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Technican's level = Level 4 = Degree level?



  • izzyizzy New Member Registered Posts: 6
    Quite right. I stand corrected.

    Apologies for any confision caused.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    I went straight into the second year of a degree from completing the AAT. I think you need to be very careful with what exactly you mean when you say the two things are equivalent.

    When I was on the course, some of the material in second-year units was actually already covered on the AAT: notably group accounts and a lot of the budget-related areas. Of course this was only true for some units, and only part of the materials within that unit (none of my second year law units were covered, for example). Conversely I felt that I had missed out on certain things that were only covered in the first year - particularly marketing and economics.

    I do agree that the difficulty levels are around the same though.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    I think you need to be very careful with what exactly you mean when you say the two things are equivalent.

    I think that's a good point, when making comparing things similarity is not necessarily an exact match

    Exemptions given by the chartered bodies, universities and other qualifications boards might be given based on the "fit" For example, AAT does not cover every item in the CIMA certificate stage, but someone with AAT is appropriately prepared for the next stage of the CIMA qualification and it may not be so serious if there are gaps in the earlyer/"basisc" stages of a qualification.

  • salihsalih Feels At Home Registered Posts: 81
    Once you pass level 4 aat and then decide to go to uni you would skip the first year right into the 2nd year of uni. Hope this answer helps
  • DenisLBHDenisLBH Registered Posts: 1
    As part of an NHS salary evaluation the following applied:

    AAT = NVQ4
    MAAT = NVQ5 = Undergraduate/Bachelors Degree

  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    This is just placing a monetary value on the employee - the MAAT includes experience and requirements on CPD and professional competence.

    Although there is no way AAT L4 is equivalent to my degree (an arts subject but very good uni, they do vary a lot), perhaps first year at uni but the first year doesn't actually count towards the degree classification, it's creating a foundation for the next two years, so I can see why AAT is a good alternative (and much cheaper). I was more surprised that L3 was equivalent to A Level, well more than one in fact and can gain entry to some accountancy degree courses.
  • Richard2013Richard2013 Just Joined Registered Posts: 23
    As far as I'm concerned, AAT Accounting qualication is a bookkeeping qualification, no matter how people window dress it. Still, I am really happy to be a student member as I've learned a lot over the last 2,5 years. I did not mean to denounce the qualification, before anyone gets defensive for any reason.

    An aat l4 student
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,525
    edited December 2014
    The AAT qualification is not a bookkeeping qualification. The AAT offer several different qualifications... The AAT Accounting Qualification, Accounting Skills, Bookkeeping and Computerised Accounting (separate to full AAT qualification), Tax, Business Skills and various AAT Short Courses. If you were to just study Bookkeeping I am not sure that you would cover Financial Performance, Budgeting, Tax, Ethics, Internal Controls etc.

    p.s. I'm not being defensive... just think people need to be aware of the different qualifications/levels available :blush:
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    I became a member in 1985 and FMAAT (Fellow Member) in 1994. If MAAT = degree year one equivalent, what does FMAAT equal? Any thoughts?
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    As I mentioned before, it's not just about the level but also the amount of study.

    First year degree/Diploma of Higher Education is level 4 and covers 120 credits under the uni scheme - each equating to 10hrs study = 1,200hrs equivalent. AAT Level 4 Diploma is rates at circa 400 hrs study. It's also worth noting that there is a difference between academic, professional and vocational study in terms of learning, assessment and outcome.

    As for MAAT/FMAAT and there equivalents, there isn't a clear comparison as these are based on experience. Some employers may put them into a certain "pigeon holes" but that's due to how skilled/knowledgeable they think employees are. There is a separate argument for experience is greater than study etc., but that's a different issue. On a similar vein, could someone who's worked in business admin for 10 years pass degree assessments based there experience alone?
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Thanks Neil for your quick response. Not the answer I wanted but I concede the logic. V = vocational and it is that word which suggests that experience is taken into account and a value placed upon it. The reality is that only exams count. Perhaps NVQ should be NEQCEDC - National Exams Qualifications Comparisons Experience Doesn't Count
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547

