Skills Funding Agency (SFA) 19+ funding and qualifications

The SFA has been and continues to make extensive reforms on behalf of the Government, to 19+ funding and skills. These reforms include changes to; apprenticeships, the main Adult Learner Responsive budget, now called the Adult Education Budget (AEB), and the Advanced Learner Loans offer. We have included information on each of the areas the SFA funds further down the page, with links to relevant sites to assist you. Apprenticeships are also funded by the SFA, but have their own specialist pages on our website, that you can access here.

For 2016/17 the SFA has produced separate funding rules documents for the various budgets and areas they manage. Each budget area has its own funding rules document, which should be read in conjunction with the Common Funding Rules document. The new SFA Funding Rules library for 2016/17, can be found on the link below, along with current 2015/16 funding rules and further information about reforms and changes to the SFA arrangements.

SFA funding rules

2015/16 SFA Funding Arrangements

Currently for 2015-16, the SFA produced a Simplified Funding Catalogue (SFRC), which lists all qualifications they are funding in the current year. Please check either the LARS on the link below or the SFRC to find out if the qualification you want is funded.

Simplified funding rates catalogue

2016/17 SFA Funding Arrangements

The SFA will not be publishing a Simplified Funding Rates Catalogue for 2016/17, all funded qualifications in a particular funding area, can be found under the ‘category’ search facility in the Additional Filters section at the bottom of the search page on the Learning Aim reference Service (LARS) on the SFA Hub. There is a link on the top right hand side of the Learning Aim Reference Service search page that takes you to a helpful guide on how to search for particular qualifications.

The HUB and LARS


To make it easy for you to find City and Guilds funded qualifications, we have produced a spreadsheet of all our funded qualifications for 2016/17. This spreadsheet can be filtered by sector subject area, level and category of funding. To access this tool, please click on the link below

City and Guilds Funded Qualifications Catalogue – 2016/17 >

Legal entitlement – in 2016-17, learners aged 19-23, who do not yet have a full level 2 or 3 qualification, will be eligible to be funded to gain a qualification at those levels. The SFA has published a list of qualifications, including English and maths, which they are able to fund for this type of learner. These qualification are called Legal Entitlements and can be found on the following webpage with more detailed information about the legal entitlement.

Legal Entitlement

Local Flexibilities 

The 19 to 23 legal entitlement explained above is expected to only be a small part of the delivery of the total Adult Education Budget (AEB). Qualifications at Level 2 (and below), not eligible for the legal entitlement will be eligible for funding through the Local Offer. The Local Offer is expected to be the majority of the delivery of the Adult Education Budget and from 2017-2018, the SFA will begin to devolve these funds down to a local level. When that occurs, providers will work to develop Delivery Outcome Agreements with their Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) or Combined Authorities (whichever body becomes responsible for the devolved funds) for delivery of L2 and below qualifications that meet local priorities for skills needs. The SFA have published information on qualification Eligibility Principles for the Local Flexibility offer and that information can be found on the web-link below.

Qualification Eligibility Principles

Advanced Learning Loans 

For learners that already have a first full Level 2 or level 3, any further learning that isn’t an apprenticeship, at Level 3 and above, will be funded by a FE Adult Advanced Learning Loan.

The following qualifications may be funded by an Advanced Learning Loan;

Certificates at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6

6 Diplomas at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6

6 A-levels (including AS, A2 and full A-levels)

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Access to HE Diplomas

City and Guilds has a dedicated page to support education and training providers and individual learners with more detailed information about Advanced Learning Loans, including a list of our qualifications that are approved for delivery with an FE loan. The link to our specialist pages is below;

City and Guilds advanced learning loans website

The SFA has published a full list of qualifications that are eligible for loans, these can be found on the link below.

FE Advanced Learner Loans

The SFA have also published Funding Rules and provider information about accessing a loan facility specifically for Advanced Learner Loans for 2016/17. That information can be found on the link below.

Advanced Learning Loans Guidance and Funding Information

Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)

The Skills Funding Agency manages the OLASS service to support rehabilitation of offenders via learning and skills. This in turn enables offenders to gain the skills and qualifications they need to get sustainable employment and have a positive role in society. More Information about OLASS, including funding and performance management arrangements can be found on the link below. However, we should point out that the recent Dame Sally Coates report on Offender Learning, means there may be changes to arrangements for OLASS in the future. So please keep watching our site for any news.

OLASS Funding Rules and Guidance


City and Guilds run half day Strategic Funding and Planning CPD Master Classes for groups of providers, to support you with the post 16 reforms. These workshops cover all the funding reforms in depth, including the new apprenticeship arrangements. Upcoming planned workshops can be found on the City and Guilds events pages in the calendar here: City and Guilds CPD Event Workshops

We can also offer the workshops more locally within a region or area, if your organisation is willing to host the event for a local network or group of providers. Hosting organisations receiving two free places at the workshop. Workshops must have a minimum of 12 delegates to be viable.

For more information, please contact Bryony Kingsland -