Apprenticeships: A new way to study with ICA

Written by Richard Howse on Monday January 9, 2023

Whilst apprenticeships have in one guise or another been in existence for many years, the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy by the UK government in April 2017 immeasurably changed the landscape of professional training.

The Levy was introduced as a tax on all UK employers paying a wage bill of more than £3 million per year; 0.5% of those employer’s payrolls contributes as a levy tax each month. This tax is then ring-fenced in order to fund apprenticeship training within that .

BPP Professional Education, a leading provider of Apprenticeship training across the Finance, Accountancy, Actuarial, Legal and Data and Technology sectors, is partnered with the ICA to provide Compliance and Risk training to professionals, as part of both a Level 3 and a Level 6 Apprenticeship. This offers organisations and learners employed by those organisations, an opportunity to study the ICA Diploma (other ICA qualifications are available on client demand) in a different, highly practical and dynamic way of learning. Exciting developments to the Level 6 – Senior Compliance / Risk Specialist programmes can be found below.

The benefits


One of the key features of an apprenticeship is that it offers on-the-job development across a range of levels, regardless of age or background. It can provide a viable route for school and college leavers, but also experienced professionals who want to progress in their career through work-based study. The individual personal skills obtained help create well-rounded professionals who are ‘role-ready’ employees. This enables them to stand out from the crowd and to have an advantage over peers.

For employers, apprenticeships offer the potential to transform their workforce development. Many leading businesses contribute towards the creation of the relevant apprenticeship standards in what are known as ‘trailblazer’ groups. Involvement by these key employers in shaping the standards and programmes that follow means that the structure and the content of the apprenticeship developed, is 100% indicative of what those employers need from their work-force, both today and in the future. Employees studying an apprenticeship are immediately able to add value to a company by applying that which they have learnt to their day to day duties.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of apprenticeships for employers is that many of the major professional qualification programmes – either mandatory or preferred to progress in an organisation – are embedded into the apprenticeship standards to ensure individuals can demonstrate they have the professional competence to perform their roles. As part of the Level 6 Senior Compliance and Risk Specialist for instance, the ICA Diploma is taken as part of the overall programme. Not only does this establish a robust and informative part of the training, it can also see employers significantly reduce their qualification training budgets, by utilising the Levy instead.

The updated programme

​It has been recently announced that having been successfully reviewed through a trailblazer group of leading organisations, a series of adaptations and enhancements to the Level 6 Senior Compliance & Risk Specialist programme have been carried out. Already hugely popular among BPP’s financial services clients, the programme’s first open cohort where the updated standard will be available will begin in February 2023.

The next available cohort open to all, meanwhile, will be in May 2023 with an application close date of 10 April 2023.


What to expect

  • Risk and compliance is a pre-requisite for the success of many organisations, not just financial services firms. The standard has therefore been opened up to all sectors giving a chance for learners to network with other risk professionals. Key sectors that can benefit include Consulting, Betting, Gambling, Professional Services, Law, Healthcare and Utilities.
  • The learning outcomes have been updated with a deeper focus on Green Finance, Sustainability and Digital outcomes.
  • The structure of the new programme means that the ICA Diploma and the Level 6 Senior Compliance / Risk Specialist are now aligned to create a modular approach. The benefit of this is that the application of ICA learning to the job role can be evidenced throughout the programme and linked with apprentice’s development in their role.
  • Three competency based assignments have been introduced that follow the ICA syllabus and draw on ICA teaching and learning.
  • New Master Classes have been introduced, which address soft skills capability needs and provide theory based support for both the ICA qualification and the standard. These will be delivered by industry recognised key-note speakers.
  • A renewed virtual learning platform – the BBP Hub – will include pre- and post-Master Class learning resources and 'stretch and challenge' activities, linked to the standard.
  • The EPA process has been thoroughly reviewed and updated to reflect a (much reduced) 3,500-word project report, a presentation with Q&A and a professional discussion based on a portfolio of evidence.
  • All of the above is supported by a dedicated coach throughout the learner/employee journey.

As the importance of compliance and risk within organisations grows exponentially, BPP is excited to continue to support its professionals’ development, now across a far wider range of sectors. If you, your colleagues or your organisation are be interested in applying for this apprenticeship programme, please contact

Further information on the programme can be found on the BPP website: Senior Compliance/Risk Specialist Apprenticeship | Courses | BPP


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