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Advanced Business Solutions


At bksb, we write, develop and supply ed-tech products with the the ambition to improve English, maths and Digital Skills globally through assessments, learning and exam preparation.


  • Courses covering Functional Skills, GCSE and Digital Skills
  • Utilising AI, machine-learning and big data to ensure accurate assessment
  • Learning content mapped to curriculum
  • Progression measures
  • Exam practice modules
  • Group and Learner management
  • Detailed reporting
  • Integrations with third party systems
  • Available anytime on any device


  • Industry leading assessments to monitor learner start points
  • Time saving software for education institutions
  • Seamless integrations to support cross-functional delivery
  • Automated procedures saving tutors time, improving efficiency
  • Reliable assessments give confidence learners are given the required support
  • Individual learning plans giving learners bespoke, streamlined learning journeys
  • Valuable data to provide evidence for inspection and funding streams


£1,496 an instance a year

  • Free trial available

Service documents

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G-Cloud 13

Service ID

4 2 2 7 4 1 0 7 4 5 1 2 1 1 0


Advanced Business Solutions Bid Support
Telephone: 0330 343 8000

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
Cloud deployment model
Public cloud
Service constraints
System requirements
Current web browsers required ie; Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
Priority 1 - Target within 1 hour
Priority 2 - Target within 4 hour
Priority 3 - Target within 8 hour
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Phone support
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
Onsite support
Support levels
Standard availability service levels of a minimum of 99.5% will apply, dependent on contracted services.

Support is provided around a priority and escalation system. When an incident is reported, a priority level is established based upon the information provided, understanding business impact is essential. Target service levels and response times are assigned based on an initial appraisal of the problem but can be revisited at any time by the client. The escalation procedure is designed to progress each call as efficiently as possible. OLA's are in place for escalations beyond support into the development and professional service teams.
Support available to third parties

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
Consultancy and training is provided.
Service documentation
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
Export to Excel and HTML
End-of-contract process
Customer's unique URL is closed

Using the service

Web browser interface
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
Application to install
Designed for use on mobile devices
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
Mobile is cut-down version of desktop service, usually used by curriculum staff. Back-office/admin staff use the desktop service.
Service interface
User support accessibility
None or don’t know
Customisation available
Description of customisation
Content, reports, terminology, validation rules and permissions can be customised through the Desktop Service administrator account.


Independence of resources
Elastic service which will respond automatically to customer demand.


Service usage metrics
Metrics types
Platform activity and progression
Reporting types
  • Regular reports
  • Reports on request


Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
User control over data storage and processing locations
Datacentre security standards
Managed by a third party
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider
Protecting data at rest
Encryption of all physical media
Data sanitisation process
Data sanitisation type
Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
Equipment disposal approach
A third-party destruction service

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
Via reporting.
Data export formats
Data import formats

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
TLS (version 1.2 or above)
Data protection within supplier network
TLS (version 1.2 or above)

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Approach to resilience
Implemented behind load balancing technology which manages increased traffic and prevents downtime by increasing service capacity alongside demand.
Outage reporting
Via customer support

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
User authentication
Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
We use strong authentication processes throughout but as a minimum: password with minimum length/character policies

In some circumstances, additional security such as IP restrictions/device restrictions also apply.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
  • Other
Description of management access authentication
IP Restrictions

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
At least 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
A11.2.6 Delivery and loading areas (as we do not have any)
ISO 28000:2007 certification
CSA STAR certification
PCI certification
Cyber essentials
Cyber essentials plus
Other security certifications

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Security governance certified
Security governance standards
ISO/IEC 27001
Information security policies and processes
Range of policies in compliance with ISO27001

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach
In summary, the impact/effect of the change will be assessed where the change could impact:

- System and service availability.
- Ability to meet service level agreements.
- System and service capacity and resourcing.
- Business continuity and Disaster recovery plans.
- The effectiveness and operation of security controls.
- Compliance with the Security Policy, as well as legal, regulatory and contractual requirements.
- The impact on existing certification or testing scopes.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
Critical: Stop what you are doing, if you can push a temporary fix (e.g. disable responsible feature) do so immediately. Attempt to apply a permanent fix within one hour. If the fix is complex, there should be 1 working day assigned to fix the issue.

High: Within a maximum of 2 working days.

Medium: Within a maximum of 5 working days.

Low: Within a maximum of 30 working days.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
We have deployed AWS Guard Duty to detect and alert for any malicious activity inside the virtual infrastructure, this is monitored 24/7/365 by the Advanced SOC (Advanced are the parent owners of bksb Limited). We also monitor network traffic using tools such as Elastic.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
We have incident management policies in line with ISO27001.

Comprises of three distinct processes: (1) Security EVENT Management, (2) Security INCIDENT Notification process, and (3) Security Incident MANAGEMENT process. These processes interact to create the end-to-end Security Event and Incident Management Process.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Conforms to a recognised standard, but self-assessed

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

We are committed to building a better tomorrow for our staff, customers and wider community through outstanding environmental sustainability performance. Our vision is underpinned by five core principles:

1. To protect the environment by reducing our carbon footprint.
2. To reduce the environmental impact of our operational activities through effective management of our estate.
3. To create and maintain a positive environmental sustainability culture.
4. To maximise the positive impact of our sustainability actions through effective communication, collaboration and partnership.
5. To fulfil all environmental compliance obligations and seek to exceed regulatory requirements.

