Professional services apprenticeship

Professional services apprenticeship

A Professional Services apprenticeship covers a range of different occupations that provide support and specialist advice to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. This includes things like providing tax advice, supporting a company with accounting or providing business advice.

The professional services sector helps to improve productivity and growth across the economy. This Higher Apprenticeship includes routes into audit, management consultancy and tax.


Auditors and accountants help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records kept accurately, and taxes paid properly and on time. They analyse and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients and local governments. As an apprentice you might work as an external or internal audit trainee, while training for your Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business through the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales). This could involve reviewing financial accounts and data; identifying staff and conducting interviews with them about working practices; updating the client on risks and errors and advising on the action they need to take; and preparing and submitting clear and concise audit reports.


A tax advisor is a financial expert specially trained in tax law, which is the system of rules and regulations that governs economic transactions. Tax advisors help both companies and individuals interpret issues of a financial nature. Typical work activities might include researching, analysing and interpreting changing tax regulation, liaising and negotiating with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), or providing guidance and support on other taxation issues and processes.

If you choose the tax pathway, you will be working towards the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) professional qualification. Your role could include assisting in the preparation of tax returns; assisting in the completion of various tax forms; dealing with client communications in respect of their tax affairs; and preparation of simple accounting statements.

Both the Audit and Tax pathways are the first step on the ladder towards full chartered status with an organisation such as the ICAEW or the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

Management consultancy

A consultant is trained to analyse and advise a client to help them make the best possible choices, and to help solve complex issues that affect their business. The day-to-day activities of management consultancy are often varied. As a junior consultant you would assist in the delivery of consulting projects for external or internal clients, working as part of a consulting team supporting the engagement leadership. You might be using your organisational skills to support project management or the consulting sales process, carrying out detailed analysis of the client situation, or helping to make recommendations for clients’ businesses and implement solutions. As an account executive or business development assistant, you would support clients with tracking and managing key accounts and relationships. This could involve preparing sales materials and supporting pitch development, or carrying out internal and external communications activities.

Consultancy is essentially entrepreneurial in nature and project-based. Projects can vary in length depending on the type of consultancy, business culture and the demands or industry of the client. You might work as an individual or as part of a large team, and could be based at one site or across several international borders.


Through all three pathways you will develop specialist skills alongside a strong foundation of core business competence valued by all professional services employers. The combination of work experience and technical knowledge will give you a great start for a successful career in the professional services sector.


Higher (Level 4)

Starting salary (once qualified):

£13,000–£25,000, depending on company and location within the UK

Job roles:

External/Internal audit trainee, Tax trainee, Junior consultant, Account executive, Business development assistant

Issuing Authority:

Financial Skills Partnership –

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