Support the Pursuit of Higher-Level Learning Courses
Many people may have heard of ELCAS – Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services – especially if you have a military back ground.
This system of support was set up to encourage lifelong learning amongst its active members and service leavers from the Armed Forces, such as the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of 3 separate financial years.
The ELC – Enhanced Learning Credits, are used to support the pursuit of higher-level learning courses. Courses undertaken need to be a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales or a Level 6 or above on Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider.
SHEilds course advisors can assist you in devising a learning plan to enable you to access the course you most need to assist you in your future civilian career.
1 – There are several stages to the ELC process. Full information is set out in Joint Service Publications (JSP) 822. This can be downloaded from http://www.enhancedlearningcredits.com
2 – First you must have already been registered to become a Scheme Member and have accrued sufficient amount of service before you can submit a claim. If you are still serving, speak to your local Education Staff as they will be able to check your entitlement for you. If you have left the forces, contact ELCAS as they can make the appropriate checks.
3 – Have a look at Service Personnel Claiming ELC or Service Leaver Claiming ELC respectively as these pages will tell you how to make your claim.
4 -Finally you must complete your Course Evaluation via the Member’s Area. Please note that further claims cannot be processed until the evaluation has been completed.
ELC fuding has 2 tiers. A higher and a lower tier. Each tier has its own set of criteria to be met to access the funds. Current service personnel will be enrolled onto the system through auto enrolment, which will also assist when serving and with the transition from the service. Service personnel and service leavers are eligible to receive up to 3 payments.
A higher tier:
If eligible you may receive up to 3 payments of up to £2000 in 3 separate financial years.
A lower tier:
If eligible you may receive up to 3 payments of up to £1000 in 3 separate financial years or, depending on the individual circumstance, a one-off up-front payment of £3000.
The Claim Process – Service Leaver Personnel
Understanding the claim process in regards to service leaver personnel, it’s important to be aware of the following steps:
Step 1 – Before registering for any learning activity ex-service personnel must get authorisation from your Single Service Representative.
Step 2 – Fully research your Learning Provider and the course you wish to undertake. Be sure the provider is on the ELCAS list of approved providers. This can change with providers moving on and off the list.
Make sure your course is also Level 3 or above on the NQF, or Level 6 or above on the SCQF.
Additionally, keep in mind that just because a Learning Provider is approved it does not mean all their courses are approved.
TOP TIP: The course must be listed as an approved course (on the ELCAS website) for your chosen Learning Provider. You can verify this information by viewing the Service Leaver/Searching for a Learning Provider/Course page.
Step 3 – 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.
Step 4 – You must ensure that you fully research the course and the requirements prior to submitting a claim for ELC funding.
Claimants need also need to be aware of the implications of cancelling or withdrawing from a course of study funded by ELC.
Always consult your Single Service Representative before doing either in the first instance, because it can have a serious effect on future ELC eligibility.
Step 5 – You must make a personal contribution of at least 20% from your own resources towards the total course cost. You will also be responsible for any costs associated with food, accommodation, course books, material, travel and subsistence.
Remember as well, if you are making a second or third claim you must first ensure that you have completed the Evaluation Form via the Member’s Area for all previous ELC funded courses.
You must also provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you have completed previous courses to your Single Service Representative.
If you’re 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 sync 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: Additionally, where it is clear from the outset that a modular course is intended to be completed in one FY, one academic year or one calendar year, only one ELC claim is to be made for the entire course by claimants. Education Staff will not authorise the splitting of this type of modular course to enable more than one ELC claim to be made. For more information please refer to the Joint Service Publications (JSP) 822.
Additionally, keep in mind that retrospective ELC claims are not permitted. Claim forms must be received by your Single Service Representative at least 25 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:
The Claim Process – Claimants no Longer in Service
Understanding the claim process in regards to claimants no longer in service, it’s important to be aware of the specific requirements.
The following information must be submitted with your claim by either post or electronically (Member’s Area) to your Single Service Representative (address details below) a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date/registration date:
1 – Fully completed claim form.
2 – Evidence of your last day of Service which can be one of the following:
– A copy of your discharge document
– A copy of P45 terminating employment
– A document stamped by your regiment confirming leaving date
RAF Personnel can request a copy of their discharge document from the RAF Disclosures team at
3 – A copy of a utility bill showing your home address.
4 – Full information about the course that you wish to undertake and include details of your registration date where applicable.
5 – Completion and submission of course evaluation form for all previous ELC funded courses via the Member’s Area.
You can obtain a Login and Password details from your Single Service representative for the ELCAS Members Area.
The ELCAS website is a must read
The ELCAS website is a must read if you want to access the supporting funds to enhance your future learning and career.
Personally, I have assisted many candidates as a tutor and trainer who have accessed the scheme. I have seen them improve themselves not only with good qualifications, but go on to complete and secure jobs as HSE Consultants, HSE Trainers and HSE NVQ Assessors. I have even seen them set up their own successful Health and Safety Consultancy businesses or embrace working abroad for Internationally recognised companies in Management of Health and Safety departments in many exciting industries.
With the help of ELCAS a SHEilds e-Learning course could set you on the path to a fantastic new career in a meaningful profession. Want to know more about our NEBOSH, IOSH and NVQ courses?
Lead NVQ Assessor