Learning credits

The Armed Forces is committed to your lifelong learning, through basic training, training essential for your job and funding personal development training. 

All training aims to enhance your general education and to equip you for eventual life outside the Services.

Whatever extra money you get use it wisely - think about whether you want to put it towards saving for your own home, to buy a car or to invest in your future - see the Managing money section for more information.

Benefits

There are two main learning credit schemes available throughout your career in the Armed Forces. These are provided to support you in gaining educational or vocational qualifications in addition to your Service and trade training see JSP 898. The two schemes are:

There are also further grants available when undergoing resettlement. You can find out all the details of the scheme on the Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services website.  You should speak to your Unit education staff if you are considering further learning and before you commit to any courses or travel. 

Standard Learning Credits scheme

Money fitness tip

Get MoneyFit with learning credits by improving your education as well as your pocket.

  • SLC is a refund scheme. Payments are made after the completion of learning; and you must provide proof of learning
  • Designed for multiple, small-scale learning activities
  • There is an annual allowance which runs from 1 April to 31 March. The allowance can’t be carried forward nor used for courses taken in the previous year
  • You can only claim for 80% of the course fee up to a maximum of £175 per financial year
  • You must complete an application form (MOD Form 1950) before starting a course. This form must be signed by your line manager and education staff
  • You must show that the course/activity will directly benefit the Service (unless it is part of preparing for resettlement)
  • The course/activity must help your development or resettlement (if applicable) and must be within your ability
  • ELC and SLC cannot be used together
  • Service leavers can use their Individual Resettlement Training cost (IRTC) grant with SLC if required  

Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme

  • The ELC scheme provides a single payment in three separate financial years towards the cost of a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 (A level), or its equivalent, or above
  • ELC awards are made at three ‘tiers’:
    • Lower Tier award is £1,000 per year 
    • Aggregated Lower Tier provides a single award of up to £3,000
    • Upper Tier provides a maximum of three awards of up to £2000 per year.
  • You must be a member of the ELC scheme to make a claim
  • You must elect to join the scheme, or elect to opt out of the scheme, in the first 12 months after enlisting. Your eligible service will be counted from the date of enlisting
  • If you opt out of the scheme you may (but not necessarily) be given another opportunity to join the scheme between 8 and 8.5 years after enlisting. If you opt to join the scheme at this point your eligible service will be counted from the 8 year point
  • To make a claim at the Lower Tier, you must have completed four years’ eligible service
  • To make a claim at the Aggregated Lower Tier, you must have completed six or more years’ eligible service
  • To make a claim at the Upper Tier, you must have completed eight or more years' eligible service
  • If you are still serving when you make your claim, you must show that the proposed activity is of direct benefit to the Service and have substantial development value in keeping with your personal development goals and within your ability
  • ELC and SLC cannot be used together
  • Service leavers undergoing resettlement may use their Individual Resettlement Training Cost grant with ELC for an eligible higher level qualification course
  • Only one ELC claim can be made in a particular financial year (1 April – 31 March)
  • You are expected to pay for a minimum of 20% of the course cost. This cost includes VAT but excludes food, accommodation, travel, subsistence and course books or other materials, which are your own responsibility
  • ELC is not a refund scheme. Under no circumstances will MOD refund you if you pay for your learning in advance and ask for a refund
  • You can find full details of how to make a claim on the ELCAS website. 
  • If you are made redundant before you have completed 4 years service, you will not be eligible for ELC funding
  • The award of ELC is tax free when you are in Service; ELC claimed after you have left the Services may be subject to tax – you should seek further advice
  • You can continue to claim ELC up to 10 years after leaving the Armed Forces

Last reviewed: 19/09/2017

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