Operational/Departmental Manager


Key Information

Level 5
Typical Duration 24 – 30 Months
Delivery Model Workshops and one-to-one support
Delivery Location Frontier House, Salford Quays, M50 3SR
Start Date Flexible

Programme Summary

This apprenticeship is a level of qualification equivalent to a foundation degree, which reflects the importance of a strong management skillset for leaders in any business.

The programme is designed to support and help those in roles with a responsibility for leading teams and delivering business plans to be successful. An in-house team of management and leadership experts have created a programme that will instill and embed new skills and confidence in you to succeed in your career.

It is applicable to professional managers from all sectors – the private, public or third sector – and all sizes of organisation. It will typically take up to 2 ½ years to complete, although the exact duration will be dependent on the previous experience of the individual.

This apprenticeship has been designed to provide access to development opportunities for as wide a range of individuals as possible. This includes individuals who are at the start of their career, and who wish to take their first steps into professional management, as well as those who may already have developed practical experience, but who wish to develop their theoretical understanding of management skills.

We’ll help you develop and gain a deeper understanding of management and leadership techniques with theory and practice that can be applied in your everyday work activities, so that you’re ready for business challenges today and tomorrow. At the end of the programme you’ll be confident in managing and delivering business goals.

An Operational/Departmental manager is typically someone who is either an Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager or a specialist manager. You’ll need to be in a role that allows you to apply the new knowledge and skills into the work environment so that the behaviours and requirements of the apprenticeship are met.

There are no formal minimum entry requirements to join the programme, these are typically set by your employer. An appropriate amount of management experience with sufficient exposure and opportunity to be able to fulfil the apprenticeship requirement is ideal.

If you don’t have Level 2 English and maths, you will need to achieve this prior to taking the end point assessment. We have specialist staff on hand to help guide and support you through this requirement if it is needed.

On completion, apprentices can register as full members with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), to support their professional career development and progression. Those with three years of management experience can also apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI. Alternatively, the CMI qualification can be embedded into the apprenticeship at no additional cost.

What will you learn?

Apprentices will learn:

  • Organisational Performance – delivering results
    • Operational management – for example, knowledge of management approaches, models and the skills to create plans, set KPIs and manage resources
    • Project management – for example, knowledge of the tools and techniques for project management and the skills to plan, organise and manage resources
    • Finance – understanding and developing skills in business finance and skills in monitoring budgets and financial forecasting
  • Interpersonal Excellence – managing people and developing relationships
    • Leading people – knowledge of leadership styles and the skills to be able to lead, delegate and mentor teams, as well as support the management of change
    • Managing people – for example how to recruit, develop, build and motivate high-performing teams and other skills including managing performance and delegating
    • Building relationships – knowledge of techniques for managing partner, stakeholder and supplier relationships and effective negotiation and influencing skills
    • Communication – developing effective communication techniques and skills for chairing meetings and presenting using a range of media. Challenging and giving constructive feedback.
  • Personal Effectiveness
    • Self-awareness – including understanding own impact and emotional intelligence
    • Management of self – time management, prioritising and approaches to planning
    • Decision making – problem solving and decision making techniques, including data analysis
  • Taking responsibility – You’ll discover how to show resilience, accountability and determination when dealing with challenging situations.
  • Inclusivity – This involves being approachable, genuine and able to build trust, and demonstrating that you value diversity.
  • Agility – You’ll successfully show that you’re positive and adaptable to business needs and change. In addition, you will take on feedback and search for solutions when necessary.
  • Professionalism – By the end of the apprenticeship, you’ll have demonstrated that you’re fair, consistent, impartial and open, as well as a good example to others.

You’ll benefit from our 24 – 30 month blended learning programme. We deliver the programme as a cohort, enabling you to meet and work alongside other like-minded and skilled apprentices to be able to form new networks and relationships. As well as learning from one another, you’ll also learn together and be able to support one another.

How is it delivered and assessed?

Our typical apprenticeship journey and model includes:

  • Support from a dedicated and skilled management trainer
  • Regular one-to-one coaching support, reviews, visits and guidance
  • Classroom teaching and training sessions
  • Webinars/canvas digital sessions
  • Online learning resources and support available 24/7
  • Assignments and self-study activities
  • End point assessment preparation, support and readiness checks

You will also record and track learning progress through the Smartassessor e-portfolio, helping to support and evidence your journey. The Smartassessor online service can be accessed 24/7 anywhere and through any device.

