ESFA List of Qualifications approved for funding How this website works

What this website covers

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will only fund students to undertake qualifications through one of our funded offers if we have approved those qualifications for public funding. This website contains funding approval information for all of the qualifications we will fund through our qualification offers (except apprenticeships and traineeships).

How we define funding approval

We look at the content that awarding organisations specify for each qualification, and we decide whether each qualification meets our approval principles for public funding. This can include looking at a qualification’s title, level, size, sector subject area, operational start and end dates, as well as the qualification specification published by the awarding organisation.

We use the term ‘funding approval’ to show where we add a qualification to at least one of our funded offers.

We also review qualifications to see if they meet our principles for funding through advanced learner loans. We do not fund the delivery of qualifications through loans, but we do decide which qualifications a student can study with a loan.

How to search for qualifications

You can use any or all of the criteria in the left-hand grey bar on the Search qualifications page to find the qualification(s) you are looking for.

  • You can only select one entry in each of the dropdown boxes for Level, Qualification type and Qualifications offer.
  • If you are using this website on a desktop computer, you can select multiple entries in the scrollable lists for Awarding organisation and Sector subject area. To do this, hold down the Control (Ctrl) key on your keyboard, and left-click each entry in the list you want to select. You can deselect entries by holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and left-clicking them.
  • You can clear all of your selected search criteria by clicking on the green Reset button.

When you have selected all of the search criteria that you want, click the green Search button. The website will display all of the qualifications that meet your selected search criteria.

To view the funding approval information for any qualification in your search results, click on the Funding details link below the qualification’s header information.

How to download lists of qualification funding approval information

To download the list of qualifications currently approved for funding and/or the archived list of qualifications, click the link for the file you want on the Downloads page. The file should start downloading automatically to your computer or device.

We have published these files in OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) format. You will need a software application that supports the ODS format to view these files. Most commercial and free suites of office document software should support the ODS format.

How this website has changed

We previously used this website to publish funding approval information for qualifications in the 14 to 16 and 16 to 19 funded qualification offers. These offers used to be known as Section 96.

If we have approved a qualification only for funding to students aged 18 and over, we will state this in the funding approval information for that qualification on this website. This website will no longer display separate funding approval start and end dates for the 16 to 18 and 18+ age groups.

We have split our previous offer for young people aged 14 to 19 into these two offers because from 1 September 2020, we will stop approving new qualifications at level 3 and below for funding, for students aged 16 and over. We call this a ‘moratorium’ on funding approval, and we will continue to approve qualifications for funding in the 14 to 16 offer. You can read more about this in the technical guidance for the moratorium.

We have expanded this website to include funding approval information for qualifications in all our funded offers, except apprenticeships and traineeships. These offers cover delivering qualifications to both young people and adults.

This website shows the funding approval start and end dates for each qualification, where we have approved it for funding through at least one of our qualification offers. Some approval start dates may not match the funding validity dates displayed on the Learning Aims Reference Service (LARS).

For the 14 to 16 and 16 to 19 offers, we:

  • have maintained the previously published funding approval start dates for qualifications that we have already approved for funding
  • will set its funding approval start date to be either 1 August 2020 or its operational start date, whichever is later (if we approve a qualification for funding after 24 March 2020)

For qualifications that we have already approved for funding in our other offers, we have set the funding approval start dates to be the same as the funding validity start dates in LARS. If any of these approval start dates were before 1 August 2016, we have set them to 1 August 2016 on this website. If we approve a qualification for funding in these other funded offers after 24 March 2020, we will set its funding approval start date(s) to be either 1 August 2020 or its operational start date, whichever is later.