Looking for funding for leadership and management qualifications? We’ve outlined the main funding routes open to organisations in England

Gardening leader

Please note that this funding information is correct at the time of writing, and it is the responsibility of the provider to ensure eligibility of funding for their learners. ILM / CGLI does not accept any responsibility for errors made in determining eligibility or rates of funding. We strongly recommend that providers speak to the relevant funding agency to confirm eligibility and rates.

These funding rules apply to England only. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have different funding rules and providers operating in these nations should consult with the appropriate authority to confirm funding rules.

Apprenticeships Funding

Apprenticeships are changing. SASE frameworks and the new Trailblazer Standards are currently both running and eligible for funding. Funding levels vary depending on which apprenticeships you choose to deliver.

SASE Frameworks

Providers on the Register of Training Organisations (RoTO) can draw funding from the ESFA, dependant on the age of the apprentice, the programme type and the size and location of the employer. Appearing on RoTO is not sufficient on its own to draw down apprenticeship funding: providers will be invited to tender for apprenticeship contracts from the SFA. Please contact the ESFA for more information on how to do this.

Apprenticeships of a minimum one year duration are eligible for funding from the ESFA on a sliding scale based on the apprentice’s age when they start the apprenticeship programme;

  • 16-18 years – fully funded
  • 19-25 years subject to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) – fully funded
  • 19-24 without an EHC Plan or over 25 – co-funded


Provision 16-18   19-23   24+
Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship 100% full funding 50% funding 40% funding
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship 100% full funding 50% funding 40% funding
Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship   50% funding 40% funding

There may be a requirement to deliver a maths and English component as part of the framework and funding can also be drawn down to support these aspects of the programme. We provide this as part of our partnership with City & Guilds.

The ESFA website has detailed funding rules on their website here.

Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE)

Small employers with less than 50 employees can claim a maximum of five AGE grants for apprentices between 16-24 years old. These grants are to support small employers who are new to apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled anyone onto an apprenticeship programme in the last 12 months. You can read more on AGE here.

Trailblazer Standards: The Apprenticeship Levy

From April 2017, the Government will be introducing the apprenticeship levy, a mandatory levy on employers with a wage bill over £3 million, to fund apprenticeships in business. They've outlined the rules in detail here - but here are the main things you need to know:

  • Large employers: UK employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million will be required to pay 0.5% of their total pay bill into the apprenticeship levy. This will be accessible via an employers' digital account from 22 May.
  • SMEs: Smaller businesses will co-invest 10% of the cost of apprenticeships, with the government investing 90% of the cost.
  • Small employers of less than 50 people training young apprentices (age 16-18) will have their full cost funded by government.

Our new webinar on the Levy and changes to funding explains some of the detail here

There are some significant changes to funding in the pipeline, in particular in regards to small businesses and non-levy paying employers. We've outlined the changes for you here and your can full them in full on the DfE website.


Current Rules  Proposed New Rules 
6 funding caps for standards. Increased to 15 caps (see table A).


This means more funding for the Level 3 Management Trailblazer, which moves from £4,500 to £5,000.
Govt pays 2/3, employer makes 1/3 contribution. For non-levy payers only:

Govt will pay 90%, employer makes 10% contribution.


(Levy payers will pay the full amount from their levy pot. They will revert to the above model if they spend all their levy funds.)
Separate funding arrangements depending on whether SASE framework or Trailblazer standard.


SASE frameworks have a set rate, whereas Trailblazers have a ‘cap’, and the fee is agreed between the provider and employer.
Single set of funding rules whether SASE or Trailblazer. SASE frameworks will be assigned a cap closest to their current rate of funding.


This will also mean the provider/employer can negotiate the fee within the cap, rather than it being a set rate.


All changes indicated hereafter will apply to both SASE and Trailblazer apprenticeships.


(Table B shows impact on ILM SASE apprenticeships.)
Discount for employers who deliver apprenticeships to 16-18 year olds. Discount will be replaced with a £2,000 incentive payment, split evenly between the provider and employer.
Levy paying employers can only use their levy pot to deliver apprenticeships to their own employees. From 2018, levy-paying employers will be able to transfer 10% of their levy fund annually to another organisation with a Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account. By 2018 this will include small business, meaning levy-paying employers will be able to distribute some of their levy funds throughout their supply chain.
Small businesses (fewer than 50 staff) can benefit from the £1,500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) if they employ a 16-24 year old apprentice. Regardless of size, all businesses who take on a 16-18 year old apprentice will benefit from the £1,000 bonus payment, plus £1,000 to the provider.


