The Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship qualification is live and approved for delivery on the Institute for Apprenticeships’ Website. This is an employer-driven qualification, written by members of the profession specifically for the profession.

The Trailblazer group and I see this as an important move for the UK payroll profession.

The fact the apprenticeship is at level 3 is important.  It is designed to be an entry to the payroll profession, recognising and detailing the knowledge, skills and behaviours for progression within it.  Having said that, the apprenticeship can be used for upskilling existing employees within the organisation.

Therefore, employers can use their Levy funds on this apprenticeship knowing that successful completion of the qualification may lead to roles at a higher level whilst providing the assurance that they have the attributes to make a competent administrator.

Professional Recognition

It is also important the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship is aligned with the professional bodies that will offer membership / recognition at this level and who offer the opportunity for progression within the industry.  The Global Payroll Association (GPA) and the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) have aligned levels of their professional membership with the apprenticeship.


The payroll profession is wide in depth and breadth.  Not all payroll professionals operating within our profession are members of either the CIPP or GPA.  So, whilst the Trailblazer and I are delighted to have the CIPP and GPA aligning their membership with the apprenticeship, I believe there are other professional bodies that should be given the opportunity to align with the apprenticeship.

So, I am seeking the wide payroll industry’s opinions on which other professional bodies should also be included in the Standard.  Once I have looked at the opinions of the profession, the Trailblazer and I will the approach these organisations to see if they are willing to align the level 3 apprenticeship with a level of their individual membership.

What is a ‘Professional Body’?

We need to be very careful about the definition of ‘professional body’, therefore, we have defined this as one that: 

  • Offers individual professional registration or membership at competency levels
  • Is recognised by employers in the payroll profession
  • Is representative of the whole or parts of the profession (for example sector-specific or employer size)

Therefore, this definition excludes purely commercial organisations that offer such things as membership packages and subscriptions for things such as a training portfolio, newsletters and industry magazines.

A quick survey

In order to gather feedback from the wider payroll profession and anyone that may use the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship, I have compiled a very short survey ( ) to gather views.  Respondents so far have taken an average of one minute to complete it.  The results will support the addition of further professional bodies to the apprenticeship.

Please ensure you leave your name and / or employer details.  This information will only be used to shape the apprenticeship for the future.

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