From education to employment

Single Adult Skills Budget – funding available


At NCFE we’re set for the resurgence in a number of very popular qualifications, with positive news on the flexibility of funding through the Single Adult Skills Budget.

The trigger for the renewed funding for 19+ qualifications is the Qualifications and Credit Framework – Revised Confirmation Process, which links to ‘opening up’ more of the QCF for public funding.

This development, from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), is great news for those involved in the delivery of adult training, as certain qualifications are once again eligible for funding until the end of July.

There are a small number of qualifications which have been designated ‘full’ for 2011/12 and this applies to Certificates at Level 3 and Awards at Level 2. These qualifications will therefore be eligible for funding under the Single Adult Skills Budget for the remainder of this funding year. However, as a result of the review of the funding process, these qualifications will no longer be identified as ‘full’ from the beginning of August 2012.

At NCFE we now expect renewed interest in a range of our qualifications, such as the Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of End of Life Care, which hasn’t been fundable for some time. This qualification is designed for anyone over the age of 16 seeking to increase their knowledge of end of life care in a vocational setting. It’s aimed at those working in the healthcare sector whose job role includes caring for those who have a life-limiting illness.

The healthcare industry is one of the largest in the UK –  the NHS alone employs more than 2 million people (7% of the total UK workforce), while a further 1.4m people are employed in the private and social care sectors. Therefore qualifications such as the Certificate in End of Life Care are particularly important to training providers at this time – they equip prospective healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to work in this growing sector.

Other qualifications where we expect an increased take up include the Level 3 Certificate for Working in the Health Sector and the Level 3 Certificate in Employability Skills.

For clarification, from February 2012 the process through which the SFA will confirm qualifications for funding will be based on three simple and high level principles:

  • that provision which the Agency directly funds should be part of a regulated framework

  • that provision should in the main be unit based and credit bearing

  • that provision is appropriate for public funding and not displacing other sources of funding from other public bodies, employers or individuals.

This renewed funding is most welcome and we would encourage our customers to move quickly to ensure they optimise the funding opportunities available to them.

David Grailey is chief executive of NCFE, the training provider

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