What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a formal workplace training programme where you study and learn alongside doing your daily job.

As an ACCA accounting apprentice, you earn a wage, experience and a recognised and valuable professional award.

Who are apprenticeships for?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone above the age of 16. There is no upper age limit and they can be valuable at different stages in your career:

School leaver


You might be looking for options before or after higher education. An apprenticeship provides a way to kickstart your finance career.

You start earning while you learn, combining practical experience with structured study.

You can start a finance career straight after school. And you can avoid the stress that comes with university student debt.



An apprenticeship provides an accredited route into accountancy and finance that doesn’t require you to work for a specialist accountancy practice.

An apprenticeship also provides a pathway into finance if you did a non-related degree at university.

Already working?


An apprenticeship offers a way to build your expertise, and enhance your value and future employability.

Even if you're looking for a change, an apprenticeship is a great way to gain new skills and move into a new career. 

How much does it cost?

For apprentices, it costs nothing.

The government provides funding for apprenticeship programmes, as part of its commitment to building the skills of the UK workforce. Employers also have to cover some of the cost.

You can gain an award that feeds into one of the best paid and most highly respected professions without breaking the bank.

How long does it take?

The ACCA Level 4 apprenticeship takes a minimum of 12 months to complete.

What's involved?

During your apprenticeship, you’ll:

  • work in a job receiving the same benefits as your colleagues
  • work alongside experienced finance professionals
  • gain practical experience that counts towards achieving the ACCA Qualification
  • build your accounting and finance skills
  • receive off-the-job training and learning support equalling approximately 20% of your working week
  • take three exams
  • do a final assessment

Where can I do an apprenticeship?

We have apprenticeship programmes available for England, Scotland, and Wales.

Find out more about your local scheme:

Last updated: 21 Sep 2017

More information on the ACCA apprenticeship

  • ACCA apprenticeship level 4 structure

    PDF 27KB
  • The ACCA apprenticeship - information for parents

    PDF 1.07MB