Level 5 Learning and Development Consultant Business Partner Apprenticeship


A 24-month learning and development programme 


Who is it for? 

A Learning & Development (L and D) Consultant/Business Partner is accountable for ensuring L and D contributes to, and influences, improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisational level. They also have commercial responsibility aligning learning needs with the strategic ambitions and objectives of the business. They are agents for change, influencing key stakeholders, making decisions and recommendations on what businesses can/ should do in an L and D context. They are also likely to lead on any L and D-related elements of business projects. The L and D Consultant/Partner will often have expertise and competence in a specific field whether it be technical, vocational or behavioural. They link the work they do to the context and strategic priorities of the business and measure the outcomes and impact of any learning interventions, to demonstrate a return on investment/expectation. 

The role can be a generalist L and D Consultant or more specialist, where focus and in-depth expertise is in a specific area such as organisation development, digital/blended learning, resourcing, or talent management. Whichever the area of focus, the role requires, a good grounding across all areas of L and D and is business and future focused. 

The L and D Consultant/Business Partner role exists within a range of organisations including private, public and third sector. Typically, the individual works alongside colleagues who specialise in Human Resources (i.e., employee relations, reward, recruitment), often supported by an L and D Administrator and/or L and D Practitioner. They report to a senior L and D Manager, Head of Department or Director. In larger organisations, they may be one of a team supporting the business and may have responsibility for managing people and a budget. 


What will you learn – Knowledge and understanding of: 

Technical expertise 

  • Paradigms, theories and models that underpin effective adult learning, group behaviour and learning culture, for example behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, neuroscience. 
  • Legislation and policies that influence learning design and delivery. 
  • The merits of different learning delivery channels to select an appropriate face-to-face, blended or digital solution. 
  • Current research and appropriate application of best practice/best fit solutions. 
  • The latest learning practice, trends and emerging thinking. 
  • Positively incorporating diversity and inclusion into L and D interventions and processes. Researching and applying current best practice in this area. 
  • Change management methodologies and principles of project management. 
  • Consultancy tools and techniques, for example the use of SWOT, 5 Whys, weighted matrix etc providing costed recommendations and projected impact/return on investment/return on expectation.


Business understanding  

  • Their organisation’s vision, mission, values, strategy, plans and stakeholders; its external market and sector and the opportunities, challenges and issues it faces. 
  • How business, learning and HR key performance indicators and metrics build a clear picture of how the business is performing. 
  • The process of stakeholders mapping to define interactions with staff that are part of the learning needs analysis, design, delivery and evaluation. 
  • How to measure impact, return on investment/expectation of learning on the business. 


Learning and development function 

  • The L and D structure required to meet business needs and whether this should be inhouse, outsourced and how to source specialist expertise when required. 
  • The various L and D roles, responsibilities and skills required to design and deliver face-to-face, blended, or digital solutions. 
  • The policies and processes required for effective organisation learning. 
  • How to prepare, monitor and manage a budget.


Management information and technology 

  • The collection of data and information, both qualitative and quantitative, to analyse learning needs, implement effective delivery and measure outcome and impact. 
  • How to identify sources, trends and anomalies in data/information. 
  • How to shape internal information systems and how they play a role to support learning. 
  • How technology can support learning, including understanding of digital platforms/delivery channels as relevant to the role. 
  • Emerging technologies that can support effective learning. 


An L and D Consultant/Business Partner will have the skills, within the context of their own organisation, to: 

L and D consultancy 

  • Work as an L and D Business Partner or Consultant across the whole organisation or key functions/relevant stakeholders as appropriate, to build insight into existing levels of capability against future requirements, identifying organisational skills gaps and risks. 
  • Use a range of techniques to obtain an initial brief from internal stakeholders and investigate and analyse data to validate the need for learning for a learning intervention. 
  • Present a range of relevant and innovative solutions, logically and with credibility, to gain buy-in from senior stakeholders. 
  • Develop an organisation development/L and D/ succession plan that addresses gaps and fulfils skills, resourcing talent, and future leadership needs in the partner/business area, accounting for changing internal and external environment, business and learner needs. 
  • Initiate the design of interventions and monitor implementation. 


