ACE offers members personal support, thought leadership and improved communication


    Most Chief Executives and senior leaders face many of the same leadership challenges and business opportunities but it is often difficult to find chances to discuss them. ACE offers opportunities for networking which helps to stimulate discussion leading to possible solutions and support. We also run Masterclasses which aim to enhance our effectiveness as leaders. To help members make best use of time, we hold a variety of meetings designed to fit into the working day, including lunchtime discussions, afternoon seminars, and early evening networking events.


    The pace of change means communication often lags behind or is inconsistent. We aim to share key developments with members through meetings and regular member briefings, keeping you in touch with developments and offering opportunities to contribute to key debates, as well as sharing the material from events we hold, so that those unable to attend can benefit. ACE is always seeking to improve support for its members, and this website includes a private area for members where documents can be shared and discussed and the opportunities for online networking can be supported.

    ACE meets regularly with key stakeholders to understand developments and bring delivery perspectives to bear. This includes regular dialogue with the Cabinet Office. ACE is also invited to bring a delivery perspective to a range of fora to bring ALB delivery perspectives to the debates. Members are often asked to input into policies, reports or reviews impacting delivery – including the joint PCF/Cabinet Office publication on ‘Efficiency by Design – stories of best practice in public bodies’ which featured the work of several ACE member organisations. ACE is fortunate to have support at senior levels in the civil service including Sue Owen, Permanent Secretary at DCMS and ACE’s Permanent Secretary sponsor, who works with us to ensure the experience and value of delivery organisations is recognised. 


    Our conferences, seminars and special interest groups are designed to bring together specialist input and the sharing of our experiences. Special interests currently being focused on are: commercialisation, public body reform, digital by default, and pay and reward structures. We respond to the needs of members and facilitate discussion on topics of interest – for example we recently held a seminar suggested by a member to share lessons learned by those who have gone or are going through reform. ‘Best Practice in Public Bodies Reform’ was held jointly with the Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF) at the Institute for Government (IfG) and was attended by members of both organisations as well as representatives from Cabinet Office, who were keen to learn lessons from the experience of our members.  


    As a Chief Executive or Senior Manager within an arm’s length body or related organization, you are dealing with a whole plethora of day to day issues. This is over and above the ongoing requests from central government departments for information, analysis and research.  Joining the ACE network will provide you with a support and information sharing network, of those undertaking very similar roles.  ACE welcomes the Chief Executives and their senior executive direct reports of all public sector arms’ length bodies. This means that both you and your direct reports can be part of the ACE community providing development opportunities and supporting your talent management strategies.  It also means senior executives can attend key events on your behalf when diary clashes occur, to ensure that any knowledge and learning can be brought back to your organisation. All membership applications are subject to ACE Board approval.

    By joining ACE you are likely to grow your network and knowledge, adding value to your organisation. Your membership will also help to increase the reach of ACE - the bigger and broader the membership base the more members’ are able to rely on ACE being as fully representative of the spectrum of experience and opinion all of our arms’ length bodies, as we work together to improve delivery in the public sector.


The ACE membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March each year. If you join within the year we will pro rata your invoice through to 31 March.

ACE corporate membership applies to Chief Executives and their direct reports. The current rate for corporate membership is £695.00

You can join ACE by following this link and registering your details. You will then receive a confirmation email with your new membership login details.

Get Involved

ACE was formed to provide a support network for senior management within UK Government arm's length bodies who between them employ 85% of the civil service, our network is regarded as an essential package for top managers within government.

Become a member, join today


  • December 19 2017

    • Reflections on Public Bodies Week, Susanna Smith

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