If you mean can you use your SLC to buy books to do with your trade, then no you can't. But you can't use SLC to fund books for a course either.
SLCs are for the courses you wish to take. They don't neccesarily have to benefit the Forces.
I've tried to take one every year, including Forklift truck driving, Lock smithing, H&S type things, and fair few computer cses too.
And a few GCSEs to perk up my results. The SLCs paid for my early courses in the OU too. Only the first year ones though, as the latter years got silly expensive. So I used them for Forklift driving instead, and paid for the OU myself.
So does the course have to be of benefit to the service?
The regulations seem a little odd - it must be of benefit to the service, but not if the army already provides a broadly similar course. Surely if a course is of benefit to the service, then someone in the army must run the course?
in your course admin instructions it some times says that SLC cannot be used for literature or tools/instruments.
Unless you are in resettlement the SLC should only be used for courses that benefit the service, it all depends on how you word your reasons for claiming the SLC on the MOD Form 1950. Speak to your IERO, IEROC or local AEC officer.
SLCs are a doddle if you ask people in the know, rather than the lashed up bloke in the corner of the NAAFI bar who claims to be the font of all knowledge.
Many people use SLC for the fork lift truck operators course, quoting that it will be of use on operations. SLCs are normally used for exam fees.
I wouldnt have used a SLC for the locksmiths course, the only course that gives an actual recognised qualification (CGLI) costs Â£2400 (inclusive of exam fees, tools of the trade etc), ELC would have been better for that. Unless you dd the CTP Aldershot course that cost Â£644 (now gone up to just over a grand!) and all you get for your trouble is a certificate of attendance that can be used towards a rather expensive CGLI exam and qualification at a later date and the opportunity to buy the tools.
you also cant mix IRTC and ELC, but if you are very clever you can mix ELC and SLC, but you have to have an extremely comprehensive course breakdown that shows that certain elements of the course are level 2 (SLC) and the majority of the elements are level 3 and above (ELC), but speak to the IERO on how to do this.