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AIM Awards response to the Adult Education Budget Funding Guidance

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has published eligibility principles for qualifications it will and won’t fund under the Adult Education Budget (AEB). Here is an overview of what the AEB is and how the changes should increase the number of AIM Awards qualifications which will be eligible for adult funding in the next academic year.

The AEB is the SFAs budget that covers funding for all qualifications that do not fall into the advanced learning, Apprenticeships, European Social Fund, and Legal Entitlement categories. Its principal purpose is to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

In order for an adult to be funded to undertake a qualification by the SFA, in accordance with the funding rules, the qualification must appear on the Hub. The eligibility criteria are a relaxation on the previous rules in place. Going forwards in order to be eligible a qualification must:

  • Be on the Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework
  • Be proposed to be made available for public funding by the awarding organisation
  • Not be a licence to practice qualification or form part of an employer’s statutory requirements
  • Be linked to the Personal Learning Record by the awarding organisation
  • Not link to UK visa requirements (e.g. ESOL International)
  • Not link to a particular employer or commercial system
  • Cover appropriate content

The new rules are far simpler and many of AIM Awards qualifications fulfil all of the criteria, which means we should see more of them eligible for funding shortly. We will update our stakeholders with information on this as and when it becomes available.

The SFA have also published an outline of the unit funding for the 16/17 academic year, all units that are part of a funded qualification will be available for unit funding as long as they are from Entry Level to Level 2 and not linked to an employer’s statutory responsibility or licence to practice.

In response to the new AEB funding rules and the RQF guidelines AIM Awards will be launching our new look qualifications for the 16/17 academic year.

Our qualifications will take on a fresh new look with a modern branding and will be focused towards making our qualifications easier to recognise and understand.

Lookout for the launch at our Academic Conference in July.

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