ELCAS Courses at OriGym Centre of Excellence

How to receive funding if you’re a member or ex-member of the armed forces.

If you’re a current or ex-member of the armed forces looking at how you can transform your career and develop new skills, then you’ve come to the right place.

Did you know that the fitness industry is expanding at a rate never before seen? By applying for Enhanced Learning Credits funding, you could set yourself on track to becoming a fully qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor in a matter of weeks.

But before we get to any of the details, allow me to say congratulations, and thank you for your service! A career in the military is no mean feat, and as such, you’ve already demonstrated a whole host of amazing attributes that are going to place you at an advantage over many others in this industry.

Now, there’s a whole load of information online about courses for forces, grants for veterans, and military resettlement courses, which makes it difficult to know what the best move is in terms of your career once you leave the military.

Obviously, we’re going to be a little bit bias: we think that the fitness industry is a fantastic option for ex-members of the armed forces looking to start a new career. That’s why we are proud of our status as an approved training provider of ELCAS Courses for the Enhanced Learning Credits Administrative Service.

Our enthusiasm is also backed up by the hundreds of ex-military students we have qualified as personal trainers and fitness professionals in the past, and the surging popularity of organisations like British Military Fitness.  

Now, if you’re reading this, I’m going to guess that you’re already pretty interested in the fitness sector as the place where you can thrive in your career…

So, without any further delay, let’s get into some of the finer details of how to apply for ELC funding, and what kind of courses you can complete with such funding.  

What is ELC funding and how does it work?

The Ministry of Defence’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme, or ELC, is designed to help members of the Armed Forces progress into further careers once they have retired from service.

The scheme is available for members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the sum of funding available rises depending on years served. The great thing about the scheme is that it supplies ex-military members with an upfront payment, which they can use to complete nationally-recognised qualifications.

The money is made available for course fees so that you can re-train in your desired sector. All you need to do is check that your course provider is recognised by ELCAS, and make sure they provide nationally recognised qualifications at Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework (England, Northern Ireland and Wales), and Level Six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

To help you get a better understanding of what the Early Learning Credits Scheme is, and what ELCAS Courses comprise of, here are some of the key points you need to know:

  • ELC applications and authorised training providers are overseen by the Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS).
  • To apply for and receive ELC funding, you must first become a Scheme Member by registering with ELCAS. To register, you must approach your local Individual Education and Resettlement Officer (IERO), who will give you access to the ELCAS members page by supplying you with a username and password. If you need the contact details of your local IERO, follow this link.
  • Your ELCAS Course must be provided by an ELCAS authorised provider, who must supply nationally recognised qualifications. You can find a list of all ELCAS authorised providers via this link.
  • ELC Funding comes in the form of a single upfront payment which is intended to cover course fees. The total amount of funding you can receive depends how many years of service you have completed. Each member of the armed forces is entitled to three ELC claims in total (however, in most cases, you can only make one claim per financial year).

If you’re still a little unsure on the details, don’t worry. Funding varies both depending on if you’re a current or ex-member of the armed forces, and the number of years you have served.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know in terms of what you’re entitled to, and the step by step process of how to apply for Enhanced Learning Credits funding.

How do I claim ELC if I’m currently serving in the armed forces?

If you have already followed the above advice, in terms of researching an ELCAS approved training provider and ELCAS course, and registering with your local Individual Education and Resettlement Officer, you’re all set to apply for your ELC funding. 

Current serving members of the armed forces are entitled to two tiers of funding, depending on the number of years served.

The lower tier of funding (below eight years of service) covers claims up to £1,000.

The higher tier of funding (eight years or more) covers up to £2,000 per claim instalment.

In both cases, service is measured from 1st April, 2000, and you are entitled to make three ELC claims in total at a rate of one claim per financial year. That is, if you have served for ten years, you can apply for a total of three, £2,000 grants over a three year period.

It is also crucial to remember that you must submit your claim a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date.

So, with all this in mind, how do you apply for your ELC Funding?

Step One: Contact our enrolment team for course details

 The first thing you need to do is contact your training provider’s enrolment team. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, and as you can see below, stage three of the funding process requires you to submit details of your desired ELCAS course. Therefore, you need to contact the enrolment team in order to ask questions regarding the training provider’s status as an ELCAS Authorised institution, and more generally, about the course itself.

Secondly, asking questions regarding the course allows you to make the decision as to whether it’s a good fit for you. Changing jobs is always a big move, never mind changing industries. Make sure to ask all the questions you need before committing yourself to applying for anything.

At OriGym, you can contact our enrolment team via email at enrol@origym.co.uk, or via phone at 0800 002 9599.

