Incoherence between AAT and training providers

bigfoot77bigfoot77 New MemberRegistered Posts: 8
Hi

I would like to rant about both the AAT and the training providers. My experience of contacting both has been very dissatisfying mainly because I keep getting conflicting information.

I have a degree in accounting but want to do AAT instead of ACA/ACCA because of my bad degree class. I contacted AAT and was told I could start at level 4. Then I learnt you need both level 3 and 4 to become MAAT fully qualified and would thus need to claim exemption for level 3. I talked to one of the big providers and they told me they cannot give exemptions because only AAT has the authority to give them. Then the AAT told me that it is at the provider's discretion to give exemption. Another provider said that exemptions do not exist for AAT. I don't know whom to believe! Seems like they are both passing the buck to each other. Did I not explain my case well or did I talk to ignorant and incompetent people?

Also, the AAT says you need to register with a provider first but the providers say you need to register with AAT first. Who is right? I am really confused by all this.

I really want to start at level 4 but one provider even said I should start at level 2 despite me having a degree in accounting! If that is the case, I think I am better off doing ACCA.

I would appreciate any comments or opinions. Can anyone give me clarifications?

Comments

  • MarkTMarkT Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 302
    For a start, the training provider that says you need level 2, rule them out - they're after money nothing more.

    To gain exemption from the foundation stages of CIMA, you need level 3 & 4. They do not really weigh on the level 2 which to be honest, is pretty basic stuff.

    My best advice would be to go to your local college and bypass a 'training provider'. Reason being is that a college is more likely to interview you for the course and you're more likely to be seen by a tutor who should have working knowledge of the structure. All you are going to have on the end of a telephone from a training provider is someone selling you something you may not need - hence one trying to flog you level 2
  • clegganatorclegganator Well-Known Registered Posts: 184
    Always annoying when you get conflicting advice. Not sure what to suggest but hopefully someone from the AAT will pick up on your post and offer some support. Well, I'd expect them to at least...
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 545
    MarkT wrote: »
    To gain exemption from the foundation stages of CIMA, you need level 3 & 4. They do not really weigh on the level 2 which to be honest, is pretty basic stuff.

    CIMA only require level 4 for the exemptions, ACCA used to/probably still do require level 3 AND 4.

    In terms of gaining AAT exemptions, what people seem to be telling is partly correct but they are only telling “parts” of the issue. The AAT don't strictly grant exemptions from the qualification, you can start at any level of the AAT you want. However, the college you are studying with will need be satisfied that you are capable of starting at the level you want; e.g. you have the appropriate prerequisite skills and knowledge. Then when you come to apply for MAAT the AAT will judge the qualifications you have to see if they are suitable for membership – level 4 plus level 3 or something in place of level 3.

    See http://www.aat.org.uk/content/item1687/#Qualifications_required which states "You may have a qualification or professional experience in place of level 3. This should have been confirmed by your AAT tutor as sufficient for you to begin studying at level 4."

    In short, the AAT don’t grant exemptions from the accounting qualification but can “exempt” you from having level 3 when you apply for MAAT.

    Neil
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    It is possible to do AAT without a training provider (DIY) so I would have thought you can register with the AAT as a student member without nominating a training provider.

    As I understood it, you can't get a level 3 exemption though if NeilH is right, that might be worth looking into. One of my accountants is a fantastic QBE and she decided to take AAT but despite being able to do level 3 standing on her head, she was told she had to take it. I'd love to know if that was wrong.
  • MarkTMarkT Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 302
    Monsoon wrote: »
    It is possible to do AAT without a training provider (DIY) so I would have thought you can register with the AAT as a student member without nominating a training provider.

    As I understood it, you can't get a level 3 exemption though if NeilH is right, that might be worth looking into. One of my accountants is a fantastic QBE and she decided to take AAT but despite being able to do level 3 standing on her head, she was told she had to take it. I'd love to know if that was wrong.

    I hate to go against this, but you cannot complete SPSW (level 3) or ICAS (level 4) without a training provider as the AAT does not mark it
  • MarkTMarkT Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 302
    NeilH wrote: »
    CIMA only require level 4 for the exemptions, ACCA used to/probably still do require level 3 AND 4.

