What Qualifications Can I Gain with a Finance Apprenticeship?
Part of the benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship in finance is a fast-tracked route to professional training, which can be the first step in progressing in certain financial careers. Here’s a list of the most common ones.
The AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) is Britain’s leading professional accounting body and offers training from an introductory stage to advanced qualifications in three levels.
The qualification begins with AAT Level 2 – a foundational certificate designed to introduce the basics of bookkeeping and essential financial skills. Beyond Level 2, the AAT progresses to more specialised knowledge of accounts and business with diplomas awarded at Level 3 and 4.
Level 4 also includes a Diploma in Business Skills, ideal for those who want to undertake more experience in the financial sector in the form of an accounting or other corporate placement.
If you reach the end of AAT Level 4 as an apprentice, you’ll also have the opportunity to be fast-tracked through further qualifications. The great benefit of this is full exemption from the first stage of chartered qualifications.
The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) foundation level award is one of the most common qualifications accounting apprentices work towards. Designed as an entry-level stage introduction to further accountancy training, it’s a perfect point for school leavers to begin their finance careers.
There are no entry requirements, so the foundation level is a fantastic place to start and build basic financial knowledge. The ACCA also notes that people who study the foundation level courses do better in the advanced exams.
Aside from the technical accounting components of the qualification, there is also an emphasis on professionalism and ethics. You’ll be expected to know the laws and regulations that govern the profession, and apply them practically.
Doing a finance apprenticeship within a company is an ideal way to satisfy the 36 months of relevant experience needed to achieve the ACCA award. Starting with the introductory certificate, the qualification provides apprentices with accounting skills and knowledge that can be applied to any kind of business or accountancy role.
The ACA qualification allows apprentices to study while they work, gaining practical skills alongside their studies. Provided by the ICAEW, the ACA is a mandatory requirement to be accepted as an ICAEW chartered accountant.
Because it’s specifically on-the-job training, gaining a particularly varied skill set is among the many benefits of the ACA qualification. The qualification is organised in conjunction with an authorised training employer (ATE).
You’ll receive a training agreement that outlines the details of the arrangement. This includes crucial features such as your commitment to complete the ACA, the length of study, and arrangements with the employer, such as salary details.
450 days is the total time needed to complete the ACA, which can take anywhere from around three to five years. At the end of your studies, you’ll have a huge amount of practical professional experience as well as completing modules that cover a range of accounting principles and subjects, from Business Planning and Financial Management to Taxation and Corporate Reporting.
Amongst the qualifications on offer as part of several finance apprenticeships, the ICAEW also provides a Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB), a globally recognised financial qualification that gives apprentices a solid grounding in real-world business skills.
Although it forms part of higher apprenticeships, there aren’t any formal academic entry requirements, and assessment is broken down into manageable computer-based modules, making it easy to focus on gaining technical skills while you study.
As an introduction to the world of accounting, subjects taught as part of the certificate aren’t just limited to finance. Modules include training in Management Information, Law and Assurance.
If you complete an Intermediate Apprenticeship in financial services you’ll gain the qualifications necessary for you to work in a retail bank.
A certificate in Providing Financial Services, for example, will give you the indispensable knowledge about financial services laws and regulations.
As well as a foundation in customer service, client relationships and sales, as an apprentice, the training you receive will also provide you with the organisational skills necessary to advance in a career in retail banking at a managerial level.