Graduate Accountancy Scheme
At the NAO, we offer something different – the chance to be part of work that has a real impact on the nation. We help Parliament hold government to account for how taxpayers’ money is spent. We provide assurance to Parliament through our audit work and add value to government by supporting its drive to improve public services. Our people have a great reputation among our clients, Parliament, other international audit institutions and the wider accountancy profession. In addition to Accountants we employ Analysts, Statisticians, Economists and specialists in a variety of other disciplines to foster a fantastic learning environment.
What are our graduate opportunities?
We are recruiting for trainees to join our Graduate Accountancy Scheme in September 2017. Our very successful 3 year training scheme will see you right through to qualification as an Associate Chartered accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Our pass rates are consistently at or above the national average, meaning you’ll soon be opening up a world of great career possibilities. We offer you the unique opportunity to study for ACA in the public sector but you’ll find ICAEW chartered accountants in all sectors and industries. It really does open up a world of career possibilities.
You will get responsibility from an early stage in your career with us, helping to deliver our financial audit work and having opportunities to work on our high profile value for money studies and a range of other assurance work. Our unique and varied clients mean you could be working with anyone from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the The Royal Household. Our unique role will give you access to people, places and experiences that are only available to those working at the NAO.
How does the NAO graduate training scheme work?
Being a graduate trainee at the NAO gives you the chance to be part of work that has a real impact on the nation – you will help us to help the nation spend wisely straight away by contributing to our audits and other high profile projects. Alongside that, our three-year ACA training programme sees you right through to qualification as an associate chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The ACA demands lots of hard work and dedication on your part but you will benefit from significant support along the way:
- First class tuition run by a leading provider, giving you guidance and support throughout your studies.
- Block release at each exam stage, meaning you won’t have to juggle work commitments and study pressures.
- Relevant work experience to put what you study into practice. As your skills and knowledge increase during the scheme, so will the level of challenge of the work you undertake.
- An excellent system of support from NAO colleagues who will oversee your development and assign your work portfolios. Our trainees really value the support they receive from managers, the majority of whom trained and qualified at the NAO too.
What do we look for in an applicant?
There is no such thing as a typical NAO graduate trainee. We accept applications from all degree disciplines. We look for a 2:1 or above degree in any subject (achieved or expected) and 300 UCAS points or equivalent from your top three A-level grades (or equivalent) not including General Studies). If you have 280 UCAS points (or equivalent) you may be eligible to apply based on the context of your educational and personal circumstances.
We assess candidates against a number of competencies including communication, teamwork and analytical ability which are detailed here. We encourage candidates to make themselves familiar with these to consider how they can demonstrate these attributes.
How can a graduate trainee stand out?
As we accept any degree subject and welcome diversity in all its forms, we would like to think that everyone stands out in their own, unique way. You are able to make their mark in a number of ways though, from being passionate about the public sector to demonstrating how our scheme will further your development and aid your aspirations. We are always impressed by people who are enthusiastic about our work and how they feel they can contribute to it, so we would encourage people to do some research and think about how they see themselves working with us.
What are the key benefits of the scheme?
We recognise that the graduate trainee scheme will present a steep learning curve for you. Our aim is to equip you with the skills you need to develop into a well-rounded professional and to maximise your potential. We do this by offering the following:
- A broad range of learning experiences to further develop your skills and knowledge
- Formal training courses covering the latest accounting and auditing techniques
- Comprehensive support network, including Managers who will support you in your professional and career development and talented colleagues keen to pass on their knowledge and expertise.
- An NAO ‘buddy’ from our more experienced trainees, who will be on hand to answer any questions you have during those first few months.
- A 2-year development programme, after qualifying, to support your progression and further build your career
Pay and other benefits
We have a competitive reward package which includes:
- A starting salary of £28,950 (London) or £23,146 (Newcastle) which will increase year-on-year and be subject to increases for success in exams to take it around £36,000 (London) and £30,000 (Newcastle).
- After qualifying graduates may be offered a permanent position as an Audit Principal, starting salaries for Audit Principal are in the region of £50,000 (London) and £40,000 (Newcastle).
- An attractive and secure pension scheme funded through significant employer contributions.
- 25 weeks of college study leave over the three-year programme, allowing trainees time away from the office to concentrate on studying.