    Thanks for correcting me there on CIMA this is indeed correct :001_smile:

    See here: http://www.cimaglobal.com/Study-with-us/Exemptions/Exemption-search/Association-of-Accounting-Technicians-AAT/?qualification=3032

    Am not certain about ACCA as it is not something I've looked into
  • bigfoot77bigfoot77 New Member Registered Posts: 8
    Thank you to everyone for your posts.

    Do you think it would be worth a try to start at level 4 in the event that I am allowed?

    What would happen if after completing level 4 and applying for MAAT, I am told I need level 3? Should I then do level 3 after doing level 4? It would be like going backwards.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    MarkT wrote: »
    I hate to go against this, but you cannot complete SPSW (level 3) or ICAS (level 4) without a training provider as the AAT does not mark it
    I thought you could DIY study the AAT? I know you have to pay someone to sit the exams/ mark the projects etc. I wouldn't class that as a training provider (but indeed I guess if you're sitting the exams at, say, a Kaplan centre you can put their name down) but that's probably just semantics :)
  • SarahJSSarahJS Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 272
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I thought you could DIY study the AAT? I know you have to pay someone to sit the exams/ mark the projects etc. I wouldn't class that as a training provider (but indeed I guess if you're sitting the exams at, say, a Kaplan centre you can put their name down) but that's probably just semantics :)

    Nope, you've got to have a 'training provider' for those modules, but effectively seem to just be paying for material/marking if you get basic packages.
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 545
    Hi

    Colleges/training providers might not be willing to provide just a marking service for SPSW or ICAS, instead you may have to enrol for just these units. BPP, Kaplan and Premiere allow you to do this by distance learning.

    Neil
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I see - thanks for the clarification - been a few years since I did it (all through college)!
  • MeticulousMeticulous Banned Banned User Posts: 9
    Hi!

    I know Premier Training let you enrol on which level you want because my sister also has a degree and she went straight onto the lvl 4. She said all they warned her about was that if she got stuck, she would just have to back track onto the lvl 3 and put her 4 course on hold. She hasnt yet had to back track and she has got thru the first 3 units fine and just uses her tutor support as much as she likes.

    i have just started level 3 with Premier Training and so far am loving the course. The tutors are so easy to get hold of sometimes i even get the result of work work the very same day i submit it! They are great and i cant wait to get onto the lvl 4 - as daunting as it is!

    You should give them a call and they can accommodate you, dont let your degree go to waste. Good luck1 :)
  • StuartWStuartW Online Community Manager LondonRegistered Posts: 492
    Hi there,

    This struck me as a conversation that could do with some "official" input from AAT.

    I referred it to my colleagues in the Student Recruitment team and their response is below. I hope it helps to clarify matters.

    Stuart

    --
    The AAT Accounting Qualification is a competency based qualification, which means you can start at any level of the qualification, depending on your knowledge and skills in accountancy.

    Accounting graduates generally are judged to have the level of competence that would put them at the capabilities of Level 4. As the awarding body, we are happy for our students to start at the right level for them, however we do not have direct contact with our potential students and therefore are unable to assess their level of competence.

    For this reason we do rely on our training providers to go through the right means for both the training provider and the student to place them on the right level when starting the AAT – if a provider feels Level 4 is the right entry level for a student, the Association will agree with this too.

    In order to register with AAT as a student member, we would normally recommend people make sure they have a place to study, and register as soon as they enrol on their course so they know they are set to start studying and have everything in place to do so.

    However
    , some training providers like their students to be registered first so they have a membership number for them to update their records.

    To apply for full membership you must have achieved levels 3 and 4 of the AAT Accounting Qualification. You can have a qualification or professional experience in place of level 3, provided that it was agreed by your centre as being sufficient for you to commence your studies at level 4. To find out more on how to apply and the requirements needed please visit http://www.aat.org.uk/membership/apply-for-aat-full-membership

    Please be advised if you have completed your accounting degree with a partner university you could be eligible to apply for direct full membership via our alternative route option. To find out whom our partner universities are please visit http://www.aat.org.uk/membership/maat-full-membership/joining-aat-from-a-partner-university

    We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any confusion over the matter, and would encourage you to contact us if you have any further questions or if you think you've been misled by a training provider.
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