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Soldiers' education

Getting promotion

The Army is committed to ensuring that soldiers have the training and skills required for promotion. A Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) programme is mandatory for those selected for promotion to the rank of Non-Commissioned Officer. The aim of the soldiers’ education programme is to improve the performance of soldiers both in barracks and on operations, and the CLM courses prepare soldiers for the tasks that they will undertake during their military careers. This is supported by a Skills for Life package.

The CLM programmes develop leadership and management skills as soldier’s progress through the ranks, including basic skills support and the development of professional military knowledge. The skills and qualifications that soldiers gain are accredited and transferable to civilian life when they leave the Army.

Command, Leadership and Management programme

CLM training is developmental and provided at four levels:

  • Pre Non-Commissioned Officer (PNCO)
  • Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO)
  • Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO)
  • Warrant Officer (WO)

Each training course is provided in three parts as follows:

  • Part One is provided by Arms and Services Directors (A&SD), either in units or by the Army Recruiting and Training Divisions. Depending on the individual A&SD, Part One courses may be embedded within existing courses, run separately, or be a combination of the two.
  • Part Two is work-based learning (not for PNCOs) provided by the A&SD with assistance from Educational Training Service Learning Development Officers.
  • Part Three consolidation training (not for PNCOs) is provided by Army Education Centres (AECs).

Successful completion of Part One is a key element of qualifying the individual for immediate promotion, while completion of Parts Two and Three qualifies the individual for subsequent further promotion.

The education elements of the CLM programme are delivered in AECs. They are designed to prepare a soldier for promotion to the next rank by giving them the skills and knowledge they will require in order to operate effectively when in command. Each course builds on the previous one, while introducing new material as appropriate. The programme of courses cover:

  • leadership
  • management
  • communication
  • professional knowledge
  • personal development

All levels of the CLM programme count as credits for civilian qualifications, whereby soldiers can gain:

  • professional and vocational qualifications in management
  • degree-level modules and credits
  • membership of professional institutions

A soldier’s career will begin at the rank of Private and may rise to Warrant Officer Class 1.

Getting qualified

The Army is committed to ensuring that all serving personnel have opportunities to continue their personal development throughout their Army careers. There is a wide range of courses available to serving personnel and they are at different education and skills’ levels, from basic computer to distance-learning degrees.
Personal development is a lifelong process and does not stop when serving personnel are posted abroad. There are AECs in different locations worldwide, including Theatre Education Centres in Iraq and Afghanistan. All AECs have education staff on hand to offer help and guidance.


The gaining of qualifications is an on-going process that spans your whole career. Many of the Army qualifications that can be gained are matched to civilian qualifications (or accredited), improving your prospects when leaving the Army. Learn more about accreditation.

Educational facilities

The Army provides many facilities to support you in your learning, wherever you are based. Learn more about educational facilities.