    There are some universities that accredit experience for entry onto degrees and basically give exemptions. However, these tend to be universities lower down the recognition. But there are also universities that recognise experience for entry to postgraduate courses.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    The CEO of AAT refused to commit himself to saying FMAAT is equivalent to a degree.
    Your reply poses an interesting and cunning, even mischievous, idea. If I proposed (falsely) that I wanted to do a master's degree at a lower down university but I wanted to know if my FMAAT would count as a degree, perhaps they might state that they would accept it. Bingo! I have "proof" that I can wave around and show to potential employers and this forum. What do you think about that idea?
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Can you name some universities I can try this on?
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    edited January 2015
    Otherwise I cannot see why AAT persists with the accolade FMAAT if nobody other than AAT recognises it!
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    There are a lot of FMAAT's around who would welcome wider recognition and a lot of potential FMAAT's considering if it's worthwhile applying for it.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    In terms of a masters degree, not all universities require a degree or professional qualification. Some will admit you to a masters if you can show that you have relevant experience and that you can handle the academic challenge. It might that you can't fully register until you've completed some preliminary modules.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Oh! Jolly good! I suppose the universities would only do this if the master's degree is accountancy related? Can you mention some? This would make FMAAT worthwhile for those considering their options.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    The one that stands out is Herriot Watt/Edinburg Business School's international/distance learning programmes, but it's experience in general not having FMAAT. There are others out there but you would need to have a look around, it's usually the newer universities.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Thanks Neil for everything. If the university wants experience then it will want proof. FMAAT is effectively confirmation by AAT that proof of experience from credible employers has passed AAT vetting. Because AAT is a recognized professional body, the university can trust it. Experience in general? Not sure what that means. I assume you mean other than accountancy but verifiable. Thanks for your input. Please take a well earned rest.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    When I say experience in general, I mean it doesn't need to have been verified already, the university will review any experience the applicant has submitted. Whist AAT have verified your experience, a university will do there own checks to see if it meets there requirements. Unless they specifically recognise it, FMAAT itself may not be sufficient.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    This is a great forum. The debate on this issue of degree equivalence has been high quality. So what conclusions have I reached regarding the grand title of FMAAT? I think AAT should abandon FMAAT. At NVQ level, it is no higher than Technician level. Once you have passed the AAT exams you can go no higher with AAT as far as the REAL world (outside AAT) is concerned. If you want to get recognition in the real world, only exams passed count, NOT experience. In the real world FMAAT has zero credibility. I do not lay the blame for this at any door. It's a simple reality, that's all. NVQ should ditch the word "vocational" because it suggests that work experience actually can be measured and has a value - it doesn't.
  • ariadneariadne Registered Posts: 218
    Of course experience is worthy, many accountancy grads or AAT L4 qualified will be struggling to even get a foot in the door without it. Ten years experience will give you a lot of experience doing different aspects of accounting, taking on more responsibility and giving you the achievements to include on your CV and talk about in interviews. It's the same for any career, you gain skills from each role that helps get up the ladder. Don't put too much emphasis on degrees or masters, they aren't the be all and end all you think they are. Mine is meaningless now, it may even hold me back from getting an entry level job as I don't have the experience. My husband has a masters but it's more important he has the experience in delivering the required work at the required level using x software and demonstrating the required skills. He did his masters for fun and I don't think it has helped him unlike the experience he's gained, he's doubled his salary in about four or five years in a role not dissimilar to accountancy.

    I do wonder, as is my suspicion, whether AAT is limited in terms of progression and you'd therefore have to consider chartered quals to progress beyond a certain level. Plus with ACCA you can transfer to a degree course and complete a project after the F levels. And I think an MBA once complete plus a project. Possibly better value than a proper degree course but I don't know how this is viewed by employers.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Yes, I agree that experience is very important in life. In today's world a degree allows an individual to travel the world and be certain of getting a job anywhere. A degree is the universal currency. If you have a lesser qualification plus experience, your prospects of finding employment abroad are practically zero. Many countries ridicule the concept of equivalence. Do you have a degree? Yes or no? There is no grey area option. Degree level? What's that? The battle of convincing employers in the UK is very fraught indeed still but the battle to convince employers worldwide has not even begun yet! So this topic is a lame duck. In fact it's a dead duck. And my title of FMAAT is the deadest duck of all. It should be scrapped. AAT advice to Technicians should be to take the Chartered or Certified or MBA routes, as you rightly have suggested. Don't wait several years for the title FMAAT. Pass more exams elsewhere. In this context therefore, experience is not worth a twopenny damn.
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    Will you also be recommending to ICAEW and the ACCA that they get rid of their FCA/FCCA awards then?

    A degree may be important for younger people with a lack of experience in getting their first job or if you're switching professions, but in my experience once you're 30+ (or maybe even younger) experience is far more important.

    As alluded to above, the fellowships from the various professional bodies are to show that you are both qualified and have the necessary experience to offer a professional service. They are not an academic qualification, and are not meant to map across in the same way, hence they may not be recognised by universities.

    AAT a degree? No, certainly not. I found it no harder than A levels - although I have never attended university, I suspect a degree course would be much more challenging.

    Interestingly ACA is the academic equivalent of a Masters once complete, and has worldwide recognition in the finance industry (as does ACCA). Speaking to various graduates I have attended courses with (most with big-4 firms, and most with accounting and finance degrees), they generally feel the ACA courses/exams are at a higher level than their degree studies.
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Perhaps FMAAT could be considered to be comparable to an honorary degree? Universities bestow them but what value does society place upon them? It's a gesture of respect, I guess, but an employer would not consider the recipient to have been educated to degree level on the basis of an honorary degree alone. Would I recommend that FCA/FCCA awards be abolished? It's the wrong forum and it's off topic so it's a daft, almost rude, question. Keep to the point. Technican's level = Level 4 = Degree level? If not, is FMAAT? It's a reasonable question to pose. Happily the remainder of the previous post is more intelligent, and adds a quality contribution to the debate.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    I see a point, but honorary degrees tend to require significant and outstanding contributions.

