AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (QCF)

  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • International

This qualification is listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables for 2016 and 2017 in the Tech level category.

The AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting is the intermediate level of the AAT Accounting qualification. It offers technical training in accounting, and its main purpose is to provide students with specialist knowledge and skills to gain employment in an accounting role, the opportunity to progress to further qualifications in accountancy or a related field.

At this level, students will master complex financial processes, including final accounts for sole traders and partnerships, reports and returns, and professional ethics.

The qualification has been supported by a number of industry employers and professional bodies, including CIPFA and ICAEW.

Education context

Following on from the release of the Wolf Report in England in 2011, the Department for Education reviewed and rationalised its list qualifications included on the 2016 performance tables to ensure that those included were rigorous, robust, and equivalent to academic alternatives.

One new category of qualification included on the tables is the Tech levels – intended for post-16 students wishing to specialise in a specific industry, occupation, or occupational group. They equip a student with specialist knowledge and skills, enabling entry to an apprenticeship or other employment, or progression to a related higher education course.

Qualifications could be included in the 2016/17 performance tables in the Tech level category against interim measures i.e. reviewed against a number of characteristics, including purpose, size, and recognition.

Qualifications included on the 2018 performance tables will be reviewed against "full measures" and subsequently will have to meet additional requirements i.e. assessments, resit restrictions, grading, and employer engagement.

This qualification is recognised as being on interim measures and therefore the additional 2018 requirements have not been considered.

Awarding organisation
  • AAT
Qualification code

This qualification is credit-based and contains six mandatory units:

  • Accounts preparation
  • Prepare final accounts for sole traders and partnerships
  • Cost and revenues
  • Professional ethics
  • Indirect tax
  • Spreadsheet software
Subject areas

Accounting and finance

  • Level 3

Unit assessments and the overall qualification is graded Pass or Fail


Training providers wishing to deliver this qualification require approval from AAT.

Assessments are taken by students through a secure online assessment platform. Computer marked assessments include:

  • Accounts preparation
  • Preparation of final accounts for sole traders and partnerships
  • Cost and revenues
  • Indirect tax

The following assessments are marked by training providers and quality assured externally by AAT:

  • Professional ethics
  • Spreadsheet software

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) or work place evidence (WPE), where accepted, is assessed and internally verified by qualified staff at the training provider and quality assured externally by AAT.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Students must achieve a pass in all assessments to gain this qualification.

Resit arrangements

Not applicable.

Guided / notional learning hours
Credit value: 37: 305 hours
UCAS Tariff points

AAT Diploma in Accounting (QCF)

Grade Points
P 56
Key issues for UK HE admissions

This qualification is designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship, or to higher education.

As this qualification is on interim measures, the majority of students achieving this qualification would have completed in 2016 or 2017.

Students wishing to progress to higher education will generally do so within the vocational area, i.e. accounting, and may also progress to a foundation degree.

Students holding this qualification may have limited experience of external assessment.

Timing of assessments and results

There are no set windows for sitting assessments, which are scheduled by training providers throughout the students’ programme of study.

Provisional results for assessments that are computer marked are available to training providers immediately on completion of the assessment, and are confirmed within one week.

Results for assessments that are marked by training providers should be available within six weeks, following quality assurance by AAT.

Certificates are issued on a rolling two-week basis to students who have successfully achieved the qualification in accordance with the rules of combination.

AAT submits achievements of results directly to UCAS in accordance with UCAS requirements and timelines.

Qualification dates notes

Students were able register onto this qualification until 31 August 2016. Students will not be able to take any outstanding assessments for this qualification later than 31 December 2017. Marking of all assessments must be completed by 31 March 2018.

This qualification has been replaced by a new Tech level, available for registration from 1 September 2016.

Certification information

AAT does not currently publish the number of certifications for this qualification.

Progression information

On completion of this qualification, students will be able to progress either into employment or higher education.

Further information

Links to the qualification web page and specifications: https://www.aat.org.uk/qualifications/level-3-accounting-qualification-detail