Apprenticeships in Scotland

Apprenticeships are a great way to get hands-on experience and learn the tricks of the trade, and it’s no different for accountancy. 

As we’re seeing more employers looking to offer apprenticeships as a way to develop and enhance their workforce, it’s the perfect time to ensure that you’re offering apprenticeships as a study route for your students. 

With the introduction of the new Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy now available alongside the existing Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland there’s never been a better time to add apprenticeships to your course portfolio. 

Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy

Developed by Skills Development Scotland, in partnership with us, the new Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy will bolster your offering to students aged 16 to 18. 

Adding this qualification to your existing course portfolio will enable you to reach out to those students who are looking to stay in full-time education and gain the valuable hands-on experience a vocational qualification offers, but who might not normally consider an apprenticeship. It enables you to support and upskill individuals within your local community.

The apprenticeship is based on three key components:

  • Provision of necessary industry-relevant knowledge, via the SQA National Progression Award in Accounting
  • Provision of necessary industry-relevant skills, via the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping qualification
  • Extended work placement, allowing students to demonstrate competence in industry.  

It is targeted at S5 pupils and will typically take two years to complete.


The AAT route is made up of 10 individual units at Levels 5 and 6, covering the required range of knowledge, skills and competencies as outlined in the supporting framework.

  • Preparing management accounting information
  • Advanced bookkeeping
  • Analysing accountant information
  • Final accounts preparation
  • Preparing financial accounting information
  • Indirect tax
  • Recording data in the ledger
  • Work placement unit
  • Professional ethics for accountants
  • Mandatory certificate unit

The completion of all listed units will ensure the student gains their Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy and will be certificated accordingly.

Included within the apprenticeship is the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping qualification. Students will gain this separate, industry recognised qualification and will be issued with a certificate from AAT. Once they are able to demonstrate suitable work experience they’ll be eligible to apply for AAT associate bookkeeping membership and become a professional AAT Bookkeeper (AATQB).

What's next

The foundation apprenticeship is a perfect qualification to provide students with solid accountancy knowledge to enable a wide range of progression routes for either further study or employment, including accelerated entry to:

  • The AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 6)
  • The Modern Apprenticeship in Accounting (Level 6) or other FE study
  • A selection of related university courses

The skills and knowledge students will gain means they’ll also be well prepared to enter the workplace on completion of the apprenticeship, should they choose to. 

Talk to your local AAT representative

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships have been designed with employers and industry in mind, and offer the opportunity to enhance Scotland’s work-based learning system and reduce unemployment. You can be a part of this by offering accountancy Modern Apprenticeships as part of your course portfolio. 

AAT accountancy Modern Apprenticeships are available in three different levels:

These give you the opportunity to see your students progress through the early stages of their career to professional accountants. 

AAT accountancy Modern Apprenticeships enable your students to gain the skills employers find invaluable while gaining industry-recognised qualifications that will help move them up the career ladder.

If you’re not looking for an apprenticeship, don’t forget we offer a range of accounting and finance qualifications