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February 9, 2022

Everything You Need to Know about the New ACES and PIES Online Course

by Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products


Wondering if the Auto Care Association’s new online introductory course to ACES and PIES data standards is right for you? In this blog post, I’ll walk you through everything there is to know about our e-learning course, including:

  • What Data Standards are used for;
  • Who can benefit from the course;
  • What the Introduction to ACES and PIES course covers;
  • Frequently asked questions; and more.

What are Data Standards?

Data Standards are the established common language of the automotive aftermarket and the single most effective way for industry businesses to communicate with their trading partners. Data Standards are a standardized taxonomy that enable businesses to speak the same technical language as customers—getting the right part, to the right place, at the right time.

The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) utilize a standardized method of communication that is machine-readable (XML) by all trading partners and exclusive to the automotive industry. It allows for companies to be more efficient in communicating information for their products that is critical to do business.

ACES: The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) is the aftermarket industry data standard for the management and communication of product fitment data.

PIES: The Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) is the aftermarket industry data standard for the management and communication of product information.

Included in the ACES and PIES data are:

  • Vehicle Configuration database (VCdb)
  • Qualifier database (Qdb)
  • Product Classification database (PCdb)
  • Product Attribute database (PAdb); and
  • Brand Table that is linked to these data standards.

The Auto Care Technology team publishes updates to these databases monthly within the autocarevip.com site and provides monthly release notes to keep subscribers up-to-date on what is available. When we are not publishing content, we are working with the subscribers of the data to improve the content on a daily basis as we strive to have the most complete content for our Subscribers.

Why is it important to understand ACES and PIES?

The acronyms and mapping of this content can be a bit overwhelming for someone new to the industry or aftermarket cataloging. Our subscribers have asked for training on our data standards and databases. In direct response to subscriber requests, we are happy to announce that the Introduction to ACES and PIES online course is now live and available on-demand. The course has been well received, and we appreciate the opportunity to provide continued value to our subscribers.

Who can benefit from the “Introduction to ACES and PIES” course?

  • Catalog managers; 
  • content managers,
  • category managers,
  • product data specialists; and
  • any other industry professionals working with aftermarket standards ACES and PIES.

For non-catalogers, the Data Standards course helps improve overall communication with cataloging teams.

What does the “Introduction to ACES and PIES” course cover?

In this interactive, self-paced course, participants will learn about the cataloging process and how to use the Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standards (ACES) and Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) databases to communicate effectively and consistently with trading partners.

The five lessons in this course will familiarize you with the ACES and PIES guidelines and databases. Each lesson will present you with several topics along with a few knowledge checks to confirm your comprehension of the material:

  • Introduction to the course
    • In this course introduction, you will learn about the overall course and key terms.
    • Knowledge check
  • Lesson 1: The Catalog Process
    • In Lesson One, you will learn about the catalog process, flow of data, and data synchronization.
    • Knowledge check
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to the Databases
    • In Lesson Two, you will learn about each of the databases, what they contain, where you can find them, and how to locate the information you need to create your ACES and PIES files.
    • Knowledge check
  • Lesson 3: Introduction to ACES
    • In Lesson Three, you will learn what ACES is, the data communicated through ACES, and how to map your data.
    • Knowledge check
  • Lesson 4: Introduction to PIES
    • In Lesson Four, you will learn what PIES is, the data communicated through PIES, and the segments in a PIES file.
    • Knowledge check
  • Lesson 5: Making Changes to the data
    • In Lesson Five, you will learn how to navigate the autocarevip.com site, how to request changes in each of the databases, and how to get involved with the standards further.
    • Knowledge check
  • Final Exam: Score of 80% or higher to pass
  • Course Survey
  • Digital certificate available for the course completion

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I purchase the course?

You can purchase the course by visiting here and selecting the Purchase button.  

elearning purchase


You will then be asked to log in to your my.autocare.org account and will be guided through the course purchase process. If you do not have a my.autocare.org login, you will see the option to create one for free before going through the purchasing process.  

elearning account 

After purchasing, you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to access the course.

Auto Care Association members can save $50 now through April 2022 on the course with our introductory member price of $99 by using the code: 99Intro. (Regular member price: $149)

How do I access the course?

Upon purchasing the course, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to access the course here. To sign into the course, you will use the same login information as your my.autocare.org account.  

How long will I have access to the course after purchasing?

You will have access to the course for 12 months from date of purchase.  

Will I receive any CEUs for this course?

Yes! Upon successful completion of the course and final assessment, you will receive a certificate of completion confirming receipt of 0.3 CEUs that can be applied to your ACP (Automotive Content Professional) designation (including your ACP elective requirement), your AAP (Automotive Aftermarket Professional) designation or any additional designations offered through the University of the Aftermarket.  

Does this replace the in-person university of the aftermarket aces & pies course?

This course does not replace the in-person University of the Aftermarket course on ACES & PIES. Successful completion of the e-learning course is, however, a pre-requisite for the in-person ACES & PIES course.

Who do I contact if I need help?

For any questions about the “Introduction to ACES and PIES” e-learning course, please contact support@autocare.org.  

ACPN Pipeline

2021 ACPN Pipeline

Reminder about ACPN Pipeline: we talk to people like you in the industry. The ACPN Pipeline is the Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN)’s direct connection to media content, including education and commentary from industry and community thought leaders, which supports ACPN's mission to educate, inspire and connect. Click here to see what we are talking about. 


Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products

I help reduce cost out of the overall supply chain by improving the quality of standards data we provide to the industry and develop new processes that help get data to our members faster. More About Me


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The Auto Care Association’s Technology team is pleased to launch a new monthly Auto Care Tech blog series titled, “What the Tech? This series will cover topics related to Data Standards.

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