Programme length: 15 months


Payroll Administrators will, typically, have responsibility for setting up and operating the payroll within the organisation in which they are employed or on behalf of another organisation.


The role may be located within a business / organisation or in a payroll bureau, bookkeeping or accounting practice, or professional services company.


Depending on their role within the organisation, a Payroll Administrator may also have responsibility for the accurate and timely completion of routine and non-routine payroll-related calculations and other information.




The main duties may typically include:

  • Gathering, creating and processing payroll-related information to ensure employees are paid on time and accurately
  • Compliance with legislative and contractual obligations
  • Internal and external reporting of payroll information to deadlines
  • Effective and appropriate communication with employees and stakeholders
  • Working to relevant ethical and professional standards


The apprenticeship consists of three elements:


  • Business and Customer awareness
  • Payroll:
    – core functions: knowledge and understanding of UK payroll regulations such as legal framework, different types of workers, different types of pay, PAYE, national insurance, real-time information (RTI) etc.
    -technical requirements
  • Regulation and compliance
  • Systems and processes


  • Planning and prioritisation
  • Analysis
  • Using systems and processes
  • Producing quality and accurate information
  • Team working and collaboration
  • Communication and engagement


  • Ethics and integrity
  • Adaptability
  • Professional scepticism
  • Proactivity and enthusiasm
  • Professional development

End Point Assessment

In the case of the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship, the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) is the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).  The EPA consists of three elements:


Multiple Choice test

The multiple choice exam consists of 50 questions and candidates have 2 hours to complete these.  The multiple choice test is used to test knowledge of the core and pension aspects of payroll knowledge.


Synoptic role simulation

The simulation is used to test the technical aspects of payroll knowledge and a number of other skills and behaviours covered by the apprenticeship.  It lasts approximately three hours but within this candidates can have up to three breaks of up to an hour each.  Candidates can bring notes into the simulation and will have internet access for research.  It will usually take place in the workplace although the assessor may participate through video/phone call.  Three scenarios will be presented relating to a fictitious organisation and candidates are asked to complete a range of tasks and provide written responses on a template provided showing manual payroll calculations, an analysis of the scenarios and communication of their findings to the fictitious organisation.


Synoptic professional discussion

The discussion is used to assess a wide range of knowledge, skills and behaviours and will usually last around an hour.  It may be carried out face-to-face or by video call with the candidate usually at their workplace.