Category Archives: Central Payment System

Training Provider Efforts Recognised

31st October 2014

ACE Submission Recharge Postponed

As you are aware, one of the Federation’s key business objectives is to reduce the level of rejections relating to Apprenticeship Certification claims made through the ACE system.


During 2013/14, the average rejection rate has been 29.37%.  The financial and resourcing costs of dealing with this level of rejections have been significant for both Training Providers and Certification Bodies.


Working in partnership with stakeholders, our aspiration was that the current rejection level be addressed and reduced to 20% within a 6 month period. Part of the overall strategy in achieving this was to introduce a recharging payment system for the resubmission of rejected claims. This was due for implementation on 1st November 2014.


However, we are pleased to report that other initiatives, that were part of our rejection redressing strategy, have had a very positive effect and we have seen the current level of ACE rejections reduce to 18% in September and 19% in October. This is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the excellent partnership working which has taken place over the last couple of months.


During September, The Federation revised, consulted on, updated and reissued a series of ACE support and guidance documents for use by all ACE users. These are the “SASE Transferable Skills Guidance” and the “Acceptable Evidence Guidance”.  We also developed, and on the 1st October launched, the ACE-IT online training tool to help train and inform ACE users to correctly identify acceptable forms of evidence and also when certain evidence types are non-acceptable.


We are extremely grateful to all the Training Providers and Certification Bodies who took the time to work with us on the above initiatives and have helped to shape the ACE support and guidance materials that are currently available. As promised, we are currently undertaking the first review of the Acceptable Evidence document and will take on board feedback that we have received from users. An updated version will be issued at the end of this review period.


As promised, in our ACE submission recharge consultation document issued 21st July, we also hosted 6 briefing/consultation sessions for Training Providers during September and these were very well attended and received. At these events we briefed attendees on the forthcoming new documentation and also discussed ways in which they could start addressing their own rejection rates. Many Training Providers have subsequently been working with us to address their rejection levels by using bespoke reports that we can extract from ACE. This has helped them to identify any patterns in rejections and address them accordingly.


Not only have these initiatives helped address ACE rejections, they have also helped to develop and maintain collaborative working between Training Providers, Certification Bodies and the Federation.


In the light of the above, we have taken the decision to postpone indefinitely the introduction of the recharging system for rejection resubmissions on ACE.


Despite the current  progress, there is still more work to be done!  We are committed to supporting you in continuing to address rejections and are here to listen and work with you on all matters relating to ACE certification.


We monitor rejection rates on an ongoing basis. If you haven’t already done so, you can contact the Federation for further details relating to rejections for your organisation. Report requests to be sent to: specifying the required duration of report.  Please note, rejection rate reports can only be run from 1st April 2014 onwards.



NOTE: For information relating to the original recharging proposal and consultation document please click here


New bank details for ACE credits

20th March 2014


Please note the Federation have a new bank account. If you pay for your ACE credits by BACS please update your records with the following bank account details;


Account Name: Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards
Sort Code: 20-92-60
Account Number: 33272826
Bank: Barclays Bank Plc
Acorn House
36-38 Park Royal Road


NW10 7JA


Our new bank details can be downloaded here New FISSS Bank Details.


Apologies the ACE Central Payment System will still display the old bank details until the system is updated on 1st April 2014.


If you have any questions please let us know.


Kind regards,

The CPS Support Team



Central Payment System Implementation Survey

15th October 2013


The Central Payment system is now fully implemented across all Apprenticeship Certification Bodies.


Thank you for your patience while we phased in the new payment system. We hope that you have all now had chance to use the system through your chosen payment method and that there was minimum disruption while we carried out the implementation process.


We have developed a short survey in order to gain your feedback of both the implementation and payment processes. We would like to ensure that you have the opportunity to use the system prior to completing the survey and so this survey will remain open until Friday 15th November. Please follow the link below in order to access the survey. If you are not the person to complete the survey, please pass this email on colleagues.


Central Payment System Implementation Survey


The guidance materials produced for the central payment system will remain on the website under the Knowledge Base tab and we will continue to update the FAQs.


