How does ELCAS work?
Working in the armed forces and want to prepare for a career outside the military? Using ELCAS to fund your courses could be the next step. Within this quick guide, we will look at everything you need to know about approved courses, ELCAS funding, and how to get started. Also included are some insights from Dean Plumley, COO of ITonlinelearning who offer a range of ELCAS funded courses which can be partially funded via this scheme.
An Introduction to ELCAS courses
New to the world of ELCAS? Let’s start with the basics. The acronym stands for Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services. ELCAS is a scheme launched by the Ministry of Defence with the aim of helping those leaving the armed forces. The initiative supports these individuals as they move on to new horizons and careers, giving them extra tools.
The armed forces will normally start highlighting the need for you to prepare outside of service a couple of years prior to your leaving, and this is the time when you may be first made aware of ELCAS funding.
Above all else, the ELCAS scheme helps fund educational and vocational courses for these individuals when they are serving in the military or afterwards. The courses that you can undertake through the scheme should equip you with a whole new set of knowledge, skills, and expertise while encouraging lifelong learning. That means that when you decide to leave the armed forces, you will already be highly attractive to employers and as Plumley points out, ‘traits like obedience, leadership, determination and organisational skills can be a big plus for any company looking to recruit’.
What are ELCAS courses?
If you’re interested in learning more about ELCAS funded courses, you’re going to want to know what options are available. The truth of the matter is that there are a wide variety of ELCAS approved courses from which you can choose. Deciding what credits you want to apply for and which courses to take will depend on your future career goals.
Where can you undertake ELCAS courses?
Are you considering an ELCAS funded course? Understanding where you can undertake these courses will play a role in which you choose. Fortunately, enough, many of the core ELCAS approved courses are available via remote learning or online. That means that you can complete them in your spare time and, sometimes, at a pace that suits your needs.
Choosing your ELCAS funded course doesn’t have to be a struggle. The main website has a handy search function you can use to get started. Simply type in the name of a chosen provider or course to see whether they are on the list. Keep in mind that you will need to ensure that a course is approved by the body before you can submit an ELCAS claim.
Who is eligible for ELCAS funding?
Next up, let’s talk about money! ELCAS provides funding to a wealth of military personnel to help them further their skills and boost their employability. Needless to say, to apply you must be a current military personnel or have formerly worked in the armed forces.
To claim ELCAS funding, you will need to register with the scheme online. Before you do that you should get authorisation from your line manager and Education Staff. You will also need to ensure the chosen course meets the MOD requirements for ELCAS funding.
Depending on criteria, funding is usually around £2,000 – £8,000 depending on your term of service.
How do you apply for ELCAS funding?
Ahead of applying for ELCAS funding, you should fully research the course and provider that you have chosen. Note that simply because a course says it is ‘ELCAS approved’ does not mean that you will be entitled to funding for a specific level or credit.
To ensure that you can make a claim on your course, it should be a Nationally Recognised Qualification at level three or above on the National Qualification Framework. Alternatively, it may be level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
Additionally, the course that you undertake should be of benefit to the armed forces. When you are claiming ELCAS funding, you may have to demonstrate how the course will help you as part of your personal development journey.
When you have checked (and double-checked!), you can register on the ELCAS page and submit your claim. You will get a Claim Authorisation Note (CAN), which you should present to your individual provider at the start of your course.
Will employers be keen to hire ex-military personnel?
The answer in short often tends to be a resounding yes! Joining the military highlights to an employer that you are someone who’s willing to push themselves, tackle new challenges, and step out of their comfort zone. This is backed up again by Dean Plumley, from ITonlinelearning, who highlights the immense employability of those who have served.
“Military personnel are used to working in a very structured way to get a task completed which lends its hand perfectly to the project management sector. In addition, ex-military staff are used to a chain of command which makes them very adept at taking on board management positions and leading teams of people. Many ex-military individuals may have already had some training and exposure to IT technical skills and communications which helps fast-track them into Cyber Security roles. This means management certifications through the CMI are a valuable investment in your career.
Indeed, those who have completed ELCAS funded courses are often specifically sought after by those recruiting for positions in many Government departments, particularly where security clearance may be required. They want these personnel with a proven track record and in which their background is a major advantage.”
ELCAS funded courses are an excellent option for military (or ex-military) personnel who want to boost their skills. If you’re ready to take the next step in your education, it’s well worth looking into the courses available to you and researching the funding options. You may want to speak to your line manager about this issue for more information and support.
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