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Find out what you and your students need to do when training a Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprentice.

Registering a Level 7 apprentice

At the beginning of the apprenticeship, both you and your student will need to sign the following documents:

  • an employment contract
  • training agreement
  • a commitment statement and apprenticeship agreement.

Your chosen tuition provider will then register your student as an apprentice with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Your student will then need to register as a Level 7 apprentice with us. They will need their unique learner number (ULN) and their tuition provider details on hand to register.

On-programme assessment

During the on-programme assessment, apprentices will need to complete the four elements of the ACA, off-the-job training and record their progress in their online training file.

The four elements of the ACA

  • undertake a minimum of 450 days of practical work experience;
  • complete the ICAEW professional development ladders (or their employers accredited scheme, if applicable);
  • complete the ethics requirements including an Ethics Learning Programme and discuss ethics with their employer through a series of Ethics in Practice scenarios; and
  • pass, or claim credit for, the ACA exams.

Off-the-job training

Apprentices must spend at least six hours per week on off-the-job training.

Online training file

Level 7 apprentices will use the online training file to keep a record of their progress through the ACA.

Six-monthly reviews are required with both the employer and the tuition provider. Reviews with the tuition provider will cover the apprentices' progress through the KSBs while reviews with the employer will cover the ACA requirements. These reviews will help determine whether the apprentice needs any further training and whether they are ready to move on to the end-point assessment.


ESFA mandates that an apprentice must have passed through Gateway before they can sit the end-point assessment.

The Gateway is the point at which the employer and tuition provider review their apprentice’s KSBs to see if they have met the minimum requirements of the apprenticeship and are ready to attempt the end-point assessment.

At this point, you must confirm the apprentice has:

  • achieved a Level 2 (GCSE pass) in Maths and English;
  • completed a minimum of 12 months on their apprenticeship; and
  • achieved the necessary KSBs set out in the apprenticeship standard.

End-point assessment

The end-point assessment consists of:

  • the ACA Case Study exam
  • a Project Report.

Case Study exam

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

Apprentices will have access to advance 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.

The Case Study exam is 4 hours in length and has a pass mark of 50%. 

The are two sessions for the Case Study exam, held in July and November.

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 programme. 

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

Apprentices will need to 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.

The are two sessions for the Project Report held in July and November.


Once all elements of the apprenticeship have been successfully completed, the apprentice will need to notify ESFA to qualify as a Level 7 Accountancy Professional.

You will need to conduct a final sign off to declare your student has satisfied all elements of the ACA including professional development, practical work experience, ethics and confirm that the apprentice is fit and proper for ICAEW membership. Once complete, your student will be eligible to apply for ICAEW membership and become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Have a question?

If you need any support or have a question on ICAEW apprenticeships, please contact us.

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