Apprenticeship Framework Certification Price Increase Announcement

7th September 2020


From 1 October 2020, the price of an Apprenticeship Framework certificate in England, claimed and issued via the Federation’s online ACE system, will increase by £3.00 to a new cost of £25.00 per Apprenticeship completion certificate.
The reasons for this modest increase is that the Federation has been providing a high quality and efficient certification service since 2012 at the original charge of £22, with no previous price increases.
In addition to the actual certification service itself, the Federation also: –

  •  provides and maintains the secure IT platform on which ACE is hosted
  •  developed and enhanced the ACE software over the last 8 years, in line with regulatory requirements and customer feedback
  •  offers a highly rated online and telephone customer services facility
  •  provides comprehensive, user friendly online support and guidance materials, which are regularly updated in line with current legislative and quality requirements
  • uses rigorous quality control processes to ensure all certification claims are processed correctly and within agreed SLAs
  •  undertakes routine audits of its member bodies, who certificate on their behalf
  • maintains an online library of the most recent versions of Framework documents plus links to archived versions.


We acknowledge that the economic situation is tough for everyone at the moment, and there is no good time to increase prices, but The Federation itself is a registered charity and provides all of the above services at no cost to the public purse. However, as the designated Certifying Authority in England, the Federation must be able to continue to manage and deliver the service on an economically sustainable basis, until such time as the last Apprenticeship Framework certification requests have been received and processed (circa 2025).

Like many businesses, in the face of the current economic challenges, the Federation has already taken extensive steps to reduce its own fixed costs but in order that we are able to continue to fulfil our statutory duty, and maintain a high quality certification and support service to training providers, employers and Apprentices, a small price increase is now necessary.

As you are aware, Apprenticeship Frameworks in England are now closed to new starts, with the last Apprentices commencing their training on 31st July 2020. All new Apprenticeship starts must now be on an Apprenticeship Standard. The knock on effect of this transition is that the volume of Framework certification claims, being made via ACE, will continue to reduce significantly year on year, between now and 2025.

The new certification price of £25 will be implemented from 1st October. The ACE system will be updated to reflect this change and all tokens purchased on, or after 1st October 2020, will be charged at £25 each.


27th March 2020

Providing a high-quality and efficient service for our customers is at the forefront of everything that we do in the Federation – especially during these challenging times. We are all having to do things differently, and it’s very likely that we all need to adjust to new ways of working.

With this in mind, we wanted to let you know about the interim measures that we have put in place to support training providers. We need to ensure that you -on behalf of your Apprentices- are still able to submit a claim for an Apprenticeship certificate, and receive confirmation that completion has been successfully approved.

All of our Sector Bodies have business continuity plans in place, and are continuing to process Apprenticeship certification claims submitted via our online certification system.  However, the batch printing and dispatching of actual certificates has already become a challenge for many of our partners, and this will probably become increasingly problematic over the coming weeks.

We want to reassure you – the Federation has been working in partnership with relevant governmental departments and has taken the appropriate steps to address this issue.

The plan calls for Sector Bodies to continue processing certification claims in the usual manner and -if everything is in order- to change the Apprentice’s status to “Approved”.

At that point, the system will automatically send out an Apprenticeship Achievement Confirmation notification to the relevant Centre.  This e-mail will confirm the date of Achievement Approval, and will contain all the relevant Apprentice data – including details of the Apprenticeship achieved.

Finally, a copy of the Apprentice Achievement notification will be sent out to the specific system user submitting the certification claim, as well as the Centre Admin User account.
In the interim, you can use the e-mail notification system to confirm Apprenticeship Achievement with the individual Apprentice, their Employer, and relevant Funding Bodies etc.

All printed certificates will be generated and dispatched once business operations are able to return to normal.

We plan to implement this new process early next week, and will be sending out further notifications to confirm when it is operational.

Should you have any further questions or require additional support, please make sure to contact your relevant Sector Body.  A full list of Sector Body contacts can be found here.

You can also contact the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards directly via our e-mail or by calling 0300 303 4444 option 1 and option 1 again.

