About the Operational Departmental Manager

What is the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship?

The Operational/ Departmental Manager apprenticeship is an exciting new work-based route towards developing Operational/ Departmental Manager and includes:

  • work-based learning, which means that the apprentice is in paid employment for the duration of their apprenticeship and receives on the job training and support 
  • business education through a Provider (with potential to lead to a CMI qualification)

Who is the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship aimed at?

The apprenticeship is suitable for those who are, or wish to become, Operational/ Departmental Managers.

This includes individuals who are at the start of their career that wish to become Operational/ Departmental Managers as well as those aspiring or existing managers who may already have developed practical experience but who wish to develop their theoretical understanding of management skills further.

An operations/departmental manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects, and achieves operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the delivery of the organisations strategy. They are accountable to a more senior manager or business owner. Working in the private, public or third sector and in all sizes of organisation, specific responsibilities and job titles will vary, but the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed will be the same. 

Key responsibilities may include creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, leading and managing teams, managing change, financial and resource management, talent management, coaching and mentoring.

Roles may include: Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager and specialist managers.

What are the entry requirements?

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprentices though most will be expected to hold 5 GCSEs at grade C or higher. Prior experience may also be considered. Apprentices should also have achieved qualifications in English and mathematics at a minimum of level 2 or equivalent. Where this is not the case, apprentices must complete these by the end of the Apprenticeship. It is also recommended that the apprentice is supported to become digitally literate where this is important to their role.

How long will it take to complete the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship?

This Apprenticeship will typically take 2½ years to complete, but can take less depending on the prior experience of the individual and the specification of the employer. Note that apprenticeships must take a minimum 12 months of learning.

Which Providers will be able to deliver the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship?

To be able to deliver an apprenticeship a provider must be registered on the Skills Funding Agency’s Register of Training Organisations (ROTO).

What is the funding cap for the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship?

The Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship funding cap has been set at level 3. This currently gives a potential maximum government contribution of £9,600 per apprentice for every £3,000 invested by the employer (2016-17 funding rate).

How is the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship assessed?

All Trailblazer apprenticeships are required to have an end-point assessment that is carried out by an independent body. Apprentices must pass the end-point assessment in order to achieve the apprenticeship certificate.

The end-point assessment for the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship involves a review of the apprentice’s portfolio of evidence which is collated during their work/ study time; an externally set knowledge test; presentation of a work-based project and question/ answer session and an interview/ competency based discussion relating to the apprentice’s Continual Professional Development Log.

How is the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship quality assured?

A new independent body, led by employers, called the Institute for Apprenticeships is in the process of being established. It will regulate the quality of apprenticeships within the context of reaching 3 million starts in 2020. The institute’s role will be to advise on setting funding caps, and approving apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. It will be established in 2016 and will be fully operational by April 2017.

Is the Operational/ Departmental Manager Apprenticeship certificated?

Yes – apprentices that successfully complete all parts of the Apprenticeship will receive a full apprenticeship certificate. This will be in addition to any qualifications that are taken as part of the apprenticeship.