What expertise can you expect from AAT tutors? Are they fully qualified?
This possibly depends on what you expect and what you are looking for!
Some students don’t want a lot from their tutor – just a fast response to any technical study question fired at them or a progress test submitted for marking and feedback.
In which case, they will want someone who has the technical knowledge to be able to answer those questions easily and quickly. This technical knowledge will probably be underpinned by a relevant accountancy qualification but this doesn’t have to be always the case.
If someone has the valid practical experience and has properly swotted up on the AAT syllabus (including the practice activities/progress tests), they will quite possibly be able to provide an equally fast and accurate response.
However, the more qualified and experienced the tutor is, the higher the probability that they can back up their response with some practice guidance or anecdote that brings their answer to life.
The answer above is particularly relevant to those studying the AAT Professional level (Level 4) and more technical subjects.
At AAT Foundation level (Level 2), the study issues are very different. This is not a technical level. However, it can take an awful lot of concentration and practice to get to grips with the concepts of double-entry bookkeeping. It can seem a complete mystery until one day (or one night) the penny drops and everything clicks into place.
At this stage, what you want is a tutor who is very patient, who can slow down and see things from your perspective. They can effectively create word pictures so you can visualise what is needed, and they can provide you with lots of simple examples – someone who can keep it really simple and not over complicate things.
Your tutor doesn’t need to be ICAEW qualified or be an ICAEW prize winner for this. In fact, an ICAEW prize winner is unlikely to be able to explain the principles and concepts of Foundation Bookkeeping as well as someone less academic who has possibly struggled themselves with the topic! The tutor who is less academic can often relate better to a student who is struggling with a particular point.
What you DO want at all times, is a tutor that:
- Knows the syllabus and the requirements of the AAT exams
- Is prepared to devote sufficient time and patience to explain things clearly to you
- Provides proactive support and tries to motivate you, nag and cajole you and
- Knows your aspirations and wants to help you achieve them