurate evaluation feedback.
If undertaking courses in quick succession it may be necessary to submit a claim for a second or third course before the previous course has ended. In these cases the Course Evaluation Form can be submitted when you have completed enough study to effectively evaluate the Provider.
If your course is split into modules, list each module you are claiming for. However, for longer courses of study such as degree level, where the academic year is out of synch with the financial year, it is permissible to use one claim for several modules which count towards a continuous and recognised block of study which may extend into or start in the next financial year.
TOP TIP: You must refer to the Joint Service Publications (JSP) 898 Part 4, Chapter 3 – The Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme: The Sponsorship of Service Personnel for Personal Development.
Retrospective ELC claims are not permitted. Claim forms must be received by ELCAS at least 15 clear working days prior to the course start date. You must ensure that you have enough time to receive the Claim Authorisation Note to present to your chosen provider before the course starts. (Please note that for courses with Open University the CAN must be presented to them by the final course registration date). You should not set up a loan/credit agreement for the full cost of the course under any circumstances.
Once eligible to claim you may submit a claim up until ten years after you leave the service. Personnel who are still in Service, and/or in their resettlement phase, should refer to their Education Staff and the guidance on the Claiming ELC only page of the website.
As a service leaver you may be eligible to claim under the Joint Funding Initiative (PF FE/HE Scheme). For full details and to check the eligibility rules please visit the website.
Procedure for Claimants no longer in Service
Please note that the following information must be submitted via post to your Single Service Representative a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date/registration date:
• Fully completed claim form (section 1, 2 and 3) – provided as single-sided pages submitted via post unless residing overseas
• Evidence of your last day of Service which can be one of the following:- copy of your discharge document, copy of P45 terminating employment, document stamped by regiment confirming leaving date
• A copy of your driving licence or passport
• A copy of a utility bill showing your home address
• Full information about the course that you wish to undertake to include details of your registration date where applicable
• A copy of your Acknowledgment of Scheme Membership
• A letter explaining how your chosen course of study will contribute towards personal development
• Completion and submission of course evaluation form for all previous ELC funded courses
• RAF Personnel can request a copy of their discharge document from the RAF Disclosures team at www.raf.mod.uk/links/contacts.cfm
• Army Personnel can request details of discharge dates from the Army Personnel Centre – phone number 0845 6009663
Remember! If you are submitting your second or third claim you must complete your previous claim evaluation form. You can do this online now.
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