24th November 2020

The Welsh Government has launched a £40 million skills and jobs fund which will help incentivise employers to take on and train new workers, including Apprentices and young people. It is hoped that these financial incentives will encourage the creation of up to 6,000 Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships have a vital role in supporting the recovery of the economy and in supporting those most likely to be negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19. Investment in upskilling and reskilling existing staff will be vital to ensure that businesses have the necessary capability and skills in their workforce to recover and transform their business, to adapt to changing markets and implement new business models.

As we start to come out of lockdown, the real effects on the local and national economy are going to become more evident and it will continue to be a challenging time. There is a need to continue to build and position Apprenticeships with businesses across Wales and to promote the benefits that Apprentices bring. They are looking to target those businesses that have slowed down during this period and will need to re-group and re-energise by injecting fresh, new talent into the business as well as targeting those sectors that have longevity and businesses that can offer Apprenticeships as part of their recovery and ongoing recruitment strategy.


Apprenticeships can help to offer employers a way to strengthen their business further and to access quality training to help build a pipeline of skilled, motivated talent. The Apprenticeship Programme will continue to help employers during recovery, as Wales’ primary driver for upskilling the workforce.


Any employer in Wales, regardless of size or sector, can benefit from the four new Apprenticeship incentives, which will run from 1 August 2020 to 28 February 2021.


Up to £3,000 to hire a young Apprentice, aged 16-24.

*This incentive applies to Apprenticeships delivered at levels 2-5 only.

*Payments will be restricted to ten Apprentices per employer.



Up to £2,000 to hire a new Apprentice aged 25 and over.

*This incentive applies to Apprenticeships delivered at levels 2-5 only.

*Payments will be restricted to ten Apprentices per employer.



Up to £2,600 to employers for the re-employment of redundant Apprentices to allow them to complete their training.

*This incentive applies to Apprenticeships delivered at levels 2-5 only.

*This incentive applies to those Apprentices made redundant after 23 March 2020.

*The Apprentice must continue to follow the same Apprenticeship Framework Pathway.



£1,500 to employers for each new Apprentice they hire.

*This incentive applies to Apprenticeships delivered at levels 2-5 only.

*Payments apply to all Apprentices identified as disabled, irrespective of age.

*Payments can be claimed in addition to the 16-24, 25 and over and redundancy incentives.


The Apprenticeship incentives are outlined in full here: – programmes/Apprenticeships/funding-available


An Apprenticeships campaign, aimed at employers, will be live from November 16th and will run for a period of four weeks.


* Employers recruiting on zero hour contracts are ineligible for the Apprenticeship recruitment incentives.

* Shared Apprenticeship models are ineligible for the Apprenticeship recruitment incentives.

Apprenticeship Framework Certification Price Increase Announcement

7th September 2020

From 1 October 2020, the price of an Apprenticeship Framework certificate in Wales, claimed and issued via the Federation’s online ACW 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 ACW is hosted
  • developed and enhanced the ACW 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 current library of all “live” Framework documents and links to previous 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 Wales, the Federation must be able to continue to manage and deliver the service on an economically sustainable basis.
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.
The new certification price of £25 will be implemented from 1st October. The ACW 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 then option 3.

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 February 2020, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACW. 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 ACW Support Team via or by calling 0300 303 4444 option 1 then option 3.

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 7th February 2020 Update

5th March 2020

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

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 ACWSupport Team via or by calling 0300 303 4444 option 1 then option 2.

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.

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 25th February 2019

25th February 2019

In September 2018, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACW.  Since then we have made the following changes;

Cskills Awards was previously the Awarding Organisation for CITB, it is now part of NOCN. We have therefore updated our NOCN guidance to incorporate NOCN_Cskills, NOCN/NOCN_Cskills.

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

Acceptable Evidence Guidance – 13th September update

17th September 2018

In March 2018, we updated the latest version of the Acceptable Evidence Guidance for ACW. Since then we have made the following changes:

Changes to existing pages:

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

EAL: we have added newly branded acceptable certificates.

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

ACW Consent Form

3rd July 2018

The ACW Consent Form has been updated, now requiring to be signed by both the Claimant and the Apprentice.


This new requirement has been introduced to ensure that consent is given in line with the most up to date legislation and that your apprentice’s data stays as accurate and secure as possible.


The revised Consent Form also includes a link to our updated. Data Use and Management Policy


Please ensure that for any Consent Forms signed on or after 1st September 2018, that it is this updated version of the form that has been used to record apprentice consent.


The new form can be obtained here.


If you have any related queries please let us know at

The Tech Partnership

14th June 2018

The Tech Partnership will be closing in September 2018 and Instructus will be taking over these apprenticeship certification responsibilities.


For further information please see the following –


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