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Using learning credits with individual resettlement training costs

Using learning credits with individual resettlement training costs

NEWS

08 Feb, 2017

The MoD has optimised funding for Service leavers so they can use learning credits during resettlement with their individual resettlement training costs (IRTC) grant to pay towards the cost of eligible learning activities.

Introduction

The MoD has optimised funding for Service leavers so they can use learning credits during resettlement with their individual resettlement training costs (IRTC) grant to pay towards the cost of eligible learning activities. The learning activity must meet fully the criteria of either the enhanced learning credit (ELC) or standard learning credit (SLC) schemes. This provides better-targeted public funding where the learning leads to the same outcome – a nationally recognised qualification.

Claiming IRTC with ELC

Claims for both ELC and IRTC to pay towards a single resettlement learning activity should be submitted in accordance with the individual scheme regulations. The 20% minimum personal contribution should be paid on receipt of the claims authorisation note (CAN) from ELCAS, and MoD will be invoiced separately by the learning provider to pay the difference. Someone claiming ELC may then submit a retrospective IRTC claim on completion of the course to claim back the difference up to the maximum IRTC allowance. The Service leaver may continue to apply routinely for pre-payment of IRTC using the current procedure.

Funding combinations during resettlement.

IRTC may be used together with ELC or SLC, but all three cannot be amalgamated. ELC and SLC are designed to fund different learning purposes and cannot be used together. For example, SLC may not be used to fund an exam for a course of study that has been supported by ELC. The MoD monitors providers closely to ensure that costs remain competitive and are not inflated to obtain the maximum funding available.

When using IRTC with ELC or SLC during resettlement, the individual may use the IRTC element to pay for, in part or in full, the 20% minimum personal contribution. This exception will be permitted only under these specific circumstances; otherwise the rules for each scheme remain unchanged. The MoD decided that funding should be optimised to enable Service leavers to undertake valid resettlement activities to help them secure employment. Some element of personal contribution will usually continue, especially for more expensive, higher-level qualifications where the 20% minimum will more than likely be exceeded.

Optimisation of funding for Service leavers

However, the order in which ELC or SLC and IRTC are used can affect the overall net value of the funds to Service leavers. ELC may only be used once for a single educational activity, regardless of whether the cost of the activity is less than the value of the credit, whereas IRTC may be used against multiple learning events if the grant value exceeds the cost of the resettlement activity. Any unspent IRTC may be directed towards another training activity. Because IRTC may be used to finance multiple courses or training while ELC may not, Service leavers should work out how best to optimise the funding support available when undertaking resettlement. For SLC the position is different as more than one claim for smaller-scale learning activities may be submitted in each financial year provided that the credit maximum, currently £175, is not exceeded. Service people should use advice and guidance available from education, learning and resettlement advisers.

Implementation rules and guidance

Rules

In essence:

  • IRTC + ELC = Yes
  • IRTC + SLC = Yes
  • IRTC + ELC + SLC = No

Key points to note

  • IRTC may be used in concert with ELC or SLC to fund a recognised learning activity, in accordance with the SLC and ELC scheme rules.
  • The policy and procedures for submitting an ELC, SLC or IRTC claim have not changed. No new allowance has been created. The funding is not combined into one pot.
  • An SLC or ELC claim should be submitted, with the individual making their minimum 20% personal contribution.
  • An IRTC claim should be submitted either in advance of the allowance or in retrospect, once the learning activity has been completed.
  • These processes are completely separate, in accordance with learning credit and resettlement regulations.

Some additional points

  • IRTC may be used with ELC or SLC to fund a learning activity during resettlement, but in all instances the criteria of the relevant learning credit scheme must be met. The regulations about each learning credit scheme are published annually in Joint Service Publication JSP822 – Defence Direction and Guidance for Training and Education.
  • IRTC may be used to pay for the minimum 20% learning credit personal contribution, either in full or part, where a learning activity meets the criteria for both schemes.
  • The 20% minimum personal contribution using ELC towards the cost of the higher-level learning (level 3 and above only) should be paid up front by the claimant directly to the course provider. Any element of IRTC used to fund the learning can be claimed in advance (up to 80%) or in full or part on course completion.
  • Using IRTC either in full or part, together with ELC or SLC, must comply with learning credit policy. Most notably, if using IRTC with ELC then an ELC approved provider must be used. If using IRTC with SLC, provided that the learning activity is in support of the individual’s approved resettlement strategy, the course undertaken need not result in a nationally recognised qualification.
  • The full course cost for a claimant accessing SLC support should be paid by the claimant direct to the course provider. The difference up to a maximum of £175 after deducting the 20% minimum personal contribution is paid by MoD on course completion. Any element of IRTC used to fund the learning can be claimed in advance (up to 80%) or in full or part on course completion.
  • If using IRTC with SLC, then a Career Transition Partnership (CTP) preferred supplier or any other accredited provider may be used.
  • It remains the individual claimant’s responsibility, with advice and guidance from an education, learning and resettlement adviser, to determine the best way to optimise the funding support available in resettlement to pay for learning leading to a qualification.
  • If, after using IRTC together with ELC or SLC, there is an unused IRTC element, it may be used to pay towards another training activity during resettlement.
  • It is not possible to accrue, or carry forward, any unused element of ELC. The principle remains one use of an ELC in any one financial year.
  • It is possible to make more than one SLC claim in each financial year provided that the maximum credit, currently £175, is not exceeded.
  • Just as it is not possible to use SLC and ELC to pay for the same learning activity (SLC are used to pay towards lower-level learning, while ELC are used to pay towards higher-level learning (level 3 and above)), it is not permitted to combine all three funding streams of IRTC, SLC and ELC towards the cost of a single resettlement activity. The claimant should decide on the most appropriate funding mechanism.
  • It is recommended that claimants should consider using the learning credit to fund the learning to the maximum level for which they are eligible during their resettlement, before using IRTC to pay towards the same activity. This may optimise the funding available where a different and additional learning activity might be considered.
  • Where ELC is being used in conjunction with IRTC and Graduated Resettlement Time, it may be permissible to claim both subsistence and travel in accordance with JSP752. In such cases, the validity of such claims is to be assessed against the criteria laid down in JSP534 (the Tri-Service Resettlement Manual).