If you do have any questions in relation to the system please do not hesitate to contact us at



Final round of Central Payment System implementation

3rd October 2013

We have nearly completed implementing the Central Payment System. The final round of Certification Bodies going live on Friday 4 October are:


• Cogent


• People 1st


This will complete the implementation of the Central Payment System.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at



Next Certification Bodies to go live on CPS

25th September 2013

We are now in the final stages of implementing the Central Payment System with a final few Certification Bodies going live on Friday 27 September. These are:


  • Improve
  • IMI
  • People 1st
  • Skills CFA
  • Skills for Care
  • Skills for Health
  • Skillsmart Retail


Please remember that there is guidance on how to use the system and videos taking you through the processes step by step available on the website.


If you are paying through the BACS payment method this is a two-step process. The ACE central payment system is not a banking website, therefore once you have placed the order you will need to send payment to us before your credits can be allocated to your account. It is important that you quote the submission reference generated by the system when you make a payment to us. This allows us to marry the payment and your order and allocate your credits. If you do not use this reference there may be a delay in allocating the credits to your account.


If you do have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at



Next Certification Bodies to go live on CPS

17th September 2013


We are now half way through implementing the central payment system. We have 5 more Certification Bodies listed below who will be going live on the new payment system on Friday 20 September.


• Energy and Utility Skills

• Skills for Logistics

• Construction Skills

• SkillsActive

• SkillsActive (Habia)


We are getting a few queries in relation to 3D Secure. We were recommended by our bank to use this security system as all banks have signed up to use this in order to try and combat internet fraud and reduce transactional costs. Therefore if your card is not yet registered for 3D secure you will need to ensure that it is registered to make credit card purchases.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at


Next Certification Bodies to go live on CPS

9th September 2013

As you will be aware five Certification Bodies went live on the Central Payment System (CPS) last week. There have been a few initial implementation challenges that we have overcome with the initial group that will make the next change over a smoother process.


If you are paying through the Pre-Pay BACS method we have asked that you include the submission reference number generated by the system for payments that you make to us. This figure starts with the symbol #. We have been informed that the hash symbol is not recognised with many of your finance accounts. If this is the case for you remove the hash and replace with the abbreviation ‘ref’, please continue to use the number from the system to allow us to match the transactions with your order.


We are now working with the next five Certification Bodies that are going live Friday 13 September:


• e-skills UK

• Summitskills

• Proskills

• Skills for Security

• Skills for Justice (incorporating LSIS and FSP)


If you work with one or more of the above Certification Bodies you will be required to use the new payment system on Friday. If you have not yet registered, you will be required to do so before you can request certificates when these Certification Bodies are made live.


If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at




Changes in Payment for English Apprenticeship Certificates

6th September 2013


Applications for English Apprenticeship certificates will start to be made to a central point instead of to one of 22 certification bodies.


The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards is the certifying authority for Apprenticeships in England and hosts Apprenticeship Certificates England, to whom applications for certificates and payments will be phased in with effect from 6 September. The assessment of applications will continue to be carried out by certificating within ten days of receipt.


The change will generate greater consistency in terms of how applications and payments are received, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for individual applicants, employers, training providers and colleges.


Payment will be made with the application, although some training providers will prefer to purchase ‘credits’ in advance to simplify their own processes.


The change follows a period of consultation with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the National Apprenticeship Service, as well as with employers, training providers and colleges.


Payment can be made by credit card and BACS payment systems in the early summer.


Federation Managing Director Mark Froud said: ‘Following a pilot exercise over the summer period we are confident the new system is sufficiently robust to allow full implementation within a short period. The centralised payment system will make for greater consistency across sectors and provide a single point for apprenticeship certificate applications’.


For further information, please contact the ACE team on 0300 303 4444 or, or visit the Central Payment System section of the Knowledge Base.


Central Payment System Video Tutorials

2nd September 2013

To help with the transition to our new Central Payment System we have created three video tutorials which explain the different payment options.


Central Payment System – Pre-Pay by BACS


Central Payment System – Pre-Pay by Credit Card


Central Payment System – Pay As You Go


Click here for more information on the Central Payment System.




Central Payment System Frequently Asked Questions

22nd July 2013


To help users understand the new Central Payment System we have put together this handy Frequently Asked Questions document.



Central Payment System FAQs



If you need any further information on the new Central Payment System please continue reading here, or contact