Payroll administrator  
Level 3

Launch your payroll administrator career

The payroll administrator's role is crucial in organisations handling in-house payroll or offering payroll services. This position, present in various sectors and business sizes, involves processing payroll, ensuring compliance with regulations, and interacting with stakeholders.

The administrator handles tasks using software and manual calculations, addressing changes like life events, and collaborating with HR, Finance, clients, and government departments. The work, often in pressured environments, demands flexibility, teamwork, and prioritization.

Additionally, the administrator manages payroll queries, stays updated on changes in legislation and software, and is not required to hold professional body membership.

Key Information


18 Month programme  followed by a 4-month End Point Assessment phase.

Funding options. 

If you pay into the apprenticeship levy this is 100% funded at £10,000   
a maximum £500 (5% contribution) if you are a non-levy employer. 


  • Understanding organizational operations, constraints, and obligations in the UK sector.
  • Recognizing the payroll department's role, including compliance with data protection laws.
  • Emphasizing the importance of the customer base within an organization.
  • Exploring the payroll department's interaction with internal functions like accounts, pensions, IT, audit, and HR.
  • Examining external interactions, including agencies like HMRC and The Pensions Regulator.
  • Understanding key legislation, such as Employment Rights Act, Income Tax Act, and Pension Act.
  • Analysing the impact of devolution on payroll, including changes in Income Tax regimes and employment law.
  • Differentiating worker types (e.g., Apprentice, Self-employed) and their impact on payroll.
  • Examining payroll treatment for various worker types, with a focus on employees.
  • Understanding types of pay (Gross, Taxable, NI'able, etc.) and their derivation.

  • Covering various payroll-related topics, including FPS, EPS, CIS, Benefits-in-Kind, and Gender Pay Gap Reporting.
  • Exploring State Pension, AVCs, pension tax relief, and implications for payroll.
  • Understanding workplace pensions, Auto-Enrolment, and related processes.
  • Addressing statutory leave entitlements, deductions, new starter and leaver obligations, manual calculations, and gross-to-net pay.
  • Post-payroll run obligations, including reconciliation, RTI submissions, and interactions with internal/external entities.
  • Approaches to statutory regulation and compliance in payroll processing.
  • Understanding main taxation, Social Security, employment, and pensions legislation.
  • Identifying regulatory bodies, compliance guidance, and penalty regimes for payroll processing.
  • Exploring systems and processes supporting payroll, including HR, pension, and accounting.
  • Approaches to data input, validation, and analysis using digital technology, including computerized payroll systems and spreadsheets.



  • Analyse and process payroll data.
  • Resolve customer queries.
  • Handle complaints, escalate complex issues.
  • Meet client needs within agreements.
  • Provide customer service using processes.
  • Adhere to deadlines, reprioritize tasks.
  • Select appropriate communication media.

  • Escalate deadline concerns, suggest solutions.
  • Use suitable communication methods, respect confidentiality.
  • Build and maintain trust with stakeholders.
  • Develop strong team relationships.
  • Use payroll software, MS Excel.
  • Utilize systems for accounting, HMRC submissions.




  • Display honesty, integrity, and confidentiality.
  • Respond to changes with flexibility, maintain high standards.
  • Apply professional scepticism, identify payroll risks.
  • Take ownership, escalate problems as needed.

  • Commit to continuous personal and professional development.
  • Consider sustainable outcomes, promote environmental good practice.
  • Work within role parameters, consider team impact.


Who is the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship (Level 3) suitable for?


  • Those with a keen interest in administration, compliance or raw mathematics.
  • Those with aspirations in the payroll industry, including roles such as payroll administrator, payroll officer or payroll analyst.
  • Those looking to find their footing in a stable and in-demand industry.

Find the full qualification specifications here



Whether you are a learner or employer, National Upskill are here to assist you.

If you have any questions for our team, please get in touch at

You can also call us at 0333 772 9534.


 Apprenticeship Provider in United Kingdom

 Apprenticeship Provider in United Kingdom