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ACE-III Trainer

The ACE-III Trainer is an online training programme designed to help staff administer the Addenbrookes Cognitive Examination - Third Edition (ACE-III).

It provides NHS staff with knowledge, practical examples and exercises in using the ACE-III, giving NHS staff the opportunity to become familiar with administering the ACE-III prior to clinical experience.


The ACE-III Trainer was designed in response to a perceived need from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to give health staff the opportunity to practice skills in administering the ACE-III cognitive assessment tool. This online course was developed to provide practical training to NHS Scotland staff. Improving knowledge and skills specific to assessment and identification of cognitive impairment is part of Scotland's National Dementia Strategy via 'Promoting Excellence: A framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers'. This training tool is aimed at professionals working at the enhanced and expertise level, as outlined within the document.

How will this training be helpful to my service/clinical practice?

The training assists staff and organisations to ensure that staff administering cognitive screening tools to individuals that may be cognitively impaired have the required knowledge and skills to ensure good clinical practice. The ACE-III Trainer does not enable individuals to diagnose dementia on the basis of completing the trainer. A multidisciplinary assessment by qualified clinicians remains essential for diagnosing dementia, as per clinical guidelines (SIGN 96). The trainer aims to improve patient safety and clinical governance specific to the clinical assessment of cognitive impairment.

Who in my organisation/service will benefit from using the ACE-III Trainer?

All staff that currently administer and score cognitive screening tools as part of their routine clinical role would benefit from completing this training. Staff administering cognitive screening tools should be health professionals who have received training and supervision in administering these as part of professional training. The ACE-III Trainer has been devised to be appropriate for the following professional groups: General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Clinical Psychologists working with patient populations that require cognitive screening. This list however is not exclusive.

Registering for the course

You will be asked to supply your work email address and serves as your login. You will also be asked to state the Health Board in which you work when you register. This will assist NES and the University of Glasgow to ensure all appropriate services and staff groups are able to access the trainer. Your individual user log-in enables you to access the trainer from any computer and continue from where you left off.

The details gathered from the registration process will not be used to identify you individually and any data used to report on use of the trainer will be anonymised.

Logging on to the course

The course can be accessed via the web at

Undertaking the course

As you progress through the course, each section contains descriptions, advice and examples that build on previous sections. The course culminates in practice exercises based on online videos where you score ACE-III examples to test your acquired knowledge. You can also return to any section of the course at any time using the navigation menu, so you can review or revise any aspect of the programme. There is no time limit in accessing the course once you register.

Completing the course

Once all the exercises have been completed, a certificate of completion is made available. You can return to the course at any time to review the material or your exercise results. Four weeks after completion of the programme, more exercises become available for further practice. A final certificate will be provided on completion of the ACE-III Trainer.