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Tips for Service Leavers : 4. Get Qualified

  • General News
  • 8th December 2016

Now you’ve mastered your online persona, joined the best organisations and know all about the funding you can receive, it’s time to take stock of your experience and apply it to the civilian sector. However, you can’t simply rely on your experience. To be taken seriously by any civilian organisation you must understand the principles of their operations. Rather than have the necessary experience to carry out a task, you’ve got to be conversant with the way any specific industry organisation works.

The only way to do this is to gain a qualification which authenticates your expertise within a particular sector. Which is why our fourth tip it dedicated to: Turning your experience into an accredited qualification What is an accredited qualification? Qualifications come in many forms and will depend upon your existing skills, experience, education and career aspirations. Accreditation is necessary as it ensures your course adheres to the standards of an awarding body. It acts as proof of the value of your qualification.

Qualifications have many different levels, suffice it to say, the higher the level, the more advanced the course and the greater the employment potential. Often, you will find that you already have experience with key aspects of the course, but this makes gaining the qualification all the easier. Why should I get qualified? Turn your military experiences into qualifications and employers will recognise your expertise within your chosen field. Without it, employers will pick the qualified candidate competing for the role as they have no hard-evidence of your skills. Meaning your military experiences will become superfluous to your career transition, you’ll have to start at the bottom, rather than entering at the position your skills demand.

All service personnel have vast amounts of experience and knowledge of their specialism, all of which is transferable into civilian industries. Qualifications allow you to use your experiences, rather than see them go to waste. How do I get qualified? A good way of turning experience and knowledge into recognised qualification is via a distance learning provider with ELCAS approval such as  Logistics Learning Alliance (LLA) or Distance Learning College and Training (DLC).

Distance Learning has a wide variety of benefits, which you can see here, but in a nutshell, it lets you work at your own pace around your own schedule: you can learn whilst still in the military or whilst working outside of it. Both LLA and DLC offer qualifications from IoSCM, a provider who offers the recognition of achievement. What is the Recognition of Achievement (ROA)? This awarding method allows you to map your military qualifications – courses that you have completed – into the learning outcomes of the qualification. This is a simpler and quicker way of gaining industry recognised qualifications to back up your experiences on your CV.

The ROA lets you directly translate your military qualifications into those recognised by employers. There is some work required (a minimum of 30 hours) usually in the form of a case study which encompasses the application of your courses to learning outcomes. What is the best way to get qualified? Figure out your strengths by looking at your past, what were you good at and what did you enjoy? Take this information and apply it to your future to figure out what you want to do in the civilian sector. Then find a course which suits you, be sure to talk through the benefits of each option with advisors and complete as many as you can, after all, this course will determine your future.

ELC funding can also be used to level 3 qualifications or above and only if the provider is approved by the MoD. All appointed ELC providers will have the ELCAS logo on their website and their provider number. There are several websites which list all the ELC training providers, such as: Enhanced Learning Credits/Learning Providers, CTP, CareerMaster4Military and Courses for Forces. That’s tip 4 done! I cannot overstate the importance of finding the right course for you. When you find it, it’ll change your life and you will be shocked by the impact it has on your career transition. Ex-forces and qualified is a winning combination much sought after by employers.

Next time we look at the single most important document in your career: you’re CV. We’ll cover the best way of marketing yourself and dispel some myths in the process. Don’t miss a post and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – keep track of all the tips in our series.

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to ask on any of our social media channels and feel free to join in the #forcesintosupplychain with any thoughts you have. You can even give us a call on 0800 1422 522, and our military advisors can answer all of your queries.

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