International Institutions & Donor Assurance (IIDA) - Advisory School Leaver Apprenticeship Programme 2024

Job description

The International Institutions and Donor Assurance (IIDA) team specialises in providing services to the international donor community. Our vision is to be the global leader in the provision of assurance, advisory, and investigation services to donors and grant recipients.

We carry out financial audits, systems audits, expenditure reviews, grant reviews, and various other assurance and advisory work for our international clients, who include governments and national development agencies, the European Commission, the United Nations, and private grant-giving foundations and trusts, among others.

The school leaver trainee role in IIDA presents an opportunity for a great variety of work with different international clients, carrying out audit and assurance work for international donors and working onsite with funding beneficiaries.

  • Undertake audit fieldwork reporting to a Senior or Manager, taking increasing responsibility as you gain experience, which may include assignment planning, leading fieldwork, leading client meetings, and drafting the assignment report
  • Be willing to be out of the office at client sites around the world
  • Balance the commitments of studying for exams while travelling extensively
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the objectives of an audit, particularly in a donor funding context
  • Prepare legible and comprehensive working papers, completing sections of the audit file with assistance from more senior colleagues
  • Be aware of assignment deadlines and work with the team to meet them
  • Develop a knowledge of audit issues and techniques specific to the donor-funded aid environment
  • Develop a good understanding of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and other applicable technical frameworks, supported by regular training
  • Understand what constitutes an assignment finding and how it should be classified and documented in the assignment report
  • Achieve utilisation of at least 70% on an annual basis
  • Develop internal contacts and demonstrate an awareness of the other services offered by BDO
  • Attend the firm’s technical training seminars and appropriate departmental seminars
  • Be aware of the firm’s risk management and practice assurance procedures and ensure compliance
  • Identify soft skills requirements in conjunction with your appraising Manager/Partner and communicate such requirements to the training department
  • Consistently demonstrate the BDO values
  • Successfully study towards your professional qualification
What we’re looking for
  • We want you to thrive in an environment built to help you succeed. We’re looking for the following:
  • Three A-levels or equivalent at A*-C excluding General Studies and Extended Projects (obtained or predicted)
  • 9-4 in Maths and English at GCSE/Scottish Standards or equivalent (non-UK qualifications also considered)
  • Ability and commitment to balance study and professional work
  • Strong desire to understand our business and achieve your full potential
  • Candidates who hold an undergraduate degree are not eligible for this scheme, but are welcome to explore our graduate programmes
  • Candidates can expect to travel and work at client sites across the world, therefore we ask that our trainees are comfortable with being away from home at times, and have a genuine interest in experiencing other cultures. A second language is desirable, however not essential for the role.
When you join us, we’ll make your growth our priority. We’re always looking for ways to invest in and develop our people. That means providing you with an environment where you can grow, learn, and feel respected, at all times.


The four-year trainee programme is your opportunity to learn our sector inside out, get real experience on a variety of projects, and achieve a highly recognised professional qualification. The day to day of the role involves performing financial audits, grant certifications, and internal controls assessments of the recipients of donor funding on behalf of our clients. Starting as an assistant, as you gain more experience you will be able to lead teams and work with our staff and consultants based all over the world.

In addition, you will complete the ACA Qualification throughout the first four years of your career. We’ll cover your exam fees and give you the study leave and extra training you’ll need to pass them while you balance your own workload. That training isn’t just about passing the exams; you’ll learn a range of personal, management, and client-related skills that will help you become a full rounded BDO advisor and achieve your full potential.

The school leaver trainee role in IIDA presents an opportunity for a great variety of work with different international clients, carrying out audit and assurance work for international donors and working onsite with funding beneficiaries.

Assignments vary, but you will typically be away for 1-2 weeks at a time, carrying out audits, verifications and internal controls reviews at organisations as varied as small local NGOs, government ministries, and UN agencies. At first, you will work with an experienced team leader, but our programme allows trainees to take on real responsibility at an early stage in their careers.

Travel tends to be slightly more limited in the first 12 months due to training and exams, but thereafter you can expect to travel and work at client sites across the world for around 40-60 % of the time, including potentially remote and fragile locations. As a result of our international client base, our staff have an interest in travel and experiencing other cultures.

Additional job details


How to apply

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 26 March 2024

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Closing date:  26 March 2024

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