AFF is often contacted by spouses and partners with queries about accessing training opportunities, adult education and funding support.

If you are looking for general university advice, including information on application and funding, please visit the University page in our Education & Childcare section.


01   Transferring qualifications

It can be difficult to transfer qualifications between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for some professions. For example, if you qualified as a teacher in England on an employment-based programme, such as the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), you are not considered ‘fully qualified’ by the Scottish system. Also, if you qualified as a teacher in Scotland, you will not be awarded the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which is required to teach in England and Wales.  There are various other examples of where this transfer of qualifications can be difficult.

This SCQF National Qualifications Framework is useful to help you work out what your qualifications would equate to in other Home Nations.

For non-UK families with overseas qualifications, you are able to apply to the UK ENIC for a Statement of Comparability to establish your level of study within the UK system. The UK ENIC is the national agency that is responsible for providing information and expert advice on the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills.

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02   Forces Families Jobs - Training

There is a wide variety of training providers on Forces Families Jobs (FFJ), offering a huge selection of training opportunities available to military families. Many of the courses are free of charge, whilst others offer discounted courses for learners from the military community. These opportunities are available for spouses, partners and adult family members of currently serving military personnel.

In addition, FFJ has information on employment training programmes and apprenticeship opportunities.

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03   Accessing adult education and training

There is a wide range of information and resources if you are looking to access adult education and training opportunities. These include:

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04   Distance learning

Distance learning can provide a great opportunity for you to study. If you would like to understand if being a distance learner is the right option for you, then the Open University’s Open Learn programme has a free course ‘Am I ready to be a distance learner?’ to help you become a successful distance learner.

If you are considering taking a distance learning course why not look at the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council for advice on selecting distance learning courses, and a list of accredited providers.

More information on courses is also available from:

Open University
The Association of Distance Learning Colleges
Open Learn

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05   Funding for adult education and training

There is no funding available from the MOD or the Army for spouses and partners to train in new skills. However, there are some other sources which you can explore.

The Government and some Service and veterans’ organisations offer financial assistance to military families to support a course of study or training. This may include assistance with the added costs and expenses associated with studying.

Good places to start are:

  • Royal British Legion President’s Award Scheme – The RBL Women’s Section   provides education grants and accommodation scholarships to assist those in financial need with costs linked to educational needs. Partners and children of serving military personnel are eligible to apply. Education grants are awarded to those seeking first degrees, to assist with costs linked to course attendance such as course fees, childcare, textbooks, equipment and travel costs. An accommodation scholarship grant is also available to assist the children of serving personnel with the costs of accommodation while studying at university.
  • The Government website provides information on grants and bursaries for adult learners to help pay for courses and training. Usually, you don’t have to pay this money back e.g. NHS bursaries for nurse training.

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