About us

At the heart of every community should be a thriving college, supporting students, delivering skills, transforming communities, promoting social justice, working with employers, and growing the economy.

Association of Colleges is the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England. We are a not-for-profit membership organisation established in 1996 by colleges, for colleges. Our members make up almost 95% of the sector - transforming 2.2 million lives each year.

Acting as the collective voice, we represent and promote the interests of colleges, and provide our members with high-quality professional support services, including training, events, and recruitment.

Our vision

Great colleges transforming lives and communities and meeting employer needs through teaching and learning for student success.

Our mission 

Champion and support the sector by enhancing colleges’ reputation, leading policy thinking, influencing decision-makers and advising colleges.

What we do

We also provide members with professional support services, including expert advice lines for:

We also represent colleges nationally and influence Government and its agencies on policies affecting the sector and their students and staff at national and regional levels.

Our work

AoC is the first port of call when seeking information about English colleges. We also work with colleges in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We have set four clear strategic aims which will be the focus of our work in the future:

  1. Set the agenda for positive policy changes.
  2. Develop a high profile and strong reputation for colleges.
  3. Deliver expert support, advice and intelligence for members.
  4. Develop a strong, sustainable, ambitious and transparent representative body for members.

We will achieve this by:

  • Working with members in developing policy and enhancing the profile and reputation of colleges.
  • Setting clear long-term priorities for our work with robust measures and accountability processes through our governance structure.
  • Working in partnership with a range of other organisations that can support and add value to our work.
  • Maintaining a team of professional and skilled people across the country to provide you with the services and support you need.
  • Communicating openly and transparently in our work, making sure you are kept up to date with expert, timely and relevant information.