To achieve this vision, we have a multi-step sustainability strategy, containing details of the overarching objectives, performance targets, key performance indicators and implementation mechanisms. It is continuously reviewed to ensure it is as strong as it can be. Our success also relies on effective engagement with staff, utilising and developing their skills, knowledge and understanding.

We are proactive in the property management of our offices, maintaining pressure on landlords and staff to ensure energy efficiency. Home working is facilitated and encouraged, and unnecessary travel is minimised by the delivery of consultancy, training and implementation services remotely, where appropriate. Reducing the amount of paper we generate is a key focus, and we use recycled paper - which we then recycle ourselves. We have also taken steps to recycle other materials such as plastics and cardboard. We comply with WEEE regulations and recycle our electrical items.
We are focused on our transition to a Cloud service company ensuring our customers have solutions which are future proofed and don’t require costly or energy inefficient hardware.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

Advanced has a documented Health and Safety policy regarding Covid-19 Arrangements, which focuses on handwashing, hygiene, self-isolation and social distancing.

We encouraged working from home, opening our offices only when government guidance was updated and promptly carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment. Our HR system was updated for employees to confirm their vulnerability status, allowing us to tailor support.

Social distancing measures were introduced in our offices, e.g., staggered arrival and departure times, a one-way walking route around the office and workstations at a 2-metre distance. We continue to operate a desk booking policy to ensure an audit trail and line manager clearance.

Working from home is undoubtedly challenging and may have a negative impact on the wellbeing of our employees. We hosted a wide range of virtual communal events throughout, to allow our staff to stay connected to each other e.g., quizzes, coffee mornings and time allocated for informal catch ups.

We have also made changes to our approach to visiting customers on-site. Where appropriate, training and consultancy can be provided virtually.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

Advanced is committed to tackling economic inequality. We are renowned for our recruitment processes which seek to eradicate biases that can perpetuate economic inequality. We hire for potential rather than based on experience.

Our commitment to tackling economic inequality is also exemplified in our pay reporting transparency. In addition to the legal requirements to produce a Gender Pay Gap Report, we have also released our Diversity Pay Gap Report to ensure accountability and so that we can take steps to address economic inequality.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

Cultivating a diverse workforce and inclusive culture is a priority for Advanced. Diversity of experience, age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation provides a wide range of talent from entry level through to our leadership teams creating richer perspectives and a powerful frame of reference.

Not only is it right to recognise and celebrate differences, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive, but creating a culture that is genuinely committed to a meritocratic workplace is important to our success. Ensuring all our employees understand and engage with our values, and have the opportunity to realise their full potential, is fundamental to our business.

Last year, we released our first Diversity Pay Gap that extends beyond the legal requirement for gender to ethnicity, sexuality, education, disability and socio-economic status. This data provides transparency and will aid us significantly on our journey to creating a fair and equitable workplace for all.

Advanced is delighted to have been announced as one of the top 100 Diversity Leaders of 2020 across UK businesses following an independent survey carried out on behalf of the Financial Times. The award assesses diversity across gender, age, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation, and ranks organisations in Europe on the extent to which they offer diverse and inclusive workplaces. The survey focused on two broad areas, looking at the scale in which employers promoted diversity within the workforce, and identifying companies that stood out when it came to encouraging diversity and equal opportunities.

Advanced is renowned for its innovative recruitment process, which seeks to eradicate bias – unconscious or otherwise – when hiring. In our recruitment, we use tools that give us additional insight into intellect and attitude, and remove CVs from the interview process, so managers go in without preconceptions.


We take wellbeing very seriously at Advanced, all employees have access to the following initiatives to promote wellbeing:

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a 24/7 phone line where our employees can speak to a trained professional regarding any matters. Whether that is related to their current workload, or whether it is related to their finances for example. This service is 100% confidential.

Advanced continually run mental health webinars/sessions to show our employees what stress looks like and how to manage it, and we have recently announced the Friendly Faces scheme which is a network of colleagues who are open to listening and signposting. We will be running training for employees who wish to take part and make space for wellbeing conversations.

The Wellbeing hub on our internal website is central point for resources, such as the Thrive app to which our employees have an access code. In addition, the Hub is a link to our partnership with Perks at Work who offer discounts and classes for wellbeing, fitness, and meditation.

Our offices have been made more friendly and accessible than ever before as part of our office changes brought on by the new, flexible ways of working. All our offices now contain a ‘wellbeing room’, sharp boxes for needles and free sanitary products in all bathrooms (available to guests as well as our staff).

We understand that working from home and being separated from one another is undoubtedly challenging and in some cases may have a negative impact on the wellbeing of our employees.
Throughout the pandemic, we hosted a wide range of communal events virtually, to allow our stuff to stay connected to each other, even though they weren’t in the office together. Some of the events were quizzes, coffee mornings and time allocated for informal catch ups.


£1,496 an instance a year
Discount for educational organisations
Free trial available
Description of free trial
Capped at 10 learners with a 2 week duration.

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.