Apprenticeship Standard (Trailblazer): Professional Accountancy/Taxation Technician - Level 4


This new standard has been created by leading professional services and industry employers, Professional Bodies and training providers for the accountancy and taxation professions to ensure an apprentice develops the relevant Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours to succeed and progress in their roles and your business.

The Standard will align to a Level 4 professional qualification with one of several professional bodies and uses a much more innovative and flexible approach to demonstrating competency. The ambition of the new Standard is to encourage access to the accountancy / taxation profession through the delivery of a high quality programme which is fit for purpose for performance in the workplace.

This Standard will replace the existing apprenticeship Level 4 accountancy and tax frameworks. BPP will be delivering this Apprenticeship Standard from September 2016.

Trailblazer Group

The employer Trailblazer group that created this Standard included: Baker Tilly, BDO, Deloitte, Government Finance Profession, Ernst & Young, Flemmings, Grant Thornton, Hall and Woodhouse, Harvey & Son, Hazlewoods LLP, Kingston Smith, KPMG, Lentells Chartered Accountants and PwC.

Suitable to train and develop talented staff in roles such as: Assistant Auditor; Assistant Management Accountant; Assistant Financial Accountant; Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor; Commercial Analyst; Payroll Manager; Senior Bookkeeper; Senior Financial Office; Taxation Investigations Officer; Personal Taxation Assistant and Business Taxation Assistant.

Suitable to train and develop talented staff in roles such as;

Assistant Auditor, Assistant Management Accountant, Assistant Financial Accountant, Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor, Commercial Analyst, Payroll Manager, Senior Bookkeeper, Senior Financial Officer, Taxation Investigations Officer, Personal Taxation Assistant and Business Taxation Assistant.

Key Facts:


Standard guideline: 18 to 24 months (min. 12 months)

Timeframes are flexible depending the employer and/or the apprentice’s ability to be successful on the programme.

Study Mode

BPP can provide flexible study methods towards these qualifications including:

  • In Classroom face-to-face
  • Online Classroom (recorded)
  • Online Classroom Live (real time) or a mix of all three

Knowledge Qualification

Professional Qualifications that can be included;

  • AAT – Diploma in Accounting
  • ACCA – Diploma in Accounting and Business
  • ATT – Tax Technician
  • CIMA – Certificate in Business Accounting
  • CIPFA – Professional Certificate (not available with BPP Professional Education)
  • ICAEW – Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business
  • ICAS – Professional Diploma in Accounting, Finance and Tax

There is also an option for apprentices to complete a work based assessment route. This route does not lead to professional body recognition and is not currently offered by BPP Professional Education.

Skills and Behaviours

Apprentices needs to be able to demonstrate the following Skills and Behaviours to meet the Standard:


  • Analysis
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Planning & prioritisation
  • Produces quality & accurate info
  • Team working & collaboration
  • Uses systems & processes


  • Adaptability
  • Adding value
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Proactivity
  • Professional Scepticism

Apprenticeship Components

  1. On Programme Assessment
  2. End Point Assessment: Typically taken in the last 2-3 months of the apprenticeship and consists of two parts:
    a. Portfolio & Reflective Statement
    b. Role Simulation

Grading: An apprentice will be deemed competent or not based on passing both End Point Assessments. If they are competent in both then they will be awarded the Apprenticeship.

A “distinction” will be given to any apprentice who scores more than 90% in the Role Simulation.

BPP Support

Both the apprentice and employer will be supported by a team of Programme Advisors and a Skills Coaches who will ensure the apprentice completes the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours required and is ready to sit the End Point Assessment.

Eligibility Criteria

Standard Guideline: Level 2 Maths and English (equivalent to GCSE grade C or above), ideally as part of 5 GCSE A-C grades or other comparable qualifications. Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 2 must achieve this prior to the completion of the Level 4 Apprenticeship.

Employers have the flexibility to set their own minimum entry requirements and may want to increase their criteria.

Employer Requirements

  • Provide the apprentice with full-time paid employment and an employment contract (30 hours + per week)
  • Support the apprentice to gain new skills in accordance with the Apprenticeship Standard
  • Allow the apprentice time during working hours to complete their apprenticeship. This needs to be taken into consideration when discussing study modes


Apprentices completing this apprenticeship have a number of progression options for accountancy and tax qualifications including the Level 7 Professional Accountant Higher Apprenticeship*.

Progression Route

*Level 7 will be available once the Standard and Assessment plan have been approved by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Costs and Government Funding

Please contact BPP for full information on costs and available government funding.

Current co-funding arrangements

In the 2016/2017 academic year (up until April 2017), for every £1 an employer pays towards the cost of training and assessment, government will pay £2. Incentive payments are available for SMEs, employers recruiting 16-18 year olds and for completion. Under current funding rules, in order to be eligible for government funding, apprentices cannot have a Level 4 qualification or above. The government awards each Apprenticeship Standard a Cap, this Apprenticeship Standard is under Cap 3 and BPP Professional Education prices are available on request.

Funding arrangements from April 2017

The funding system will change in 2017 to coincide with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. These funding rules are yet to be announced. To keep up to date on all levy announcements visit We expect Employers will be able to draw up to £9,000 from the Digital Voucher Service to cover the training costs for this Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard.

Any apprentices who start before April 2017 will remain on the 2016/17 co-funding model until they complete their apprenticeship.

Download Factsheet