Guidance

Advanced learner loans: an overview

Information for colleges, training organisations and employers about advanced learner loans.

Overview

Advanced learner loans are available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake approved qualifications at levels 3 to level 6, at an approved provider in England. Advanced learner loans give individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England.

The availability of loans at level 3 for 19 to 23 year olds does not replace an individual’s legal entitlement for full funding for a first full level 3 qualification.

Advanced learner loans are paid directly to the college or training organisation on behalf of an individual.

They are not means tested or subject to credit checks and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status.

To become an approved provider, colleges and training organisations must be approved on the Register of Training Organisations and in receipt of an advanced learner loans facility agreement with the Skills Funding Agency.

Advanced learner loans facility agreements are only issued following formal selection processes. The Education and Skills Funding Agency uses its weekly Update newsletter to advertise new opportunities for providers to express an interest in having a loan facility, as and when such opportunities arise.

The availability of loans at level 3 for 19 to 23 year olds does not replace an individual’s legal entitlement for full funding for a first full level 3 qualification.

Advanced learner loans: changes to subcontracting and growth request process (PDF, 36.3KB, 3 pages) - this note provides important information and changes concerning the following 3 aspects of the advanced learner loans programme:

  • removal of subcontracted loans delivery for 2017 to 2018
  • growth requests
  • recording loans learners on the ILR

Advanced learner loans: provider toolkit

The training provider toolkit is for colleges and other training organisations that currently provide education and training through advanced learner loans, or who wish to do so in the future. It enables you to access those sections that are most relevant to you and covers a range of loans-specific areas, including operational delivery requirements.

Further help and guidance

For operational and policy information for colleges, training organisations and employers for advanced learner loans, please refer to:

if you want to apply for a loan or find out what it means for you, see our quick guide on advanced learner loans.

If you have a complaint

For details on how to complain about the delivery of education and training funded by a loan please refer to the ESFA’s published complaints procedure.

Published 28 August 2015
Last updated 1 August 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated the eligibility criteria. Advanced learner loans are now available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake approved qualifications at Levels 3 to Level 6, at an approved provider in England.
  2. Added information about the updated eligibility criteria for loans for courses starting from 1 August 2016.
  3. Information added about registration for: Policy Expansion Seminars - Advanced Learner Loans 2016.
  4. Updated with name change.
  5. We have published a Provider Support Pack that covers a range of loans-specific areas, including operational delivery requirements.
  6. First published.