Acquisition agreement. Under CC 3.0 Creator attribution: Nick Youngson - link to - has acquired Pellcomp (Trinity Software Limited), the vendor behind PICS, a trusted platform for training and employability providers. PICS has two major components: PICS for employability is a case management solution for DWP contract holders. PICS for Skills is a learning management system for all ESFA-funded and commercial delivery, including apprenticeships, traineeships and study programmes.

This latest acquisition sees Advanced strengthen the breadth and depth of its education portfolio. This acquisition is just over a year after its acquisition of bksb and Smart Apprentices. One of the justifications for the acquisition is a market prediction that the UK EdTech market will reach £3.4bn in 2021, and the expected growth rate over the next two years is predicted to be 29%. Whether that remains the case with inflation and a possible economic downturn, Advanced should have factored in. However, the underlying cause for that increase is the lack of skilled talent in the UK, and these grassroots education is perhaps where the investment will be from the government.

Gordon Wilson CEO at Advanced
Gordon Wilson CEO at Advanced

Gordon Wilson, CEO of Advanced, commented: “We are currently seeing a rapid adoption of digital learning models with learners increasingly seeing them as more convenient and valuable compared to traditional classroom learning. This combined with personalised learning, collaborative models and a growth in gamification is transforming the sector.  Skills and training providers are seeking out technology solutions to gain greater control and transparency of their learners’ progress and attainment as well as looking for tighter budgetary, funding and compliance management. This acquisition will enable Advanced Education to offer a full 360 degree learning and skills platform giving employers, colleges and private training providers an intuitive learning and skills management solution.”

Pellcomp to continue

Based in Norwich, Pellcomp Software has 43 employees and around 470 organisations as clients. Pellcomp Software Ltd is a subsidiary of Trinity Software Limited, which owns 75% of the shares. Neither party disclosed the terms of the deal. It seems likely that the deal was concluded in May. The Pellcomp website already reflects the acquisition and will likely continue with its brand for a while.

Martin Robson, Managing Director, Pellcomp, said: “We are thrilled to be joining the Advanced Family at this very exciting and transformational stage in both our growth as a business but also in the education sector. We see a huge opportunity for EdTech in supporting and improving learner attainment for employers, colleges and private training providers. Working with Advanced will enable us to grow and enhance our already leading LMS platform by integrating it with Advanced’s existing solutions driving efficiency and quality for training providers, employers and colleges alike.”

Robson joined Pellcomp as a software developer in 1998, rising to become a director in 2008 before being appointed Managing Director. It is unclear whether his role at the company will continue or how he will fit in the wider EdTech business unit at Advanced.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This acquisition will help cement Advanced as a leader in the UK EdTech sector. Alongside its other acquisitions, it is becoming one of the UK’s largest software firms.

The acquisition reinforces Advanced’s ambition and determined growth trajectory to become the UK’s best software and services provider. Backed by Vista Equity and BC partners, the company now has over 25,000 customers and more than 2,700 employees. Its turnover is already £300 million and growing.

What will Advanced acquire next and will it further strengthen its education portfolio or elsewhere?


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