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info_outline From 29th October all our classroom courses will be delivered via Live Online until further notice. Our centres are open for Computer Based Exams (CBE) only, which are running with safety measures in place.

More information can be found on the institute advice pages ›

ACA school leaver options

Students don’t need to go to university to become ACA qualified. As long as they have A-levels or international equivalent, they can start on one of two pathways and qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

Find out more:

Contact the team

Pathways available

There are two routes that Kaplan recommends for school leavers studying the ACA qualification:

CFAB first

Under this route school leavers complete the Certificate Level of the ACA qualification over an extended duration of twelve months before going on to complete the rest of the ACA qualification. CFAB can be completed on both an apprenticeship and fee paying basis.

AAT first

Under this route school leavers complete the majority of the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting level, as well as the full AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting over a period of 24 months before moving on the complete the ACA qualification at the Professional level. The Certificate level will be exempt.

Kaplan Publishing study materials book cover

Read through our school leavers research revealing their approach to the ICAEW qualification

The research has some insightful information on school leavers like current recruitment trends, different approaches to studying ACA, success rates achieved and shows you Kaplan's school leaver provisions.

Read the guide launch

CFAB First

Our CFAB first approach is an extended 4 year pathway which has been designed to provide school leavers with the best in delivery and support.

Key features of the pathway

The table below highlights the key features of our CFAB first school leaver route versus our standard ACA pathway:

Subject Standard ACA pathway CFAB first school leaver route Advantages
Accounting and Assurance Ten day intensive classroom course, with both exams sat approximately two weeks after the course finishes. Our classroom course is split into two blocks, with a gap in between each block.

Live Online review day situated in between course blocks.

An additional day of Accounting revision is also provided at the end of the course.

Accounting and Assurance exams sat independently.
Additional course time allows students to acclimatise to the difference between studying for A-levels and studying for professional qualifications, working at a less intensive pace with time available to consolidate their understanding. Interweaving study time at Kaplan with work gives time for students to get used to their work environment and an opportunity to understand more of the context to the subjects they are studying.

Sitting the two exams separately helps to relieve pressure on school leavers.
Remaining Certificate Level subjects Subjects are grouped in pairs over the first three months Each subject is sat individually over a longer period of six months. Less pressure on school leaver students as they are only studying one subject at a time, with more time spent in the workplace in order to adjust to the pressures of balancing work, study and home life.
Professional Level Exams sat in three subject groupings. Exams sat in two subject groupings. Lower study intensity when only sitting two subjects at a time. Less pressure is placed on cognitive load of school leavers.

Pathway Map

The pathway map provides an indicative example for a September starter of the month in which each phase of study takes place. It is important to note that study duration does not last an entire month but is in line with the standard study durations outlined in our published ACA timetables.

Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Year 1 ACC/ASS PTX MI BTF Law
Year 2 FAR/AA
(K)
FAR/AA
(APP)
FAR/AA
(EP)
FM/TC
(K)
FM/TC
(APP)
FM/TC
(EP)
Year 3 BST/BP
(K)
BST/BP
(APP)
BST/BP
(EP)
CR/SBM
(K)
CR/SBM
(APP)
CR/SBM
(EP)
ACS
(K)
Year 4 ACS
(APP)
ACS
(EP)

Pathway Key

Classroom course K Knowledge phase of course
Blended Classroom and Flexible Online course APP Application phase of course
Flexible Online EP Exam Preparation phase of course

Availability

The CFAB first school leaver pathway is available in the following Kaplan centres (Timetables specifically for school leavers are not yet available but are coming soon):

Apprenticeships

There is a choice of apprenticeship routes that can be used alongside this pathway:

Apprenticeship route Additional Consideration Suitability
CFAB under Level 4
Remainder of the ACA under Level 7
End Point Assessment required to be sat upon completion of the Certificate Level to complete Level 4 apprenticeship (not included in the pathway map above). If it is uncertain at the outset that the school leaver in question will complete the entire ACA qualification. If the school leaver does not then complete the remainder of the ACA qualification they will still have completed a stand alone Level 4 apprenticeship.
Entire ACA under Level 7 only None If it is certain from the outset that the school leaver will complete the entire ACA. This approach is more efficient in that it avoids the need for the apprentice to complete two end point assessments.

View our national ACA course fee sheet

Download enrolment form (PDF) launch


AAT First

Our AAT first approach is a 4-5 year pathway designed to give the student a deeper understanding of the early level content over an extended period of time.

Pathway Map

The pathway map provides an indicative example for a September starter of the month in which the majority of each phase of study takes place. It is important to note that study duration does not last an entire month but is in line with the standard study durations outlined in our published AAT timetables, and that some study weeks may overlap with other months not highlighted.

Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Year 1 AAT AVBK AAT FAPR AAT IDRX AAT MMAC AAT ETAU AAT BSTX
Year 2 AAT FSLC AAT PLTX AAT MABU AAT MDCL AAT PDSY
Year 3 Law FAR/AA
(K)
FAR/AA
(APP)
FAR/AA
(EP)
FM/TC
(K)
FM/TC
(APP)
FM/TC
(EP)
Year 4 BST/BP
(K)
BST/BP
(APP)
BST/BP
(EP)
CR/SBM
(K)
CR/SBM
(APP)
CR/SBM
(EP)
Year 5 ACS
(K)
ACS
(APP)
ACS
(EP)

Pathway Key

Classroom course K Knowledge phase of course
Blended Classroom and Flexible Online course APP Application phase of course
Flexible Online EP Exam Preparation phase of course

Availability

The AAT first school leaver pathway is available in the following Kaplan centres (local timetables available on these pages):

Apprenticeships

There is a choice of apprenticeship routes that can be used alongside this pathway:

Apprenticeship route Additional Consideration Suitability
AAT under Level 4
Remainder of the ACA under Level 7
End Point Assessment required to be sat upon completion of the AAT Professional Diploma Level to complete Level 4 apprenticeship (not included in the pathway map above). Predominantly used If it is uncertain at the outset that the school leaver in question will complete the entire ACA qualification or not.

If it is felt that the student would benefit from studying the lower levels over a longer period versus the CFAB route, then this route may be preferable.

If the school leaver does not complete the remainder of the ACA qualification they will still have completed a stand alone Level 4 apprenticeship.

View our national ACA course fee sheet

Download enrolment form (PDF) launch


Contact us

If you would like to discuss either of the pathways further then please contact our Client Service team on 0161 951 5486.

Recognised as an ICAEW Partner in Learning, working with ICAEW in the professional development of students.

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