Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship - ILM Level 5

Our flexible, award-winning courses and apprenticeships are perfectly packaged in a blended learning format we call Online and On Campus, and delivered by approved ILM centres across the UK. So now you can choose how, when and where you want to study.

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Apprenticeship overview

The Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship is designed for mid-level managers who are looking to advance their leadership and management skills in preparation for senior management roles.

Apprentices will study the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management. Staff learn on the job, applying new skills to their existing role.

The duration of the apprenticeship is typically 18-24 months.

What will I learn?

The apprenticeship covers a wide range of business management skills and knowledge, including organisational performance, interpersonal skills and personal effectiveness.  Apprentices will consolidate their management skills and experience, build knowledge of specialist business areas such as finance and project management and develop the capabilities and personal awareness needed to be a leader.

Study method

Apprentices will study Mindful Education’s award-winning video lessons during allotted time at work, and also attend regular sessions with a college tutor.

Online lessons can be accessed at any time, using a mobile, tablet or desktop – meaning apprentices can fit their study around work commitments, minimising disruption in the workplace. Each lesson lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by animations and motion graphics to bring concepts to life. Exercises, interactive case studies and analytical tools help to enhance the learning experience further. Learners will be expected to dedicate 3-4 hours a week working on VLE-related activities.

On campus, apprentices benefit from regular classes with an experienced college tutor, either in-person or virtually. A combination of tutor-led work, group exercises and discussion encourages apprentices to apply theory to real-life workplace situations. This modern, flexible approach to apprenticeship training empowers learners, minimises disruption to employers, and delivers tangible results in the workplace.

Units of study

  • Assessing your own leadership capability and performance
  • Managing own continuing professional development
  • Developing and leading teams to achieve organisational goals and objectives
  • Managing projects in the organisation 
  • Leading innovation and change
  • Understanding financial management 
  • Managing stakeholder relationships
  • Creating and delivering operational plans

How will I be assessed?

Apprentices must pass the end-point assessment in order to achieve the apprenticeship certificate.

The end-point assessment for the Operations/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.

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.


Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, learners can progress to a range of Level 6 or 7 programmes.

Career opportunities

Apprentices who successfully complete the programme will be awarded a Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership. Roles may include: Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager and specialist managers.

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.

Additional information

This course is free to apprentices, as the cost is paid by your employer. Large companies can fund the course using their apprenticeship levy. SMEs can access government funding to subsidise the cost by 95%.

How to apply

If you are considering an apprenticeship, applications can be made via our partner colleges and training providers.

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