Author Archives: Consider IT Team

The Federation welcomes new Director of Evidence & Insight

The Federation is pleased to welcome Jon Boys as Director of Evidence & Insight.

Jon has had a varied career in research including stints at the Careers and Enterprise Company, a DfE backed start-up with a mission to transform careers provision in English schools, and Be the Business, a BEIS backed start-up with a mission to boost the productivity of UK SMEs. Most recently Jon was the CIPD’s labour market economist.

Jon Said:

“I’m delighted to join the Federation. Like so many researchers, I’m attracted to education and skills policy because it’s an opportunity to positively influence peoples’ life chances. Labour market data is my bread and butter and I will be bringing this expertise to the role.”

“As a sector we need to leverage insights from data to inform policy and practice. The challenge was already big but it just got bigger. I’ll be talking a lot to our members over the coming week but please also feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss how we can support you.”

Apprenticeship Certification – How we’re trying to help

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.  You can also contact the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards directly  by calling 0300 303 4444.

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.

Kind Regards

Federation Support Team

Seasons Greetings from the FISSS team

Merry Christmas from the team at FISSS

As we enter the festive season for 2019 and look towards 2020, we would like to thank all of our members, customers and contacts for their support this year, and take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas.


We look forward to working with you all in the New Year!

Federation Appoints New Chief Executive with Radical Brief to Change Direction and Put Employers’ Skills Issues on the Agenda

Matt Lambert appointed CEO

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards has appointed public affairs expert Matt Lambert as its new Chief Executive Officer with a brief to raise awareness of the Federation with Government, industry and the public and put the employer’s perspective on skills needs at the top of the political agenda. The Board of the Federation, which represent employers’ interests in skills in a wide range of industries, has asked Lambert to implement a major change in direction by ensuring that labour market intelligence and employers’ insights into skills needs is a key part of the Federation’s work from now on.

Lambert comes to the Federation with more than 30 years of experience in government relations, public affairs and corporate communications. Having worked at senior level in several major businesses, his experience includes seven years as Corporate Affairs Director at Microsoft UK heading up the skills team and creating skills and regeneration programmes to train hundreds of thousands of low skilled and unemployed people in basic IT skills.


The Chair of the Federation, Dame Julie Mellor said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Matt has agreed to join us as CEO to develop and lead the Federation to play a much bigger role in shaping the future of skills policy in the UK. Matt has a very strong track record in raising the profile of important business issues across a range of sectors, including skills.

Federation members represent over 118,000 employers covering diverse sectors such as science, social care, culture, construction, health and energy; and a skilled workforce is essential to every single one.”


Matt Lambert said:

“I am hugely looking forward to joining the Federation team and working with Dame Julie and the members, who represent employers across virtually every industry sector, to achieve real change in skills policy in the UK based on our unrivalled insight into the labour market.

“Skills policy across all industries and age groups is one of the most important issues of our day.  A national policy that is fit for purpose and ensures that we have enough trained workers to fill the growing skills gaps across many sectors and all the countries and regions in the UK is central to improving productivity and economic success.

“Whatever the result of the general election; I’m looking forward to working with the Federation team to make sure that skills issues and needs from the employer’s perspective are properly heard and understood at the highest levels in Government!

Are you a training provider delivering Apprenticeship Standards?

Join us for a free webinar information session to find out more about our ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System. Manage your Apprenticeships and connect with delivery partners including EPAOs.

ACE360 is an integrated Apprenticeship Standards management tool, which is easy to set up, can be integrated with Learner Management Systems and can help to simplify the EPA process.

Next 2019 online session dates:

ACE360 Information Session – 23rd October 2019 10:00am Book now

ACE360 Information Session – 5th November 2019 10:00am Book now

ACE360 Information Session – 21st November 2019 14:00pm Book now

ACE360 Information Session – 2nd December 2019 10:00am Book now

ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System for Standards: Information Session Dates

ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System for Standards: Information Session Dates

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards will be hosting the next in our series of webinar information sessions on the ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System during August and September.

