The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is to launch its Qualifications 2022 (Q2022) suite on 1 September.

As an awarding body, AAT reviews its qualifications regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and that training adapts to the new demands of the role, in particular due to the increasing use of new technology and software.

To develop Q2022, AAT worked with over 500 businesses and employers globally to explore what is driving change in the profession and the skills required for future success.

As a result of the research, three new skills were identified as being essential for the accounting technicians of the future: analytical, advisory and the ability to use technology.

Four key themes have been embedded throughout the qualification – technology, ethics, sustainability and communication – from being referenced at Level 1 to the ability to understand the impact and analyse the themes at Level 4.  

Other changes for Q2022 include:

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  • The qualification names will be changed from Access, Foundation, Advanced and Professional to Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4.
  • Three qualifications are being withdrawn – the current Access Award in Accounting Software, Foundation Award in Accounting Software and Foundation Diploma in Accounting and Business. Anyone wishing to study these qualifications must register for them by 31 August 2022 and will have until 30 September 2023 to complete them.
  • The Level 2 and Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping qualifications will now be graded in the same way as the accounting qualifications. A final grade will be calculated based on weighted results from unit assessments and students will receive an overall grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.
  • Synoptic assessments will be replaced by individual unit assessments, except for the Level 2 Certificate in Accounting which still has a synoptic assessment under Q2022.
  • Q2022 students will now pay a one-off registration fee, rather than an annual membership fee, giving them access to the qualification for its lifetime (typically four to five years). This enables students to register for their chosen qualification, sit assessments and access AAT’s study support resources via a Lifelong Learning Portal, an online platform which enables students to manage their key resources and track their progress.
  • Resit restrictions have been removed from all the Q2022 qualifications at this time. However, they may be applied to 16-19 year olds who study the Level 2 Certificate in Accounting at a later date.

Q2022 will be assessed using ATLAS Cloud, AAT’s new assessment platform. The platform also features enhanced features, including viewing task instructions and reference materials side by side and the ability to highlight key details.

AAT head of qualifications Rachel Staples said: “As the business world continues to change rapidly, it’s vital that AAT students keep their knowledge up to date to ensure they can provide the right advice to their organisations and clients. Additionally, they need to go beyond the numbers and develop analytic and advisory skills, as well as an understanding of how to apply new technology.

“That’s why we’ve worked closely with businesses and employers to ensure our new Qualifications 2022 suite continues to have the core fundamentals of bookkeeping and accounting at its heart, while adding the new skills that the technicians of the future will need. We’re excited to welcome students onto the course from September, ensuring they’re able to future proof their career in finance.”