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Starting Your Own Training Company offering Government funded courses.

This page is applicable to you if you are considering Starting Your Own Training Company offering Government funded courses.

Before we can go any further we have already made four assumptions about you. 

Assumption One

You understand how the mechanics of running your own business work. It would be wrong for us to offer you advice on the best type of company structure for your accredited training company or your legal responsibilities. If you do need advice in this area is a good place to start.

Assumption Two

You already have experience of being a trainer and want to take the next step of starting your own training company. Again if this is not the case take a look at Assessor Training for help and advice. Training is a very diverse industry that can cover many different skills.

Assumption Three

You have already considered all the logistics and practicalities of starting your own training company. There is a lot of different things to consider. If you are unsure may we suggest you take a read of our page about bespoke training because you will find a lot of useful advice there.

Assumption Four

You are already accredited to offer the courses that you would like to be funded by the government. It that is not the case please refer to Starting Your Own Accredited Training Company for advice on this.

Funded Courses

Funded Courses

“Training companies have to be on the register before they can access ESFA funding.”

What exactly are

Government Funded Courses?

Government funded course are any courses that are paid for entirely or in part by the government. The funding itself is actually managed by The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) which is an executive agency of the government. 

The ESFA funds a variety of standalone courses and apprenticeships. This can be in the form of a direct payment from the ESFA via a contract or through an Advanced Learner Loans Facility with course fees being paid by The Student Loans Company.

Suffice to say the ESFA does not go around handing money out to everybody who asks. Funding is applied for via a tendering process but before you can tender the training providers has to be on their approved list.

What will I need to be able to offer

Government Funded Courses

What a training company needs to offer courses funded by the government varies depending on what type of training you are offering and how you would like it to be funded.

Check out the funding models below for more advice on each type and the suitability to your training company.

There are three main ways the

Government Funds Courses

If all this is a little confusing don’t worry we are here to help 

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loans provide funding to help people aged 19 and over cover the cost of undertaking regulated qualifications at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. The funding is paid directly to you by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

Adult Education Budget

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) is the main source of funding for all adult education outside of apprenticeships.  It is described by The Department of Education (DfE) as the “means of engaging and providing adults with the opportunity, skills and learning needed to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning”. It is a significant pot of money valued at around £1.5bn each year.

The AEB has four main strands that it funds:

Training for the unemployed

This strand is aimed at helping get unemployed people back into education or employment.


Traineeships are a mixture of training and work experience. They are designed to get people “Job-ready”. Often they are used as a route into an apprenticeship and normally include English and Maths tuition.

Community learning

Community learning is for those who, for whatever reason, are considered to be a significant distance away from being able to secure employment or training. The funding can be used for a mix of accredited and non-accredited training. 

Statutory entitlements

The AEB is also used to fund a learner’s statutory entitlements. These are;

  • English and Maths Functional Skills up to Level 2,
  • support for those aged 19-23 to achieve a Level 2 qualification, 
  • for those aged 19-23 the opportunity to gain their  first Level 3 qualification 



Apprenticeships are the current big push in government funded training. There are three types of apprentice training providers

Main provider

This is for training providers who will directly deliver apprenticeship training for employers and hold there own contract with the ESFA.

Employer provider 

This is for employers who will directly deliver training to their own employees or those of connected companies only.

Supporting provider 

This is when apprentices are delivered as a subcontractor to main providers.

If you are starting your own training company offering Government funded courses Main provider or Supporting provider are the routes for you to follow.

There are a few prerequisites to applying to be a main provider they are;

  • you must have been trading for at least 12 months 
  • you must be able to train apprentices in the first 12 months of being approved
  • you must have sufficient appropriately qualified and experienced members of staff.

and for support providers

  • you must have been trading for at least 3 months 
  • your subcontract will be limited to £100,000 in your first years and £500,000 thereafter.

In order to be considered to offer apprenticeships, you need to be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).  This register is currently not open to new applications. Hopefully, it should be later this year. However, if you are thinking of applying you must have a valid UK provider reference number (UKPRN) and also a valid Information Commissioner’s Office registration number for education and training in place first.

Serious about setting up?

Speak to an industry expert to find out how you can get from where you are now, to where you want to be – with our Initial Consultation Service.