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.
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 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
- The course of study must be completed prior to the period of entitlement ending.
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 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, so long as they meet the criteria, ask them to apply for approved provider status
- 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 by accessing your Member's Area.
To access the Member's Area from the link below you MUST obtain a Login and Password from your Single Service Representative. ELCAS are unable to authorise accounts.
Single Service Representatives (SSR)
If you have been unable to find the answer to your query on this website please contact your SSR below providing your service number and discharge date.
Learning Credit Scheme (LCS) Manager
Zone 4, Floor 2
Army Personnel Services Group, Home Command
Monxton Road, Andover
Due to the COVID-19 situation our service is distributed, please allow extra time for processing
The Army helpine is currently closed until further notice. Please email all queries to:
Learning Credits Administrator
Accreditation and Education Wing
HQ 22 Gp
RAF College Cranwell
Personnel can request proof of Service from the RAF Disclosures team by completing the DPA SAR form. ID documents must accompany the completed form.
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.