New apprenticeship certification to be launched

A new online system for certification of apprenticeships will be launched today (Wednesday).

Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE) has been brought in to improve the quality and consistency of apprenticeship certificates in England.

It replaces the paper-based system previously provided by the 25 Sector Skills Councils (SSC) and Sector Skills Bodies (SSB). It is a web-based system that will rid the system of paper and reduce bureaucracy.

The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, the organisation responsible for representing  Sector Skills Councils, Sector Skills Organisations and their employers across the UK skills system, will launch the system in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service.

Apprentices will receive a new certificate approved by John Hayes, the minister of state for further education, skills and lifelong learning, which includes either bronze, silver or gold foil seals:

  • Bronze this seal appears on the certificate issued to apprentices who completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship.
  • Silver this seal appears on the certificate issued to apprentices who completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.
  • Gold this seal appears on the certificate issued to apprentices who completed a Higher Apprenticeship.

The new centralised ACE system will save Apprenticeship training providers and issuing authorities valuable time, resource and investment and will allow them to track the progress of Apprenticeship candidates.

Mr Hayes, who will launch the system at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, in London, this afternoon, said: “The government is restoring practical learning to its rightful place as a hallmark of personal attainment and national pride.

“Apprenticeships are a gold standard qualification, and it’s right that the hard work of people who undertake them should be marked and celebrated.

“In this Olympic year, I am delighted to launch the new national gold, silver and bronze certificates to recognise the success of apprentices.

“The launch of these awards reflects the sterling achievements of the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils and the National Apprenticeship Service in helping forge a revitalised skills system that meets – and raises – the aspirations of learners and employers.”

John Rogers, Executive Chair of the Alliance, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of ACE, a system that will enable the certification of Apprenticeships in England and will underpin this vital programme.

“Apprenticeships play an important role in the provision of a highly skilled workforce in England and it is vital that we ensure individuals have the right skills, at the right time, to ensure they are best-placed to take advantage of the opportunities that arise as the economy continues to recover.”

For more on this story, see this week’s FE Week.