The Professional Career Development Loan Explained

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) are bank loans that can be used to pay for work-related learning. You can borrow between £300 and £10,000 to help support the cost of up to two years of learning (or three years if it includes one year’s relevant unpaid practical work).

The government will pay the interest on the loan while you are learning and for one month afterwards until the repayments start. The loan can be used to pay course fees or other costs such as travel and living expenses. In some circumstances, you can also use the loan to supplement other forms of support such as grants and bursaries.

The PCDL is a commercial loan organised through the CO-OP bank, however students should also consider that the national careers service has advice on all funding options - A-Z of Funding.

Repayments for the PCDL start a month after you leave your course. As the repayment amounts can sometimes be high, it is worth considering in advance how you will meet these costs.

If you decide to fund your studies with a PCDL, the application will need to be authorised by the Groomarts Academy as the learning provider. The Academy’s learner provider number is 21517. Please make a note of this number for your reference.

For further information on PCDLs, including the application process visit or contact 0800 100 900. For more specific enquiries about eligibility, please contact the PCDL Helpline on 0845 000 045.

For further advice on financial assistance please contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

We advise you to contact the  National Careers Service first, however you can begin the process of applying for a PCDL HERE


  1. Your course must start within 8 weeks of the date that you started your application

  2. If all details are correct and the application does not require further documents/proof of ID/corrections etc. then the process can take between 4-6 weeks.

  3. Therefore, you MUST apply on the day 8 weeks prior to the start date of your course.

  4. Once you submit your application, the Skills Funding Agency Student Bursary Team will process your application for eligibility.

  5. This process takes between 2-4 days and if you are eligible then the application is then passed on to the CO-OP bank PCDL team

  6. There will be credit and ID checks, so it is vitally important that you provide ALL relevant and accurate details so that your application has the best chance of approval.

  7. Usually, the things that can hold up the application are things like proof of ID, incorrect bank details, proof of address and typos.

  8. Please make sure that there are no typos in your application.

  9. Ensure that the course details are exactly correct.

  10. Ensure that the Learning Provider and course details are exactly correct. If they are not, the application will be refused.

  11. If you have entered the correct details, then you will be sent an SMS text within 1-2 weeks with provisional approval for the loan.

  12. At this point, contact the academy to let us know that you have received the text.

  13. You will also be sent the “Course Start Notification form”.

  14. You must fill in one side and we will fill in the other to authorise your application. Please present it to us as soon as possible.

  15. The signing of the second form (i.e the one that confirms your start date and course registration at the Academy) will not be done until you are fully registered on your course and have paid your deposit.

  16. If there are no other mistakes on the form, your full approval will be sent in a further 2-4 weeks.

  17. If your application is rejected after two weeks of the application process, your deposit will be refunded.

  18. If your application is rejected after six weeks of the application date, your deposit will not be refunded as it leaves little time to offer the course space to others. However, your deposit will be valid for the application for one more course.

  19. If your application is successful, then your deposit will be returned to you once we have received your training fees from the CO-OP bank.

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