Funding examples using IRTC with learning credits

Using IRTC with ELC

Example 1

A Service leaver who qualifies for IRTC and who has accrued the four years’ minimum eligible ELC scheme membership applies for a course costing £1,500. Claimant pays £500 to provider to cover the minimum 20% contribution (£300) required to use ELC and £200 to cover the remaining balance less the maximum ELC available.

 

  Item £ Calculation Notes
A Gross course cost 1,500    
B 20% personal contribution  300 (20% of A) Under ELC rules
C ELC grant (£1,000 maximum) used 1,000   £1,000 maximum paid by the Service
D Outstanding balance 200 A - (B + C)  
E Total personal contribution 500 D + B  
F IRTC grant (£534 maximum) used 500   £500 used
G Remaining IRTC 34 534 - F  

 

The applicant uses £500 of their IRTC towards the cost of the course. They claim back £500 from their IRTC grant, leaving a balance of £34 to contribute towards the cost of any other resettlement training. The £1,000 ELC invoice is processed by ELCAS and the MoD pays the provider directly. Should the applicant wish, they may apply for pre-payment of up to 80% of their IRTC expended, noting that if it is not used it will be reclaimed in the next period.

Example 2

A Service leaver who qualifies for IRTC and who has accrued the four years’ minimum eligible ELC scheme membership applies for a course costing £3,000.

Claimant pays £2,000 to provider to cover the minimum 20% contribution (£600) required to use ELC and £1,400 to cover the remaining balance less the maximum ELC available.

 

  Item £ Calculation Notes
A Gross course cost 3,000    
B 20% personal contribution  600 (20% of A) Under ELC rules
C ELC grant (£1,000 maximum) used 1,000   £1,000 maximum paid by the Service
D Outstanding balance 1,400 A - (B + C  
E Total personal contribution 2,000 D + B  
F IRTC grant (£534 maximum) used 534   £534 used
G Remaining IRTC 0 534 - F  

 

The applicant uses all (£534) of their IRTC towards the cost of the course. They claim back the full £534 from their IRTC grant. The £1,000 ELC invoice is processed by ELCAS and the MoD pays the provider directly. As above, the applicant may apply for pre-payment of up to 80% of their IRTC to reduce the initial outlay.

 

Example 3

A Service leaver who qualifies for IRTC and who has accrued the eight years’ minimum eligible ELC scheme membership applies for a course costing £6,500.

Claimant pays £4,500 to provider to cover the minimum 20% contribution (£1,300) required to use ELC and £3,200 to cover the remaining balance less the maximum ELC available.

 

  Item £ Calculation Notes
A Gross course cost 6,500    
B 20% personal contribution requirement 1,300 (20% of A) Under ELC rules
C ELC grant (£2,000 maximum) used 2,000   £2,000 maximum paid by the Service
D Outstanding balance 3,200 A - (B + C)  
E Total personal contribution 4,500 D + B  
F IRTC grant (£534 maximum) used 534   £534 used
G Remaining IRTC  0 534 - F  

 

The applicant uses all (£534) of their IRTC grant towards the cost of the course. They claim back the full £534 from their IRTC grant. The £2,000 ELC invoice is processed by ELCAS and the MoD pays the provider direct. The applicant may apply for pre-payment of up to 80% of their IRTC to reduce the initial outlay.

 

Using IRTC with SLC

Example 4

A Service leaver who qualifies for IRTC applies for a course costing £1,100 using SLC.

Claimant pays the full balance of £1,100 to the provider as required when using SLC.

 

  Item £ Calculation Notes
A Gross course cost 1,100    
B 20% personal contribution requirement 220 (20% of A) Under ELC rules
C SLC grant (£175 maximum) used 175   £175 maximum paid by the Service
D Outstanding balance 705 A - (B + C)  
E Total personal contribution 925 D + B  
F IRTC grant (£534 maximum) used 534   £534 used
G Remaining IRTC  0 534 - F  

 

The applicant uses all (£534) of their IRTC towards the cost of the course. They claim back the full £534 from their IRTC grant and recovers £175 of SLC on completion. They may apply for pre-payment of up to 80% of IRTC expended to reduce the initial outlay.

Example 5

A Service leaver who qualifies for IRTC applies for a course costing £850 using SLC.

Claimant pays the full balance of £850 to the provider as required when using SLC.

 

  Item £ Calculation Notes
A Gross course cost 850    
B 20% personal contribution requirement 170 (20% of A) Under ELC rules
C SLC grant (£175 maximum) used 175   £175 maximum paid by the Service
D Outstanding balance 505 A - (B + C)  
E Total personal contribution 675 D + B  
F IRTC grant (£534 maximum) used 534   £534 used
G Remaining IRTC  0 534 - F  

 

The applicant uses £445 of their IRTC towards the cost of the course. They claim back £445 from their IRTC grant and recovers £175 of SLC on completion. They may apply for pre-payment of up to 80% of the IRTC expended to reduce the initial outlay.

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