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..

  • Richard Atkins, FE Commissioner, will draw out some lessons from area reviews and college interventions for finance leaders
  • 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

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.

Karen Spencer

Karen Spencer is Principal and Chief Executive of Harlow College in Essex. Karen has worked in the post-16 sector for 20 years. Karen is currently Chair of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor group of college principals and is also a member of the AoC Quality and Performance group.

Karen takes an active interest in all aspects of Education; she is particularly interested in how the curriculum can better meet the needs of young people and adults to make them more employable, giving them good careers. Harlow College has recently established an Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering centre – a true partnership between employer, the College and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Conference Sponsor - Awarding Organisation

The ICAEW Academy of Professional Development have been commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to deliver the Further Education CFO Programme to further enable CFOs in the sector to partner with their CEOs to drive strategy forward. The training addresses key elements of the 2014/15 FE commissioner’s annual report and recent survey carried out with the College Finance Directors, which highlighted the need for leadership development and increased commercial insight within the sector.
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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!
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Media Partner - Recruitment Services

Recruiting the best for your college can be challenging, especially when budgets are tight. TES offers FE colleges a cost effective Recruitment Subscription to help you achieve more with your budget whilst promoting your college to the best candidates. Speak to our team to find out how TES can support your recruitment needs.

Recruitment, Training and Strategic Development Services

AoC Create is a provider for a range of development and resourcing services for the further education sector. We work closely with colleges to provide the best and most cost effective solutions for their needs. We have over 20 years of experience within further education and, alongside our close ties with the Association of Colleges, it means we have that extra understanding of colleges’ needs and the broader sector.
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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.
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Procurement Services

Established since 1999, CPC is the UK’s only consortium dedicated to supporting schools, colleges and academies. We produce reliable and cost-effective EU-tendered purchasing frameworks. Our professional team also provide specialist advice on procurement processes. In 2009 the FE sector bought the company and we now operate as a not-for-profit organisation.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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FE Protect is a bespoke Insurance & Risk Management solution for FE Colleges. We consistently deliver 20-40% premium savings plus provide Risk Management consultancy, with Critical Incident/Disaster Recovery Planning a speciality. We are a CPC approved supplier.
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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.
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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.
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Property Consultancy Services

Gerald Eve has a sector-leading dedicated Education Team, which is closely involved in the FE sector in the provision of a broad range of property advice. Property valuation is core to our business and with the changes in the FE sector, we are particularly involved with valuations for mergers and due diligence and for financial reporting purposes. We also bring many other technical skills to the sector including purchase, disposal & letting, landlord & tenant, planning & development and building consultancy plus, particularly topical at the moment, Business Rates.
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Consultancy Services

As leading advisers to the LGPS and its employers, we offer a range of actuarial and benefit consultancy services to help colleges manage their pension scheme costs and risks more effectively. We pride ourselves on finding the answers that deliver better outcomes through fresh, innovative ideas. We believe everyone has the right to a better financial future – we ensure it’s not left to chance.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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Financial Services

Sancus Finance specialise in the provision of funding to Educational Institutions who are looking to access working capital finance to support their plans. Education Finance delivers a source of funding against expected student loans company income which is complementary and additional to existing funding arrangements.
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Banking & Financial Services

The Further Education sector is integral to Santander Education team. Our in-depth knowledge enables our dedicated relationship team to offer tailored solutions to meet the aims and objectives of Colleges. We have specific & recent experience in assisting in estate strategies, and also offer a full range of facilities including day-to-day banking plus asset finance, working capital and support for International activities.
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Procurement Services

Tenet is the leading provider of review, benchmarking and tendering services to the education sector. Our aim is to minimise the time you need to spend dealing with tenders, and ensure that 2015 Public Contract Regulations and other rules are observed.
Services cover a diverse range of goods and services from cleaning, catering and facilities management to furniture, IT outsourcing and reprographics and we use professional e-tendering software for all our tenders.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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Online Payments, Online Bookings and Communications

WisePay works with colleges throughout the UK, helping them to cut costs and generate revenues. Our areas of expertise: – Digital Payments – Commercial Income Bookings – Alerts/Communications Services include cashless catering, trip management, shops, top-ups, facilities/sports/conference/ticket bookings, course bookings, bursary management. WisePay’s knowledgeable staff provide consultancy and support. Let us inspire you. See how we are working with some of our existing colleges.
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Wylie & Bisset LLP is a leading, 11 Partner firm of Chartered Accountants who provide a full range of accountancy and audit services to clients throughout the UK.
We act for over 40 educational establishments across the UK, including further education colleges, sixth form colleges, academies and private schools providing an efficient and professional service. Visit us at stand 2 to discuss how we can add value to your organisation.
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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.
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