This is typically a 2 ½ year apprenticeship with an integrated approach to the assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviours. The on-programme assessment approach will be agreed between the training provider and employer. The assessment will give an ongoing indication of performance against the final outcomes defined in the standard.

The programme will cover the breadth and depth of the standard using suggested on-programme assessment methods, that integrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviour components, and which ensure that the apprentice is sufficiently prepared to undertake the work based project and move to end point assessment.

On-programme assessment includes:

  • Registration with a relevant professional body to provide access to management resources, wider networks, and CPD activities
  • Regular performance reviews undertaken by a senior manager
  • Development of a portfolio of evidence including reports, evidence of tasks undertaken, demonstrations, presentations, assignments, emails, and observations
  • Undertaking a work based project typically during the last six months of the apprenticeship
  • Feedback from line manager, direct reports, peers and customers/stakeholders through 360 degree feedback (or equivalent mechanism)

Towards the end of the programme, the apprentice will undertake a synoptic work-based project, which will bring together elements of their learning from different parts of the programme, and show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of management and its application in their organisation.   The topic/coverage of the project will be agreed between the employer, provider and apprentice, and will be of benefit to the business.

The portfolio of evidence and work-based project will demonstrate the skills and behaviours. Assessment will monitor ongoing performance of the apprentice, and the training provider and employer must support the apprentice and provide guidance as required.

 There will be regular reviews (at least quarterly) between employer and training provider with a formal assessment of progress.

Mandatory Qualifications

  • Functional Skills Level 2 in English (unless previously achieved)
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in maths (unless previously achieved)

End Point Assessment

The end point assessment will consist of:

  • A knowledge test – A series of different scenarios and situations will be used, with a series of questions requiring responses which will demonstrate the apprentices knowledge of that particular topic.  The knowledge test may be delivered online or be paper-based, and is likely to be multiple choice. The assessment organisation will set out the test specifications including the number of questions to be included, time allowed, and conditions for invigilation, to ensure consistency and quality.
  • A structured, competency-based interview – The knowledge requirements within the standard will be tested using a structured series of questions to assess the apprentice’s knowledge, to ensure all aspects are given coverage. The interview can be conducted using a range of media (telephone interview, live media, online or written), whichever is the most appropriate for the apprentice.
  • Assessment of portfolio of evidence – The completed portfolio will be assessed by the Independent Assessor, who makes their own judgement on the quality of the work. It will comprise a collection of evidence (preferably in an online portfolio with written, audio and video evidence) which might include:
  • Written statements
  • Project plans
  • Reports
  • Observations (by Training Provider)
  • Professional discussion between provider and apprentice
  • Presentations
  • Performance reviews
  • Feedback from line manager, direct reports, colleagues, customers and stakeholders (captured through discussion)
  • Peer feedback – 180/360 degree assessment type approach

The evidence contained in the portfolio will comprise of complete and/or discrete pieces of work that cover the totality of the Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship Standard. This will be a range of materials and documents generated over the period of the apprenticeship, and which provide evidence of the apprentices’ ability to apply and demonstrate management and leadership concepts.

  •  Presentation on work-based project with Q&A session – The work-based project is one that represents the skills, knowledge and behaviours in the standard. It provides a substantive evidence base from a business-related project, to demonstrate the application of skills and knowledge. The project will take place towards the end of the apprenticeship – likely to be during the six months. The apprentice will deliver a 15 minute presentation which describes the objectives and outputs of their work based project, and will demonstrate:
  • What the apprentice set out to achieve
  • What they have produced in the project
  • How they approached the work and dealt with any issues
  • Confirm the demonstration of appropriate interpersonal and behavioural skills
  • Professional discussion – The apprentice will provide evidence of any additional learning/CPD undertaken during the apprenticeship, which will include:
  • Activity undertaken during the Level 5 Diploma or learning activity
  • Details of any formal or informal learning undertaken
  • Details of any professional discussions undertaken or support provided through professional bodies

The Independent Assessor will undertake a professional discussion with the apprentice to identify the objective of the activity, and reflect on the outcome and how learning gained was applied.

Entry Requirements

  • English and maths – Level 1

Apprentices must be in suitable employment and have the opportunity to develop the required knowledge, skills and behaviors aligned to this apprenticeship standard. 

Interested in this apprenticeship? Apply now.