Category Archives: ACE Upgrades

Password Policy

22nd November 2017

On Thurs 7th December 2017, a new password policy will be introduced to the ACE site for all users. In an effort to guarantee that the data held within the ACE database is kept as securely as possible you will be required to change your password.
Your new password should contain the following characteristics:


  • Contain as least 12 alphanumeric characters
  • Contain both upper and lower case letters
  • Contain at least one number (0-9)
  • Contain at least one special character (!,!$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:”;'<>?,/)

Passwords containing the above characteristics are considered to be strong.

Please read the below sections for further guidance on password creation and best practices –


Password Creation

    1. All passwords should be reasonably complex and difficult for unauthorised people to guess. Users should choose passwords that are at least twelve characters long and contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and other special characters.
    2. In addition to these requirements, users should also use common sense when choosing passwords. They must avoid basic combinations that are easy to crack. For example “password”, “password1” and “pa$$w0rd” are all equally bad from a security perspective.
    3. Users should choose unique passwords for all of their system accounts, with meaning only to the user who chooses it.
    4. If the security of a password is in doubt – for example, if it appears that an unauthorised person has logged into the account – the password must be changed immediately
    5. Default passwords-such as those created for new users when they start or those that protect new systems when they are initially set up-must be changed as quickly as possible


Poor or weak passwords have the following characteristics:


    1. Contain less than eight characters
    2. Contain personal information such as birthdates, addresses, phone numbers or names of family members, pets, friends and fantasy characters.
    3. Contain work-related information such as building names, system commands, sites, companies, hardware or software
    4. Contain number patterns such as aaabbb, qwerty, zyxwvuts or 123321


Protecting Passwords


    1. Users should never share their passwords with anyone else in their organisation, including co-workers, managers, admin assistants, IT Staff members etc. Everyone who needs access to the ACE system should be given their own unique password.
    2. Users should never share their passwords with any outside parties, including those claiming to be representatives of a business partner with a legitimate need to access the ACE system.
    3. Users should take steps to avoid phishing scams and other attempts by hackers to steal passwords and other sensitive information.
    4. Users should refrain from writing down passwords and keeping them at their workstations.


If you have any queries relating to this or concerns that your password integrity may be compromised please do not hesitate in contacting the System Support Team or 0300 303 4444.

UKFT Sector Skills Body for the fashion and textile industry

1st November 2017


The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is to become the Sector Skills Body for the Fashion & Textiles industry.


UKFT will take over the management of current Apprenticeship frameworks with the responsibility of both registration and certification of Apprentices in England, Scotland and Wales and work with devolved nation’s stakeholders, to ensure that National Occupational Standards and Apprenticeship provision for the sector are maintained and developed.


The transfer of responsibility from Creative Skillset to UKFT goes live on 1st November 2017.


UKFT is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies in the UK. We bring together designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry, both in the UK and throughout the world. UKFT is in a unique position, representing businesses from spinning, weaving and knitting, right through to catwalk.


Adam Mansell CEO of UKFT:


“With industry skills and training being a huge part of UKFT’s commitment to the sector, this is very welcome news. We are proud to take over from Creative Skillset, which has supported the industry since 2010 and we thank them for the achievements made during that time. It is extremely important to ensure the management and certification of Apprenticeships and other vocational qualifications is closely aligned to the needs of the industry.”


Mark Froud, Managing Director, Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards (FISSS): 


“We look forward to working with UKFT; being close to the Employers is critical and they have their trust and respect. UKFT has a strong approach to ensuring that Apprenticeships and training are kept up to date in what is an increasingly fast paced world.”
Seetha Kumar CEO of Creative Skillset:
“Creative Skillset would like to thank the employers and professionals who have been involved in developing standards and frameworks for Fashion and Textiles over the past 7 years. We wish UKFT the very best of luck as they continue the crucial job of supporting Apprenticeship and vocational training in the Fashion and Textiles sector.”
For further information please contact:
Tamara Rizvi: 0207 843 9460

Automated Data Transfer Facility

28th July 2017

As you will all be aware the new Automated Data Transfer Facility in ACE was launched on Monday 31st July.
Using your learner’s ULN and name, you are able to automatically download their personal details and previous qualifications and achievements that are held on their Personal Learning Record.  This facility saves you precious processing time by reducing the requirement for manual uploads, whilst confirming your learner’s previous achievements.
You will see a slight change to the first screen you use in ACE.  It will only show the ULN and learner’s name fields.  This is all you are required to complete to instigate the automated data transfer service.  There is nothing additional that you need to do, simply log in on in the usual manner and away you go.
The Federation team have developed a comprehensive user guide and FAQ’s for you to refer to and these can be found under the knowledge base tab.


