1. When will the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship be ready for use and who will be eligible?

The CIMA Higher Apprenticeship in Management Accounting was launched in September 2013.

Higher Apprenticeships have officially been approved for delivery by Government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are available for employers and learning providers to use. The CIMA Technical Apprenticeship in Management Accounting is available in Scotland, accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Higher Apprenticeships are aimed at anyone who has completed A levels (or equivalent).

2. What support is available to employers who recruit apprentices?

Employers can access support from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and their chosen training provider, if they are already working with one.

What this support might include:

  • Government will provide financial support towards apprentice training costs as well as recruitment support through the online vacancy matching service.
  • If employers work with a training provider, the provider is likely to deliver formal off-the-job training, some on-the-job training, manage the relationship with NAS and secure the appropriate government funding toward training costs.

3. How are apprentices trained?

Training for Higher Apprentices typically includes a combination of on and off-the-job training, through a variety of delivery methods, which could include e-learning, classroom courses and on-the-job practice.

4. Who will provide training for the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship?

Employers can choose their own training provider and work with them to decide how the formal, off-the-job, and work-based, on-the-job training will be delivered over the course of the Higher Apprenticeship. Working together, employers and training providers can develop a bespoke training programme that works for the employers business and their apprentice(s).

5. Can employers work with their existing training providers?

Yes, however to draw on public funding to support training costs, the provider will require a Skills Funding Agency (SFA) contract or sub-contract. If the existing provider does not have a contract in place, there are other options, for example, a sub-contracting arrangement with a provider who does have an SFA contract.

6. How will apprentices’ achievements be assessed?

Apprentices will be assessed through examinations and through a portfolio of evidence. In the course of their normal duties and on-the-job development, apprentices will need to draw together a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates they are competent in the areas covered in the framework. This can take the form of the collation of work based evidence, witness testimonies or a question and answer session between the assessor and apprentice.

Apprentices will be assessed regularly by an assessor provided by the training provider.

7. How often will assessors need to visit?

Progress reviews between the apprentice, their manager and the assessor, are expected to occur at least every 10-12 weeks. However, employers and training providers have flexibility to agree on what works best for them.

8. What exams will apprentices sit on the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship?

As part of the apprenticeship apprentices will study for and complete the level 4 Diploma in Business Accounting - consisting of the five modules that also make up the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

9. Are employers able to use existing learning and development materials as part of the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship?

Yes – the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship provides a core learning programme, with enough depth and breadth to equip apprentices with a comprehensive blend of technical and business skills, and it also gives employers the flexibility to include their own materials where these help apprentices to develop those skills.

10. Are existing employees able to move onto the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship?

Yes – existing employees can undertake the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship. Depending on the individual situation, prior learning can be taken into account which may reduce the duration they would need to be on the apprenticeship.

11. How are apprenticeship vacancies advertised?

Employers will be able to use their own recruitment and marketing approaches to promote the programme to suitable candidates.

Apprenticeship vacancies will be able to be posted free of charge on CIMA MY JOBS portal.  Apprenticeship vacancies can also be advertised via the National Apprenticeship Service’s (NAS) online vacancy matching service.

12. How do apprentices fit into existing staff reward and contractual arrangements?

Government specifies that apprentices should be employed for at least 30 hours per week and paid at least the minimum wage, but employers can set their own reward and benefits programme. We expect employers using the CIMA Higher Apprenticeship to be looking for high calibre individuals and therefore significantly more than minimum wage to be paid. Apprentices can be employed on a fixed-term contract timed to coincide with the duration of their apprenticeship.