Federation Oracle

10th May 2017

The latest issue of the Federation Oracle, the one stop shop for updates from within Apprenticeships is out now. In this edition you will find information on:


  • Rejections – overview of the last 12 months
  • Customer satisfaction 2017 review
  • Policy round up

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 10th May 2017 Update

10th May 2017

In January 2017, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE. Since then we have made the following changes:

New Page

An additional Awarding Organisation has been added to the Guidance:


Changes to Existing Pages
AAT: have withdrawn some evidence examples which have been moved into Withdrawn Evidence, but will still be acceptable until the 10th August 2017.

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE): we have added an acceptable International Certificate of Education.

OCR: we have added a new unacceptable piece of evidence.

Pearson Edexcel: we have added a new acceptable IGCSE certificate

International GCSE (IGCSE): we have added a new acceptable IGCSE certificate.

SQA: we have updated the evidence to include screenshots and reports from their online systems as well as new Certificate examples.

If you have any further questions relating to this issue then please contact the ACW Support Team via ace.helpdesk@fisss.org or by calling 0300 303 4444.

Changes to SASE to include acceptance of British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications

6th April 2017

An update to The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) was published on gov.uk on 30th March – ahead of the Statutory Instrument which was laid before Parliament on Friday 31st March.

It is anticipated to come into force on 24th April. This is the link to the new SASE document:


The change being made is to include the introduction of British Sign Language (BSL) as an alternative to English for people who use BSL as their primary language, at both Level 1 and Level 2.

The document makes it clear that the change will only apply once the statutory instrument (the “Order”)  has come into force:

British Sign Language has been added to the English minimum achievement options. This will apply to those starting an apprenticeship after the Apprenticeships (Modification to the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England) Order 2017 has come into force and, pursuant to an appropriate direction made under section 13 ASCL to the issuing authorities, those currently on an apprenticeship but who have not yet completed their apprenticeship prior to the Order coming into force.

The forthcoming changes to include BSL were initially announced in the press in January.

We will confirm when the required “Order” has been passed and that the BSL changes are implemented.

Apprenticeship Reforms: Proposal to Withdraw 4th Batch of SASE frameworks

23rd February 2017

SFA are asking for feedback on the 4th batch of SASE frameworks to be withdrawn. The proposed last date for new starts on these frameworks is 31 March 2018.

The proposal is open for feedback from Wednesday 22 February to Wednesday 5 April 2017.

A full list of frameworks included in this current proposal is available on gov.uk.

SFA will review the feedback and then announce the final list of Batch 4 withdrawals in May 2017. This will give 9 months’ notice in advance of the actual date of withdrawal.

If, following feedback, SFA defer the withdrawal then the framework will be included in the next batch of proposed withdrawals which is planned for over the summer.

The frameworks included in this proposal have replacement Apprenticeship Standards that cover the same occupations – these replacement Standards are expected to be ready for delivery by 1 April 2018.

SFA will consider deferring the withdrawal date if you can provide clear and strong evidence that:-

  • relevant Standards due to be in place by 1 April 2018, or soon after, will NOT cover some occupations covered by the framework’s pathways for which there is still significant demand or;


  • there are strong reasons why the replacement Standard(s) cannot be ready for learners from 1 April 2018, or soon after.


To give your feedback on the current proposal click, please visit the feedback form.

For further information, refer to the Removal of apprenticeship frameworks page on GOV.UK or contact the Service desk.

Federation Oracle

20th February 2017

The latest issue of the Federation Oracle, the one stop shop for updates from within Apprenticeships is out now. In this edition you will find information on:

·       Rejections – where we are now
·       Standard Certification
·       Forthcoming changes to SASE

Customer Satisfaction Survey 2017

6th February 2017

It’s that time of year again!


Each year the Federation carries out an annual, online survey of its key customers to get their views on a number of issues such as the operational performance of ACE itself and specifically to get feedback on their experiences of the support and guidance that they get from both the Federation and individual Certification Bodies.


Your feedback is very much appreciated as it helps to inform, direct and improve our customer service and support offer.


In previous years we have seen unprecedented levels of responses to our survey and, as one of our key customers, we would very much appreciate if you could take the time to complete this short online survey and give us your feedback on how you think we are doing!


By completing the survey in full you will be entered into our prize draw to win one of three prizes for high street vouchers of either £100, £50 or £25. The winners will be randomly selected once the survey has closed and winners will be contacted individually. A list of winners will be published in due course.


