A university education isn’t for everyone – some people simply want to get out there and start earning straight away. Our Apprenticeship Programme lets you do just that. You’ll be supported throughout your training as you earn while you learn.

With BDO you can pick up highly-regarded professional qualifications, while enjoying a permanent salaried career – all without the expense of funding higher education yourself. At the same time, you’ll be gaining invaluable experience in a commercial environment, working on real business projects alongside leading industry professionals.

Take the BDO route to qualification

Our Apprenticeship Programme combines work experience with getting your professional qualifications; we want to ensure that we are equipping you for success, so we will provide you with training in relevant skills and behaviours, as well as the professional knowledge which is required to be successful in your role.

Level 4 Apprenticeship programmes

AAT – If you work for BDO Drive Solutions your learning journey will start with the Level 4 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Apprenticeship and then progress to complete the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification.

Level 7 Apprenticeship programmes

ACA – Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) qualification will enable you to become a qualified chartered accountants. The ACA qualification and apprenticeship provides a broad range of accounting, finance and business skills and opens up a wealth of opportunities.

ACA/CTA Joint Programme – The joint programme is an excellent way to qualify as an Associate Chartered Accountants (ACA) and Chartered Tax Advisors (CTA) under a Level 7 apprenticeship. It means you complete fewer exams than sitting both separately. The ACA/CTA Joint Programme gives you the opportunity to specialise in areas such as taxation of major corporates, owner-managed businesses or indirect tax depending on your area of the Tax business.

ATT/CTA Tax Pathway – The Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and Chartered Tax Advisors (CTA) Pathway provides you with a streamlined and efficient route to becoming a qualified tax professional. You will develop an in-depth knowledge of specific technical matters across the broad range of taxation disciplines and is often seen as a key qualification for Tax practitioners. The combined pathway enables you to achieve membership of both professional institutions.

Always there to support you

From day one you can count on an extensive network of support, including mentors, partners and your individual counselling manager.  The counselling manager will monitor your progress, act as an information source and make sure you’ve been set appropriate work and clear objectives. They’ll help you settle in, find the best ways to meet the challenges you face and realise your full potential. You’ll also be assigned a buddy (a more experienced colleague) to support you through your professional exams.

Your training

We pay for every aspect of your professional training. We work in partnership with our external training providers to deliver your progammes, except for the CTA programme that we offer in-house. Your studies are a blend of college and online lectures, to allow for greater flexibility.  We’ll make sure you have all the study time and support you need to be successful. Our excellent results speak for themselves – often up to 10% above the national average.

Training includes not only the specialist knowledge and practical tools you’ll need for your business area, but also a range of personal, management, client service and client-winning skills. Together, they’ll help you to become a fully rounded BDO adviser.

Running alongside your professional training are a range of additional courses to progress your development. For example, these might help you write compelling reports or bring more professionalism to your presentations. It’s also important to remember that an accountancy qualification provides you with an excellent foundation for a business career in any field. Trainees ordinarily find that certain business areas suit their interests and skills more than others. To help you make that choice, click  here to find our more

Which qualification?

Deciding on a particular business area and qualification may seem daunting at this stage. To make it easier, we’ll give you as much information as possible about the options available, so you can see how well they fit in with your strengths and interests. Most of our apprentices trust their instincts to which particular area ‘feels right’ for them.

Please take the time to read about each area to help you make the right choice. You can also watch videos of recent BDO trainees talking about their journey so far.


To be considered for our apprenticeship programme, you need to have at least the following (or equivalent):

  • 3 A levels at grades A*-C, excluding General Studies and Extended Projects
  • A 9-4 in Maths and English at GCSE

Career timeline

The plan is to get you successfully through your exams and qualified within three years. During this period, you’ll build up a huge range of practical experience. You’ll work directly with clients, exercise real responsibility, and get lots of opportunity to put your studies into practice. We provide mentoring and on-the-job coaching, as well as plenty of time for you to study and prepare for your exams. We’ll also help you decide which area you want to specialise in.

Of course, passing your exams is just the start. A career with BDO is a continual journey of development, with constant support from us along the way. Thanks to training and feedback at every stage, you’ll always know exactly where you stand – and what you’re aiming to achieve next.

After you’ve qualified, you could become more senior and take on more responsibility. Opportunities could include international secondments, or working in other business areas outside your core specialism. In addition to your regular training, you’ll be able to access learning portal – iLearn.

Here is where you can choose from hundreds of development options such as: workshops and e-learning on areas as diverse as presentation, report writing and project management. You’ll receive an annual review, a twice-yearly performance review, and individual feedback on all your major projects to help keep your career on course.

If you’re promoted to manager or assistant manager, our suite of management learning will support you in your new role and responsibilities. Broadly speaking, you’ll be running more teams, and working with a wider portfolio of clients and sectors. You’ll also take charge of the development and coaching of the people you manage. Your input will also be needed in various other areas, such as our internal training programmes and sector focus groups to refine our business practices.

We pay for every aspect of your professional training


Summer school

Our Summer School programme is something we’re particularly proud of.

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Graduate programme

BDO offers graduate programmes in a range of exciting business areas.

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Internship programme

For high-calibre undergraduates in their penultimate year of study.

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Talk to Us

The simplest way to get to know BDO is to talk to our people.

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