Step Two: Send your fully completed form to ELCAS

Your IERO will be able to provide you with an ELC Form. Once you have completed this form, it is simply a matter of submitting it to ELCAS via the membership login page of the website. 

What is key to remember here is that you don’t submit your ELC Form to your training provider. ELCAS provides your funding, so you need to apply directly to them via their member’s page. 

Step Three: Send a full description of your intended course, including details of your registration date, to ELCAS.  

Having contacted your training provider’s enrolment team in stage one, and submitted a copy of your application to ELCAS, you will be asked to provide details of your intended course. Simply write down what you have learned in terms of qualification name, duration, and level, as well as any additional details requested by ELCAS.

If you have any questions, contact the enrolment team of your training provider and they’ll be happy to help you with your application.  

Step Four: Send your Claim Authorisation Note (CAN) to your chosen learning provider before the course is due to start. 

Once your ELC application has been processed and accepted by ELCAS, and you have received your funding, you will receive a Claim Authorisation Note (CAN). You need to send your Claim Authorisation Note to your training provider, as proof that your course fees have been covered by the Ministry of Defence.  

In the case of OriGym, all you have to do is send your CAN to our enrolment team via email at enrol@origym.co.uk

And you’re done, easy peasy! You’re on your way to becoming a fully qualified personal trainer! 

How do I claim ELC if I’m a service leaver?

Things are a little different if you have already left the armed services. Don’t worry though, you can still claim for ELC to pursue a higher education course, as long as you submit your claim within five years of leaving the service.

As with current members of the armed forces, you can only make one claim per financial year. However, if you have served between 6-8 years, you are eligible to aggregate all three of your claims together, into one total claim.

Aside from this, the application process is much the same. For a more in depth rundown of the application process for ex-military members, see below:

Step One: Contact our enrolment team for course details

The first thing you need to do is contact your training provider’s enrolment team. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, and as you can see below, stage three of the funding process requires you to submit details of your desired course. Therefore, you need to contact the enrolment team in order to ask questions regarding the training provider’s status as an ELCAS Authorised institution, and more generally, about the course.

Secondly, asking questions regarding the course allows you to make the decision as to whether it’s a good fit for you. Changing jobs is always a big move, never mind changing industries. Make sure to ask all the questions you need before committing yourself to applying.

At OriGym, you can contact our enrolment team via email at enrol@origym.co.uk, or via phone at 0800 002 9599.

Step Two: Provide Evidence of your last day of service

Evidence can come in the form of a copy of your discharge document, a copy of your P45 terminating employment, or a document stamped by your regiment with a confirmed leaving date.

RAF personnel can also request a copy of their discharge document from the RAF Disclosures Team.  

Step Three: Provide a copy of a utility bill showing your home address

If you are an ex-service member, you will also be asked to provide a copy of a recent utility bill as proof of your current home address. 

Step Four: Send a full description of your intended ELCAS course, including details of your registration date, to ELCAS.

Having contacted your training provider’s enrolment team in stage one, and submitted a copy of your application to ELCAS, you will be asked to provide details of your intended course. Simply write down what you have learned in terms of qualification name, duration, and level, and contact the enrolment team again if you have any questions you can’t answer.

Step Five: Complete and submit your course evaluation form for all previous ELC funded courses via the Member’s Area.

If you have completed courses funded by ELC in the past, you will be required to complete a course evaluation form, detailing how many funding applications you have previously submitted, and the nature of the courses taken.

Forms can be found on the ELCAS website in the member’s area, and can also be submitted electronically on this section of the website.

The best path to the fitness industry

We’ve talked a lot about ELCAS Courses and Enhanced Learning Credits, but not a lot about the industry we’re in: the fitness industry!

Now, we can’t cover everything in terms of your future career in fitness. However, for a full overview of your future earning potential, and all the career paths available to you as a fitness instructor or personal trainer, check out our ultimate guide to personal trainer salaries.

But how do you get there? What is the best route to becoming a personal trainer?

It’s actually pretty straightforward! Your best route to becoming a personal trainer is by first taking the Level Two Fitness Instructor Course, followed by a Level Three Personal Trainer Course. Every personal trainer in the UK must have these two qualifications, and luckily for you, you can receive ELC funding to study both of these qualifications at OriGym, as we are an ELCAS recognised Institution.   

There is really no better time to train to become a fitness instructor or personal trainer, given the current strength of the industry.

By entering this industry as a personal trainer, you will be guaranteed a varied and flexible working pattern that will suit you. What’s more, the sheer variety of career paths will ensure that you won’t get bored in your new job.

Of course, if you had any lingering questions or doubts, feel free to get in touch with our enrolment team at enrol@origym.co.uk, or over the phone at 0800 002 9599. They will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

All that’s left is to wish you good luck with your new career, and we hope to hear from you soon!