As usual, the Federation team and your Certification Body are available to answer any queries, however, we are confident that you will find that the new facility is very easy and intuitive to use and you will quickly see the benefits to your day to day processes.
It must be stressed that this is an additional tool to use for the certification process and by no means removes the ability to manually upload achievements or information when required. In fact, in some cases, you will still need to manually upload some evidence documents as it is not always possible to fully verify all of the required qualifications required for a framework, using a learner’s Personal Learning Record.
We hope that you like the new system and utilise it fully.

The Federation

System Updates

15th July 2016

We have recently implemented some updates within the ACE system. Please see below for more detail.


Start Date/Framework Validation

New validation is being introduced to the Framework tab of every ACE apprentice record.


During the framework selection process you should always select the framework relevant to the apprentice’s Start Date*. However, if you happen to make an incorrect selection you will receive the following error message –


The framework selected was not an active framework at the start date of this Apprentice. Please double check the start date and framework selected. If you cannot find the correct framework please contact the relevant Certification Body

To resolve this you will need to return to the Framework tab and reselect the correct framework based on the apprentice’s Start Date*


This should help negate any selection errors and reduce unnecessary rejections, and give you clearer direction when uploading apprenticeship claims.


You may notice changes on the system from 18th Monday July as we update all frameworks within ACE.


*This refers to the Start Date as recorded in an apprentice’s Basic Info tab.


A new field has been added to all Centre registrations, under the Basic Information tab, allowing you to record your UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN). Please note this field is not mandatory.




Advanced Search by Level
A new Advanced Search Field has been added – all users can now search by Apprenticeship Level.


Advanced Search


Users can now expand their view Notifications up to 100 per page, and a ‘Select All’ feature has also been added.




If you have any further questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the ACE Support Team

NI Number Validation

1st June 2015

A new validation for National Insurance (NI) Numbers was introduced into ACE on 25th May 2015. This has been introduced to prevent the increasing number of duplicate NI Numbers appearing on the system. If an apprentice has been entered onto ACE previously, the forename, surname and NI Number fields for any new records will need to match the existing record exactly. If you enter an apprentice and the NI Number matches another record in a different name you will see the following error message.



NI Validation- error message new apprentice


The quickest way to resolve any NI Number errors is to check your own ACE account to see if you have entered the apprentice’s name differently in the past. To search your account you can type the NI Number into the ‘identifiers’ field on the advanced search tab on ACE. To make sure you are searching for all ACE records related to that Certification Body please remember to set the ‘Status’ field to ‘Any’. If this does not solve your issue then the System Support Team are on hand to help via the helpdesk. It could be that another training provider has entered the apprentice’s details in a different format for a previous apprenticeship which the System Support Team can help you to resolve.





If we find any major discrepancies between NI Numbers we may ask you to provide evidence of your apprentice’s NI Number or change of name documentation before you can register them on ACE. Examples of acceptable name change evidence can be found on page 4 of the ACE Checklist. Examples of acceptable evidence for NI Numbers is as follows:


  • P45 or P60
  • Letter from HM Revenue and customs confirming your National Insurance Number or regarding tax or tax credit.
  • Bank statement showing payments by direct debit for class-2 National Insurance contributions, or benefits payment received showing your NINo on the statement, for example, Incapacity Benefit or State Pension.
  • Payslips, salary statement or works pension statement (as long as it shows your NINo)
  • Letter that the Pension Service or Jobcentre Plus has sent to you (not handwritten)
  • NINo Card (not handwritten)
  • Marriage certificate or Deed Poll (name change)

If you have any further questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the ACE Support Team.




Apprentice Consent Form Implementation

31st March 2015

As you are well aware, the new Apprentice Consent Form process is being implemented tomorrow (1st April 2015). This new process aims to simplify the way Apprentices’ authorise third party claimants to claim for the Apprenticeship Completion Certificate.


You can now download the Apprentice Consent Form and associated Consent Form Guidance V1 effective 1 April 2015 from the Knowledge tab on the ACE website


In order to implement the changes required to ACE, the website will be taken offline at 7pm tonight (Tuesday 31st March) with the aim of being up and running again in the early part of Wednesday.


If you have any further questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the ACE Support Team.


Consent Form Update

23rd March 2015

As announced on the 17th February 2015,  the current Apprentice Declaration and Authorisation form is to be phased out and replaced by the simplified Consent Form.



The new Consent Form process is going to be implemented on 1st April 2015 and testing is currently underway with both Training Providers and Certification Bodies. All of those testing the system have been asked to provide feedback on the system and the guidance document that has been drafted to support you all in this transition.