    Level 4 is the same level as the first year of a full-time degree (levels 5 and 6 being equivalent to 2nd & 3rd year). However, level does not indicate the amount of study/hours of study and the AAT level 4 is part time over 1 year. On a similar vein, at level 4 you could do a university certificate or a certificate in higher education (CertHE) - the uni. cert could be anything that the particular university sees fit (often half a years full-time study), whereas a CertHE is the equivalent of the first year of a degree = same level, but more/less study depending on qualification.
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    As Neil says, I think we have established the AAT Level 4 Diploma is not the equivalent of a degree - it does not map across to degree level, does not require anywhere near the hours of study and the content is not as difficult (to qualify - as difficult as I would imagine it to be, having not completed a degree myself).

    For anyone who's interested a handy diagram of the QCF may help illustrate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualifications_and_Credit_Framework#mediaviewer/File:QCF_common_English_and_Welsh_qualifications.jpg

    I think you are confusing the point regarding fellowships. FMAAT is not an academic qualification, whereas a degree is. You cannot therefore compare it to an academic qualification - there is no equivalency to debate. The only academic element is the Level 4 Diploma. The point holds true for the (off-topic and wrong forum) FCA and FCCA awards. They are not an academically higher award than the base qualification, which once complete is at Level 7 of the QCF. The fellowship recognises that you have been a member for a period of time (and to retain your membership you must have kept up with your CPD), so in theory you are experienced and up to date, which makes you more attractive to employers.

    This post seems to have grown from the argument that universities should recognise FMAAT as higher than the AAT qualification alone - but why? Universities are academic institutions interested in your academic ability; FMAAT will be valued in a finance role as it demonstrates professional ability, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. I've yet to see an accountancy practice or finance department hire anyone, regardless of qualification, at anything except entry level without them having significant experience in finance. To that person, FMAAT would be far more worthwhile than a Masters.

    The FCA/FCCA point is not off-topic; if you are suggesting that fellowships should be scrapped because they hold no value, then surely that should apply to all accountancy bodies?
  • luckygeezerluckygeezer Registered Posts: 13
    Wow! High quality debate for AAT members who have any interest in this topic. I reckon it covers all possible angles. I have certainly learned from the views of all participants and especially Neil, Cee Jay and ariadne.
  • sammieboisammieboi Registered Posts: 1
    I see posts mentioning about post 1994, how about if achieved level 4 in 1993. Would that be covered in the old frameowrk and therefore could be classed as an undergraduate degree?
    I am thinking of doing a masters and using my level 4 aat as the entry requirement. Any assistance would be appreciated.
    NeilH said:

    Monsoon wrote: »

    I agree with Neils ranking in that level 4 = year 1 of a degree, though I don't understand the last paragraph - how can a diploma be level 7 when the AAT diploma route is the equivalent of the NVQ route which culminates in Level 4?

    The title (award, certificate, diploma etc) of a vocational/vocationally related qualification doesn't indicate academic/vocational level. The diploma I was referring to at level 7 is actually a post grad diploma.

    In general you can have a diploma in any subject at any level. For example, I have two BTEC diplomas (non-accounting), one of these is level 2, the other is level 3 and in these subjects there is also the possibilty of taking a certificate at level 2 and a certificate at level 3 - the diplomas require more study at the same level.

    If you look around you'll find qualifications such as Diploma in ****** Level 3 or Diploma in ****** Level 7. For vocational qualifications the title of award, certificate or diploma depends on the amount of study required (as specified by the national framework). However, universities use the titles of certificate and diploma differently.

    I addition, NVQ's further muddy the water. The framework for qualifications used to be based on levels 1 to 5, tied in with the NVQ levels. The "old" levels 1, 2 and 3 are the equivalent of the corresponding levels of the new framework I specified. However, level 4 (undergraduate) of the "old" framework was split into levels 4, 5 and 6 and level 5 (postgraduate) became 7 and 8. NVQ 4's can be the equivalent of either levels 4, 5 and 6 of the new framework (depending on the individual NVQ and NVQ 5's can be at either level 7 or 8.

    Old framework:


    1 = equivalent to GCSE with lower marks/grades, NVQ 1

    2 = GCSE with higher marks/grades, NVQ 2

    3 = AS/A levels standard, NVQ 3

    4 = Undergraduate/bachelors degree, NVQ 4

    5 = Postgraduate/masters/doctorial, NVQ 5

    New (current) framework:


    1 = equivalent to GCSE with lower marks/grades, NVQ 1

    2 = GCSE with higher marks/grades, NVQ 2

    3 = AS/A levels standard, NVQ 3

    4 = 1st year degree standard, NVQ 4*

    5 = 2nd year degree standard, NVQ 4*

    6 = 3rd year degree standard, NVQ 4*

    7 = postgraduate certs, dips and masters level, NVQ 5*

    8 = higher professional levels/doctorial, NVQ 5*

    * the level of the framework that the NVQ relates to depends on the specific NVQ. AAT NVQ 4 is at level 4 of the framework but you could conceivably have an NVQ 4 at levels 4, 5 or 6 of the framework


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