Apprenticeship versus Exam only route: The Key Differences

The apprenticeship levy has significantly changed the professional training sector since its introduction in May 2017. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the apprenticeship scheme; accountancy standards enrolments have been increasing year on year despite a nationwide downward trend in other areas.

apprenticeship vs exam only route

Apprenticeship versus Exam only route: The Key Differences

The apprenticeship levy has significantly changed the professional training sector since its introduction in May 2017. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the apprenticeship scheme; accountancy standards enrolments have been increasing year on year despite a nationwide downward trend in other areas.

However, recent data shows that a third of employers in accounting and finance are still unaware of apprenticeships. As the levy celebrates its third birthday, we look at key differences between the apprenticeship and exam only route.

Eligibility

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships is that the scheme is only available to young people and school leavers. In fact, the scheme is available to people of all ages and can be taken by new and existing employees.

There are conditions an apprentice must meet before they can be considered for the scheme:

  • An apprentice needs to be in a relevant job role and able to complete the apprenticeship within the time available. More Info>>
  • An apprentice needs to be a citizen of a country within the EEA, or have the right to live and work in the UK and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous 3 years.
  • An apprentice can’t currently be receiving any other government funding.
  • An apprentice should have significant development requirements across the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the relevant apprenticeship standard.

Key differences and similarities

Similarities

Both apprentices and exam only students work towards their chosen professional qualification.  First Intuition students can choose from the following: AAT, CIMA, ACCA, ICAEW, ATT, CTA. For apprentices, these qualifications can be included in the following apprenticeship standards we offer:

Level 3 Assistant Accountant

Level 4 Professional Accounting/Taxation Technician

Level 7 Accounting/Taxation Professional

Differences

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS

Apprentices don’t only focus on technical knowledge. They also work on developing skills and behaviours set by the relevant apprenticeship standard.

END POINT ASSESSMENT

To achieve the apprenticeship the apprentice will need to complete an end point assessment to show they have learned and applied the full range of knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprenticeship standard.

20% OFF THE JOB TRAINING

On an apprenticeship, 20% of the apprentice’s working time must be spent in training and development, such as professional qualification study, shadowing, mentoring and technical training.

Funding

Whereas exam only students are generally funded directly by employers, apprenticeships are government funded via the apprenticeship levy.

The funded costs include professional qualification courses, skills and behaviours training, skills coach support, End Point Assessment preparation and course materials.

Costs such as non-mandated exams fees and institute registration fees are not covered by the levy funding and must be paid by employers separately.

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