Developing a learning culture 

  • Foster and develop an embedded culture of learning and continuous improvement (e.g., through using communication campaigns). 
  • Manage learning and knowledge transfer. 
  • Facilitate collective and social learning using innovative technological solutions. 
  • Influence management at all levels to collaborate and take responsibilities for learning initiatives. 
  • Set up and manage Action Learning sets, coaching and mentoring programmes. 
  • Ensure quality of learning and training delivery through providing feedback to colleagues to ensure continuous improvement of self and others. 


Budget/resource management 

  • Construct and manage an L and D budget/project/intervention, including managing resources to effectively deliver. 
  • Identify and analyse potential cost savings to ensure maximum value. 
  • Effectively engage, negotiate and manage third party suppliers.


Relationship management 

  • Build effective working relationships with business managers (using language of business), peers and other L and D functions, together with relevant external organisations to deliver business results from L and D plans and solutions. 
  • Communicate confidently with people at all levels, including senior management.  
  • Work with senior leaders to carry out succession planning, organisational development and talent pipeline plans. 


Facilitation skills 

  • Build rapport and demonstrate the use of language patterns to facilitate and encourage discussions, debate, learning and decisions. 
  • Employ a range of questioning and listening skills to generate brainstorming, discussion and debate, learning and decisions. 
  • Effectively manage challenging learner and group behaviours. 


L and D Consultant/Business Partner should demonstrate the following behaviours: 

Constant and curious learner 

  • Proactively seeking opportunities and feedback to develop their business acumen, improve performance and overall capability. 
  • Probing and enquiring to delve deeper into opportunities, options and solutions. 
  • A desire to understand and experiment with new ideas and techniques, identifying areas of self and wider development/improvements.
  • That they act as role models for learning within their organisation and across their networks. 


Collaborative partner 

  • They are a trusted partner, acting with integrity, ensuing that clients, partners and learners alike feel heard and are confident in their ability to deliver. 
  • They can enable different departments or stakeholders to effectively work together above their own agenda and priorities.


Commercial thinker 

  • They understand and apply the commercial context, realities and drivers behind learning needs and solutions. 
  • They are focused on outcomes and impacts. 
  • They develop ideas, insights and solutions for defined business benefits. 


Constructive challenger 

  • Personal resilience to manage competing priorities, ensuring that they deliver the outcome of their work through co-design and a full understanding of the impact they have on others. 
  • The courage to hold a mirror up to the organisation when diagnosing solutions. 
  • Skilfully navigate through organisational and personal politics.


Passionate and agile deliverer 

  • Responsiveness and flexibility to changing internal and external environments and business needs. 
  • Being a role model for the L and D profession, inspiring and galvanising others around learning solutions, ensuring that learning is embedded and delivers ambitious goals, outcomes and timelines. 


How will you be assessed? 

Full time work-based learners will typically spend 24 months on-programme working towards the apprenticeship standard, with a minimum of 20% off this time being off-the-job training. 

Learners without English and Maths at a level 2 must achieve level 2 prior to taking their End Point Assessment (EPA). 

The End Point Assessment should only start once the employer is satisfied that the gateway requirements for EPA have been met and that the learner is consistently working at or above the level set out in the standard. 

Through the journey to the gateway with GEM Partnership you will complete a set of mini gateways ensuring that you are ready to take the EPA. 


On-programme assessment 

It is strongly recommended, but not required, that on-programme assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviour outcomes en-route to the final synoptic end point assessment takes place.  

This could comprise of: 

  • Regular assessments to an equivalent standard, quality and scope, which can be evidenced. 
  • Work based project. 
  • Development of a portfolio of evidence. 
  • Regular Performance Reviews Regular performance reviews between apprentice and line manager. 

The End Point Assessment will test the entire Standard, and be undertaken as follows: 

  • Work based project with professional discussion 
  • Presentation/Q&A based on the learning journal 

The End Point Assessment requires apprentices to demonstrate they have achieved the standard. 

Performance in the EPA will determine the learner grade of fail, pass, merit or distinction.