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Higher apprenticeships

Keen to start earning and learning? A higher apprenticeship could be your  first step to qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Our apprenticeships are a great choice if you’ve finished your A levels, or similar qualifications, and are looking to dive straight into work.

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Get paid

Work full time and earn a competitive salary while completing a qualification


Complete a stand-alone qualification that provides credits towards the ACA

Work experience

Get a ahead of your peers by working full time

New skills

Build your knowledge and skills in accountancy and finance

At a glance

  • Entry requirements

    Each employer will have their own, but you’ll need a Grade C or above at GCSE Maths and English

  • Duration

    18 to 24 months

  • Study options

    Part time – your employer will give you time out of the office to study for your exams

  • Cost


    Employers will cover the cost of all training

What are Higher Apprenticeships?

ICAEW’s Higher Apprenticeships enable those with school and college qualifications to start working in the finance sector and take the first steps to qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. 

During the apprenticeship you will study and complete ICAEW’s Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB)  – which consists of the first six exam modules of the ACA qualification - while earning a salary and learning essential business skills, such as commercial awareness and internal financial management, on the job.

At the end of your apprenticeship you will have studied the Certificate Level ACA exams and completed a proportion of the required practical work experience to complete the ACA.

You will be in a strong position to secure a training agreement and complete the remaining elements of the ACA qualification. This could be with your existing employer or an alternative organisation that can provide you opportunities you want from your career.


of higher level apprenticeships in the UK are with accountancy and professional services companies*

* Source: AGR Annual Survey 2016

How are ICAEW Higher Apprenticeships structured?

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Practical work experience

As an apprentice you will be working full time for your employer, enabling you to earn a wage and apply what you learn in the classroom in practice.


During your apprenticeship you will be allocated time to study ICAEW CFAB and take the six module exams.

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Your development

Your studies and your day job will equip you with the knowledge skills and behaviours for a successful career in accountancy and finance.

Business skills

Throughout your apprenticeship you will develop skills in commercial awareness, communication and time management, that will be important whatever career you choose to pursue.