Streamline your application with our list of dos and don’ts
Useful pointers to help you get your claim right-first-time …
- make sure you understand the regulations – refer to JSP 822, which can be downloaded from the ELCAS website
- consult your education/learning staff and line managers to discuss your personal development plan
- plan ahead, leaving at least 25 days between submitting a claim and needing to book a course
- be prepared to provide evidence that the course you would like to do is at least level 3 on the NQF/RQF (or equivalent), and directly benefits the Service (unless your claim is resettlement-related during your last two years of serving)
- ensure the course provider has Approved Provider status by checking it out on the ELCAS website
- ensure the training is delivered by an approved ELC provider if using your Individual Resettlement Training Cost (IRTC) grant along with ELC to fund a nationally recognised qualification at level 3 or above
- consult your education, learning, training and/or resettlement adviser if you aren’t sure of the best way to use funding for your resettlement training
- remember that the scheme operates a strict ‘three hits and you’re out’ policy; if you are eligible and have used the Aggregated Lower Tier award you will not be able to use it again, so think carefully before submitting a claim
- inform your education staff, learning adviser or SSR if your last day in service changes from that originally stated
- complete and return the course evaluation form when you’ve finished your studies; if you don’t, and can’t provide evidence that you completed the course, future claims will be rejected.
- commit any payment contributions to course providers until you have received a Claim Authorisation Note (CAN)
- assume that Approved Provider status means that the entire portfolio of a provider’s courses automatically meets the level 3 requirement
- enrol on a course or commit yourself financially without having first obtained approval from your own Service and a CAN from ELCAS
- enrol on a course with a new provider who is awaiting ‘Approved’ status; wait until this has definitely been achieved – if this takes too long, look on the ELCAS website for an alternative provider.
All of the above advice is summed up in our handy ‘Claims checklist’, below.
Keep your claim on track with our step-by-step guide
- Read JSP 822 – Defence Direction and Guidance for Training and Education.
- Think about what fits your personal development plan and your future.
- Discuss this with your line manager and education/learning staff.
- Get the necessary approval to enrol.
- Go to the ELCAS website and complete the ELC application form online.
- Check the ELCAS database of Approved Providers to see if the course you wish to enrol on is allowable under the rules.
- If you wish to use a provider that is not on the list, ensure they are eligible to participate in the scheme. If they are not on the list, ask them to apply for scheme membership using the information on the ELCAS website
- Do not leave everything until the last minute! Allow time for any new publicly funded providers to be accepted on to the scheme, as the registration process can take several weeks. Once they have been accepted, you can submit an application to study with them.
- Providers are expected to waive any initial registration fee, so don’t pay any of your own money towards the cost of tuition fees – if you do, it will not be refunded.
- You must submit a separate claim form for each year of a course – if you don’t, it could result in support being withdrawn.
- Start learning, and make the most of your life!
ELCAS has produced a useful flow diagram to sum up the claims process. You can find this in the Annex at the end of JSP 822, which can be downloaded from the ELCAS website