Our next 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:

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

ACE360 is an industry-wide Apprenticeship Management System that enables you to manage Apprenticeship Standards efficiently, securely, and paper free. You can find out more about ACE360’s benefits to training providers here

Apprenticeships in numbers

Headline numbers for the period from 1st August 2018 to 31st May 2019 (10 months of the academic year) were released on the 25th July for England. There has been a slight increase in Apprenticeship starts during this year, some 6.6 % up on last year with 336,900 apprenticeship starts reported so far for the 2018/19 academic year – up from 315,900 starts reported at this time in 2017/18. This is welcome news but still over 30% down on the starts for this period for 2016/17, just as the Apprenticeship levy was introduced.

Move towards Standards

Starts on Standards have increased to 62% per cent of total apprenticeship starts in this period, up from just over 41% for the same period last year. This does mean that 38% of starts remain on Apprenticeship Frameworks, accounting for 127,600 starts in 10 months.

View Apprenticeships and Levy Statistics document from the Department of Education

Levy funded starts account for 55% of all starts this year.
The type and levy of starts have also changed dramatically with a 9.8% fall in the
apprenticeships taken up by the 16-18 age group and a 10% increase in those taken by the 19+
age group.

Whilst Intermediate starts (L2) have fallen by over a quarter (27.5%), Higher level
apprenticeships (L4 and beyond) have increased by 51.3%.

Full data can be found at Apprenticeships and Traineeship Data July 2019

ACE360 information webinars for training providers

ACE360 information webinars for training providers

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards is delighted to announce that we are hosting a series of webinar information sessions on the ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System.

Our next information sessions for training providers take place on the following dates:

8th July 2019: 13:30pm Sign up here

25th July 2019 10:00am Sign up here

6th August 2019 10:00am Sign up here

20th August 2019 10:00am Sign up here

ACE360 is an industry-wide Apprenticeship management system that enables you to manage Apprenticeship Standards efficiently, securely, and paper free. You can find out more about ACE360’s benefits to training providers here

ACE360 Apprenticeship Management System: New features added

We are delighted to let you know that the latest version of ACE360 is now available for use.  This release brings the following features:

Shared file area

A shared file area that is attached to each Apprentice record which can be used by both LTPs and EPAOs to store files that don’t belong in any of the Gateway or EPA components.  For instance a project proposal, evidence to support a reasonable adjustment, a grading report or any file that you might want to file against the Apprentice record.  Both LTPs and EPAOs have their own file area attached to each Apprentice record.

Manage accounts information

For admin users, this release brings new features for EPAOs to manage ‘accounts’ related information for each Apprentice, it allows the tracking of purchase orders, funding type, requests for reasonable adjustments and invoice tracking to streamline the registration process.

Standards database update

We have also updated the Standards Database which now includes 430 Standards that are approved for delivery.

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If you require any support please email us, or take a look at the latest training guides.

Log in now to enjoy the latest update to ACE360.

Not yet a user? Request access now

Free webinar: ACE360 Information Session, 26th June 2019

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS) brought you the ACE system for Apprenticeship frameworks in England.  We are now delighted to be running Training Provider webinars for ACE360 – the web-based Apprenticeship Management Solution for the new Apprenticeship Standards.

ACE360 is an industry-wide Apprenticeship management system that enables you to manage Apprenticeship Standards efficiently, securely, and paper free.

ACE360 is the only comprehensive database of Apprenticeship Standards. with the ability to research Gateway and End Point Assessment requirements at component level. Assessment guidance is also built in.

ACE360 has been developed with industry partners to ensure it delivers for the sector and is compliant with all relevant legislation.

Webinar details

Date: 26th June 2019

Time: 10am

Claim your free place on the ACE360 webinar now and find out more about the benefits of the system.