Opinion Former Article

CIOT: Tax Apprenticeship Framework Published

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has welcomed the publication of the framework for the new Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship (incorporating the Higher Apprenticeship in Tax), following its approval by the Financial Skills Partnership.

The ATT is one of the bodies collaborating on the Apprenticeship programme, which aims to recruit 1500 school leavers in the next three years. It is hoped that the first apprentices will start this September.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Tax programme has three distinct components –
· technical knowledge, designed to equip the apprentice with the understanding of the tax system required to gain the ATT qualification, and culminating in them taking the ATT exams;

· vocational tax practice skills; and

· wider business skills, such as communication skills and commercial awareness.

Stuart McKinnon, President of the ATT, said:

“After six months of work by professional bodies, training providers and employers the framework for the higher apprenticeship is now set, and employers and potential apprentices can see what their training and curriculum options are.

“Drawing up the framework has been an employer-led process. I am confident it has the mix of technical knowledge and practical skills needed to help new entrants to the tax profession become effective and successful practitioners.

“The ATT is proud to be a partner in this programme. The apprenticeship covers two important objectives for us as a charity. Firstly, it is for the public benefit that we increase the opportunities for the study and practice of tax. Secondly, we are helping to create more open access to the tax profession by specifically targeting this at 18 year old school leavers, giving them a credible alternative to a university education.”

In a speech at the ATT’s AGM earlier this month, Stuart McKinnon called on existing ATT members to be leaders in the higher apprenticeship initiative and consider if their firms could take on apprentices under the scheme. He also challenged HMRC to look at the apprenticeship and consider how it could fit within their training programmes. Stuart, who is a tax partner at Baker Tilly, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has said that his own firm plans to take on at least one apprentice at their Newcastle office this year.

Notes to Editors

1. The Higher Apprenticeship in Tax is part of the Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship Programme. This is being run by a consortium of organisations including PwC (the lead organisation), the ATT, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Management Consultancies Association, the Financial Skills Partnership and training provider BPP. The Programme will initially cover tax, audit and management consulting.


Apprentices on the tax route will follow a newly-developed level 4 Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) qualification in tax. The qualification will be designed to raise apprentices to the ATT professional standard.

It is expected that apprentices joining the Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship Programme will be a mix of school or college-leavers with good A-levels or equivalent qualifications, those who have completed Advanced Apprenticeships (e.g. in accountancy), and existing employees of participating firms. The programme aims to deliver 1500 apprenticeship starts in total by March 2015, divided among the tax, audit and management consulting routes. The first apprentices will start on the programme from September 2012.

Under the apprenticeship programme, the employer provides the apprentice with a wage but the Government provides all or part of the training costs.

The framework for the Higher Apprenticeship in Tax can be viewed at http://www.pwc.co.uk/assets/pdf/the-tax-pathway.pdf

2. Founded in 1989, the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is the leading professional body for those providing UK tax compliance services and related activities. Our members are qualified by examination and practical experience to assist individuals and businesses in complying with their tax obligations.

The primary objective of the ATT is to provide an appropriate qualification for individuals who undertake tax compliance work. Those who meet the membership requirements have their qualification recognised by use of the title of ‘Taxation Technician’ and the designatory letters ‘ATT’.

The ATT has over 13,000 members, Fellows and registered students.

George Crozier
External Relations Manager

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M: +44 (0)7740 477374
The Chartered Institute of Taxation
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The Association of Taxation Technicians
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Low Incomes Tax Reform Group - an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

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