Skip to main content
check

Award winning training provider

check

Award winning training provider

check

Excellent pass rates

check

Tutor support until late

check

Market leader

info_outline Classroom courses and CBEs are running from our centres and will gradually return to full capacity with additional measures to minimise the spread of the virus. See our COVID pages for details.

Coronavirus advice ›

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.

ACA School Leaver Apprenticeship PDF cover

Build a market leading ACA school leaver apprenticeship

This paper looks at Kaplan’s existing accountancy school leaver apprenticeship programmes, which often lead to the full ACA qualification, and how they will evolve to maintain Kaplan’s position as the market leader in school leaver apprenticeship programmes.

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

For school leavers, we recommend a day release approach to Certificate Level with school leavers attending one scheduled study day each week. We believe that the features gained by a move to a day-release approach will provide a series of learning benefits for our school leavers. A table of benefits is provided below. For more detail, please see our ‘Build a market leading ACA school leaver apprenticeship’ document which you can access above.

Pathway feature How does this help?
Spaced study days

Study Intensity -  The new structure provides reduced study intensity with greater consolidation time which is more akin to a school leaver’s previous study experience. By adopting this approach during the early phase of professional life it will ease the transition and provide a better platform for success.

Work Life Intensity - School leavers can find making the transition to working life a difficult one, with the working weeks proving to be long and demanding. By devoting one day per week to scheduled study, students would initially benefit from a less intense and intimidating working week and enjoy the change of scenery that a study day would provide.

Wellbeing - Weekly study days will also provide a greater opportunity to use weekends to consolidate study. Blocked study courses necessitate a greater use of evening time to consolidate topics and complete testing. School leavers new to work can often find themselves exhausted in the evenings and the need to complete further study can adversely impact student wellbeing. The spaced course structure also offers a greater opportunity to identify and support off track students.

Outcomes & Attrition - This new spaced structure affords a greater period of time over which school leavers can spread their study with the first exam not being sat until three months of employment have elapsed. Having this fixed routine will help students to manage their approach to study and the real exam as they will have a clear understanding of what is needed at each stage of their course.

Best Practice -  The proposed course structure also fits structurally with apprenticeship best practice, namely:

  • Clearly demarcated study time
  • First professional exam taken after at least three months on programme to allow school leavers to adjust to the workplace and study
  • Focus on wellbeing and work/life balance
  • 1 set day study leave per week - a feature of multiple top ‘rate my apprenticeship’ employers
Course Delivery

The first four papers on the pathway below would all be delivered via scheduled study dates which we would plan to deliver via Live Online. Live Online delivery will provide school leavers with a peer network that they can be a part of right throughout their first year of study. A supporting peer network is valuable to school leavers and this has been underlined by our best practice research.

Additional revision days

All Certificate Level subjects have scheduled revision days. Introducing these additional revision days will:

  • Bring consistency to course structures providing school leavers with a study routine
  • Help to bookend each course bringing together all of the topics studied over the previous weeks in readiness for the real exam
  • Help to improve school leaver exam performance

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 below.

Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Year 1 ACC ACC ACC ACC exam AS AS exam MI MI exam PTX PTX exam Law and BTF
Year 2 Law and BTF exams FAR/AA - Tuition FAR/AA - Tuition FAR/AA - Exam Prep TC/FM - Tuition TC/FM - Tuition TC/FM - Tuition TC/FM - Exam Prep
Year 3 BST/BPT - Tuition BST/BPT - Tuition BST/BPT - Tuition BST/BPT - Exam Prep CR/SBM - Tuition CR/SBM - Tuition CR/SBM - Tuition CR/SBM - Exam Prep
Year 4 ACS - Tuition ACS - Tuition ACS - Exam Prep

Pathway Key

Classroom
Live Online
OnDemand

Certificate Level study durations by paper

Paper Duration (days)
Accounting 10
Assurance 4
Management information 5
Principles of Tax 5
Law 4
BTF 4
Total 34

Course dates

Our first school leaver course using this new Certificate Level structure will commence in September 2022. Final course dates to be confirmed in due 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.