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AAT course costs

Extortionate?

Had a letter from a local college this week updating us on their aat course.

I was very surprised to see that level 4 costs  £2200 which to me seems very expensive.

So not only are you losing someone 1 day per week but also paying a lot for the course. Makes you wonder if it's worth taking on a studying trainee.

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19th Oct 2017 23:52

What price were you expecting? Is that more than it used to be? More than level 3 and 5? Just trying to put it into some kind of perspective.

Always used to be that a trainees salary was artificially low because of the training costs that the employer has to incur. Don’t know if that’s still the way it works.

Personally I think studies should be done in the employees own time (eg evenings and weekends), but maybe i’m Just old skool, and mean!

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By rhino83
20th Oct 2017 09:32

That seems very high, our local college does it for under £600.

As sheepy said the cost is normally reflected in the trainee's pay packet.

If your worried about losing their time, make it conditional that it is done in their own time, that's what I had to do, come in earlier and finish later on the days I wasn't in college.

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20th Oct 2017 10:19

My level 4 course cost around £2000. That seems correct to me. I am guessing that includes all 6 modules that you take for level 4? At £366 per module, I don't think that is too steep?

I would be surprised if a college did the whole course for under £600 as it costs £50 to sit each exam.

I was given one afternoon per week off to go to college for level 4 and believe that it shows you are supporting them in their training rather that just looking for cheap labour.

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By rhino83
to CSanton89
20th Oct 2017 10:31

We currently have 5 staff in the office doing AAT 4 at our local college and the course fees are less than £600, this includes all the modules, but doesn't include the exam fee, AAT membership and books.

I have no problem with trainees doing courses in their own time, I did mine in my own time. At the end of the day if you want a professional qualification which is going to benefit you in the long run then you should work hard for it and not expect it to be handed on a plate.

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to rhino83
20th Oct 2017 11:08

I guessing that there is some bulk discount there if you have 5 members of staff doing the course.

I don't think that being given one day or half a day off to attend college means that you aren't working hard or having it given to you on a plate. I did pay for the course myself so possibly got the time off instead of having the course paid for me.

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By djn24
to CSanton89
31st Oct 2017 13:09

CSanton89 wrote:

I guessing that there is some bulk discount there if you have 5 members of staff doing the course.

I don't think that being given one day or half a day off to attend college means that you aren't working hard or having it given to you on a plate. I did pay for the course myself so possibly got the time off instead of having the course paid for me.


£2,000 for AAT seems an awful lot- seems more than ACCA which is surprising.
I did AAT on day release a long time ago. The employer paid me to go and for the course- the course was only a few hundred then.
I think I will make employees do the night school or home study in future as the cost to pay this course and lose a days work plus study leave is quite painful. They would have 28 days off plus study leave so easily 33 days study days. Add on the 33 days leave inc bank holidays- theywould hardly be here.
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20th Oct 2017 12:02

I had to do day-release for my ACCA final level many years ago. Up to then, I'd done evening classes but the college didn't do the final level, so I had to drive an hour to a college a few towns away. I lost a day's pay for each day I was on day release. As I was already on a low trainee wage, it hurt, especially with the travelling expenses too that I also had to fund. The only paid time off I got was the week for revision each year before the exam week. But the employer(s) did pay for the course fees etc.

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21st Oct 2017 10:11

My Foundation Course in Accountancy cost £85 back in 1974.

Inflation, eh ?

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By tom123
to lionofludesch
31st Oct 2017 13:31

Don't think they were doing accounts in my nursery school at the time (sorry Lion ;) )

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to tom123
31st Oct 2017 13:45

I was only reading at the weekend that prices increased threefold between 1700 and 1938 and fortyfold since then.

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31st Oct 2017 11:49

Try distance learning correspondence courses if you want to keep the cost down. I used RRC International, but it seems they only do Health and Safety now. There are others like BPP Learning Media that could be useful.

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31st Oct 2017 12:04

If you're going to make them do it in their own time then at least pay them a decent wage. It won't take them long to start looking around if you don't.

From my experience the general perception is that industry employers will pay more but expect you to study in your own time where as practice employers will pay less but give students paid time off to study.

If you do it on an apprenticeship scheme I believe you will have no choice but to give them time off to study in order to meet the requirements.

For benchmarking:

The two firms I have worked for in the Hull (low paying area anyway) pay AAT Lv 3 Staff minimum wage (around £11k a year) and they then receive a £1000 pay increase on completion.

All study costs are met by the firm including travel if appropriate.

If you don't pay this chances are that any decent employee that knows their value will jump ship the second they get (which will just happen to be as they are becoming valuable to you).

There comes a point towards the end of level 4 when trainees are looking to the future. IF they plan on studying towards ACA/ACCA/CIMA then they know they will have to sign a training contract that will keep them there 4/5 years.

Naturally at this point if you're paying them crap, or they can't see room for development in this time they will be seduced by one of the many recruitment agents that hassle them regularly on Linked In or by phone and will leave you.

If you are going to be a good boss, look beyond the numbers and see them as more than just cheap labour then take on a junior but keep the above in mind.

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By djn24
to AccountsKid
31st Oct 2017 13:16

AccountsKid wrote:

If you're going to make them do it in their own time then at least pay them a decent wage. It won't take them long to start looking around if you don't.

From my experience the general perception is that industry employers will pay more but expect you to study in your own time where as practice employers will pay less but give students paid time off to study.

If you do it on an apprenticeship scheme I believe you will have no choice but to give them time off to study in order to meet the requirements.

For benchmarking:

The two firms I have worked for in the Hull (low paying area anyway) pay AAT Lv 3 Staff minimum wage (around £11k a year) and they then receive a £1000 pay increase on completion.

All study costs are met by the firm including travel if appropriate.

If you don't pay this chances are that any decent employee that knows their value will jump ship the second they get (which will just happen to be as they are becoming valuable to you).

There comes a point towards the end of level 4 when trainees are looking to the future. IF they plan on studying towards ACA/ACCA/CIMA then they know they will have to sign a training contract that will keep them there 4/5 years.

Naturally at this point if you're paying them crap, or they can't see room for development in this time they will be seduced by one of the many recruitment agents that hassle them regularly on Linked In or by phone and will leave you.

If you are going to be a good boss, look beyond the numbers and see them as more than just cheap labour then take on a junior but keep the above in mind.


We have always looked after staff with regards study leave but just very surprised at the hike in tuition costs. At the age of 18, with full study support- so full day off plus exam revision time, they would start on minimum wage so say £10,500. This would increase each year as they improve.
By the time AAT is completed, they should be earning more than say £16k, had all study paid for, had all the time off and had huge amounts of time and effort put into them.
Just saying £2,000 for a course like the AAT, which isn't really that high a level seems a lot. Makes me think that they have priced themselves out of the market really.
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to djn24
31st Oct 2017 16:12

Is it not still the case that those that are still younger than 19 at the start of the course get it for free anyway?

I don't think £2,000 is ridiculously expenses for the course including all materials and potentially exam fees - for 6 modules that probably equates to around 25 days + those who study level 4 must also do the level 4 Diploma in Business alongside nowadays or the provider doesn't get the funding from government

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