AAT Accountancy apprenticeships can lead to a rewarding career
with a host of professional opportunities and increased earning potential. An
essential part of accountancy qualifications, off-the-job learning complements
an apprentice’s in-work training and helps to broaden their knowledge base.
What is off-the-job learning?
It’s a government requirement that 20% of an apprenticeship is spent
in off-the-job learning.
This must be away from the apprentice’s usual working duties and
should teach new knowledge, skills and behaviours that relate to their subject
discipline, based on a commitment statement agreed at the start of the
It can be delivered in a classroom in an external location or at
the apprentice’s usual workplace and should take place during their normal
Activities such as assessments and progress reviews are not
considered to be off-the-job training.
You can find out whether an activity constitutes off-the-job
learning by consulting the Government’s
What are the benefits of off-the-job learning for apprentices and
Although off-the-job training means time away from the workplace,
the apprentice will develop additional knowledge, skills and behaviours to help
them reach occupational competency.
The employer will see the benefits in the apprentice’s ability to
carry out their role and make a positive contribution to the company or
What do AAT accountancy apprentices learn in Level 2?
The AAT Level
2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting, as delivered by CMS Vocational,
gives the apprentice a solid foundation in finance administration and prepares
them for junior and entry-level roles in accountancy.
Running over two academic terms, it comprises four unit
- Bookkeeping Transactions
- Bookkeeping Controls
- Elements of Costing
- Using Accounting Software
Plus one Synoptic Assessment, completed at the end of the
programme, which tests the understanding of connections between these elements,
with additional content from the Work Effectively in Finance unit.
What do AAT accountancy apprentices learn in Level 3?
Also running over two academic terms, the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in
Accounting qualification comprises a more complex range of tasks. The four
mandatory units are:
- Advanced Bookkeeping
- Final Accounts Preparation
- Management Accounting: Costing
- Indirect Tax
Again, there is also a Synoptic Assessment, with an overview of
three of the four mandatory units, plus content from the following two units:
- Ethics for Accountants
- Spreadsheets for Accounting
Some employers may feel that off-the-job learning is a
distraction, but in fact it’s an essential part of the apprenticeship and a
With the right approach, off-the-job learning will benefit both
the apprentice and the organisation they are working with.