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National Audit Office (NAO)

National Audit Office (NAO)

Apply to National Audit Office (NAO):


At the NAO, our position is unique, and our work is extraordinarily influential. Totally and distinctively independent of government, we scrutinise public spending for Parliament and investigate major government projects and programmes. This means we work for, and for the good of, all citizens in our country. We help our economy and society work better – supporting and enabling improvements in financial management and the way vital public services are delivered right across the public sector to millions of people every day.  

For you, this means work that has a real purpose, and offers greater challenge and variety. You’ll contribute to audits and projects that scrutinise government’s use of resources and help drive improvement in our clients businesses. Our work informs debates and influences some of the biggest decisions that government makes. You’ll  collaborate and work in teams with dedicated and talented people to deliver high quality work that makes a difference.

Our three-year graduate training programme will see you right through to qualification as an associate chartered accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Our pass rates are consistently at or above the national average, meaning you’ll soon be opening up a world of great career possibilities.

Joining us means you will get responsibility from an early stage in your career and will play a key role in helping us make a positive impact. You will help deliver our financial audit work and will also have opportunities to work on our high profile value for money studies and a range of other assurance work to help our clients – for example you could help to improve the performance of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and The Royal Household. Our unique role will give you access to people, places and experiences that are only available to those working at the NAO.

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Graduate Jobs

There are approximately 70 positions available (60 in London and 10 in Newcastle).

Our three-year ACA training programme is open to graduates from any degree discipline, so there is no need to have studied accountancy or maths to excel at the NAO. We value diversity in all its forms and this mix of academic backgrounds helps us to generate the wealth of ideas which helps the NAO thrive. The scheme sees you right through to qualification as an associate chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). 

Internships & Placements

We are looking to recruit up to three people to participate in our year long, data science internship scheme starting from September 2018.

We expect you will spend most of your time applying strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills to build and implement analytical tools to support our range of assurance work. For example, take a look at the data visualisations presented on our website.

In addition, we also expect you to spend some of your time collaborating with our financial auditors to review high value, high risk quantitative models which underpin accounting estimates. For example, the value of the student loans book, the rate of fraud and error in tax credit and benefit payments and the money needed in the future, to compensate people who have experienced clinical negligence.

For further information and to apply for the internship, click here


National Audit Office offer a NAO Accountancy Apprenticeship. Click 'View Jobs' to find out more. 

School Leaver Programmes

Our fully funded five-year school leaver scheme leads to qualification as a chartered accountant. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a professional qualification without incurring the debt of going to university. At the same time, you’ll be earning a competitive salary and getting involved in interesting and challenging work.

You’ll spend the first two years studying for the Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB). After successfully completing CFAB, you’ll spend a further three years studying to become a fully qualified chartered accountant (ACA) through the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Visit to find out more about why you should join us. 

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Salary & Benefits

In addition to a highly benchmarked and highly competitive starting salary of £29,168 in London and £23,320 in Newcastle, which increases with exam success, NAO offer a host of other finanical benefits.

These include - 

- Membership of excellent civil service pension scheme.

- Payment of professional subscriptions (ICAEW membership is currently £345 per year)

- Interest free Season Ticket loans

- Employee discount scheme offering large discounts at a host of high street retailers

- An on-site gym and activity centre at the London office

- A cash subsidy for local gym membership in Newcastle

You receive 2 days of annual leave nd 8 days public bank holiday. You also benefit from designated periods of study leave over the the duration of the scheme, allowing time away from the office to concentrate on study.

NAO's flexible working policy allows for working arrangements which suit the office, teams and individuals to be agreed. When working in the office our policy enables trainees to flex their start and finsh time and location of work in agreement with their line managers.


There is no such thing as a typical NAO Graduate Trainee. Successful candidates come from a diverse range of backgrounds and may have any degree subject. We do however have some minimum criteria you will need to meet.

- 300 UCAS points or equivalent from your top 3- A Level grades (or equivalent). General Studies does not count. If you have 280 UCAS points (or equivalent) you may be eligible to        apply based on the context of your educational and personal circumstances – please email for further details.

- 2.1 degree or better in any subject (achieved or expected).

- You must be a UK, Commonwealth, EEA or Swiss national to comply with Civil Service nationality rules and must hold a valid work permit. We are not able to sponsor work visas.

In addition to your academic qualifications we look at your competence in eight key areas. By competence we mean the skills and behaviours that you will need to demonstrate to be a successful Graduate Trainee at the NAO.

The competencies are assessed throughout the application process and you should familiarise yourself with them. You may want to think about how your own experiences demonstrate the desired behaviours. For example, a part-time job, academic work, hobbies or extracurricular activities are likely to give you opportunity to demonstrate the behaviours we are looking for.


Top Employers for School & College Leavers 2016-17 - Overall Ranking

77th in the UK

Top School Leaver Programme

18th in the UK


To apply, click >here!

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