Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship

Levy-funded apprenticeships are not only a cost-effective way to upskill existing staff – they can also bring fresh talent into your organisation, future-proof skills pipelines and broaden the diversity of your workforce. As an approved training provider for AAT qualifications, CIPFA offers the levy-funded Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship, including study for the AAT Advanced Diploma, in England.

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Contact us

Our next AAT Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship programme will begin in autumn 2022. Enrolments close on 31 August 2022. To start the process, or find out more about CIPFA apprenticeships, get in touch with our apprenticeships team today: apprenticeships@cipfa.org

About the apprenticeship

CIPFA and AAT are working together to develop a seamless study pathway for all aspiring public finance professionals working both within and with the public sector. The AAT Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship equips aspiring public finance professionals with the essential skills needed to work in a range of accounting and finance jobs across the public sector. It's suitable for those who have completed the AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting, or professionals at an intermediate level and looking to develop their skills in accounting.

Apprentices will master financial processes, including accounts preparation, advanced bookkeeping, spreadsheets software, final accounts for sole traders and partnerships, costs and revenues and professional ethics. The programme can lead to a diverse range of jobs including assistant accountant, trainee accounting technician, accounts clerk, cashier, finance assistant, purchase ledger clerk and more.

"[CIPFA’s] leaders and managers work highly effectively with employers. They design the curriculum for each apprentice to reflect precisely the needs of the sectors in which they work. As a result, apprentices gain detailed knowledge of public sector accounting and finance."
Ofsted report, 2021


The AAT Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship funding band has been approved at £8,000 to pay for the training of each apprentice. Employers in England can use their apprenticeship levy accounts to fund the training costs of new and existing employees.

Why choose a CIPFA apprenticeship?

  • we offer the only accounting apprenticeships designed exclusively for aspiring finance professionals working in public services
  • a learning experience which is designed to improve best practice and performance
  • expert tuition delivered by live web classes, taught by qualified and experienced trainers
  • apprentices gain valuable on-the-job experience and relevant professional award
  • we ensure that high-level guidance and support are readily available to both employers and apprentices
  • learners benefit from regular assessments of progress and receive one-to-one support where appropriate
  • we're a proven online training provider and an internationally-recognised centre of excellence
  • our apprenticeships were recently awarded a "Good" provider grading by Ofsted

What does the apprenticeship cover?

The AAT Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship includes study for the AAT Advanced Diploma, which is made up of six mandatory units:

  • Advanced Bookkeeping
  • Final Accounts Preparation
  • Management Accounting: Costing
  • Indirect Tax
  • Ethics for Accountants
  • Spreadsheets for Accounting

What workplace skills will be developed?

In addition to the AAT qualification, apprentices will also gain valuable professional skills, including:

  • analysis
  • communication
  • production of high quality and accurate information
  • systems and processes
  • problem solving
  • embracing change
  • adding value
  • ethics and integrity
  • personal accountability
  • productivity
  • team working and collaboration

End point assessment

The end point assessment consists of a synoptic assessment (the final exam in the AAT Advanced Diploma) and a professional discussion with an AAT assessor about the apprentice's work-based learning.

Entry requirements

Apprentices will need to have completed the AAT Introductory Certificate or equivalent and have four GCSE's grade C or above including Maths and English. In addition, they will need to have at least one of the following:

  • A Levels (Grade A – E)
  • AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting
  • at least 12 months relevant experience working in a finance role

Study modes

The classroom sessions will be delivered online by CIPFA trainers. Other study modes include e-learning, workshops, extensive written materials, mini projects, directed self-study and structured workplace tasks and learning activities.

How long will it take?

Full time apprentices will typically spend 15-16 months on-programme, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training.

Please note that the AAT Advanced Diploma can also be undertaken as an employer-funded or self-funded qualification. Contact us to learn more: students@cipfa.org 

Further information