At ABC Awards we aim to ensure that the majority of our regulated qualifications are eligible for funding to support you in offering great value learning programmes for learners of all ages.

We are grateful for our partners, stakeholders and Centres support in providing letters confirming recognition for our qualifications, as part of the funding applications. With your continuing support, and the support of the employers you work with, we can continue to ensure that your provision and our qualifications attract the funding needed to support your learners.

There are different types of funding which are available to Centres and their learners depending on age, employment status and the type of qualification or programmes to be studied. Types of funding include:

  • Education funding (16 to 19)
  • Adult education funding (19+)
  • Apprenticeships
  • Advanced Learner Loans
  • Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)

More information is available about each of these types of funding below.

Education Funding Agency

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) provides annual funding allocations to schools, colleges and other providers specifically for the provision of 16 to 19 education (and up to the age of 25 for learners who have a disability). A national funding formula is used to calculate an allocation of funding to each institution each year. The EFA funding allocation includes providing funding for Study Programmes.

You can find out more via the link below:

Skills Funding Agency

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) provides funding outside of the EFA remit. The SFA continues to review all qualifications it funds, to ensure that all publicly-funded qualifications meet government’s expectations, including minimum size, take-up of learners, recognition by employers and a clearly written purpose.

The process for approving qualifications for funding therefore ensures they are regulated by Ofqual and the QAA, have high demand from employers and individuals, and enable learners to enter employment or support their journey towards employment.

Organisations who have a funding agreement with the SFA can access services on The Hub and use it to search for learning aims, units, frameworks and funding details to support the submission of Individualised Learning Records (ILR).

Further information can be found via the links below:

Adult Education Budget

The new Adult Education Budget (AEB), which replaced the Adult Skills Budget, is administered by the SFA and combines two streams of funding: Local Flexibility and Legal Entitlements.

These funds are available for colleges, training providers and employers to support learners in studying qualifications at the age of 19 and over in England and Northern Ireland.

Legal Entitlements

Legal Entitlements are eligible for learners aged 19 and over and allow learners to complete their first full Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications fully-funded.

Learners aged 19 to 23 can complete their first Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification full-funded through a Legal Entitlement. In addition, learners aged 19 and over are able to study and English or maths qualification up to and including Level 2 fully-funded.

The SFA determines which qualifications are eligible for funding through Legal Entitlements. However, if there is a suitable, appropriately-sized qualification not currently eligible for funding through Legal Entitlement you can assist ABC Awards in attaining funding by providing a letter of support highlighting the level of demand and how it addresses a particular local need.

Local Flexibility

Local Flexibility funding is allocated to programmes of study from Entry Level to Level 2 for learners aged 19 and over based on regional skills priorities. The amount of funding available will be decided by the SFA.

Local Flexibility has been introduced to recognise that local areas, colleges and training providers are best placed to decide on the most appropriate type of training to respond to local needs, which may or may not include qualifications.

Through Local Flexibility you can deliver:

  • Bespoke, locally designed or tailored training provision (for example, employability skills and confidence-building)
  • Eligible qualifications or their units from the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF), which accounts for all qualifications regulated by Ofqual

At ABC Awards we have a wide offer for Local Flexibility funding from across the majority of key industries we support.

In order to deliver eligible qualifications under Local Flexibility funding, colleges and training providers need to ensure that the qualifications are eligible for local delivery. To find out what is eligible in your region, talk to your Local Enterprise Partnership or Local Authority before you commence your curriculum planning.

More information is available via the links below:

Community Learning

Under the new changes to the Adult Education Budget, colleges and training providers may use part of their AEB allocation to continue to deliver existing community learning activity. Community learning will eventually become fully integrated within the AEB.


ABC Awards can support you in providing funded apprenticeships from a range of industries including procurement, engineering, fashion, land-based and environmental, motor vehicle, retail and youth work.

Further information can be found via the links below:

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loans are now available for learners aged 19 and over and for qualifications from Level 3 to Level 6. Similar to university loans, learners taking out an Advanced Learner Loan will begin repaying their loan once they have completed their qualification and are earning more than £21,000 per annum.

Learners cannot apply for these loans without the support of their college or training provider, who will need to complete a learning and funding information letter to support the learner’s application. More information about these loans and how to use them is available here.

Don’t forget that your learners may be eligible for full funding for a Level 3 qualification through Legal Entitlement, so check this route first before they consider applying for a loan.

There are a range of ABC Awards qualifications at Level 3 and Level 4 eligible for Advanced Learner Loans. To see the full list, please click here.

More information about Advanced Learner Loans can be found via the links below:


The SFA manages the Offender’s Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) which allows offenders in custody to receive education and training.

ABC Awards has a number of qualifications which can be funded by OLASS, including counselling, fashion, languages, motor vehicle studies, youth work, and Foundation Diplomas in art and design.

More information is available via the link below:


The Qualifications in Wales (QiW) online system contains details of all the qualifications which are approved for teaching in Wales for learners aged under 19, excluding higher education.

More than 150 ABC Awards qualifications from across our 16 industry sectors are available for delivery in Wales.

In order for qualifications to appear on QiW and qualify for funding, Centres are now required to submit a letter of demand to support the relevant awarding organisation. If you are a Centre in Wales and an ABC Awards qualification you are currently delivering or would like to deliver is not appearing on the QiW, please get in touch find out how you can write a letter of demand to ensure funding becomes available.

Funding Guidance

We understand how complex funding in the UK can be for our Centres. The challenges of reduced funding means colleges, training providers and employers need to explore different and flexible ways of learning and we can help you in trying to find a solution if you become stuck.

If you have any queries relating to ABC Awards funded qualifications please contact Cathryn Atkinson, Funding and Research Manager, by emailing or by calling 0115 854 1620.

Please note: We will do our best to support you but ultimately it is each Centre’s responsibility to ensure that the qualifications it wishes to offer are approved for funding for the age group of its learners.

Funding information given by ABC Awards is correct at the time of issue and is offered in good faith. No liability is accepted for decisions made on the basis of information given. Please see the websites of the relevant government and funding agencies for the official funding guidance.