AAT qualification

Validation of prior learning and AAT exemptions

Validation of prior learning and AAT exemptions


  • You may not have to take all AAT assessments to obtain a previous, relevant qualification from an external awarding body. Future Connect thinks you shouldn’t have to repeat work if you’ve already studied qualifying units with an identical subject. As a result, you’ll be able to move quickly to the most appropriate AAT qualification.


If you meet the given criteria, you may be eligible for an exemption:

l prior experience in finance or accounting

l a degree in accounting or finance


Prior accounting experience

Follow the procedures below to apply for an exemption with AAT if you have a recognised accounting or finance qualification from an external awarding authority.


Check your eligibility first.

If you meet these requirements, it may exclude you from some AAT assessments.


  1. You’ve joined the AAT as a student member.
  2. You have a relevant prior certification.
  3. Your qualification is no more than five years old as of the certificate’s granting date.


The unit you seek exemption for has not been subjected to synoptic evaluation; hence, it is not eligible for exemption. You aren’t looking for an exemption for a whole level of an AAT qualification: exemptions aren’t enough to get a certificate for any group. Only 50% of certification can be exempted, and you can recognise the prior learning route. At least half of the modules in an AAT qualification must be completed by students.


Acknowledgement of Prior learning

Suppose you don’t have any relevant credentials from an external awarding body. In that scene, you may still be able to recognise the previous learning (RPL) approach to acquire AAT units or certificates exemptions.


RPL is a method of demonstrating competency or accomplishment against an AAT unit by drawing on a learner’s prior achievements, knowledge, understanding, or abilities.

The training provider assesses evidence of a learner’s past success against an AAT unit’s learning outcomes and assessment criteria through the RPL procedure.


It is then subjected to internal and external quality assurance to ensure that the evidence is genuine, authentic, current, and sufficient. Except for the synoptic assessments and units, only assessed as part of the synoptic assessments, RPL can be used for all AAT units.


AAT Exemptions with ACCA 

You can still claim exemptions on a paper-to-paper basis if you haven’t completed the full AAT Level 4 qualification:


ACCA modules

AAT equivalent module was examined by ACCA exemptions (s)


  1. Accounting for Management (MA)
  2. Financial Accounting 


AAT modules

  1. Budgeting is a part of management accounting.
  2. Decision and Control in Management Accounting
  3. Limited Company Financial Statements 
  4. Financial Accounting Controls and Systems



Exams are broken down into two categories: Applied Skills and Strategic Professional. See the table on page 3 of the AAT to ACCA booklet for further information on each test and the many options available.




The Ethics and Professional Skills Module is required of all of our ACCA students. Although the ACCA Qualification will offer you all of the critical technical information you’ll need, we also want to ensure that ethics is engrained in your day-to-day business choices.



To become a professional accountant, three years of relevant work experience and key performance targets are necessary. It allows you to develop as a full-fledged financial professional, obtain expertise in various fields, and land the career you want.


AAT exemptions to CIMA


You can start studying for the internationally recognised CIMA qualification at any time if you are an AAT student or member.

Whether you’ve qualified or not, it’s taken dedication, determination, and a lot of hard work to get this far in your AAT studies. CIMA allows you to explore deeper into the topics covered in AAT while also learning new skills such as financial analysis, project management, negotiation, and leadership.



You are excused from the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting if you have completed the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (QCF) and can begin the CIMA Professional Qualification right away.

You may still study for CIMA if you have an AAT Level 2 certificate or a Level 3 diploma. You’ll begin with the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, which is an entry-level certificate. You can proceed to the CIMA Professional Qualification after completing the certificate level.


Special arrangments

AAT students benefit from special arrangements such as:


Processing of exemptions takes four days (as opposed to the standard 20-day processing) 50% off full membership fees in the AAT while pursuing the CIMA Professional Qualification (Subject to AAT terms and conditions).

What is the AAT fast track route?

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) certification is a great place to start working in accounting. But it doesn’t have to end there. Continuing your education to become a chartered accountant will enhance your existing skills and knowledge, making you more valuable as an employee and increasing your earning potential and career opportunities.

AAT members are entitled to the following benefits:


  1. Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, and Company Financial Reporting are all free of charge, leaving just nine papers to complete.


  1. Students who have completed External Auditing as an optional AAT subject will receive a free audit and assurance exemption.


  1. For complete MAATs, 200 days are required in the Practical Experience Portfolio (PEP).



Future Connect is the accounting body that offers AAT members free exemptions. Please keep in mind that the preceding information only pertains to AAT members. Those who are AAT trained but not members will be eligible for the same free exam exemptions, but they will not be eligible for the reduced PEP requirement and will have to complete the full 400 days. You can obtain a discount on your membership price if you’re qualified for AAT full membership (MAAT) or currently a full member while studying with Future Connect.


Author’s Bio:

Hira has been a versatile writer for three years now, offering Copywriting and blogging services at Future Connect, an accounting-related business website. She writes closely with accounting and finance niches, providing content that gains social media attention and increases visibility in search engines.


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