16th May, 2017

The further education landscape has over the years seen huge upheaval and change. More uncertainty is now the only certainty when you consider the implementation of the apprenticeship levy, the Brexit outcome, government devolution plans and the development of the Technical Education Bill. This changeable operating environment is compounded by the need to commercialise college business operations.

Further education colleges need to be innovative in order to survive and this conference will offer you the chance to step back from your day job, so you can enhance your understanding of the current environment in which colleges operate and provide you with solutions to the challenges you face. Expert speakers and the largest networking event in the college finance calendar will prepare you to rise to the challenges ahead.

The conference will cover a vast range of session topics including the apprenticeship reforms, college structures, making sense of the political landscape and how to thrive and innovate in the sector. The interactive workshops and discussion groups will drill down into specific issues, allowing you to share your collective experiences and to learn from peers how they are dealing with similar situations.

Reasons to attend…

  • Hear an analysis of the current political environment and what the future may hold for further education from Richard Atkins, FE Commissioner and AoC’s Julian Gravatt
  • Examine the implications of the apprenticeship reforms following the implementation of the levy
  • Discuss how you can embrace commercialism and embed entrepreneurialism in your workforce so your college can thrive now and in the future
  • Learn from leading sector experts who will discuss college structures in the post area review world
  • Network with like-minded colleagues to discuss how to address the challenges you face

What did 2016 conference delegates say?

“The best AoC Annual Finance Conference for many years. Very well done to AoC for such an informative and interesting programme.”
Gary Horne, Vice Principal: Finance and Operations, Colchester Institute

“I found this year’s conference especially relevant to my job: the information on area reviews, apprentice levies and FRS102 implementation are all key issues for me. The conference enabled me to focus on these areas and plan what I need to do next.”
Tracy Bull, College Accountant, Isle of Wight College

Join the conversation and stay up-to-date with the latest conference news: #aocfinance / @AoC_Create

Sponsored by




Jurys Inn Hinckley Island

Watling St
LE10 3JA

01455 631122


Full fee *

AoC Member Colleges: £475  + VAT
Affiliate organisations: £550 + VAT
Non-Member (College/Public Sector): £585 + VAT
Non-Member (Commercial): £700 + VAT

*Full fee includes a pass to the conference, lunch and refreshments on both days, conference dinner and accommodation on the night of Tuesday 16 May at the Jury’s Inn Hinckley Island.

Day fee

AoC Member Colleges: £299  + VAT
Affiliate organisations: £375 + VAT
Non-Member (College/Public Sector): £400 + VAT
Non-Member (Commercial): £450 + VAT

All day fees include: Lunch and refreshments but not conference dinner or accommodation


Conference dinner on Tuesday 16 May: £45+VAT
Accommodation on either Monday 15 or Tuesday 16 May at the Jury’s Inn Hinckley Island: £95+VAT

Terms and Conditions

Registration enquiries:
020 7034 2620

Finance enquiries:
020 7034 9908

Sponsorship and Exhibition Enquiries:
Rachel Sidgwick, Sponsorship and
Exhibition Manager, AoC Create
Tel: 01642 700266/ 07736 171949

Richard Atkins

Richard Atkins was appointed Further Education Commissioner in October 2016, with responsibility for leading area reviews, interventions and quality improvements in the colleges sector. Previously Richard was a college principal for 21 years, initially at Yeovil and, between 2002 and 2016, at Exeter College. During his tenure Exeter was judged to be outstanding by Ofsted and received several national awards for excellence. Richard has held a number of national roles in the past, including being AoC President and a commissioner for adult and vocational learning. In total, Richard has spent more than 35 years working in Further Education as a teacher and leader, having initially had a short career in retail management.

David Hughes

David Hughes became Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges in September 2016. Before that he was CEO at Learning and Work Institute, a leading think tank, research and policy organisation which was formed in 2016 from a merger he led between NIACE and Inclusion.

From 2000 to 2011, David worked in senior roles at the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). David has held many Board and Committee roles, including a few years as Vice-Chair of the East Midlands Regional Assembly in the 1990s. He played a leading role in establishing the new Education and Training Foundation in 2013 and has established and supported several third sector organisations.

Rebecca Jones

Rebecca Jones started her first business at the age of 19 and has since established herself within the field of businesses growth through staff engagement in enterprise. She holds a Masters Degree in Education focusing on educating enterprise and entrepreneurs and has combined running her own business for over two decades with work in academia focusing on enterprise learning. Her own businesses have included an event company, recruitment company, training company and holiday accommodation provider. Her employed roles include Director of Business at The Management Centre, Bangor University.

