Level 5 Operational/Departmental Manager


A 24-month operational manager programme 


Programme Overview:

An Operations/Departmental Manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects, and achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the delivery of the organisation’s 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 you will learn – Knowledge and understanding   

Organisational Performance – delivering results  

Operational Management 

Understand operational management approaches and models, including creating plans to deliver objectives and setting KPIs. Understand business development tools (e.g., SWOT), and approaches to continuous improvement. Understand operational business planning techniques, including how to manage resources, development of sales and marketing plans, setting targets and monitoring performance. Knowledge of management systems, processes and contingency planning. Understand how to initiate and manage change by identifying barriers and know how to overcome them. Understand data security and management, and the effective use of technology in an organisation.   

Able to input into strategic planning and create plans in line with organisational objectives.   

Support, manage and communicate change by identifying barriers and overcoming them. Demonstrate commercial awareness, and able to identify and shape new opportunities. Creation and delivery of operational plans, including setting KPIs, monitoring performance against plans. Producing reports, providing management information based on the collation, analysis and interpretation of data.   


Project Management 

Plan, organise and manage resources to deliver required outcomes. Monitor progress and identify risk and their mitigation. Able to use relevant project management tools.  



Able to monitor budgets and provide reports and consider financial implications of decisions and adjust approach/recommendations accordingly.   


Interpersonal Excellence – managing people and developing relationships 

Leading People  

Able to communicate organisational vision and goals and how these to apply to teams.  

Support development through coaching and mentoring and enable and support high performance working. Able to support the management of change within the organisation.   


Managing People 

Able to manage talent and performance. Develop, build and motivate teams by identifying their strengths and enabling development within the workplace. Able to delegate and enable delivery though others.  


Building Relationships 

Able to build trust and use effective negotiation and influencing skills and manage conflict.  

Able to identify and share good practice, and work collaboratively with others both inside and outside of the organisation. Use of specialist advice and support to deliver against plans.  



Able to communicate effectively (verbal, non-verbal, written, digital) and be flexible in communication style. Able to chair meetings and present using a range of media. Use of active listening, and able to challenge and give constructive feedback.   


Personal Effectiveness – managing self 


Able to reflect on own performance, working style and its impact on others.  


Management of Self 

Able to create a personal development plan. Use of time management and prioritisation techniques.  


Decision Making 

Able to undertake critical analysis and evaluation to support decision making Use of effective problem-solving techniques   


Operational/Departmental Managers demonstrate the following behaviours: 

Takes responsibility 

Drive to achieve in all aspects of work. Demonstrates resilience and accountability. Determination when managing difficult situations. Seeks new opportunities.  



Open, approachable, authentic, and able to build trust with others. Seeks the views of others and values diversity.  



Flexible to the needs of the organisation. Is creative, innovative and enterprising when seeking solutions to business needs. Positive and adaptable, responding well to feedback and need for change. Open to new ways of working.   



Sets an example, and is fair, consistent and impartial. Open and honest. Operates within organisational values.  


How is the course assessed?  

Full time work-based learners will typically spend 18/24 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 enroute to the final synoptic end point assessment takes place.  

This could comprise of: 

  • 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: 

  • Assessment of knowledge through a test using scenarios, questions and responses.  
  • Assessment of competency through a structured competency-based interview.  
  • Assessment of portfolio of evidence.  
  • Presentation on work-based project with Question and Answer session.  
  • Continuing Professional Development Log reviewed and professional discussion.  

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.