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ICAEW Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship (Level 7)

Employers can now offer our globally recognised qualification, the ACA, on a government-funded programme, and set their students well on their way towards becoming fully qualified chartered accountants.

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This page provides an overview of the ICAEW Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship, the student journey and the assessments leading to the successful completion of the Level 7 programme. 

Throughout the apprenticeship, students will be working and studying at the same time, while developing the required knowledge, skills and behaviours, in order to qualify as an Accountancy Professional. 

What’s involved?

The Level 7 apprenticeship offers employers the opportunity to train on our ACA qualification by using government funding available to them, whether they're paying the levy or not. 

Throughout the apprenticeship, students will develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the standard. These will be gained through a combination of off-the-job training and practical experience in the workplace.

While funding is only available for the apprenticeship, there are many similarities between this route and "traditional" ACA training. Many elements of the ACA are included in the apprenticeship programme, such as the 15 modules and the six-monthly reviews.

However, there are some additional requirements for the completion of the apprenticeship; students on the Level 7 programme will need to complete a Project Report as well as 20% off-the-job training. These elements are covered in more detail in the relevant sections.

Funding

The funding cap for the Level 7 Accountancy Professional apprenticeship has been set at £21,000. To find out more about what the funding covers and which fees are included, please visit the relevant area.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for the apprenticeship, however minimum requirements do apply for the ACA. To find out about these in more detail, please visit the relevant page

Additionally, the apprentice must have a Level 2 in English and Maths before they attempt the end-point assessment. Employers may wish to set additional entry criteria to suit their organisation.

Study options

The delivery of this apprenticeship can be flexible depending on the employer’s needs. We recommend that employers talk to a training provider about any requirements they may have, as they will be able to help design a programme to suit their business.

Levy-paying employers will be able to select from a list of approved providers from the ESFA’s Register of Training Organisations (RoATP), which is available online at gov.uk/esfa. For non-levy employers, we recommend they contact their local Business Development team member who can provide details of locally approved tuition providers.  

Duration

The apprenticeship needs to be at least 12 months in duration and typically takes between 36-48 months to complete.

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Structure

The Level 7 Accountancy Professional apprenticeship is a perfect opportunity for employers to offer the ACA on a government-funded programme. Combining work experience and the ACA - our globally recognised qualification, this apprenticeship sets students well on their way to becoming a chartered accountant. Throughout the programme apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the standard and which are essential for a career in accountancy.

The employer, along with the tuition provider of their choice, assess each student's performance based on an on-programme and an end-point assessment. Once all elements of the apprenticeship have been successfully completed, the apprentice qualifies as an Accountancy Professional. Then, once all ACA requirements have been completed as well, the apprentice will become a fully qualified chartered accountant.

Off-the-job training

One of the requirements of the Level 7 apprenticeship standard is that apprentices complete 20% off-the-job training. To find out more about what this involves please visit the relevant area.

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Assessment overview

Throughout the ICAEW Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship, students will be assessed through an on-programme and an end-point assessment. 

They will complete the on-programme assessment as they progress through their apprenticeship. During the on-programme assessment, they will be studying towards the ACA, and will sit exams for 14 out of the 15 modules, except for the case study. As they study towards the qualification, they will also gain on-the-job experience and maintain a training file using either the employer’s accredited development programme or the ACA professional development key areas. 

Once the employer is confident that all the requirements have been met, including a Level 2 in Maths and English, the apprentice will move on to the end-point assessment, which comprises of a Case Study and a Project Report. 

All training, development and review activities must have been completed prior to the end-point assessment. 
ICAEW will provide students with documents that offer more detail on these and that will help them complete each part of their assessment.

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On-programme assessment

ACA exams

During their apprenticeship, students will need to pass 14 exams that cover the knowledge required by the Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship. You can see what these modules cover by visiting the relevant page below. 

Training file

Students will use a training file to keep a record of their professional development. This will help them to demonstrate their competence in the required knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out by the standard. 

They will do this either through the employer’s ICAEW-accredited programme or the ACA professional development key areas.

The on-programme assessment is flexible in its duration and depends on the student’s progress. 

The employer or the tuition provider will have six-monthly meetings with the students so they can guide them and discuss their performance. This will help identify whether the student needs any further training and whether they will be ready to move on to the end-point assessment.  

As these are already part of the ACA training, there is no need for additional reviews.

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End-point assessment

After the student has completed the on-programme assessment and has spent a minimum of 12 months on the apprenticeship programme, the employer will assess whether they are ready to progress on to the end-point assessment.

The student will need to have achieved a Level 2 in Maths and English by that point.

ICAEW will be delivering the first end-point assessment session in summer 2019.

The end-point assessment consists of two elements:  

  • the ACA Case Study; and 
  • a Project Report.

ACA Case Study

The purpose of the Case Study is to assess the apprentice’s understanding of complex business issues, and usually takes place in the last 12 months of their apprenticeship. 

For the Case Study, ICAEW will provide students with background information on a hypothetical scenario, which will be as close to a real-life situation as possible. Using that information, the apprentice will need to analyse the data, identify options and make recommendations, as they would as an Accountancy Professional.

The Case Study is 4 hours in length and will be sat under invigilated and timed conditions.
To pass, students must achieve a mark of 50%. 

Project Report

The Project Report is the last element of the end-point assessment, and of the apprenticeship overall, and it will focus on the final 12 months of the apprentice’s programme. 

Based on their work experience, apprentices will be required to answer 3-4 critical and evaluative skills and behaviours questions. 

For this part of the end-point assessment, they will prepare a report, based on their own experience, for each of the questions. In this report, they will have to include:

  • a background and context to the situation identified in the question;
  • a description of their role, responsibilities and actions within this situation;
  • an evaluation of the skills and behaviours they used and developed; and
  • a critical examination of what they learned from this situation. 

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Recruit an apprentice

If you're an employer, here are the options available to you if you wish to register students onto the ICAEW Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship.

Option one

You can register students directly onto the ICAEW Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship. 

Option two

You may be able to transfer your existing ACA trainees on to the Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship, depending on how far along they are in their ACA training. Your tuition provider should be able to advise you on how to do that.  

Option three

If you have any Level 4 Accounting Technician Apprenticeship students, they can progress onto the Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship, once they have completed their programme.

 

For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your local Business Development contact, who will be happy to help you find a solution that will suit your recruitment needs.

Alternatively, you can email or call us using the contact details below.

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E: apprenticeships@icaew.com
T: 01908 248 250