Apprenticeships

  • What is an Apprenticeship?

    An apprenticeship is a real job with professional training. The new apprenticeship standards in England were developed by employer-led groups called 'trailblazers' - CIMA continues to be actively involved. The standards were designed to give employers more control over their apprenticeships, increase flexibility, simplify apprenticeship funding and improve the effectiveness of apprenticeship training.

  • Is an apprenticeship right for you?

    An apprenticeship is suitable for almost anyone; graduates, school leavers, new employees as well as people already in work looking to upskill. As long as there is an opportunity to gain new skills, an apprenticeship could be for you. Apprenticeships are available to anyone living in England, who is over the age of 16 and not in full-time education. We offer apprenticeships at two levels so the opportunity is there no matter where you start from.

  • Why CIMA's Apprenticeship programme?

    The CIMA qualification combines accounting, finance and management with the business skills and techniques you’ll need to add real value to any organisation. Management accountants are qualified to work across the business, not just in finance, advising managers on the financial implications of big decisions, formulating business strategy and monitoring risk – much more than just crunching numbers.

Apprenticeship Events

  • Facebook Live - Apprenticeships

    The new way to become a Management Accountant with Peter from CIMA and Laura from BPP.

  • Facebook Live - Transport for London

    We spoke to Paolo Deritis, Finance Apprentice and CIMA student with Transport for London.

  • CIMA Apprenticeship Webinar

    Watch our webinar for employers and individuals to help better understand the apprenticeship changes, make use of the levy and choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.

Information

In 2015 the UK Government set an ambitious target to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

To put employers in the driving seat the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 which saw the shift the control of apprenticeship funding to employers.

In addition to the levy, groups of employers came together to design new apprenticeship standards for occupations in different sectors, these groups were known as trailblazers. This means that training goes beyond a single job or employer and ensures that apprentices can adapt to a variety of roles, with different employers, and develop the ability to progress their careers.

These standards define the detail covering the knowledge, skills and behaviours which apprentices in their sector require to be successful in the workplace.

The trailblazers then developed a plan on how these apprentices will be assessed throughout and upon successful completion of their apprenticeship.

CIMA were actively involved in these groups with employers including KPMG, and PwC, multinationals and public sector organisations, to develop the new apprenticeship standards and the assessment plan for the accounting/taxation sector.

More general infrmation can be found at the Institute for Apprenticeships. 

Level 4 apprenticeship

Apprentices can study the Certificate in Business Acounting through the Professional Accounting / Tax Technician apprenticeship standard.

The CIMA Cert BA is our entry-level qualification for people with little or no accounting background and gives a foundation to a career in business and finance. 

Studying the CIMA Cert BA will give apprentices business and finance skills for now and into the future, including accounting, management accounting and business principles.

Level 7 apprenticeship 

At this level, apprentices can study the CIMA Professional Qualification through the Level 7 Professinal Accountant Standard whilst also developing key skills and behaviours such as leadership, communication and problem solving.

The CIMA Professional Qualification is recognised worldwide as the most relevant global finance qualification for a career in business. 

As accountants in business, management accountants need to understand how businesses operate, how they are managed, how people work together and how strategy is formulated. 

Paying for study via the apprenticeship levy makes sense for a lot of businesses> However, there may be circumstances where putting an employee through an apprenticeship may not be appropriate so it's worth considering a few questions before selecting the apprenticeship option. 

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What are your organisation's objectives around apprenticeships?
  • Does the apprenticeship work under our current learning model or do we need to re-evaluate this?
  • We're a global organisation, does the learning model fit into the learning of similar people in other countries. If not what impact does this have?
  • Can you comply with the government funding rules?

Utilising the levy to its full potential can have a positive impact across your organisation, supporting your business strategies and operations.

Now is an ideal time to review your L&D strategy to fully utilise the Apprenticeship Levy. we expect to see budgets become increasingly ring-fenced and centralised moving forwards.

Our apprenticeship team are on hand to discuss your options and help you work out a solution that is right for your organisation and your team. 

Email apprenticeships@aicpa-cima.com to arrange an initial discussion. 

