The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is one of the largest providers of accounting and bookkeeping qualifications in the UK. While AAT qualifications are traditionally taken by career changes, AAT had noticed an increase in the number of younger students (aged 16-19) applying to their courses, with many of these looking to study AAT qualifications post GCSEs and A-Levels.
AAT wanted to better understand the motivations, needs and ambitions of this younger audience, as well as to gain a clear picture of the different types of younger prospects.
Our approach and methodology
We recommended a qualitative piece of work that would allow for an in-depth understanding of the motivations for study and young learners’ routes to studying AAT qualifications.
This involved four 90 minute focus groups with current young learners, which looked in detail at their motivations for taking AAT qualifications and ways in which AAT could enhance their existing support services to cater to this new group. The research also generated ideas for new support services AAT could invest in to support younger learners.
Two of the 90 minute focus groups were held back-to-back at the London Viewing Room, our own market research facility at our offices in Islington. We also ran a second stage with two back to back 90 minute focus groups in Birmingham.
Delivering results and value to our client
The focus groups generated detailed insights into younger learners’ motivations for study, providing AAT with a clear picture of the factors that drive this group to study for their qualifications. Additionally they highlighted how they could support this audience in future.
Research findings were presented in a PowerPoint report with clear and practical recommendations for how AAT could meet the needs of this growing audience. A presentation of key findings was also delivered to key stakeholders within the organisation providing them the opportunity to ask further questions.