Overview of the role 

Managing teams and projects in line with a private, public or voluntary organisation’s operational or departmental strategy.


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 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.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirement for this apprenticeship will be decided by each employer, but may typically be five GCSEs at Grade C or higher.

Requirements: Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours 


The following knowledge is required (through formal learning and applied according to business environment)

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 (eg 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.

Project Management

  • Know how to set up and manage a project using relevant tools and techniques, and understand process management.
  • Understand approaches to risk management.


  • Understand business finance: how to manage budgets, and financial forecasting


Interpersonal Excellence – managing people and developing relationships

Leading People

  • Understand different leadership styles, how to lead multiple and remote teams and manage team leaders.
  • Know how to motivate and improve performance, supporting people using coaching and mentoring approaches.
  • Understand organisational cultures and diversity and their impact on leading and managing change.
  • Know how to delegate effectively

Managing People

  • Know how to manage multiple teams, and develop high performing teams.
  • Understand performance management techniques, talent management models, and how to recruit and develop people.

Building Relationships

  • Understand approaches to partner, stakeholder and supplier relationship management including negotiation, influencing, and effective networking.
  • Knowledge of collaborative working techniques to enable delivery through others and how to share best practice. Know how to manage conflict at all levels.


  • Understand interpersonal skills and different forms of communication and techniques (verbal, written, non-verbal, digital) and how to apply them appropriately.


Personal Effectiveness – managing self

Management of Self

  • Understand time management techniques and tools, and how to prioritise activities and the use of different approaches to planning, including managing multiple tasks.

Decision Making

  • Understand problem solving and decision making techniques, including data analysis.
  • Understand organisational values and ethics and their impact on decision-making.



The following skills are required (acquired and demonstrated through continuous professional development)


Organisational Performance – delivering results

Operational Management

  • 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.



These are the required behaviours for this Apprenticeship standard (developed and exhibited in the workplace).

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


Typically this Apprenticeship will take 2.5 years.

Training timeline

We have developed a visual training timeline for the Operations Departmental Manager Apprenticeship. Click on the graphic below to download this.


Apprentices without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.


On completion, apprentices can register as full members with the Chartered Management Institute and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management, and those with 3 years’ of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI.


Level 5

Structure of Apprenticeship 

Phase 1: Initial assessment
A pre-course review to plan the candidate’s training programme so it provides scope to develop and practice the required skills.

Phase 2: Training
A programme of workplace training, virtual learning and skills practice where the apprentice develops the skills of a competent operations/departmental manager. Training fits round working routines, avoiding disruption. TRS trainers are on hand to offer ongoing support, and regular progress reviews.

Phase 3: Gateway

A review stage towards the end of the apprenticeship when apprentice, employer and TRS trainer get together in preparation for the apprentice going forward for their end-point assessment.

Phase 4: End Point Assessment

The apprentice is assessed by an independent organisation to see if they have reached the required levels of professional skills and knowledge required by this apprenticeship standard.

Progression after apprenticeship 

After completion, apprentices can register as full CMI or ILM members. Those with 3 years’ of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI.


For small and medium businesses that do not pay the apprenticeship levy, the government funds 95% of the apprenticeship.  The employer pays the other 5% plus the apprentice’s wages.  Larger firms that pay the levy can meet 100% of the costs using their levy funds.

Why choose apprenticeships? 

  • Address skills shortages and succession planning
  • Increase staff loyalty, motivation and productivity
  • Tap into available funding
  • Ensure quality standards in your business

Why choose TRS? 

  • Approved by Government to deliver apprenticeships
  • Expert advice on apprenticeship funding
  • Niche manufacturing and logistics industry expertise
  • Many years’ experience of successfully delivering apprenticeships
  • Our trainers can be located onsite at employer premises
  • Free recruitment service

Further information 

If you have staff you want to enrol onto an Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship, please contact Andy on 07719 031203 or complete the blue form to the right of this page.

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