Level 7 Accountancy/Taxation Professional Apprenticeship
Through a government-funded programme, employers in England have the opportunity to offer their students the prestigious CA qualification and provide them with an excellent foundation towards becoming fully qualified Chartered Accountants.
What is an ICAS Level 7 Apprenticeship?
The ICAS Level 7 Apprenticeship includes the world-renowned CA qualification, in addition to a number of other elements as part of the Level 7 apprenticeship framework.
You can read more about the Level 7 apprenticeship on the UK government website here.
How does the Apprenticeship CA qualification differ from the standard CA qualification?
An apprenticeship comprises several other elements of learning in addition to the CA qualification:
- Knowledge, skills and behaviours
- English and maths skills
- Progress reviews
- Additional training (at least 6 hours per week)
- End-point assessment
Who delivers a Level 7 Apprenticeship?
The delivery of an apprenticeship programme is conducted by three parties: an employer, a training provider and an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).
ICAS is a registered and approved EPAO for the Level 7 Accountancy/Taxation Professional Apprenticeship.
How do Level 7 Apprenticeships work?
All businesses in England are eligible for apprenticeship funding, regardless of whether or not they pay the apprenticeship levy. The funding cap for the Level 7 Accountancy/Taxation Apprenticeship has been set at £21,000 by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
You can read more about the apprenticeship levy on the UK Government website here.
Employers work with their chosen training provider to tailor the delivery of the Level 7 Apprenticeship programme to meet their business needs. The training provider will deliver the ICAS programme as well as the other apprenticeship elements, in a classroom or remotely, depending on employer preference.
The Level 7 Apprenticeship has a minimum requirement of 366 days, although it usually takes 24 – 36 months to complete an ICAS Level 7 Apprenticeship.
Apprentices conduct their studies alongside their work, just like the standard CA qualification, but with other elements included too. For example if an apprentice needs to study English and maths, they will also be completing a Functional Skills Level 2 course. An apprentice may need more study time for this.
All apprentices will need to complete a training log, to meet the funding requirements.
All apprentices will develop the prescribed skills, knowledge and behaviours as set out in the apprenticeship standard.
After the TC and TPS levels of the CA qualification have been completed, along with the additional apprenticeship elements, an apprentice must complete ‘Gateway’ before proceeding to their apprenticeship end-point assessment.
At the Gateway stage, employers, in collaboration with tuition providers, are responsible for verifying whether an apprentice is ready to proceed.
Before an apprentice can reach the end-point assessment stage, employers must confirm the apprentice has:
- Completed a minimum of 366 days on the apprenticeship programme
- Met the additional training requirement (6 hours per week)
- Achieved and evidenced the necessary proficiency in maths and English at level 2.
- Evidenced the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours as outlined in the apprenticeship standard.
Before an apprentice is eligible to take the ICAS end-point assessment, they must have completed Gateway in accordance with regulations set by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
The end-assessment comprises a case study examination as well as a project report assignment.
The end-point assessment consists of two elements:
- EPA1: the ICAS Test of Professional Expertise case study exam
- EPA2: a reflective project report showcasing skills and behaviours.
EPA1: The CA TPE case study
The purpose of the case study is to assess synoptically the apprentices’ understanding of complex business (or individual) issues. It also assesses their ability to analyse financial and non-financial data, exercise professional scepticism and ethical judgement, and develop conclusions and/or recommendations. The scenario may be based on a variety of different organisational structures or operations. Success at the sase study will require an integration of the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours required for the standard.
The case study is 5.5 hours in length and will be sat under invigilated and timed conditions. To pass, students must achieve a mark of 50%.
Case study exams are held in May and November.
EPA2: The project report
The project report is a 4000 word reflective piece of work with a focus on the final year of the apprenticeship. Apprentices answer four evaluative questions to reflectively showcase their skills and behaviours, based upon their work experience. Each example must include:
- Situation – a description of the situation during which they demonstrated a skill or behaviour.
- Actions – a description of how the skill or behaviour was utilised.
- Effectiveness – a reflective summary of their effectiveness.
- Lessons Learnt – a critical evaluation including what could be improved in the future.
The level 7 Accountancy/Taxation Professional Certificate is awarded by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
The CA designation is awarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS).
An apprentice will need to complete their Record of Professional Experience (and have this approved) before they can earn their Chartered Accountant designation and become a fully qualified accountant.
Recruit an apprentice
To recruit an apprentice, employers will first need to find a training provider who delivers the ICAS qualification. To do so you can look on the Find an apprenticeship training provider service here.
Employers may also be able to transfer existing CA trainees on to the Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship.
For more information, contact email@example.com.