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ICAEW Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Keen to start earning and learning? Our apprenticeships, also known as Trailblazer apprenticeships in Accountancy, could be your first step to qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. They 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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  1. Get paid

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

  2. Globally recognised qualification

    Depending on the apprenticeship level, you will complete the full ACA or its certificate level modules, which make up the stand-alone qualification ICAEW CFAB

  3. Work experience

    Get ahead of your peers by working full time

  4. New skills

    Build your knowledge and skills in accountancy and finance

At a glance

  • Key

    Entry requirements

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

  • Calendar


    Level 4 - 18 to 24 months (equivalent to first year of a Bachelor’s degree), Level 7 - 36 to 48 months (equivalent to a Master’s degree)

  • Notebook

    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 Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships enable those with school and college qualifications to start working in the sector of their choice, while studying towards a qualification and gaining practical skills. You might also hear the term “Trailblazer” in connection with apprenticeships.

Trailblazer apprenticeships were introduced in 2016 and were designed by groups of employers who decided what apprenticeships should look like for each of their sectors. 

This means that by doing a Trailblazer in Accountancy, you will develop all the skills and training that employers are looking for now and in the future.

By doing an ICAEW apprenticeship you can start working in the finance sector and take the first steps to qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. We currently offer a Level 4 and a Level 7 Trailblazer Apprenticeship in Accountancy, and which one you choose depends on your end-goal.


ICAEW Trailblazer Apprenticeships

ICAEW Accounting Technician Apprenticeship (Level 4 Trailblazer in Accountancy)

During the apprenticeship you will study and complete ICAEW’s Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB). The certificate consists of the first six exam modules of the ACA qualification, but is globally recognised as a stand-alone qualification as well. While studying for ICAEW CFAB, you will be earning a salary and gaining essential business knowledge. You will also develop a variety of professional skills, such as communication and leadership skills.

At the end of your apprenticeship you will have studied the Certificate Level ACA exams, been assessed on your knowledge, skills and behaviours 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.

ICAEW Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship (Level 7 Trailblazer in Accountancy)*

During the apprenticeship you will study and complete the ACA qualification. While studying for the ACA, you will be earning a salary and gaining advanced business knowledge. You will also develop a variety of professional skills, such as communication and leadership skills.

At the successful completion of your apprenticeship you will be a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. This means that you will be able to work in business or in industry, and continue progressing in your career with a globally respected qualification and the necessary skills to support you in any role you choose.

*Please note that registration has not opened yet for the Level 7 Trailblazer in Accountancy.
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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.

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During your apprenticeship you will be allocated time to study for ICAEW CFAB or the ACA and sit your 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.

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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.


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

* Source: AGR Annual Survey 2016

ICAEW Apprenticeship student experiences

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