Benefits to your organisation

  • A cost-effective way to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified finance function that can help drive your business forward.
  • A stronger talent pipeline which can be accessed earlier.
  • A foundation upon which employers can build a distinctive programme.
  • Apprenticeships can deliver real returns to your bottom line, help improve productivity and make your company more competitive.
  • Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs.
  • Apprentices help you develop any specialist skills you need, helping you to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

tudy options

The delivery is through registered training providers. We recommend developing a programme suited to your organisation to deliver your business goals. Please refer to the SFA’s Register of Training Organisations to select your provider or contact us for more information on providers offering CIMA apprenticeship training.

Accounting apprenticeships consist of two elements: an on-programme assessment and an end-point assessment.

The on-programme assessment is an important element of the learning process as apprentices acquire the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours which are learnt through tuition and on-the-job learning. The on-programme stage is where apprentices undertake the CIMA Certificate in Business Accouting at Level 4 and the CIMA Professional Qualification at Level 7.

Additionally, the apprentice will be required to consider the skills and behaviours they are developing throughout the apprenticeship programme and record or log these in preparation for the end-point assessment. This will be undertaken with the support of the training provider.

The second element, the end-point assessment is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship.  The purpose of the assessment is to make sure the apprentice meets the standard set by employers and is fully competent in their role.

As well as the CIMA Qualification being able to be studied through an apprenticeship as part of on programme with a registered training provider we are taking the role of an end point assessment organisation.

These assessments leverage some of our exams and have required us to build some new assessments.  It's important to note that, even though we are leveraging some of our current exams, this assessment is independent to the CIMA Qualification and for assessment of the apprenticeship award. In fact, any apprentice is able to undertake this assessment at the end of their programme regardless of what qualification they have studied.

Time frame

The timeframe for completion of an apprenticeship is 12-36 months, although this is flexible depending on the employer and apprentice's ability to complete earlier but must be a minimum of 12 months. 

My friends are just starting out in their careers, but I’ve completed my apprenticeship and I’m one of the youngest commercial managers in the BT finance team, as well as one of the youngest CGMA designation holders in the UK.

Ashik Santimon Commercial Finance Manager, BT Security

FAQs

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate CIMA's apprenticeship programme.

Who are the training partners that offer the qualification?

You can find a list of training partners by searching the SFA’s Register of Training Organisations.

Who should we reach out to for content delivery?

You should search the training provider database. Our apprenticeship team can discuss any questions you may have about the process. Email apprenticeships@aicpa-cima.com or complete our contact form to arrange a chat. 

What does the 20% off the job training involve?

 

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship.
This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.
The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and could include the following:
-The teaching of theory (for example: lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training)
- Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions
- Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.
Off-the-job training does not include:
-English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately
-Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard
-Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours.

 

Should people start on L4 and work their way up to L7 or wait for standard to be approved?

Each situation/apprentice will be different. Email apprenticeships@aicpa-cima.com or complete our contact form and someone from our apprenticeship team will get in touch to discuss the best option for your organisation. 

Can an apprentice study the Level 4 Apprenticeship with another professional body and move onto CIMA Level 7?

Yes. An apprentice can complete level 4 with another organisation and then join CIMA's level 7 programme. It is also possible to join level 7 without having completed level 4 and exemptions can be awarded. 

What are the similarities and differences between studying CIMA through an apprenticeship versus studying the CIMA Professional Qualification?

Key similarities:

  • Study pathway can remain very similar.
  • The CIMA Qualification already aligns completely to the accounting apprenticeship standards. This standard lists what an apprentice should be able to demonstrate in their role by completing their apprenticeship. 

Key differences

  • Availability of Government/Levy funding towards training.
  • End-point assessment - an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship.
  •  20% ‘off the job’requirement – The amount of time an apprentice must be allocated on learning and development which is not delivered as part of their normal working duties.

Who can be trained as an apprentice?

Given the previous age restrictions being lifted apprenticeships can be used to support your whole business, not just young people at the start of their career.

Apprenticeships can be used to support new talent, this could be direct entry staff,  school leavers and even graduates.

You can up-skill your existing staff and your existing programmes can be transferred into apprenticeships, providing consistency across your organisation.

Anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible.

What funding is available?

The maximum funding available is £9,000 at level 4 and £21,000 at level 7.

Not ready yet? If you are interested in getting more information about the CIMA apprenticeship programme and would like one of our team to contact you via email or phone, please fill in your details and we'll be in touch.

Are you*: