Can my manager get a student loan to pay for the cost of the Level 5 Registered Manager qualification? | QCS

Can my manager get a student loan to pay for the cost of the Level 5 Registered Manager qualification?

Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott


Dear C,


I have asked Neil Crawford of Access Skills for advice on your question. This is what he said:


Yes. Students loans (Advanced Learner Loan) are available to eligible individual learners who have enrolled on any of the usual higher-level Care diploma programmes such as the Level 3, 4 and the Registered Managers Leadership and Management level 5. The main eligibility criteria are that the learner is a current UK resident having been so for at least 3 years and must be 19 years or older on the first day of the course.  If a Learner enrols on one of these programmes with an approved training provider, then the Student Loans Company (SLC) will pay the tuition fee to the provider in full on behalf of the Learner over the course of the programme. (More information can be found on Loans at


The Government announced in the last budget that once the programme has been completed, the learner will not have to commence repaying any part of this loan until they are earning at least £25,000 per annum (up from £21,000). This will mean for many individuals working in the care sector that they may never reach this level and make repayments. Those that do are only required to repay each year 9% of the difference between £25,000 and what they earn above this i.e. if earning £26,000 the loan repayment per annum would only be £90 per year.


Given the changes to government funded Apprenticeship programmes, employers may now see supporting their employees who only wish to obtain the diploma qualification and who obtain an SLC loan, an attractive option.  The employer could contribute towards the programme fee thus reducing or eliminating the learners future outstanding loan value.  The employer may also make an application for funds for this programme from the Workforce Development Funding managed by Skills for Care on behalf of the Government. Employers could claim back for the Level 5 Diploma up to £1350 which could be used to contribute towards the cost of the fee paid by the learner.

(More information on the Workforce Development Fund can be found at


If the Learner is earning above £25,000, the SLC loan repayment that may commence will not start until the April after the qualification programme has been completed by the Learner. A concern of many employers is that having supported the member of staff to get their qualification they leave once they have obtained it. Incentivising staff to remain longer by linking the employer contribution they will make to them remaining in post for an agreed period afterwards is therefore attractive.


It is important to note that if the employee were alternatively undertaking the qualification as part of a government Apprenticeship, then it is against the rules to require an employee to pay at any time towards the fee cost of the programme.


In summary the Advanced Learner Loan supported programmes such as the Registered Manager qualification, now represents an attractive partnership opportunity benefiting both the learner and their employer. Approved providers such as Access Skills Ltd should be contacted if you require more information on this. (


I hope this helps. If not, please come back to us.

Best wishes.



About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector. 3. Read more

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