This year’s User Forum provided an excellent overview of the enhancements planned and delivered for ACMS, AssessBook and AssessTube over the last year as well as focusing on the new system features, Forms and the Check Module.

Gabriel Stroud opened the forum by saying, “Our forums are all about us sharing what we’ve delivered, listening to your ideas and helping us shape the way we go forward.  We really believe in delivering industry focused solutions that work for your individual businesses.”


Sally Brinkley, Director of Operations, gave an update on what’s happened over the last 12 months across the various products and reminded us about the features that have been delivered including the launch of the Bulletin Module and the first phase of the new Check Module.

David Brock, Head of Operations provided a further update on Configurable Resources and Localisation, which are to key features that were delivered in ACMS 5.1. Localisation is a language feature, which enables the customisation to your preferred language or changes to specific words and phrases, on both ACMS and the Apps.

ACMS V5.2 and New Features

Version ACMS 5.2 is not far away which will provide an update to the iOS app as well as an update to the Assessment module.  This incorporates updated planning screens that provide a record of when your assessments are due, new Assessment States providing the ability to track appeals, with new fields for candidate, assessor and IQA comments and a full history record for each assessment. This release will also include the long anticipated Custom Dashboards as well as some other new features.

Attendees at the forum were particularly excited about the release of Forms which address the need to store ‘random data’ to support competence management processes. For example, driver manager driving hours, engineering completion tasks and storage of current paper-based forms.  Through the properties, the forms will define the questions asked and contain the answers, with the results being available on custom reports and dashboards.

Also announced at the Forum was the new Check Module, designed for managers to perform individual checks on the move using the new aCheck App.  This was originally designed in collaboration with GWR to facilitate regular checks on whether individuals are fit for duty.  In ACMS V5.2, the check module will provide the facility to include custom checks for individuals or audiences, which could be used, for example, to facilitate fatigue checks, attendance at safety briefings or anything else that managers required to check on a person by person basis as part of safety critical operations.


Improvements to the new theme launch last year have been developed for AssessBook, Assesstech’s learning management system.  These deliver a much improved user experience by enabling customisable dashboards and better tools for finding and displaying courses.

There is also a new criteria plug-in which allows assessors to use the results from quizzes to mark off performance criteria on ACMS when completing assessments. We support the industry’s drive towards blended learning and especially think that the opportunity for candidates to produce evidence of competence whilst training is an important development that will massively improve efficiency for our customers.


AssessTube has undergone a major overhaul this year. It is now built around a market-leading engine, ViMP, which provides enhanced video tracking options including the ability to see how much of a video candidates played.  This also provides the opportunity to integrate with ACMS so that individual candidate data can be shown on the ACMS candidate dashboard in much the same way as previously possible for AssessBook data.

There’s also a brand new theme that better supports mobile devices and can be branded for each customer.


The big story this year was all about systems’ integration.  Whilst the AssessTech products are currently connected together, we recognise the growing need to integrate data from a whole range of other systems in order to make a joined-up story for Competence Management.

Sally Brinkley presented the current state of play and the vision, highlighting a number of new developments in the pipeline for AssessTech products, including: 

  • Single Sign-On
  • ACMS audiences pushed to AssessBook and AssessTube.
  • Directed Learning Content.
  • Schedule Integration (adding in training events on AssessBook to a competence schedule on ACMS)

Our vision is also to integrate other external platforms to provide a fully rounded solution.

accessplanit will enable individuals to plan courses and auto enrol candidates on courses and link to new and/or existing candidates.

3dVSLwill provide simulation tools for familiarisation and training. 

SMIS Plus is the incident recording platform for Heavy Rail (we are also talking to TAIR for light rail)

And finally, there is a requirement to integrate ACMS into existing HR systems, however that will need to be managed on a case by case basis. 

And Finally…

We spoke to some interesting individuals at the forum about electronic competence management, their thoughts on the user forums and highlights from this year’s forum including Daniel Pries from National Express Germany; Paul Crowley from CrossCountry Trains; Phil Hibbard, RSSB; Rosie Alexander from GWR and Alex Walker from Hull Trains. 

The full video highlights from forum can be viewed below.