This year’s survey will close at 5pm on Friday 24th March. If you have any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the ACE Support Team.


In due course we will share the findings from the survey.


Many thanks and kind regards


The Federation

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 26 January 2017 Update

26th January 2017

In December 2016, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE.  Since then we have made the following changes:

OCR: It has been brought to our attention that it depends on the date of initial achievement as to whether a ****Final Certifying Statement of Results**** shows a Statement number (8) and we have therefore agreed with OCR that it will be removed with immediate effect as a minimum requirement.

We have also added 2 pieces of Unacceptable evidence from the interchange system which only show Test Results rather than achievement of the full qualification.

The Learning Record Service made some significant changes to the way they report qualification achievement last month. Subsequently, it has been brought to our attention that if the source of the information is the ILR or NPD then the level of the qualification will now be shown in the qualification title/aim description and not the Level field. Evidence is acceptable in this format and the guidance has been updated to reflect this.

Pearson have rebranded and we have added a BTEC certificate and an Edexcel certificate to reflect this.


CMIS: We have made a couple of minor alterations to the minimum requirements (points 4 and 5) to incorporate alternative report examples that have been brought to our attention.  Please hyperlink as above.


iSAMS:  We have added a new management information system (iSAMS) which is used within schools.  Please hyperlink as above.

SASE Framework Withdrawals Update

6th January 2017

Following a delay, the SFA have now published a third batch of 15 SASE frameworks to be withdrawn. This follows a period of public consultation which ran from 6 July – 3 August 2016. 14 of these frameworks now have replacement Standards that provide good coverage and are approved for delivery. One framework, Professional Development for Work Based Learning Practitioners, has had zero starts in the last two funding years.

These 15 frameworks will be withdrawn to new starts from 1 October 2017. The last date for new starts will be 30 September 2017. The SFA consider 9 months’ notice of withdrawal, for these frameworks, to be both sufficient and reasonable.

SFA have also announced the deferral of the withdrawal date of a further 5 frameworks whose withdrawal was initially announced in May 2016, as part of Batch 2.  This deferral is as a result of further evidence and feedback that has been received, relating to these 5 frameworks.

This withdrawal announcement does not impact any current learners, as they will continue to complete their Apprenticeship framework as usual. Once the withdrawal date for a framework has passed, any existing learners will continue to complete their Apprenticeship, on their agreed funding arrangements, and their Apprenticeship Completion Certificate can be claimed as normal.

The last date for new starts on withdrawn Frameworks will be updated on Apprenticeship Certificate England (ACE) and on the learning aims search on the Hub. On the agreed withdrawal date, the Frameworks will be archived on Apprenticeship Frameworks Online.

Here is a link to the list of Apprenticeship Standards currently available.

SFA will announce the proposals for withdrawing the remaining live SASE, frameworks in the spring.

For further information, please refer to the apprenticeship changes page on GOV.UK or contact the service desk.

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 14th December 2016 Update

14th December 2016

In October 2016, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE. Since then we have made the following changes:

The Learning Record Service have made some quite significant changes to the way they report qualification achievement. Learning Record Service (PLR) / Personal Learner Record (LRS)

Additions to Existing Pages:

•    EAL have added an External Assessment Report (unacceptable)
•    NCFE have added an updated Learner Achievement Report (acceptable)
•    AQA have asked us to remove the QAN requirement from all relevant evidence.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the update to this guidance. We plan to carry out quarterly updates of the guidance if there is a sufficient supply of new evidence suitable for inclusion. If you would like to submit an evidence example for consideration please contact the Support Team.

Rejections at an all-time low plus a rejection competition

6th December 2016


Over the past 18 months we have all been working to reduce rejections. Great news, in November rejections reduced to 14.49% knocking just over 1% off the previous record low. As such we would like to congratulate all of you for all the hard work you have all put in.


Following this huge success we would like to reward you for your hard work and have introduced a competition. In order to win the competition all you need to do is reduce your organisations rejections. The winner of November’s competition is City of Liverpool College who between two of them reduced their rejections by 21% from October to November. Congratulations to Suzanne and Karen who have both won a voucher for the store of their choice.


This competition is going to be running monthly for the next 4 months so it could be your turn to win next time.


If you have any questions, please contact the ACE Support Team.