Coronavirus (Covid-19) update for AAT students, training providers, members and employers

Last updated 7 July 2020

Updates in relation to Covid-19 will be announced on this page, through AAT social media, and through your regular emails.

AAT assessments are back

We're pleased to confirm that AAT assessments are available again as of Monday 29 June.

We know that many of our training providers have started planning on reopening their doors in a safe way. As a result, we felt it was necessary to make a decision on turning our assessments back on to help students progress through AAT qualifications.

Students and training providers can read the full details on the Covid-19 assessments page.

Synoptic window dates have now been confirmed for the remainder of the year and include additional dates to help with planning and potential capacity issues due to social distancing restrictions.

Download the 2020–2021 synoptic calendar (PDF)

New social distancing guidance for running assessments

Assessment centres must ensure that lockdown and social distancing measures in the country where they're located have been relaxed sufficiently for them to offer AAT assessments safely. They are advised to refer to the current advice for colleges issued by the Department for Education in England, or to the equivalent guidance in the country where they are located.

Assessment centres are responsible for ensuring that they are Covid-secure and can support social distancing during the assessment process, putting the health and safety of staff and students first.

We have created some guidance to help assessment centres become Covid-secure in preparation for hosting AAT assessments, and to help enforce social distancing at the assessment centre and within the assessment room. This draws on the latest guidance from Public Health England and is based on the requirements and expectations of the assessment centre before, during and after hosting AAT assessments.

Assessment centres operating outside of England must refer to their own government’s advice and apply it accordingly.  

Read the social distancing guidance for training providers (PDF)

Finding an assessment venue

If you need to find an assessment venue use our dedicated service.

Remote invigilation

We're working towards introducing remote invigilation for some of our assessments where appropriate.

Read our dedicated page on remote invigilation.

Calculated results

Following discussions with Ofqual, we have agreed that AAT will calculate results for students who could reasonably have been expected to complete the Foundation Certificate in Accounting or Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business this summer.

Read our dedicated page about calculated results.

Qualifications 21 becomes Qualifications 22

AAT Accounting Qualifications are updated every three to five years to ensure they are meeting the demands of employers around the globe.

We have made the decision to delay the launch of Qualifications 21, originally planned for September 2021. Qualifications 22 will be launched in February 2022.

We've made this decision based on feedback from training providers to allow more time to help students progress under the AQ2016 specifications and to allow more time to plan for the new AAT qualifications.

More details will follow.

Apprentices and End Point Assessments

Where an apprentice cannot undertake a professional discussion from their employer's or training provider's premises, the discussion can be conducted remotely via a Smart Room, providing that all requirements relating to appropriate environment and student identification can be met. Training providers should inform AAT by emailing epa@aat.org.uk when this situation arises.

How we're supporting you

We recognise that your needs during this time may have changed and appreciate that hundreds of you have taken the time to make suggestions on ways we can support you. Our coronavirus resources page features some brand new materials to help you and your business, including:

  • our new AAT Future Finance 2020 Online learning experience for professional members
  • our new Training Provider Conference online for AAT training providers
  • brand new AAT Lifelong Learning Portal for students
  • AAT Comment Coronavirus resource hub for news and advice to support members and employers through the Covid-19 situation
  • a new coronavirus category on AAT Knowledge Hub for professional members
  • a new enhanced webinar programme for professional members
  • new support forum for AAT licensed members on the AAT Discussion forums
  • additional SummingUp Live sessions for training providers.

AAT renewals and extensions

Managing the renewals of our members in a fair and considered way during this challenging time is essential. As a non-profit organisation, our sole purpose is to serve our global community, and we must protect our ability to support our 130,000 members who rely on us for guidance, resources and insight. However, we must also support those students who were about to complete their qualification prior to the recent assessment suspension and may not have budgeted for an additional year of student membership.

We have now granted extensions to the following groups.

  • All students studying any of our short qualifications have received a minimum three-month extension until at least Saturday 31 October 2020. Our short qualifications are:
    • Access Award in Accounting Software (Level 1)
    • Access Award in Bookkeeping (Level 1)
    • Access Award in Business Skills (Level 1)
    • Foundation Award in Accounting Software (Level 2)
    • Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 2)
    • Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business (Level 2)
    • Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 3).
  • Students studying one of the AAT Accounting Qualifications who have either one or two assessments remaining and were originally due to renew in April or May have received extensions until Saturday 1 August.
  • Students studying one of the AAT Accounting Qualifications who have either one or two assessments remaining and were originally due to renew in June, July or August have received extensions until Tuesday 1 September
  • The AAT Accounting Qualifications are:
    • Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2)
    • Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3)
    • Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4).

All students impacted by this change have been contacted. In addition, all students who have purchased a separate End Point Assessment (EPA) that is due to expire by 30 September have also received an extension until Thursday 31 December 2020 and have been contacted.

All other students, affiliates, professional and licensed members who are due to renew are being asked to do so as usual, and we thank you for the support you have shown. This will protect our organisation’s future and ensure we can remain here to support you after this crisis subsides. It will also protect our ability to serve the public interest, provide anti-money laundering supervision, and ensure that key standards and regulations are maintained.

If you're facing financial difficulties

We understand that many of our members have had their income impacted during this time, and we provide a range of options that you can take advantage of to make your fee more manageable. This includes Direct Debit instalments, and reduced fees for eligible full members, fellow members and AAT Licensed Accountants. If you pay your own fee, you may also be eligible for tax relief.

If none of the above apply to you and you’re due to renew, we encourage you to email us and explain your situations so we can see how we can help you.

Face-to-face AAT events cancelled until 30 September

In the interest of the health, safety and wellbeing of our members and students, all AAT face-to-face events will now be cancelled until at least 30 September 2020.

This includes the UK and Botswana AAT Achievement Ceremonies, now expected to take place in autumn 2021 and honoring eligible attendees from both years, as well as the AAT Professional Member Awards, which will be revisited next year.

AAT office closure

The AAT office remains closed and we have a reduced team working from home so we can continue to provide you with the help you need. To ensure we can assist you as quickly as possible, please send application information and other details via email as we have no access to any post.

Contact us

The situation is changing rapidly, and so we’ll be in touch as soon as we have any further updates and will share them on this page. But if you need us, please get in touch by email or give us a call. You can also follow AAT on Twitter and on Facebook.

  • Students: we’ll keep you up to date via your regular AAT Weekly email.
  • Training providers: please speak to your Regional Account Manager. We will keep you updated via your regular SummingUp emails.
  • Members: we’ll keep you up to date via your regular AAT News email.
  • Employers: we’ll keep you up to date via AAT Employer News or alternatively you can get in touch with our employer team: email employers@aat.org.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 203 735 2434.

Thank you for your support.