Category Archives: Changes to the ACE 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


ACE 2.0 launching 1st April 2014 – Single Sign On

6th February 2014

On the 1st of April 2014, the Federation will be launching ACE 2.0. In order to make certificate claims from this date, you will need to re-register for a ‘Super Centre’ account via the link below:
After completing the form please allow 10 working days for the ACE Support Team to contact you and finalise your account setup.


A Super Centre account will allow you greater freedom in the way that you claim for Apprentice certificates. Some of the benefits include:


  • Access to a main dashboard which will provide easy access to each of the Certification Bodies that you work with by simply clicking on their name – this removes the need for you to have different logins for each individual Body.


  • Improved reporting functionality which will enable you to produce reports covering your apprentice data from across all the Certification Bodies you work with.


  • Archive facility for certificated apprentices.




  • Only one person from each organisation must register for an ACE Super Centre Account. This person will be assigned as the main admin user of the organisation’s ACE account and will have the ability to create additional ACE user accounts within their organisation.


  • The form asks you to choose a username and this will be the username that you use to log-in to ACE 2.0. Unfortunately you cannot use the same username that you use on ACE currently. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.


  • Only one postal address can be linked to each ACE Super Centre account. If you require certificates to be posted to more than one address then you will need to register for multiple Super Centre Log-ins.


  • Only one finance user can be linked to each ACE Super Centre Account. If you require certifications to be paid for by more than one individual then you will need to register for multiple Super Centre accounts


The introduction of Super Centre accounts is only the beginning of the improvements planned for ACE 2.0. Please keep an eye out for more notifications in the run up to the 1st of April 2014. If you want a sneak preview of some the changes planned remember to register for one of our events coming up in Leeds, Birmingham and London (click here for more details)
If you have any questions please contact the ACE Support Team.



Non-working days in the ACE system 2013/2014

13th December 2013


Please note the following days will be counted as non-working days in the ACE system so will not be counted as days elapsed. The ACE system will still be available on these days, except the 18th December 2013 click here for more information.



18th December                  System Downtime due to upgrades

25th December                  Christmas Day

26th December                  Boxing Day

27th December                  Festive Break

30th December                  Festive Break

31st December                   New Year’s Eve



1st January                          New Year’s day

2nd January                         ACE office Closure

18th April                            Good Friday

21st April                             Easter Monday

5th May                               Early May bank Holiday

26th May                             Spring Bank Holiday

25th Aug                             Summer Bank Holiday

25th Dec                              Christmas Day

26th Dec                              Boxing Day


Changing candidates back to “Entered”

19th September 2013


Due to the implementation of the Central Payment System, the ACE Support team will no longer be able to put candidates back to ‘Entered‘ to allow you to fix errors on a candidate record. This is a common request we receive when a candidate is accidentally submitted with missing or incorrect information.


We now advise that you contact your relevant Certification body and ask for the claim to be rejected. Once rejected you will be able upload extra evidence or change framework for the candidate.


The ACE Support team will still be able to help with smaller changes such as correcting mistakes in the basic information and employer tab of the candidate record. Certification bodies are also able to make these amendments at the status of ‘pending certification’ should you prefer to request it from them.



Permissions To Edit Candidate Records Are Changing

30th August 2013


From Monday 2nd September Centres’ abilities to edit candidate records will change. Centres will only be able to edit candidate details when candidates are at Entered or Rejected. To request any changes at other status’ and for certificate re-prints please contact your Certification Body.


Below is an example of a candidate record which is locked.


Candidate read-only record



Increased File Size Limit From Monday 26th August

23rd August 2013


As a result of feedback from ACE users we will be changing the system to allow files of up to 3mb in size to be uploaded to ACE. We hope that this change from 2mb to 3mb on Monday 26th August will help make the certification process easier for everyone.



New Mandatory Field on ACE

31st July 2013


A new mandatory field will be introduced to ACE on Monday 5th August. You will now be required to state whether an apprentice has been publically funded or not. The new field will appear on the basic information tab of an apprentice as shown below.


You will not be able to submit a candidate for certification without making a selection in this field.



Publicly funded Screenshot


Bulk Upload


This change also means that a new bulk upload template will be required to load candidates. This will be available to download from the bulk upload page on ACE from the 5th of August.


To set an apprentice as publically funded, please enter a ‘1’ in the last column of your spreadsheet. For privately funded, please enter a ‘0’ in the final column.


If you have any questions please contact the ACE Support team via or 0844 573 2560.




Central Payment System Draft Guidance

22nd July 2013


The Federation has developed a draft guidance document to help introduce users to the new centralised payment system for all Apprenticeship completion certifications processed on ACE.


There are three options for paying through the payment system:


1. Pre-pay by credit card.


2. Pre-pay by BACs.


These options will allow you to bulk buy credits for certificates that will be added to a balance on the ACE system, and deducted when certificates are processed


3. One off payment (pay at submission) – This option will allow you to use a credit/debit card to pay for the certificate when you submit the Apprenticeship certification claim for approval.


You can find further information here in this draft ACE Centralised Payment Guide


Please contact with any queries about the Central Payment System.


Changes in Payment for ACE Certificates

1st July 2013


Applications for English Apprenticeship certificates will be made to a central point from the end of September, instead of to one of 25 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 made with effect from 30 September. The assessment of applications will continue to be carried out within ten days.


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 rates will not change but will normally be made with the application, although some of the larger training providers will be able 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.


The Federation is piloting credit card and BACS payment systems in the early summer and welcomes training organisations and employers who would be interested in participating.


Federation Managing Director Mark Froud said; ‘The centralised billing system will make for greater consistency across sectors and provide a single point for apprenticeship certificate applications. We are grateful to BIS, NAS and all of our partners for helping us develop an approach that will build on the success of the programme. In just 15 months some 280,000 certificates have been issued in England with the vast majority within ten days of receiving a formal application’.