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Beacon Awards 2023/24

The Beacon awards 23/24 are now closed.

The 24/25 awards will launch on 10 June (see below timeline) more details will be available here soon.

To register your interest for more information please click here


The Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education (FE) colleges. It is managed by AoC and run through AoC Charitable Trust - a registered charity.

The aim of the awards programme is to demonstrate and promote the far-reaching impact of colleges on their students and the communities they serve. The commended and winning case studies will be used to increase understanding of colleges’ contribution to educational skills policy and economic and social development.

This year we have retained the two stage assessment process taking on board sector feedback and as part of our ongoing awards review led by the AoC Beacon Awards Chief Assessor. We have also listened to colleges regarding the continuing additional demands placed on colleges and staff. We have also ensured the Guide for applicants and what assessors will be looking for is more explicit to help applicants capture the information assessors require.

Beacon Award Winners 2021-2024

Why Should You Apply?

The awards offer colleges the opportunity to showcase the inspiring and innovative ways they support students, staff and communities. It represents the very best approaches that colleges have developed and are implementing to meet the skills needs of local employers and the career aspirations of their students.

Feedback from applicants tell us how they use the Beacon process to help staff to examine their practice, evaluate what is working well or could be developed further, create plans for improvement and inform college strategic planning and CPD support.

Applying for a Beacon Award

  • Application opening date - Monday 19 June
  • Application closing date - Monday 25 September midday (there will be no extension to this closing date).

Please read all information below and documents attached before submitting an application.

AoC Beacon Awards Programme 2023/24 - Individual Awards and Sponsors

  • The NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • The Careers & Enterprise Company Award for Excellence in Careers and Enterprise
  • The City & Guilds Award for College Engagement with Employers
  • The Edge Award for Excellence in Real World Learning
  • The Jisc Award for Effective Use of Digital Technology in Further Education
  • The RCU Award for Support for Students
  • The Inenco Award for Education for Sustainable Development
  • The AoC Award for Widening Participation
  • The AoC Award for Excellence in Governance

Additional application Information

Total word limit: Each section has a suggested word limit, but these are for guidance only. Please ensure the total responses for the three sections of Innovation, Impact and Sustainability do not exceed 3,000 words.

You can submit one piece of optional anonymised additional data or evidence to back up your application. Once you receive a confirmation email following successful submission, please only reply to this email attaching your college logo and anonymised data or evidence.

  • Anonymised additional data or evidence must not exceed more than 5 pages in total.
  • If the information in the main body of the file identifies the college, the evidence may not be considered.
  • All applicants must submit a high resolution college logo via e-mail to complete your application.
  • After form submission you have the option to print a copy of your answers.
  • A copy of the AoC privacy policy can be viewed here.

Beacon Awards Best Practice Case Studies 2022/23

To watch 2022/23 Best Practice case studies, please click HERE