Rebecca uses her knowledge of people development and business growth to provide an interesting blend of thinking and ideas when it comes to business success.  “Can your staff be more enterprising to help your organisation grow?” In her talk based on her 2nd book due out in 2017, Rebecca will share her experiences of encouraging enterprise within organisations. her belief that mindset holds back staff and organisations in becoming more involved in enterprising ides is core to her presentation.

Ian Pryce CBE

Ian Pryce has been Principal and Chief Executive of Bedford College since 1998, having joined the College in 1996 as Finance Director.  He was previously a regional Finance Director at the Further Education Funding Council and has also worked as a Director or Senior Manager in retail, electricity generation and local government in Liverpool, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Northamptonshire.  He is a fellow of the accountancy body CIPFA and a Syndic of the University of Cambridge.  He was one of the founder members of the 157 Group, founding Chair of the Bedford Free School and was awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Keith Smith

Keith Smith has worked in the Skills system for more than 20 years. He has worked closely with unemployed people running local Job Clubs and implementing local employment projects. In recent years he has been leading the development and delivery of the national Further Education and Apprenticeship funding systems. Keith has been a Governor of a number schools and University Technology Colleges. He is currently the Programme Director with responsibility for implementing Apprenticeship funding reforms and the Apprenticeship Levy.

Registration Sponsor - Software Providers

WPM Education are the Payment Acceptance Specialists in the UK’s higher and further education sectors, helping universities and colleges to achieve their payment acceptance goals. We partner with you on the development of your Payment Acceptance Strategy and provide a Payment Platform through which all your incoming online payments can be routed. Come meet our Account Managers and Consultancy Team at stand 27 to see how we can provide a solution that is fully integrated, will grow with your institution and exceed your customer expectations!
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Clear Plan delivers solutions that cut budgeting/forecasting cycle times and improve collaboration for organisations across all industries and sectors. Our customers include Regents University, INTO University Partnerships and Explore Learning
Our customers find that whilst Excel spreadsheets are crucial to their finance professionals, they no longer want to be constrained by its limitations for the process of budgeting, planning and reporting.
Spreadsheet-based processes create risk and drain valuable time – our Cloud-based solution moves customers beyond Excel to streamline their process.
Book Appointment

Facilities Support Services

Debitrak is a web based cashless smart card solution that allows students to pay for purchases at your POS, vending machines, copiers or laundry rooms using funds stored on their own personal on-line account.. Operating with your existing ID cards unique or if it’s your first experience with card schemes, our web based software will issue cards and manage your scheme adding subsidies, bursaries and entitlements to match your site requirements.
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Specialising in software solutions, training and consultancy for the further education sector, we work with the full range of organisations, including colleges, private training providers, local authorities, awarding bodies and audit companies.
Our market leading products are used by more than two thirds of colleges to achieve financial stability, viable curriculum plans, optimised funding and efficient data management processes.
Our innovative approach to delivering quality solutions is the foundation of our business. Whether it relates to our market leading software or our attention to the latest funding guidance and the impact it will have on our clients.
Book Appointment

Digital Finance Provider

When budgets are tight, finding funds to keep up with the demand of ever changing digital technology can be difficult for your college. To overcome this challenge, enable your students to benefit from the digital revolution and maintain a stable budget, finance models are a compelling alternative. Econocom is Europe’s largest independent provider of digital finance and associated services. In the UK, we have extensive experience in the education sector. We support over 500 colleges and schools with their digital projects. Come and see us on stand 28!
Book Appointment

Banking and Treasury Consultants

Established in 2002, Finalysis continues to support the Education sector as a leading independent consultant in the fields of Mergers, Debt Restructuring, Project Finance, and specialist support for banking, card acquiring and other financial services tendering. Finalysis’ focus is achieving value for money and implementing finance structures designed to be sustainable and equitable long term. Finalysis has raised £1.2bn in project finance along with achieving over £6m of savings from banking and treasury reviews.
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Frontier Software’s comprehensive human resource integrated solution, ichris, offers a complete HR solution with a range of additional modules including payroll, learning & development, e-recruitment, e-performance, employee/manager self service and time and attendance. ichris creates a centralised, virtual HR office and allows extensive maintenance of HR information with one time data entry and a flexible, user-friendly report designer. ichris builds a complete history of every employee and enables ad-hoc reports.
Book Appointment

Consultancy Services

Gerald Eve has a sector-leading, dedicated education team offering a broad range of property advice.
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Inisoft Ltd is a specialist software company providing a number of software solutions that are focused on meeting the needs of further education colleges, economic development bodies and financial services organisations. Inisoft’s online student funding application and management solution “CAMS” and course application software “INICA” is used by a number of colleges nationally, delivering real costs and efficiency saving while improving the student experience.
Book Appointment

