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Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

At the heart of northern business since 1882

Train the next generation of Chartered Accountants 20 July 2019

ICAEW has developed another route into chartered accountancy, to make the profession more accessible to all.

Employers can now access funding to train ICAEW students on one of our apprenticeships, regardless of whether they’re paying the apprenticeship levy or not.

The Level 4 Accounting Technician Apprenticeship maps to the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) modules, while the Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship maps to the full ACA syllabus (ACA).


If you are a levy payer you can claim back 100% of the tuition costs from your levy payments.  If you are a non-levy payer, the government will pay 90% of the cost of the apprenticeship, so all you have to contribute is the remaining 10%. This means that the maximum amount available to you from the government is £18,900 or £8,100 respectively.

Who is eligible?

The level 7 apprenticeship funding has been hugely welcomed by our practice.  As a reasonably young practice, we are 10 years old, we were keen to follow the traditional training model that has served the profession well for so long. The Level 7 has allowed us to accelerate our recruitment and development of our accountants.  So far our experience has been very positive and we expect our involvement to grow over the years ahead. Jon Dudgeon, Co-founder, Blu Sky

Age restrictions for apprentices have been relaxed, which means that our ICAEW apprenticeships are open to school leavers, graduates and existing staff who might want to retrain. As long as there is new learning involved for the apprentice, you will be able to claim funding.

Level 4 Apprenticeship

Along with the ICAEW CFAB qualification and relevant experience, apprentices on our Level 4 apprenticeship will also acquire the skills, knowledge and behaviours, as set by the apprenticeship standard. Students who complete the programme are eligible to apply for our new designation, the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP). This recognition acknowledges your staff’s commitment to ongoing professional development, as well as adding value to your business.

In addition to the ICAEW CFAB qualification, and with the required 12 months’ work experience, students only need to complete our Ethics Learning Programme before they can become a BFP.

Level 7 Apprenticeship and ACA training

As an alternative way of training ACA students, there are many similarities between our Level 7 apprenticeship and the standard ACA programme. Most notably, studying for the ACA 15 exams forms a core part of the apprenticeship. Students will continue to develop the knowledge and skills that are essential to your business, regardless of which ICAEW programme you choose for your organisation. 

However, there are some additional requirements for the completion of the apprenticeship; Level 7 students will need to demonstrate the skills and behaviours they have acquired through the completion of a Project Report, as well as 20% off-the-job training. Employers are also required to validate their students’ competence by conducting a “gateway review” prior to the students attempting this project report and the ACA Case Study exam.

Start training ICAEW students

Becoming an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer (ATE) is an easy process and there is no cost involved. ICAEW currently supports over 5000 ATEs with their training programmes.

We have many ATEs in industry and with a strong business stream running through the ACA modules, and a shift towards technology in the syllabus this year (including data analytics, distributed ledger technology and cyber risk and security), we are seeing more and more employers offering the ACA and Level 7 apprenticeship training.

Ordinarily we would probably support one ACA student every two/ three years. The introduction of the ICAEW Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship has changed that dynamic.  The support for tuition through the apprenticeship scheme, has allowed Ribchesters to offer training to two ICAEW Level 7 Accountancy Apprentices this year. The local support provided by Lorna Hansell, through the training process is invaluable. David Holloway, Partner Ribchester Group

To our members in smaller practice who might be interested in training, audit experience is not compulsory. Each and every one of our ATEs is supported by a Regional Business Development Manager that is local to you and happy to visit to discuss and implement training plans.

Tuition options available for the ACA and ICAEW CFAB are very flexible too with traditional classroom and residential courses available and various distance learning options.

Lorna Hansell is the regional Business Development Manager for ICAEW in the North East and is very happy to answer any queries in relation to training or any questions regarding how to set up a training programme, become authorised, obtain funding or go about recruiting trainees.

About Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (NorSCA) represents 4,000 ICAEW members and ACA students working in business and the finance profession across the North East of England, Teesside, northern Yorkshire and Cumbria.

We have been assisting businesses in the north of England and producing chartered accountants for over 130 years.


There are over 1.7m chartered accountants around the world – talented, ethical and committed professionals who use their expertise to ensure we have a successful and sustainable future.

Over 149,000 of these are ICAEW Chartered Accountants. We train, develop and support each one of them so that they have the knowledge and values to help build local and global economies that are sustainable, accountable and fair.

We’ve been at the heart of the accountancy profession since we were founded in 1880 to ensure trust in business. We share our knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide as we believe accountancy is a force for positive economic change across the world.

ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.

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