Professional Accountant
(Level 4 Apprenticeship)

Who is this suitable for?

The Professional Accounting Apprenticeship would be suitable for anyone progressing from the Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship, or anyone who already holds an AAT Level 3 Qualification or equivalent. It may also be relevant to those with extensive practical experience but no formal accounting qualifications.

The Apprenticeship Structure

We would not generally advise students with no experience to start their AAT studies at the Level 3, so we incorporate all or part of the AAT Foundation Level, or other induction training, as part of this Apprenticeship. For the Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship, students will sit the AAT Advanced 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 Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting. This includes the following units.

An apprenticeship must last at least 372 days and most learners will take at least this amount of time to complete the Professional Diploma in Accounting.

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

The optional units (shown opposite) are not tested in the Synoptic exam but we would expect those optional subjects chosen to be undertaken at work and cross referenced in the portfolio (shown opposite) to the Skills included in the Apprenticeship Standards.

Optional units – students must complete 2 of the optional units to achieve the AAT qualification, but it may be useful for them to undertake more. For example by completing External Auditing students will be exempt from the ACA Assurance module, whilst undertaking Personal Tax and Business Tax will give them exemptions for the ACA Principles of Taxation module.

Preparation for the Professional Discussion / Written Statement

As with Level 3, the Professional Discussion entails a one hour discussion but this time with two AAT Independent Assessors. This will normally be performed remotely via an on-line audio/video portal. As an alternative to the Professional Discussion, apprentices can elect to submit a Written Statement of between 2,000 to 3,000 words. These are not tests, they are methods of assessing how much practical experience and competence the apprentice can evidence over their apprenticeship and they cover the following Skills and Behaviours:

20% Off The Job Training requirement (OTJT)

The same 20% off-the-job-training rules apply as for Level 3. The critical aspect to consider prior to commencement of the apprenticeship is whether or not “significantly new skills” will be acquired during the apprenticeship and that these should tie in with the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours set out in the Standards (and shown above).

“Enhancements” – the real added value – helping to turn a technician into a rounded professional

In order to support the development of the above Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in the workplace, we have added further elements to our programme:

1. Technical accountancy webinars. We source these from Mercia and will tailor a programme relevant to each apprentice and the needs of your workplace. Please click the button below for more information about these webinars:

2. Skills and Behaviours training. We have worked with Agar Management Consultancy to develop a programme of webinars directly mapped to the requirements of the Apprenticeship Standards. At Level 4 these include Learning styles; Time Management; Ethics; Personal Branding & Standards; Emotional Intelligence; Corporate Social Responsibility; Lifelong Learning. Please click the button below for more information about this training:

If relevant to the needs of the workplace, but not completed at Level 3, we will also include the completion of an “Insights” profiling questionnaire with a one-day workshop to explain to apprentices the contents of the detailed personality profile that they will receive and how to use the results to enhance their performance at work.

Unlike Level 3, it will not be graded, it will simply be a Pass or Fail.

In order to support this Professional Discussion / Written Statement, as with Level 3, 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.