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National Audit Office

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Everyday, we help improve the delivery of public services to millions of people and scrutinise government spending.

Established: 1983
No. of employees: 800
Location: Greater London, North East


Did you know that the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) who leads the NAO was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen?

Our position is unique, and our work is highly influential.  We support Parliament in holding the government to account and we help improve public services through our high-quality audits.

For you, this means challenging and varied work that makes a difference and a chance to start a fantastic career.  Our people have a great reputation among our clients, Parliament, other international audit institutions and the wider accountancy profession.

We offer you the opportunity to study towards a fully funded ACA qualification whilst developing your technical knowledge and a wide range of employability skills including leadership, client engagement and project management.  You’ll start out as a team member supporting our core financial audits and will gradually get to work on bigger audits and more complex projects, taking the lead as you develop your skills and confidence.

We also provide a competitive salary, which includes annual pay increases and additional payments when you pass each exam stage.  Your salary upon ICAEW qualification (which usually takes three years for Graduates and five years for Apprentices) is more than £55,000 a year.

We have opportunities in our London and Newcastle offices, so click this link and find out how you can ‘Change Your World’ and be part of a much bigger picture at the National Audit Office (NAO).

Check out our blog too as there are some useful hints and tips for going through the application process – read here

School Leaver

Change Your World | Chartered Accountancy

School leaver professional training scheme

What is the NAO school leaver scheme?

Our very successful ACA professional training scheme is now live. We will equip you with the Chartered Accountancy qualification and membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Our scheme will give you the opportunity to make a real difference to our huge range of clients but also to the nation. The scope of our work and influence is vast – supporting Parliament to hold government to account and improve the full spectrum of public services. In a nutshell, we enable and support crucial economic and social changes needed to improve financial management and the way vital public services are delivered to millions of people every day.

By joining us and achieving a prestigious qualification as a chartered accountant, you’ll build a rewarding and fascinating career. You’ll make an impact that you and the nation will benefit from.  You will develop your skills as a professional, a manager and a leader. You will be equipped for a fantastic career.

So come, join us and be part of the bigger picture at the National Audit Office (NAO).

What will I do?

Alongside working towards your Chartered Accountancy qualification, you’ll work with a wide range of clients, including central and local government. You’ll start out as a team member supporting our core financial audits, and will gradually get to work on bigger audits and more complex projects, taking the lead as you develop your skills and confidence. Whilst working mainly on financial audits you’ll also have the opportunity to be involved in a range of our other work – including support for Parliament, investigations, and our larger value for money studies and programmes which result in high-profile reports to Parliament that often make the headlines.

You can find out a lot more about us and our work from our website www.nao.org.uk

Where will I go?

Don’t expect to spend a lot of your time at your desk. Our trainees get involved in all kinds of projects that get them out in the field to all kinds of places across the UK, and sometimes even further afield. You’ll get to work out on clients’ premises where you can see how their businesses really work and how they can improve.  

Who will I work with?

In our open, inclusive and modern working environment - which places a huge emphasis on team working, collaboration and knowledge-sharing you’ll work with, learn from, and coach all kinds of people.      

We are diverse and inclusive and you’ll find we are ambitious and committed to deliver high quality work. You’ll find plenty more on our trainee site: naoaccountancyscheme.co.uk

What benefits do you offer?

Alongside doing varied work with an unrivalled network of high profile clients you’ll have access to a supportive and sociable peer group to help you gain career success. We also offer an extremely attractive pay and benefits package:

  • £24,450 p.a. in London / £19,016 p.a. in Newcastle
  • Annual pay increases and increases when you pass each stage of your professional exams
  • Fully funded ACA qualification and ICAEW membership subscriptions
  • 30 days’ holiday (including public holidays)
  • Fully paid 25 weeks study leave in block release
  • Civil service pension scheme
  • Excellent on-site gym in London and subsidised gym membership in Newcastle
  • Interest free travel season ticket loan
  • Staff discounts
  • Social events – including annual pop quiz, film quiz and Christmas party…..
  • Opportunities to take responsibility early in your career
  • An excellent system of support from NAO colleagues, including a ‘buddy’ from our more experienced trainees

Who are you looking for?

There is no such thing as a typical NAO School Leaver Trainee. Successful candidates come from a diverse range of backgrounds and A level subjects. We do, however, have some minimum criteria you will need to meet:

  • 300 UCAS points or equivalent from your top 3 A Level grades (or equivalent). General Studies does not count. If you have 280 UCAS points (or equivalent) you may be eligible to apply so please email HRServiceDesk@nao.org.uk for further details.
  •  You will require a minimum of 120 UCAS (300 old tariff)  (NAO points or equivalent from your top three A level grades (or equivalent).
  • You must be a UK, Commonwealth, EEA or Swiss national to comply with Civil Service nationality rules and must hold a valid work permit. We are not able to sponsor work visas.

Of course, this is just a quick look at life as a school leaver trainee with us. For the full story, and details of how to apply, just go to naoaccountancyscheme.co.uk

How do I get further information?

If you have any queries, please contact our recruitment team by e-mail, our Facebook page or on Twitter:

To learn more, go to: naoaccountancyscheme.co.uk