Association of Colleges
|Purpose||Representative organisation for further education and sixth form colleges in England|
The Association of Colleges (AoC) is a not-for-profit membership organisation set up by colleges to act as their collective voice, representing further education colleges in the UK, with an associated registered charitable trust and a commercial arm, AoC Create. The Association was created in 1996 and provides a broad range of services to its member FE colleges.
Today, AoC represents and promotes the interests of 317 further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges across the UK – over 95% of the sector. It influences Government and its agencies on policies affecting colleges and their students and staff at national and regional levels. They also provide members with professional support services, which include expert advice lines for employment, communications, health and safety, governance and teaching and learning. Each year it hosts a large Annual Conference and Exhibition to consider the future of the sector.
AoC is governed by a Board composed of principals from member colleges, together with members appointed to represent the interests of various groupings within the sector or to enhance the effectiveness of the Board. In addition, there is a Governors’ Council which advises the Board on Governance related matters. Each November, AoC holds an Annual Conference and Exhibition which brings together senior leaders and policy makers to discuss the future of the sector. The 2016 event took place on 15-17 November in Birmingham.
AoC Create provide additional support to colleges in areas which may not be covered in AoC's member services. These range from recruitment of permanent and interim staff, training, conferences and events, sponsorship and consultancy. All profits that AoC Create makes are reinvested into the FE sector through the AoC.
AoC Jobs is their specialist job board for further education, promoting jobs available in colleges. These range from teaching, lecturing and tutoring jobs to more general business support roles and senior management positions.
AoC Sport is the lead membership organisation for college sport and physical activity. AoC Sport encourages and supports every student to participate in sport and physical activity as an integrated part of their college experience.
AoC Charitable Trust aims to support post-16 education. The Trust administers two UK-wide annual awards schemes. Supported by education and industry sponsorship, the Beacon Awards recognise outstanding college provision in subjects ranging from widening participation to sport. The Gold Awards acknowledge college alumni who have made a major contribution to their field.