Qualifications and public funding

The role of qualifications in publicly funded further education.


We will only fund students to undertake qualifications through one of our funded offers if we have approved those qualifications for public funding.

In this guide, you will find information about which qualifications we have approved for funding, and how we approve them. This guide covers the qualifications that we fund through:

  • young people’s funding (previously known as Section 96)
  • adult education budget (AEB)
  • advanced learner loans
  • European Social Fund

Contact us

If you are a provider of education and training and you have about funding approval for qualifications, please use the ESFA enquiry form.

If you are an awarding organisation and have any queries on the qualification funding approval process, please email

Qualifications approved for funding

We publish a manual that explains the funding approval principles that we apply when we consider qualifications for funding. We also publish a list of the qualifications that are currently approved for funding.

Qualifications previously approved for funding

These lists show which qualifications we approved for public funding in previous funding years. Some of them may no longer be available for new student starts.

Qualifications with removed funding approval

As part of the review of post 16 qualifications at level 3 and below, the Department for Education intends to remove approval for funding from some qualifications.

English and maths requirements in apprenticeship standards

We fund apprentices to achieve qualifications in English or maths (or both), if those apprentices do not already meet the minimum requirements for English or maths in their apprenticeship. We publish a list of current and prior qualifications accepted as meeting the minimum English and maths requirements for apprenticeships at level 2 and above.

Qualifications attracting high value courses premium

The high value courses premium is 16 to 19 funding to encourage delivery of selected level 3 courses in subjects, which are crucial for the labour market, and which lead to higher wage returns and a more productive economy.

New funded offers

We have published lists of qualifications that we will fund through new funded offers, which may sit alongside our existing offers for young people and adults.

Higher education short courses

The courses in the trial of higher education (HE) short courses.

Published 20 February 2014
Last updated 29 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Level 2 ICT qualifications: removed funding from 1 August 2022' to 'Qualifications with removed funding approval'.

  2. We have added a link to the Level 2 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) user and level 2 functional skills qualifications in ICT with removed funding approval from 1 August 2022.

  3. We have updated information about qualifications with low and no publicly funded enrolments, which will have removed funding approval from 1 August 2022.

  4. We have added information about new funded qualification offers.

  5. Added link to the withdrawal of funding approval from qualifications with no publicly funded enrolments for the funding year 2021 to 2022.

  6. We have added information about another qualification funding approval review opportunity in November 2020.

  7. Added content for COVID-19 support packages.

  8. Refreshed collection page and reorganised webpages.

  9. New page titled Designating qualifications for Advanced Learner Loans added to collection on 10 February 2016.

  10. Editorial changes made to page on 10 February 2016.

  11. New page entitled SFA: qualification reviews added to this collection on 18 February 2015.

  12. Annual review of qualifications guidance added.

  13. First published.