We want to offer this interim certification confirmation facility, as an alternative and flexible solution in cases where the printing of certificates is not going to be possible. We hope that this will help both you and your Apprentices, by enabling you to receive confirmation of their Apprenticeship Achievement.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation during this incredibly challenging time – rest assured that we, and our members, are here to help you.


Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 18th March 2020

18th March 2020

In January 2020, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE. Since then we have made the following changes:

New Page; University of the Arts London (UAL): We have added a UAL certificate.

If you have any questions relating to the changes then please contact the ACE Support Team via or by calling 0300 303 4444 option 1 then option 1 again.

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 7th February 2020

5th March 2020

In December 2019, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE.

Since then we have made the following changes:

Changes to Existing Pages;

UK NARIC: We have added two screenshots to comply with the latest ESFA guidance.

If you have any further questions relating to this issue then please contact the ACE Support Team via or by calling 0300 303 4444 option 1 then option 1 again.


2nd March 2020

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

This year’s survey for Training Providers is now available and will remain open until 5pm on Thursday 9th April. Previous year’s surveys have had a tremendous response rate and we really appreciate and value all of your feedback. Please do take the time to give us your feedback.


By completing the survey in full, you will be entered into our prize draw to win one of three prizes of either a £100, £50 or £25 One4All vouchers which are accepted in 1000s of shops: fashion, tech, food & more. Winners will be randomly selected once the survey has closed and winners will be individually contacted. A list of winners will be published, on our ACE website, in due course.

Managing Apprenticeship Standards: ACE360 Event Dates for 2020

9th December 2019

ACE360 events

ACE360 is an industry-wide Apprenticeship Management Solution enabling Training Providers and EPAOs to manage Apprenticeship Standards efficiently, collaboratively and securely.


ACE360 simplifies the EPA process, by integrating with Learner Management Systems, processing Learner Records through Gateway, EPA, resits and appeals. A natural progression from the ACE system for Apprenticeship Frameworks.


The Federation will be running a number of online information sessions at the beginning of the New Year to introduce training providers to the ACE360 system. These events are free to attend and registration is through the following links:


7th January 2020 at 3.30pm Book free place


27th January 2020 at 10am Book free place


13th February 2020 at 10am Book free place


9th March 2020 at 11am Book free place




Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 21st November 2019

21st November 2019

In February 2019, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACE.

Since then we have included a new page for the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) whose qualifications are now acceptable transferable skills for starts from 21st Sept 2018 and anyone currently still on programme.

If you have any questions relating to this then please contact the ACE support team via or by calling 0300 303 4444.

Instructus Office Closure on Friday 27th September

27th September 2019

The Instructus office is closed today for a staff event. Phone calls and emails will not be answered today. It will be re-opening as normal on Monday 30th September at 9am and they will respond to your queries then.

Managing EPA online with ACE360: training provider info sessions

26th September 2019

ACE360 apprentice records


Are you a training provider who has been delivering frameworks and is now moving to deliver standards? Our ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System has been developed for the management of Apprentices who are working their way through Standards and will go through the EPA process. ACE360 connects training providers and EPAOs in a simple and cost effective manner.


Join one of our free information webinars to see how the system works, how you can upload apprentice records, connect to your EPAOs, upload evidence and complete gateway declarations, all the way through to requesting resits.

Online webinar session dates

30th September 13:30pm Sign up here


23rd October 2019 10:00am Sign up here


5th November 10:00am Sign up here


21st November 14:00pm Sign up here


2nd December 10:00am Sign up here


You can find out more about ACE360’s benefits to training providers here



Delivering Standards? Free ACE360 session for training providers

16th August 2019

ACE360 Information sessions


With Apprenticeship starts on Standards steadily increasing, they now account for 62% per cent of total apprenticeship starts in England.


ACE360 is an industry-wide Apprenticeship Management System that enables you to manage Apprenticeship Standards through to End Point Assessment collaboratively, efficiently and securely.


The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards will be hosting the next in our series of information sessions for training providers, to familiarise them with the system and demonstrate how easy it is to create Apprentice records, link with EPAOs and upload evidence for EPAs  will take place on the following dates in August and September:


20th August 2019 10:00am Sign up here


2nd September 15:00pm Sign up here


19th September 10:00am Sign up here


30th September 13:30pm Sign up here


You can find out more about ACE360’s benefits to training providers here