Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7)

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What is the ACCA Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7)? 

The Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7) is the first funded gateway to ACCA chartered certified status and professional membership.

Equivalent to a Master's degree, it offers a powerful solution for you to build your talent pipeline and develop business leaders of the future.

The programme has been mapped to our flagship professional accountancy qualification, so apprentices will benefit from the recent changes we’ve made to the qualification.

We’ve put more onus on the drivers of change that will shape the role future finance professionals will play in your organisation such as digital technologies, increased regulation and stronger governance, globalisation and higher expectations overall.

This means your Level 7 apprentices will not only have a funded, flexible pathway to becoming fully qualified finance professional but they’ll be trained to future-proof your business and add value to your organisation from day one with their professional skills, business acumen and strategic thinking.

The apprenticeship focuses on complex business issues, as well as financial analysis, and this route also offers the options of gaining:

  • a BSc in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University; and
  • an MSc in Professional Accounting from the University of London.

We anticipate that apprentices will typically complete the apprenticeship in 36 months. But this may vary with prior qualifications and relevant work experience.

Your apprentices can also choose to become an ACCA member after the successful completion of their apprenticeship. They'll need 36 months of practical experience, some of which they'll gain on their apprenticeship journey.

How is the Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7) structured?

Apprentices will follow the full ACCA Qualification syllabus and learn the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours required for the Level 7 apprenticeship standard. This includes business insight, professional scepticism and leadership. Apprentices must also complete ACCA’s Ethics and Professional Skills Module so they can understand and apply the relevant ethical standards to their own behaviour.

To see how our apprenticeship is structured, download our diagram (PDF, 25 Kb).

The Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7):

  • consists of two main elements, the on-programme assessment and the end-point assessment
  • follows ACCA’s Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills and Strategic Professional modules
  • offers in-job finance and accounting training and development for anyone over 16
  • takes a minimum of 36 months to complete
  • includes the technical skills and professional competencies required for business.

Your apprentice will gain the technical knowledge required by studying ACCA's modules, but with their training they'll also gain invaluable skills in the following areas, delivered by your training provider:

  • Building relationships
  • Business insight
  • Communication
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving and decision making.

Funding

Government reforms mean that employers in all sectors are now paying the apprenticeship levy if they have a wage bill of more than GBP3 million each year. In England, employers can access the digital apprenticeship service that allows them to spend the levy on apprenticeships. Other nations in the UK have the monies redistributed through the block grant and have their own methods of distribution.

The vast majority of employers are not eligible to pay the levy. However smaller employers continue to benefit from government support to pay for apprenticeship training.

There is a co-funding approach where smaller employers pay 10% of the costs and the government pays the balance. This means that:

  • Employers can access a maximum GBP21,000 to put towards training a Level 7 apprentice.
  • Employers who are not eligible to pay the levy can access up to 90% of the maximum (GBP18,900).
  • There is an additional GBP1,000 of funding for apprentices aged 16-18 years at the start of the apprenticeship. There is also a further GBP1,000 of funding available for apprentices aged between 19-24 years who have either an Education, Health and Care plan provided by their local authority or who have been in the care of their local authority.
  • Employers who are not eligible to pay the levy can access up to 90% of the maximum per apprentice (GBP18,900).
  • Employers with fewer than 50 employees can get full funding to train an apprentices aged 16-18 years, and those aged 19-24 who have previously been in care or who have local authority, education health and care plans.

100% funding for smaller employers - levy transfers

Larger levy paying employers can now transfer their own levy funds to smaller employers, meaning that if you receive a transfer, the training for your apprentice will be paid in full.

You’ll need to agree details for the apprenticeship with the transferring employer, but most importantly you have to set up an apprenticeship service account online via the government’s portal. By doing so you can connect, add details and confirm the transfer.

Register for our on-demand webinar with the National Apprenticeship Service to access a full explanation of how to set up a digital account and how the levy transfer process works.

Assessment

The Professional Accountant apprenticeship (Level 7) consists of two main assessment elements, the on-programme assessment and the end-point assessment. The on-programme assessment combines our Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills module exams, along with our Strategic Professional.

The end-point assessment is made up of a project report and ACCA’s Strategic Business Leader exam, which tests the apprentices’ application of knowledge and skills in a real-world situation case study.

It examines apprentices on all areas of accounting, plus strategy, innovation, risk and change management.

Flexibility

Whether your new hires or employees are school leavers, graduates studying in their own time or existing staff wanting to accelerate their financial career, this apprenticeship offers the flexibility to allow your apprentices to move to ACCA at any stage, subject to our minimum entry requirements.

Your apprentices can also move to Level 7 having previously completed a Level 4 and/or 6 apprenticeship, allowing them to qualify for exemptions.