Publicly Funded Further Education/Higher Education (PF FE/HE)
The Publicly Funded Further Education/Higher Education 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.
If a Service Personnel has obtained 120 credits this would result in a Higher Education qualification and makes them not applicable for this scheme. The MOD and the relevant national education authority in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland pay for the tuition fees in full rather than the individual making a contribution towards the cost.
Before making an application Service Leavers are advised to first check the national position on existing support with the relevant national education authority (e.g. in England BIS or SFA). There may already be existing ‘free’ provision by another route e.g. those aged 25 years or under are already entitled to a first level 3 in England; free entitlement for all who fulfil the residency requirements on degree/HND level courses in Scotland; Welsh residents also attract some support for FE and HE provision. It makes sense for SL to explore alternative routes before considering support and access through the ELC ‘top up’ scheme but there are safety measures in place to prevent any possibility of double funding.
Claimants please note: You are required to submit a claim for each academic year of the course. Only one year of study should be entered onto each claim form.
In order to take advantage of the support claimants must:
- Must have previously joined the Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) scheme and have completed six years eligible service (or four years qualifying service prior to the 1st April 2017).
- Only apply for a first eligible FE/HE qualification at the level for which they are academically qualified to enter learning on leaving the Service
- Have not already obtained 120 credits
- Have left the Service or entered their qualifying resettlement phase on or after 17 July 2008
- Meet UK’s residency requirements to qualify for full state subsidy
- Be undertaking at least the equivalent of 25% of a full time course
- Undertake learning with an approved provider listed on the ELCAS website as a PF FEHE provider and ensure the chosen course is designated for student support
This commitment will provide access, free from tuition fees, for your:
First Level three or national equivalent. This refers to a first full Level three i.e. the achievement of two GCE A levels (A2) (passes at A-E) or vocational equivalent as defined by the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) (England, Northern Ireland and Wales); or in Scotland a Level six qualification (SVQ Level three on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).
Or a first foundation degree or first full undergraduate degree or national equivalent. Typically to be eligible for this support, the higher education qualifications would be at levels four-six of the Framework for Higher Education and Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) eg: a first undergraduate degree (including foundation degree) or Higher National Certificate or Diploma for which the entry qualification is lower than a degree and which normally takes place at a publicly funded institution.
In Scotland the equivalent qualification is a Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or a first undergraduate degree, undertaken at a further education college (FE college) or a higher education institution (HEI).
Please ensure you read this document before submitting a claim to your Single Service Representative.
- Firstly read the Joint Service Publication (JSP) 822 and ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.
- Complete the PF FE/HE claim form (paper/electronic) and submit it to your Single Service Representative a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date/registration date.
- Check the ELCAS website of approved PF FE/HE providers – Publicly Funded FE/HE providers for the purpose of this support will be highlighted and ensure the chosen course is designated for student support.
- Provide 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 (see notes below).
- Provide a copy of a utility bill showing your home address.
- Submit full information about the course that you wish to undertake and include details of your registration date where applicable.
- If wishing to use a new provider ensure they will be eligible to participate in this scheme (they must deliver Publicly Funded FE/HE) and ask them to apply for approved provider status as per the information on the Learning Provider/Responsibilities page of the ELC website.
- As with the current ELC scheme – try not to leave everything to the last minute. Allow time for any new providers to be accepted onto the scheme. This can be a lengthy process. Once accepted you can submit your application.
- Remember! If you are submitting your second or third claim, you must complete your previous claim evaluation form online via accessing your Member's Area.
To access your Member's Area from the link below you must obtain Login and Password details from your Single Service Representative. Before accessing your Member's Area for the first time please ensure you have read the Member's Area How To Guide.
If you have any questions with regards to the above, then please discuss with your Single Service Representative.
Submit all necessary documentation to your Single Service Representative (address details below).
RAF Personnel can request a copy of their discharge document from the RAF Disclosures team at www.raf.mod.uk/links/contacts.cfm
Personnel can request details of discharge dates from the Army Personnel Centre – phone number 0845 6009663.
Single Service Representatives
Service Representative (SSR) if you have been unable to find the answer to your query on the website and the FAQs page, contact;
Learning Credit Scheme (LCS) Manager
Zone 4, Floor 2
Army Personnel Services Group, Home Command
Monxton Road, Andover
Tel: 01264 381580
The Army ELC helpline is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 0930-1230, excluding bank holidays.
Learning Credits Administrator
Accreditation and Education Wing
RAF Central Training School
HQ 22 TrgGp
RAF College Cranwell
Tel: 01400 268 183
Personnel should only contact their Single Service Representative (SSR) if they have been unable to find the answer to their query on the website and the FAQs page.