IT Providers

IPS are an established supplier to the College Sector, we have embedded solutions with all of the sectors MIS providers, delivering Smartcard, access, attendance and payment based IT systems. We can offer a range of services from onsite enrolment, equipment hire and the developing of bespoke solutions, whatever our clients need we are happy to supply.
Book Appointment

Software Providers

LAKE is the UK’s leading provider of SunSystems financial management solutions for the education sector. We are an approved supplier to the Crescent Purchasing Consortium.
Book Appointment

Building Society

We offer a range of business savings accounts from instant access to fixed rate, with competitive interest rates. We won ‘Best Variable Rate Deposit Account Provider’ at the Business MoneyFacts Awards 2016, and we have a strong, long-term credit rating grades and a Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio of 23.2% (2016), which is one of the strongest in the industry.
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Pay360 by Capita provides businesses of all sizes and across all markets with secure and highly adaptable payments services from online, face to face and phone payments. Gain control, confidence and flexibility in your business with advanced payments services from Pay360 by Capita. Built using the latest technology and thinking. Get the simplicity and control you need. Pay360 works with all customer payment channels, aligns with your existing systems and scales to grow as your business does.
To find out more about our solutions visit www.pay360.com
Book Appointment

Recruitment Services

Protocol have been the leading supplier of recruitment and software services to the Further Education sector for the last 20 years, providing a full recruitment solution for FE Colleges, Private Training Providers, Councils, Local Authorities and the Justice Sector.
Book Appointment

Recruitment Services

Robertson Bell is a leading specialist recruitment company within Further Education and the wider education sector. We recruit permanent, fixed term and interim staff in Finance, HR & Procurement from junior up to and including Director level positions. Our experienced team guarantees, a quality driven, bespoke service on every assignment. Meet us at stand 9 or call 0203 824 7100.
Book Appointment

Financial Services

Sancus Finance is a business financial services provider who specialise in the provision of funding to businesses seeking to access working capital finance to realise their growth plans. In addition to invoice and supply chain finance, they also offer specialist finance solutions designed for Educational Institutions to enable them to manage working capital and pay suppliers promptly.
Book Appointment

Consultancy Services

Our Financial Benchmarking service, used by 80% of FE colleges, provides reliable, objective and independent data to drive strategic planning and respond to area review recommendations including merger transition.
We bring together financial, staff, student and estates data to give an objective evidence base for your strategic and financial decision making. Our online Benchmarking tool enables you to address your future challenges by modelling different financial scenarios so you can improve financial resilience, whatever your direction of travel.
Book Appointment

Consultancy Services

UniLink Finance is a leading specialist advisor of leasing and asset finance to the Education sector providing competitive lease funding that is compliant with Education legislation. Our services include procurement for new leases, ongoing lease management, lease accounting and technical advice on all aspect of asset finance.
We can provide asset funding for ICT, telecoms, gym equipment, solar PV, LED lighting, biomass boilers, synthetic sports pitches (MUGAs) and vehicles including contract hire for minibuses
Book Appointment

Software Providers

Unit4 is a leading provider of enterprise applications empowering people in service organisations. With annual revenue north of 500M Euro and more than 4200 employees world-wide, Unit4 delivers ERP, industry-focused and best-in-class applications. Thousands of organisations from sectors including professional services, education, public services, not-for-profit, real estate and financial services benefit from Unit4 solutions. Unit4 is in business for people.
Book Appointment

VAT Consultancy Services

VATangles VAT Consultancy specialises in providing VAT solutions to save your college money. The qualified VAT specialists at VATangles can offer the benefits, knowledge and experience gained during 50 years of working with the public and private sectors to recover millions of pounds through VAT savings. To discuss how we can help your organisation, contact us today on 01858 565142 or email info@VATangles.com.
Book Appointment


Wylie & Bisset LLP is a leading, 11 Partner firm of Chartered Accountants who provide a full range of services to clients throughout the UK including audit and accountancy, corporate and personal taxation, business advisory, insolvency, corporate finance and consultancy services.
Our extensive audit experience allows us to offer proactive and constructive advice delivered via our partner and manager led team of professionals.
Book Appointment


Zurich Municipal is a leading provider of risk management and insurance solutions to UK colleges. We understand how vital it is to have the right insurance cover and risk management plans in place. We provide valuable support and specialist risk management guidance to help you build greater resilience across your organisation. Visit us at stand 5 to find out how we can support your college’s risk management.
Book Appointment