In addition, small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) will be exempt from the 10% contribution for any 16-18 year old apprentices they take on). The government will fund these apprenticeships in full.


AGE grants will continue to exist until the end of the 2016/2017 academic year.
Rules on cross-border delivery are complex, taking into account the location of the provider, employee and apprentice. Eligibility will be based on the apprentice’s main place of employment.
Trailblazer standards only – provider and employer agree terms of delivery and monthly payments are made. Trailblazer standards only – 20% of the agreed fee will be held back until the end of the apprenticeship, when the apprentice is ready to take their end-point assessment.
Individuals cannot undertake an apprenticeship at the same or a lower level than a qualification that they already hold. Individuals will be able to undertake an apprenticeship at the same or a lower level than they already hold. The employer must ensure that the apprentice will “acquire substantive new skills and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticeship”.


Table A - Apprenticeship bands

 Band  Upper Limit (Cap)
 1  £1,500
 2  £2,000
 3  £2,500
 4  £3,000
 5  £3,500
 6  £4,000
 7  £5,000
 8  £6,000
 9  £9,000
 10  £12,000
 11  £15,000
 12  £18,000
 13  £21,000
 14  £24,000


Table B - Trailblazer Standard Frameworks

 Framework  Proposed Cap
 Level 2 Team Leading  £1,500
 Level 3 Management  £2,000
 Level 4 Management  £2,000
 Level 5 Management  £2,500

You can also read our apprenticeship blog which explains the changes in more detail.

What ILM qualifications are eligible for Advanced Learner Loans?

601/3698/4 Level 3 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring  £724
600/6049/9 Level 3 Certificate in Effective Management  £1,265
600/5685/X Level 3 Certificate in Facilities Management  £724
601/5584/X Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management Practice for the Construction and Built Environment Sector  £724
600/1843/4 Level 3 Certificate In Management of Volunteers  £724
601/3699/6 Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management  £724
600/5789/0 Level 3 Certificate in Using Active Operations Management in the Workplace  £724
600/5964/3 Level 3 Diploma in Leadership and Management  £1,987
601/5589/9 Level 3 Diploma in Leadership and Management Practice for the Construction and Built Environment Sector  £1,987
601/3240/1 Level 3 Diploma in Management  £2,573
601/3409/4 Level 4 Certificate in Leadership and Management for FE Managers  £724
601/4234/0 Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management  £724
600/5931/X Level 4 Diploma in Leadership and Management  £1,987
601/4235/2 Level 4 Diploma in Principles of Leadership and Management  £1,987
601/5603/X Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management  £1,987
601/3247/4 Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Management  £1,987
600/5781/6 Level 5 Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring  £300
601/3254/1 Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and Leadership  £1,265

Providers must be on the Register of Training Organisations in order to be eligible to receive loans payments on behalf of learners.  Providers will also need to have a Loans Facility with the SFA in order to offer loans-funded qualifications. More information can be found on the SFA website.

Learners are entitled to access up to four loans in total to undertake vocational qualifications (including technical and professional qualifications) at Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. They can also be used for recognition of prior learning.

You can access the full funding rules here.

European Social Fund (ESF)

The ESF Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) provides funding to meet the local skills needs identified by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and aims to help employees in small and medium sized enterprises to move to higher levels of learning or to Apprenticeships.

The Skills Funding Agency also funds some Level 2 Leadership and Management qualifications through ESF. ILM offers a wide range of these qualifications – details can be found below, along with funding rates for each qualification.

Qualification title Qualification no Qualification Accreditation Number (QAN)
Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills 8000-11 600/5928/X
Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skills 8000-21 600/5962/X
Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading 8001-21 601/3781/2
Level 2 Award for Young Leaders 8004-10 601/7709/3
Level 2 Extended Award for Young Leaders 8004-1 601/7710/X
Level 2 Certificate in Enterprise 8149-21 601/5782/3
Level 2 Certificate in Effective Team Member Skills 8003-21 600/5930/8
Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading 8620-31 601/3216/4

Get in touch

If you have any queries, contact our funding experts.

Email us