The new apprenticeship system

CIPFA has been supporting the development of young people into public financial management careers for many years, including running our own programme of bespoke apprenticeship trainee placements, under the CIPFA Accountancy Apprenticeship scheme. The new Apprenticeship Levy, together with the proposed Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeship Standard, will shift the landscape considerably. At CIPFA, we have been at the heart of these new developments and are uniquely placed to support employers as they plan to maximise the opportunities of the Levy – both in our capacity as a professional qualifying body, and as a respected training provider, through CIPFA’s Education and Training Centre.

For detailed commentary and analysis on the levy for employers, download our latest insight paper: The Levy, apprenticeships and the public sector.

For further questions and support on how CIPFA can help you in the development of your accountancy training programme under the Levy please do contact us

Level 7 Professional Accountant apprenticeship standard – now available

The apprenticeship standard for the Level 7 Professional Accountant has been approved by the Department of Educationand is now available for delivery and funding. This means that CIPFA are now offering a Professional Accountancy Apprenticeship with training for the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ). Current information on the standard can be found on GOV.UK.

We will contact our employer partners in the coming weeks to guide them through the process for the Level 7 apprenticeship and training.

What will CIPFA offer?

As an organisation that is approved to deliver apprenticeship training for employers using the apprenticeship service, CIPFA is on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)

AAT Levels 2, 3 and 4

Through the CIPFA Education and Training Centre (CETC), we are a registered training provider for Levels 2, 3 and 4 Accountancy Apprenticeships. Our intention is to work with AAT as the End Point Assessment (EPA) organisation. Further information on our AAT apprenticeships is available here.

Proposed Level 7 Professional Accountant

Through CETC we are a registered training provider for the proposed Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeship. Our intention is for CIPFA (the Institute) to be the EPA organisation at Level 7. Please note, the cost of exam entries, re-sits and membership fees cannot be claimed from the levy.

What does this mean in practice?

Employers in England will be able to use their Apprenticeship Levy accounts to fund the training costs of their new and, in some cases, their existing finance trainees who are eligible to transfer across to the new Level 7 Apprenticeship programme when available.

The new Apprenticeship incorporates additional requirements to the existing professional qualification such as employer visits, regular reviews with apprentices and the employer. However, the additional requirements are designed to support the apprentice through the programme and ensure they are fully prepared to successfully complete the programme - and ultimately satisfy the requirements to become a chartered accountant.

The Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeship funding band has been approved at £21,000 to pay for the training of each apprentice.

What about Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

Although the changes outlined here apply in the main in England alone, we are continuing to work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to understand the impact of the Levy and how organisations are intending to work around the recruitment and training of AAT and Professional Accounting trainees and apprentices.

What next?

We're continuing to work with our current employer organisations and students over the coming weeks, in order to understand requirements, questions and assess the impact around Levy-funded Apprenticeships.

We’ll also be developing systems and processes to ensure that the new methodology is the least bureaucratic it can be.

Since this is a rapidly evolving landscape, we will continue to share information as it becomes available.

A new online learning option for the CIPFA PQ - introducing CIPFA Learning

In addition to the changes around the Apprenticeship Levy, we have some exciting changes for students and employers around the way that students can study the CIPFA PQ.

This summer the CIPFA Education and Training Centre (CETC) we launch our brand new virtual learning environment 'CIPFA Learning'.

Offering a single, integrated suite of interactive teaching and learning tools, CIPFA Learning provides students training for the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ) with an improved, more flexible, learning experience. Find out more.

Contact us

If you have any questions on the new apprenticeship arrangements, starting a new apprentice - or our new online learning platform, please let us know using the using the appropriate contact forms at the top of this page.

Useful Apprenticeships links:

GOV.UK Apprenticeships
GOV.UK Apprenticeship funding
Skills Funding Agency