AAT SYLLABUS CHANGE – DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AQ2016 AND Q2022

We’ll help you make sense of what’s in, what’s out, and what it all means for you.

Professional bodies like AAT regularly review their qualifications to keep them relevant. This usually involves small adjustments to the syllabus to meet changing industry needs. But this time around, AAT’s syllabus update is more substantial.

The move from AQ2016 to Q2022 is designed to cover all the technical knowledge that employers value, whilst expanding on future-facing areas such as business awareness and commercial focus. It’s an exciting development from AAT, and will impact Levels 2, 3 and 4. So how does it affect your AAT studies?

If you’re a new AAT student or have yet to start a Level

Start the new Q2022 syllabus. At Eagle, we’re primed and ready to launch you on your Q2022 journey. The new courses are available from 4 May 2022, with exams from September 2022.

I’ve already started AQ2016 – now what?

Remember, all AAT qualifications are valid – the syllabus just gets updated every few years. You have until 30 September 2023 to complete your AAT qualification under AQ2016.

If you haven’t completed it by this date, don’t panic! You can transfer over to Q2022 part way through AQ2016. There are a few provisos (for instance, you’ll need to have passed at least one AQ2016 assessment on the qualification you wish to transfer), and not all units are transferable. You’ll find the full list of transition rules on our FAQs page.

Remember, when you study with Eagle, we are here to support you. We’re more than happy to discuss your options, advise you on the most appropriate point to transfer, and help you make the best decision for you.

What are the main differences between AQ2016 and Q2022?

AAT’s approach to designing Q2022 was to look at Levels 2, 3 and 4 alongside each other. As a result, any content repeated between the Levels has now been removed.

Guided learning hours have been increased for Level 2 and Level 3, but reduced for Level 4.

There are fewer assessments per Level and, for non-apprentices, the only synoptic is in Level 2.

Overall, the aim of Q2022 is to provide a clear progression of knowledge and competency. So you’ll find that Level 2 introduces a topic, Level 3 expands on it, and Level 4 provides further analysis and practical application.

What’s new?

AAT has introduced four new ‘themes’ that feature in all Levels. They are technology, communication, ethics, and sustainability.
These themes, and the Q2022 syllabus as a whole, mean not only will you be better equipped to carry out accounting tasks in today’s workplace, you’ll also acquire business-related skills to help prepare you for future responsibilities.

To that end, new units have been introduced. Business Environment at Level 2 (which replaces Working Effectively in Finance) includes topics such as law, data protection and economics. And Business Awareness at Level 3 expands on this to cover the wider business issues that accountants need to know.

What’s out – or been reconfigured?

The Using Accounting Software unit at Level 2 is out. And the synoptic assessments at Level 3 and Level 4 have been removed for non-apprentices.

Some units have also been combined. At Level 3, Advanced Bookkeeping and Final Accounts Preparation have been combined into one unit called Financial Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements.
At Level 4, Budgeting has been combined with Decision and Control to create one unit called Advanced Management Accounting (AMAC)

Relax – you’re in safe hands

Eagle is an AAT-approved training provider. We’ve been supporting students to gain their AAT qualifications for the best part of 20 years. The move to a new syllabus can seem daunting, but we’re here to help and advise you every step of the way.

We’re proud of the strong reputation we’ve built with our students. And our high-quality, value-for-money online courses put our learners at the centre of everything we do.

You can find answers to more of your questions on our AQ2016/Q2022 FAQs page.

And discover more about the benefits of an AAT distance learning course subscription with Eagle.