National Audit Office

National Audit Office 2024 graduate opportunities

Company Company Profile

At the NAO, our position is unique, and our work is extraordinarily influential. Totally and distinctively independent of government, we scrutinise public spending for Parliament and investigate major government projects and programmes. This means we work for, and for the good of, all citizens in our country. We help our economy and society work better – supporting and enabling improvements in financial management and the way vital public services are delivered right across the public sector to millions of people every day.

For you, this means work that has a real purpose, and offers greater challenge and variety. You’ll contribute to audits and projects that scrutinise government’s use of resources and help drive improvement in our clients businesses. Our work informs debates and influences some of the biggest decisions that government makes. You’ll collaborate and work in teams with dedicated and talented people to deliver high quality work that makes a difference.

If you're an undergraduate interested in a Summer Internship opportunity with us - please click here to learn more about how we can support that.

Case Studies

  • Name: Sophie Judd
  • Role: Auditor
  • Joined: 2014
  • University: University of Exeter
  • Degree: History

" I did a History degree and dropped Maths after GCSE, that wouldn’t set me back in my career as a Chartered Accountant."


I’m a third year trainee who joined the NAO in 2014. I worked on the Health team throughout my training contract, which I’ve found hugely rewarding. I decided to join the NAO because I knew I wanted to get the ACA, and I thought it would be really great to be able to train somewhere that I’d be able to make a real difference. Talking to people here as I was applying showed me that even though I did a History degree and dropped Maths after GCSE, that wouldn’t set me back in my career as a Chartered Accountant.

Training & Profiles

Our three-year graduate training programme will see you right through to qualification as an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Our pass rates are consistently at or above the national average, meaning you’ll soon be opening up a world of great career possibilities. Joining us means you will get responsibility from an early stage in your career and will play a key role in helping us make a positive impact. You will help deliver our financial audit work and will also have opportunities to work on our high profile value for money studies and a range of other assurance work to help our clients – for example you could help to improve the performance of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and The Royal Household. Our unique role will give you access to people, places and experiences that are only available to those working at the NAO.

Application Procedure

Application Procedure Our process involves the following:

  • Stage 1 - on-line application and numerical reasoning test.
    Stage 2 - preliminary telephone interview.
    Stage 3 - 1 day assessment centre.

The NAO will cover reasonable expenses for attending all assessments.


Internship Scheme
Our eight-week summer internship programme offers places to 12-16 undergraduates from an ethnic minority or lower socioeconomic background who are about to enter their final year at university. Interns gain valuable insights and experience into the unique work of the NAO and the opportunity to strengthen their professional network. At the end of the programme all interns can undertake the graduate assessment centre and if successful will be offered a place on our graduate scheme.

Who we are looking for
Successful candidates join us from a diverse range of backgrounds and there is no such thing as a typical NAO graduate trainee. We value the unique perspective, insight, talent and contribution each individual brings. We accept applications from graduates in any degree subject, we do however have some minimum criteria you will need to meet:

  • 300 UCAS points or equivalent from your top 3 A Level grades (or equivalent). General Studies does not count.
    • Minimum 2.1 degree in any subject (achieved or expected).
    • You must be a UK, Commonwealth, EEA or Swiss national to comply with Civil Service nationality rules and must hold a valid work permit. We are not able to sponsor work visas.

In addition to your academic qualifications we look at your competence in eight key areas. By competence we mean the skills and behaviours that you will need to demonstrate to be a successful Graduate Trainee at the NAO.