Assistant Accountant
(Level 3 Apprenticeship)

Who is this suitable for?

This could be someone progressing from the Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship. Alternatively, it could be someone who only needs to complete the bookkeeping units of the Level 2 to gain a solid grasp of double entry bookkeeping before progressing to Level 3 units. They might be A Level school leavers or graduates with some accounting knowledge, or those with experience in an accounts function but no related qualifications.

An apprenticeship has to last a minimum of a year and a week and not everyone will want to spend a year completing Level 2.

The Apprenticeship Structure

We would not generally advise students with no experience to start their AAT studies at the Level 3, so we can incorporate all or part of the AAT Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant, or other induction training, as part of this Apprenticeship. For the Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship, students will sit the AAT Diploma in Accounting Synoptic paper as part of the End Point Assessment.

As part of the apprenticeship training, we can include any or all of the following:


The assessment of the Apprenticeship is by an End Point Assessment (EPA) that comprises:

Preparation for the Synoptic Exam

In order to successfully complete the Synoptic Exam, apprentices need to have a thorough understanding of the underpinning knowledge and this will normally be achieved by completion of the full Level 3 Diploma in Accounting. This includes the following units which relate to the new Q2022 syllabus.

The AQ2016 syllabus will remain until 2023. If this is relevant to you, please contact us.

An apprenticeship must last at least 372 days and this fits in well with our normal timescales for the completion of the Diploma.

If the apprentice works less than 30 hours a week, the duration of the apprenticeship will need to be increased pro-rata.

If the prospective apprentice has no prior experience or knowledge in accounting or an accounting environment, they will probably need to complete the full Level 2 Certificate in Accounting in order to provide the necessary underpinning knowledge to undertake the Level 3 units.

However, many of our apprentices simply need to achieve a better grounding in double entry bookkeeping – in which case they would only add the two units from the Level 2

60% of the End Point Assessment will relate to a “Professional Discussion” performed by an AAT Assessor. This will be based on a work experience portfolio and associated reflective journals, recognising the high level of learning being undertaken at work. We will provide support throughout the apprenticeship on building this up:

Preparation for the Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion entails a one hour discussion with an AAT Independent Assessor. This will be performed remotely via the AAT’s online video portal. It is not a test, it is a method of assessing how much practical experience the apprentice has undertaken over their apprenticeship and covers the following Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours:

In order to support this discussion, apprentices will be required to prepare a Portfolio during their apprenticeship. This will consist of a series of Journals, reflecting on the development of these “significantly new skills and behaviours” and application of the related knowledge over the apprenticeship. These journals will be cross referenced to the detailed learning outcomes.

The Portfolio will also contain examples of the work being described in the Reflective Journals, suitably redacted, and to which they can be cross referenced.

If you would like more information about this Apprenticeship, please click the button below.

Off The Job Training Requirement (OTJT)

Apprentices must be provided a minimum of 6 hours per week from their paid hours for off-the-job-training. This used to be called “The 20% rule”. 

Apprentices will need to maintain, and submit, a weekly log of OTJT so we can help you meet this requirement.

OTJT can be achieved in a variety of ways – for detailed guidance on how you can achieve this requirement with the minimum of disruption, please click on the button below:

Apprenticeship “Enhancements” – the real added value – seeing beyond the numbers

To support the development of the above Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in the workplace, we have added further elements to our programme. These include providing access to a range of online learning materials designed to support the needs of the apprentice’s role and their workplace which assist in the development of their personal, leadership and management skills, helping them to become rounded accountants and not just technicians.

Footnote: If your prospective apprentice is likely to benefit from completing the full Level 2 Certificate in Accounting, do please liaise with us to see if the new Level 2 Accounts Assistant Apprenticeship will be a more appropriate route to start off with.