Q: Is it really free?

A: Yes! The UK Government receives money from the European Social Fund (ESF) and Adult Education Budget (AEB) to be put towards upskilling the UK's workforce. The training provider is able to recover a sum of money from the ESF for every learner that completes a qualifying course, making it absolutely free to the learner and their organisation/employer.

Q: What's the eligibility criteria?

A: To be eligible to complete a course fully-funded, the learner must:

- Be a resident of England (with a home postcode in England).

- Not currently be enrolled on an apprenticeship programme.

- Be 19 years of age or older.

- Have been in the UK for at least the last 3 years for purposes other than study.

- Already hold at least 1 other qualification at level 2 (GCSE) or above (there is no upper limit on other qualifications held).

- Not have completed the exact course before.

In addition to the above criteria, funding is not always available in every region of England. Please use our Funding Eligibility Check tool to check if funding is available in your area:

Funding Eligibility Check Tool

Funding availability is subject to change on a regular basis. If there's currently no funding available in your region, keep checking back or fill in the Funding Notification Request form. If there is currently funding available in your region, we recommend enrolling onto your course ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Q: Does my manager or employer have to sign off on me doing a course?

A: No. A learner does not need to be affiliated with any organisation or employer to enrol onto a course - you can enrol and complete a course as an individual. You don't even need to be working to enrol onto a course.

Q: Are the courses all online?

A: Yes, the courses are flexible learning programmes and are completed 100% online. There is no classroom time or scheduled learning involved; the course is completed at your own convenience on a bespoke learning portal to which you'll receive login details when you enrol.

Q: Do I get any support during the course?

A: Yes, you'll be assigned a Tutor who will be a subject matter expert on your chosen field of study. They'll get in touch with you shortly after you've enrolled and will be available on the 'phone and via e-mail throughout the programme. They will also be the person that marks your assessments and provides you with feedback.

Q: How do I enrol?

A: As an individual learner: enrolling onto a course is as easy as filling in an online enrolment form, simply follow this link to the training provider's website and go from there. There's a live chat service if you need any assistance whilst enrolling.

As a group of learners: If you're co-ordinating training for your organisation or a group of learners, we can arrange an induction webinar for you and your team. This will involve an Inductor from Learning Curve Group taking you all though the process at the same time. This is a good way of co-ordinating a group of learners who have been mandated to complete a course(s) or simply to make the process more efficient. It's also an opportunity for learners to interact with a Learning Curve Group representative and ask any questions they may have.

Q: What level of qualification are the courses?

A: Level 2.

Q: Are the courses accredited?

A: Yes. The courses are nationally-recognised qualifications accredited by NCFE who are regulated by OfQual. You'll receive a certificate in the post shortly after you have competed a course.

Q: How long does it take to complete a course?

A: Between 8 and 15 hours in total including all study time and assessments. This does depend on the learner. From the date of enrolment, you will have access to the learning materials, assessments and your Tutor for 6 weeks. So by starting a course, you're committing to between 8 and 15 hours of work completed at your convenience over the course of 6 weeks. That's about 2 hours per week.

Q: How many courses can I do?

A: You can complete 5 courses per academic year. You can, however, only be enrolled on 1 course at a time so you must complete a course before moving onto the next.

Q: How are the courses assessed?

A: From enrolment to completion, the courses are 100% online. Assessments are in the form of short questions linked to the learning materials. You'll be asked a series of questions about what you've read and you'll type your responses into answer boxes on the screen. You can save your progress and return to the training at any time, spending as little or as much time as you wish working on your course each session. Your assessments are submitted electronically to your Tutor through the learning portal.

Q: Who is the training provider for these courses?

A: Learning Curve Group is the training provider which administers the funded courses offered by Mallard Outsourcing.

Q: Is there a penalty if I don't complete the course?

A: Yes. The training provider asks you to agree to a £125 penalty if you sign up for a course, start it and don't complete it without getting in touch with them to provide a reason. Mitigating circumstances will be considered. There is tremendous flexibility when it comes to granting extensions and offering full support and the courses have a 98.5% completion rate. It's in the training provider's interests to do everything within their power to help you achieve your qualification. Why is there a penalty? The training provider incurs costs to deliver the course to you (LMS, Tutor, learning materials etc) but can't recover any money from the funding providers if you don't complete it. Therefore, if you start a course and don't complete it, the training provider will lose money. The penalty they ask you to agree to contributes to the recovery of this money.