Free courses available for healthcare staff

Access fully funded courses for your health and social care workforce.

19 March 2024

Staff working in the NHS can access hundreds of fully funded courses to gain a Level 3 qualification. 

The government offers free courses across various sectors for individuals to gain a Level 3 qualification. 

As an employer, you should encourage your existing workforce to upskill by taking advantage of these free courses. Encouraging skills development is a valuable part of the Long Term Workforce Plan, particularly the focus on retaining staff through opportunities for career development. 

Qualifications relevant to health and care organisations include:

  • health and social care
  • hospitality and catering
  • building and construction
  • business management
  • accounting and finance
  • public services
  • medicine and dentistry. 

These courses are available to anyone aged 19 and over who wants to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate, a diploma, two full A Levels or a T Level.

Those who already have a Level 3 qualification or higher but earn below the national living wage annually (£20,319 from April 2023) or are unemployed can also access these qualifications for free.

For those not eligible for financial support to undertake a qualification, an advanced learner loan is available. 

How a free course could work for you

A learner studies for a Level 3 diploma in healthcare support work. They learn about promoting equality and inclusion in care settings, understand their duty of care, and choose an optional module in moving patients safely. The learner studies this qualification online, with their supervisor or manager verifying that they have undertaken the requirements of the qualification. The learner could then choose to progress to a Level 5 apprenticeship or other suitable qualification. 

How to apply

Further details of the free courses and qualifications available including details on how to apply can be found on the government website and the Skills For Life campaign website

Find out more about upskilling your workforce through apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and work experience