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. 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 networking events. We are establishing Action Learning Sets for our Chief Executives, to provide ongoing peer support.


    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. ACE is fortunate to have support at senior levels in the civil service including Sarah Healey, 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 and seminars  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. Occasionally, we host joint events with our sister organisation, the Public Chairs' Forum, or with the Institute for Government, as well as representatives from Cabinet Office, who are 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 arm's-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 arm's-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.

Offer of reduced subscription for new members!

The Association of Chief Executives is offering organisations that have not been a member of ACE in the past three years discounted membership, from £695 down to £500. Through a programme of unique and carefully tailored seminars and events, ACE facilitates an environment for members to identify best practice and work together to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of public services, by drawing on the perspectives of its members, ACE is able to provide impartial information, expert advice and guidance to Government on the role of arm’s-length bodies in the delivery and reform of public services. Membership includes the opportunity for both the Chief Executive and up to six of their direct reports to attend events and participate in our work throughout the year.

For further information or to join ACE, please contact

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.

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  • August 28 2020

    • NEW BLOG: What Can We Expect from the Comprehensive Spending Review? by Thomas Pope at IfG


A number of resources are available to ACE members, these can include Cabinet Office reports, ACE newsletters, the latest updates on civil service reform and any relevant case studies.