Graduate Trainee Programme

If you are naturally inquisitive, enjoy team work, have an interest in public services and want to train as an accountant, then our graduate role is the one for you.
For further information about the programme click on an option from the list:
  1. Why apply
  2. Who we’re looking for
  3. What you’ll be doing
  4. Selection process
  5. Further information

Why apply

A career at the Wales Audit Office is not just about the numbers, it’s about making a difference – a career that really does count!
Public services are at the heart of society in Wales. They improve people’s quality of life when they work well, but when things go wrong whole communities can suffer. And that’s where the Wales Audit Office comes in. Our staff and work support the Auditor General as the public sector watchdog for Wales
As a place to work- we're a little different. We genuinely care about our people, offering a welcoming culture and environment that encourages a positive work-life balance. Plus, our work in making public money count is helping make a difference to our public services and communities in Wales.
Our Graduate Trainee Programme provides you with the opportunity to train as a chartered accountant, alongside the unique opportunity to complete a secondment; this could be internally or across the wider public sector and to other publicly funded organisations.  
You’ll also benefit from the opportunity to develop many other skills including leadership, critical thinking and emotional intelligence, resulting in an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) award.

Employee benefits

You will have access to the following:
  • starting salary of £20,504
  • fully paid accountancy training
  • first class accountancy training with an external provider, with exam pass rates above the national average 
  • travel allowance of £3,350 (subject to eligibility criteria)
  • salary advance of up to £1500 for a tenancy deposit
  • 33 days annual leave (plus public holidays)
  • buying and selling annual leave (following the first anniversary of joining)
  • access to the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Study package

This package helps you study towards a recognised professional accountancy qualification (we are accredited as a training organisation with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) [opens in new window], Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) [opens in new window] and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) [opens in new window]. Please note, we are currently supporting graduates through the ICAEW route.
We cover all costs of ICAEW student membership, tuition, exam costs and study materials. We also provide high quality support and assistance as you study for this qualification with full college tuition delivered in block release.

Network of support

In addition to the support of your peers, you will be allocated:
  • a line manager who will not only provide you with general support and guidance but will act as your professional studies counsellor who will have a critical role to play in developing and supporting you throughout your professional studies; and
  • a buddy to help ease you into your new role as well as providing on-going informal support, introducing you to a social network and being a starting point for general queries.
Plus, you will get support, encouragement and opportunities to grow. You will join people who are as enthusiastic about your development as you are and who are just as keen to see you do well.

Who we’re looking for

We’re genuinely interested in who you are, your strengths and your potential.  
Regardless of degree discipline, we’re looking for individuals with a strong academic background who are committed to improving public sector services and see themselves as the future leaders within the public sector in Wales.   
You will need:
  • A second-class degree in any discipline 
  • Good academic results at A level 
  • Good GCSEs, including grade B in English and Maths
  • Driver’s licence or the willingness to learn to drive
You will:
  • be committed  to working within the public sector in Wales
  • be naturally inquisitive, confident to challenge and to be challenged but in a professional manner;
  • be able to show excellent attention to detail while being able to see the bigger picture;
  • be able to demonstrate motivation and commitment to become an accountant;
  • be able to demonstrate a team working ethos; and
  • have a desire to continually develop yourself and ensure your knowledge and skills are kept up to date.
Whilst we’re looking for individuals with a strong academic record, we will also be considering what else the applicant has to offer – be it strong personal or professional achievements. 
Further information about the skills and abilities required for the role can be found in our job description [PDF 243KB opens in new window].

Welsh speakers

We value the importance of the Welsh language in our work and aim to provide a bilingual service to everyone who wants to use it. We would therefore like to especially encourage applications from individuals that have Welsh language skills to help us meet this aim.
All job descriptions will detail whether the ability to speak welsh is an essential requirement. If successful and you do not currently have Welsh language skills, we can support you in learning Welsh if you wish.
The following Welsh language skills are desirable for this role. Please refer to our language skills matrix [PDF 549KB opens in new window] for a description of the various skill levels. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the nature of the Welsh language skills specified for this role.

Welsh language skills - desirable

  • Reading - can read some routine work-related material with support e.g. dictionary
  • Spoken - can hold some work-related conversations
  • Understanding - can understand routine work-related conversations
  • Written - can prepare routine work-related material with checking

What you’ll be doing

Our trainees work with a number of teams across the audit services team as well as other business areas such as our Finance team. You’ll gain knowledge and experience in the different technical aspects of our audit work, for example the external audit at a number of different clients from across the public sector, grants certification work, data analytics, governance and value for money work. 
You will also learn how to establish and maintain good working relationships both internally and externally. You will do this alongside studying for your accountancy qualification and being supported in a full learning and development programme. While our client base is Wales wide, our staff are based within geographical areas (South Wales, North wales and West Wales) and are expected to travel to various client offices throughout this geographical area. Therefore, the ability to drive or learning to drive is an essential requirement of this role. Reasonable adjustments will be considered for those unable to drive due to an impairment.

Selection process

Stage 1: online application

We will initially review your application to ensure it matches our academic requirements.  If you meet the academic requirements, we will assess your responses to four key skills-based questions.
These questions will assess you against the core skills we are looking for (set out above) and we’ll be looking for specific examples of when you have demonstrated them.
Examples could be from (but are not limited to) your time at university/school, work experience such as part-time jobs at school or university, or any extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in.
Tip: Each question has a 250-word limit, allowing you to provide detailed examples. We don’t have a minimum word limit, but answers which are very short are unlikely to demonstrate the behaviour we are looking for in sufficient detail, so be sure to write a reasonable amount.
Please note: all 4 questions carry equal marks. We are always impressed by people who are enthusiastic about the work of the Wales Audit Office and how they feel they can contribute to it, so we would encourage you to do some research and think about how you picture yourself working with us.
Once completed, your answers are marked by our trained screeners. If you meet the minimum mark required, you will be progressed to Stage 2.
At this point we will also invite you to complete on line psychometric tests. 
Tip: We recommend you do at least one practice of each test first before completing the tests. This will give you a feel for the types of questions asked and how long they will take you to answer. It’s a great way to prepare, helping you relax and perform to the best of your ability.

Stage 2: assessment centre

This will involve a number of individual and group exercises where you are assessed against the job description/person specification and the values and behaviours. Further details regarding the assessment centre will be provided if you are invited to attend.
If you are successful at the assessment centre, you will be invited to stage 3 of the assessment process.

Stage 3: interview and presentation

The final interview is a panel-based interview which will also provide you with the perfect opportunity to ask us any questions about our organisation and the training programme.

Stage 4: offer

Successful applicants will have performed well in all aspects of the assessment process. If you are successful, we will make you an offer conditional upon a number of pre-employment checks including security and verification of your academic grades entered on your application.

Further information

If you have any questions regarding, our graduate trainee scheme, selection process or have any specific requirements, please contact the HR team on 029 2032 0547 or email: