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

Last updated 7 October 2021

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

AAT assessments and Covid-19 restrictions

On 25 February the government confirmed that assessments should continue to take place, subject to Public Health England guidance. This applies to vocational and technical qualifications where assessments are on demand, or are used to demonstrate occupational or professional competency or proficiency.

As such, all of AAT’s assessments will continue to be available as usual throughout 2021, providing they can be delivered in line with relevant government regulations and restrictions. 

The safety of students continues to be paramount, so it's important that assessments are scheduled only where it's safe to do so, and where there is agreement between the training provider and student.

Training providers and assessment venues must continue to administer assessments in line with any national, regional or local guidance in effect, and must continue to adhere to all Covid-19 regulations in order to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Students and training providers can read more details on assessments during Covid-19 on the dedicated page.

Download the 2021–2023 synoptic calendar (PDF)

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.

Given the relaxation of Covid-19 rules in England, we've taken the decision to withdraw the social distancing guidance that was previously published. However, assessment centres should be continue to follow the guidance of the countries that they operate in. AAT may reintroduce the guidance if required.

Finding an assessment venue

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

Remote invigilation

We've made some of our assessments available to sit remotely where appropriate.

Read our dedicated page on remote invigilation.

Calculated results

16–19-year-old students who could have reasonably been expected to complete a Performance Table Qualification (PTQ) at Level 2 or 3 this summer and move on to higher education will have the opportunity to achieve their synoptic assessment via a calculated result. 

Eligible students will have the ability to opt in to receive a calculated result for the Foundation Synoptic (FSYA) assessment or the Advanced Diploma Synoptic (AVSY) assessment.

Read about how this works on the calculated results page.

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 2021, originally planned for September 2021. The new qualifications (now known as Qualifications 2022) will be launched in February 2022. The last date for sitting AQ2016 assessments has also been extended to 30 June 2023.

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.

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 Training Provider Conference online for AAT training providers
  • 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 coronavirus category on AAT Knowledge Hub for professional members
  • an enhanced webinar programme for professional members
  • 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 also need to support students who were about to complete their qualification prior to the 2020 assessment suspension and may not have budgeted for an additional year of student membership. 

We granted several extensions to the following groups. 

  • All students studying any of our short qualifications 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 had either one or two assessments remaining and were originally due to renew in April or May 2020 received extensions until Saturday 1 August 2020.
  • Students studying one of the AAT Accounting Qualifications who had either one or two assessments remaining and were originally due to renew in June, July or August 2020 received extensions until Tuesday 1 September 2020.
  • 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 purchased a separate End Point Assessment (EPA) that was due to expire by 30 September 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 postponed until 31 August 2021

Face-to-face events will now be postponed until at least 31 August 2021. This is so we're able to maintain the health and safety of all our members and partners, which remains paramount.

We'll continue to deliver new updates, insights, learning and support through our wide range of online events so you won't miss a thing. Search for an upcoming event.

AAT office closure

The AAT office remains closed and all staff are 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.