Accounting apprenticeships standards: what's new?
The new accounting apprenticeships are changing the way accountants are hired and trained.
A lack of work experience is a big problem for people across the country. It's something we hear about all the time – graduates coming out of uni with a degree certificate, but without the practical skills they need to do the job. It's the same story in accounting. Many accountancy grads are thrown into work, but have to complete a lower-level course to learn the skills and behaviours they need to perform the role. It's a dysfunctional cycle of training and retraining that costs companies thousands.
The new accountancy apprenticeships are designed to change all this. Apprentices train on-the-job, so they learn all the skills they need for the role. They spend the equivalent of 1 day a week at college or university too, so they don't miss out on book learning. And apprentices are embedded in their accountancy firm from day one, so employers can mould them to their way of working and benefit from extra staff during training.
So what accounting apprenticeships are there?
The new standards stretch from level 3 to level 7 – equivalent to a Master's degree.
Intermediate – assistant accountant
This apprenticeship is perfect for people looking to take the first step in their accounting career. It's also a great option for employers who want to build a solid staff base and grow their own talent.
Advanced – professional accounting taxation technician
This apprenticeship covers both tax and accounting, so it's ideal for someone looking to widen their specialism and progress to a more senior role. Employers can use this apprenticeship to train new or existing staff.
Higher – professional accountant
This Master's-level apprenticeship is a powerful way to launch or re-launch a career. And it's a great way for employers to attract recruits, develop staff, build talent and develop the future leaders of their business.
How are accounting apprenticeships delivered and assessed?
Apprentices have to meet the criteria set out in the apprenticeship standard. Learners are supported by mentors and tutors throughout their programme and complete an end-point assessment (EPA) to determine their final grade.
Most assessments include a simulation or discussion – as well as a portfolio showcase. During the portfolio review, the apprentice has to present and review their work, making sure they cover all the skills, knowledge and behaviours in the standard. It's not an easy task, so the apprentice, employer and assessment organisation need to agree on the format before the assessment date.
How can OneFile help?
Our learning software is ideal for delivering the new accounting apprenticeship. Apprentices can access resources, upload evidence and communicate with their tutor wherever they are. Tutors and mentors can log in to set assignments, review work, leave feedback and generate reports. It means the whole process can be managed online and is totally transparent.
Since the apprenticeship levy was introduced last year, employers now have to contribute more towards training – so they're more engaged in apprenticeships than ever! This means employers want to know how their apprentices are getting on, so we’ve built employer logins so employers can have full visibility. They can just log in to OneFile to support their apprentices without having to rely on the training provider.
We've also built a portfolio showcase feature so learners can create an online collection of their best evidence. This can be downloaded into a read-only file, used during their portfolio review and sent to the EPAO as part of the end-point assessment.
But that's not the only feature we've designed to help providers deliver the new standards. We've also built an off-the-job training tracker, levy management feature, progress weightings, grading and external user accounts.
To find out how OneFile works and see how it can improve the quality and efficiency of your apprenticeship delivery, download our guide. We'll explain everything and give you a quick tour of the system.