Figures obtained by Forces Compare show that 90% of Armed Forces personnel are not making use of their annual education grants available.
Standard Learning Credits (SLC) is one of the many education schemes available to service personnel – they are eligible to receive an annual £175 grant to be used for their personal education and development.
Personnel that have spoken with Forces Compare say that they are either not fully aware of the funding available, or they are being actively discouraged in using the Ministry of Defence backed scheme, because military commanders are struggling to meet their manning requirements and unable to release personnel to attend education or personal development courses.
Everything we do at Forces Compare is to provide our military community with knowledge of great offers available to you and for you to get the most out of your time in uniform, whilst saving you money.
How Do I Claim Standard Learning Credits?
Before signing up to any course or education, speak with your local garrison or station education centre and request the SLC form to be completed.
Your education officer will be required to sign your form and your line manager will also need to sign it, to allow you the time to complete the training or course – Evidence shows this is the reason so many are missing out.
The chain of command undoubtedly has a tough decision in balancing personnel available to cover duties and allowing subordinates time off to complete the course. However, you are entitled to this annual grant, so make use of it.
How Much Do I Pay for Standard Learning Credits?
You are able to claim up to 80% of the course costs, including any examination costs or resources needed to complete the training. Up to a maximum of £175. You must pay the other 20% of the course costs.
The only caveat is you must pay the course costs up front (keep receipts). Once you have completed the course and received your end of course report or certificate, you will then be paid the money back direct to your wages.
If the course is more than £175, you can still attend the course, it just means you will pay the difference.
When Can I Claim Standard Learning Credits?
Funding resets annually on 1st April. So, it is possible to complete a course before March 31st, then complete another course in April, May, or anytime thereafter.
What SLC Courses Can I Do?
Within reason, there are no limits on what course you can choose, although you must be able to justify to your education officer, that the course you want to do is for personal development and will ‘benefit the service’.
The Ministry of Defence says:
“The Standard Learning Credits (SLC) Scheme provides financial support throughout your career to enhance your educational and vocational achievements in service.
“It allows for multiple, small-scale learning purposes and courses that have been approved by your Line Manager and Education Staff/Education Centre.”
Why Bother Using SLC?
Put simply; one day you will be a civilian again, and any civilian recognised qualifications you can obtain whilst you are still serving will be invaluable once you have left service.