However we are keen for you all to see how the new process is going to work. Therefore you can view the Draft Guidance for the Consent Form process and the draft Consent Form itself. Please note that the Consent Form is not for use until 1st April 2015. In the meantime we will ensure that these documents are finalised and available for you to download from the Knowledge Base Tab on 1st April 2015.



Another key change that is being implemented on 1st April is the mandatory requirement for employer email address. We will not be communicating with employers directly but we do need to have this email on file. Please note that we will not be accepting training provider own email addresses or false email addresses in the employer email address field.



If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the ACE Support Team via the online Helpdesk or phone 0300 303 4444.



Removal of the ACE Declaration Form

17th February 2015



The Apprentice Declaration & Authorisation Form for ACE is to be phased out!


Over the last few months, we have been looking at options for removing the need for the ACE Declaration Form to be completed and uploaded to ACE as part of every Apprenticeship Certification claim. We have been in discussions with colleagues in government to ensure that whatever solution is implemented complies with all the necessary legislative requirements.


We have now agreed a new process and this is currently being developed within ACE, ready for a launch in early April (actual date TBC).


In summary the new process will be as follows:


  • The current ACE Declaration Form will be replaced by a simplified Apprentice Consent Form which all Apprentices will be required to sign at the END of their Apprenticeship.
  • The signed Apprentice Consent Form will have to be retained by the ACE claimant (training provider), for audit purposes.
  • A copy of the signed Apprentice Consent Form will NOT be required to be uploaded to ACE for every Apprentice. However, ACE will be programmed to randomly ask for a copy of a signed Consent Form to be uploaded for an Apprentice and, if requested, an ACE claim cannot be completed without the requested Consent Form being uploaded for that specific Apprentice.
  • The individual making the Apprenticeship certification claim on ACE will be required to tick an online declaration that they confirm that the Apprentice has signed a Consent Form, which has been retained on file, and that they have the Apprentice’s authorisation to claim their Apprenticeship Completion Certificate on their behalf. Clicking this online declaration statement will automatically record the ACE username of the claimant and also date and time stamp the declaration being made.
  • This information will be permanently stored as part of the Apprentice’s ACE record and will be used for future audit/verification purposes.
  • Once the online declaration has been agreed and the tick box completed to record the claimant’s confirmation, the ACE claim will either be allowed to proceed in the usual manner or a signed consent form may be requested for upload to ACE before the claim can be submitted for review by the relevant Certification Body.




Our key driver for this change is to simplify the process for both ACE claimants and Certification Bodies and in turn reduce the level of current rejections that arise as a result of queries/problems with submitted V3 Apprentice Declaration & Authorisation Forms. We know from our consultation with, and feedback from, all ACE users that this is an issue which is particularly problematic for all concerned and has, on occasions, led to delays in the timely issue of Apprenticeship Completion certificates. This is not a situation that we can allow to continue and we are confident that the new process we are developing will bring benefits for everyone, not least your successful Apprentices.


Over the next few weeks we will be developing the process within ACE and working with a number of you to test its operation, ease of use and gathering general feedback on the new functionality.


We look forward to its implementation in early April and, as always, will welcome your feedback.



Change of Framework ownership

19th December 2014

The Laboratory and Science Technicians framework is changing ownership from SEMTA to Cogent as of 2nd Jan 2015. If you have not previously worked with Cogent you will need to add them to your linked bodies. To do this your main admin will need to log in and go to the Organisation details tab.


Within this tab you will see the tab Linked Bodies. This tab will show you a list of all of the Certification Bodies. You simply need to select Cogent followed by the update button at the bottom of the list. This will then save the updated list.


Now you have added Cogent to your linked CB’s all of Cogent’s frameworks will be listed and you will be able to submit Apprenticeship Certification Claims against the Laboratory and Science Technicians framework.


If you already work with Cogent the frameworks should automatically appear when you first log in after the 2nd Jan 2015. If you cannot see the frameworks after this date please contact the ACE Support Team.


Please note that any Apprenticeship Certification Claims currently awaiting certification will remain with SEMTA only new apprentices will be registered with Cogent. If you have any at the entered stage these will need to be entered under Cogent.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the ACE support team via the helpdesk.


ACE 2.0 Update will be live tomorrow!

31st March 2014

As you know the ACE system is down today to enable the ACE 2.0 upgrade work to be undertaken.


The new ACE will available from 9am tomorrow, Tuesday 1 April. To learn more about ACE 2.0 please visit our Knowledge Base and read through our handy topics;


Getting Started






Bulk Upload


Super Centres


You can also download the User Guide here.


If you have any questions the ACE Support Team will be on hand tomorrow at or

on 0844 573 2560.