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 UK Qualification Comparison Chart 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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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:

Back to top

04   Distance learning

If you are considering taking a distance learning course why not look at the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council who accredit distance learning providers.

More information on courses is also available from:

Open University
The Association of Distance Learning Colleges

Back to top

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:

  • Employment Support Grant Scheme –This is a British Legion welfare scheme funded by the annual Poppy Appeal. The employment grant is available to military families, specifically those who are unemployed or under-employed.
  • 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 dependents 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.
  • 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.
Back to top

06   AFF working to increase spousal access to training

AFF is concerned that spouses can face barriers when pursuing further education (FE) and training. These barriers include frequent postings, living in remote locations, overseas postings, poor access to childcare, and lack of funding (especially where there is no second income in the family).

We are working to increase spouse access to FE and training because we recognise this will open up more employment opportunities. A second income is crucial for many these days.

We are currently working with the MOD, the Armed Forces Covenant Team, Defence Relationship Management and Service charities to look at opportunities for training for spouses. We have already successfully worked for retention of SFA if spouses are in the middle of further/higher education courses, where they had a reasonable expectation of completing the course before their soldier was posted.

The Armed Forces Covenant has recognised that access to training is very important for spouses. This has resulted in initiatives such as the RBLI’s employability courses becoming nationally available for spouses and also the Supporting the Unsung Hero offering dedicated business start-up courses for serving military families. AFF is aware that more opportunities are being developed and we will update families as soon as they become available.

Back to top

What our families say about AFF

“I truly appreciate the work that you all do.”

“Thank you for all the guidance and support. You have been amazing.”

“Your professionalism in this matter was more than welcoming”

Find out more
8,850enquiries received from Apr 22 to Mar 23
13,000+followers on Facebook
39,000website views in October
9,500+followers on Twitter