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Operations/Departmental - Level 5 Leadership Programme

The Operations/Departmental Level 5 Leadership Programme, is a combined qualification that is made up of knowledge, skills and behaviour units.

This qualification, delivered by Exeter College, is aimed at practising or aspiring managers and leaders working at the University of Exeter who are typically accountable to a senior manager.  The primary role of a practising or aspiring manager and leader is to lead and manage individuals and teams to deliver aims and objectives in line with organisational strategy.

The Diploma gives you a fully comprehensive bank of the skills and knowledge required to be a manager as part of an organisation, as well as the ability to apply your learning in the context of another organisation or industry sector.

This is a vocational qualification that has been developed with the help of employers and is based directly on the National Occupational Standards. 

Watch this Operations/Department Manager Level 5 taster session produced by Exeter College.

  • 501 principles of Operational Leadership and Management in an Organisational Context.
    • Understand factors which impact on an organisation’s internal environment
    • Understand the application of management and leadership theories
    • Understand the knowledge, skills and behaviours to be effective in a management and leadership role
  • 502 Developing, Managing and Leading Individuals and Teams to Achieve Success.
    • Understand approaches to developing, managing and leading teams
    • Understand approaches to achieving a balance of skills and experience in teams
    • Know techniques for leading individuals and teams to achieve success
  • 509 Managing Stakeholder Relationships.
    • Understand the different types and value of stakeholder relationships
    • Understand the frameworks for stakeholder management
    • Know how to manage stakeholder relationships
    • Know methods for measuring the impact of stakeholder engagement on organisational performance
  • 513 Managing Projects to Achieve Results.
    • Understand the role of projects in delivering organisational strategy
    • Understand processes for initiating, planning and managing projects
    • Understand the factors which contribute to effective project management
  • 515 Creating and Delivering Operational Plans.
    • Understand the principles of operational planning in an organisation
    • Know how to create an operational plan in line with organisational objectives
    • Know how to manage and lead the delivery of an operational plan
    • Know how to monitor and measure the outcome of operational planning
  • 520 Managing Finance.
    • Understand finance within organisations
    • Know how to set and manage budgets
  • 525 Using Reflective Practice in Inform Personal and Professional Development.
    • Understand the value of reflective practice to inform personal and professional development
    • Know how to apply reflective practice to inform personal and professional development

See syllabus for more details on the modules above.

  • Communication
  • Leading People
  • Building Relationships
  • Project Management and Decision Making
  • Operational Management
  • Managing People
  • Finance
  • Awareness and Management of Self

On successful completion of a Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership, a number of progression opportunities become available:

  • Enhance your professional status by upgrading to professional membership
  • Progress to other qualifications at the next level (e.g. Level 6 or 7 leadership programme)
  • Apply to become a Chartered Manager

Professional Registration

Gain recognition for enhancing your knowledge, understanding and practice of management by applying for membership with a professional leadership body.  Display your post nominal as a commitment to continuous professional development and accomplishment as a manager.

For managers who want to sharpen their professional edge and enhance their effectiveness, membership offers access to qualifications, courses, mentoring and unrivalled support resources. You can also achieve the ultimate management accolade, Chartered Manager status.

Duration: 24-30 Months

Location: Exeter College

Course start dates: April and September each year. 

Commitment: The theory is delivered through attendance at Exeter College for one day each week.  You will be informed of the day when you sign up as this changes for each programme.  You must be able to attend all college tutorials.  When the College is on half term you will need to use your college day to complete work towards your qualification, tasks or work-based project.  Training can take place in your workplace at your normal workstation or off-site (e.g. in a classroom or from home via distance learning). 

Assessment: This programme will be assessed as follows (weighting in brackets):

  • Knowledge test using scenarios and questions (30%)
  • Structured competency-based interview (20%)
  • Assessment of portfolio of evidence (20%)
  • Professional discussion relating to CPD activity (10%)
  • Assessment of the Work-based Project followed by a presentation on Work-based Project – with Q&A session (20%)

The course is fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy - there are no costs for the apprentice or directorate.

The University will invest £7,000 to cover the cost of the training and assessment for this programme.

Delegates on this programme will typically be working at grade E and above, however, managers at grade D would be considered if there is a strong case from the line manager.  They must have a contracted FTE of 0.8 FTE or above.

The Insitute for Apprenticeships states that: English and Maths will be required at a minimum of Level 2 (GCSE grade 4/C or above) prior to the Assessment.

UK Government Apprenticeship Funding Rules state that:

  • The apprentice must have a contract of service with you, or an apprenticeship training agency, which is long enough for them to complete the apprenticeship successfully (including the end-point assessment). Therefore if the applicant is on a fixed-term contract, the contract end date must be after the expected apprenticeship training completion date.
  • The apprentice must have a job role (or roles) with you that provides the opportunity for them to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve their apprenticeship.
  • The apprentice must have appropriate support and supervision on the job, by you, to carry out their job role.

It is for individuals entering the management sector in roles including, but not limited to:

  • Administrator, Personal Assistant, Academic Support, Executive Assistant, Coordinator
  • Advisor
  • Assistant Accountant
  • Assistant Building Surveyor
  • Assistant Management Accountant
  • Customer Services Manager
  • Head of …
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Manager, Deputy Manager
  • Officer, Communications and Marketing Officer, Executive Officer, Experimental Officer
  • Operations Manager
  • Project Administrator, Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Programme Manager, Portfolio Administrator
  • Senior …
  • Team Leader

The applicant must:

  • Apply for an apprenticeship where the job role, together with the off-the-job training, provides opportunities to cover the full occupational profile and learning all of the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to achieve the apprenticeship. As apprenticeships are aligned with occupations, and not previously gained qualifications, you will need to find a suitable level for the job role you are currently doing. For example, if you have never had any formal leadership and management training then you should consider looking at the levels and comments sections to see which training would best fit your experience and your current role.
  • The chosen apprenticeship may be at the same level as, or at a lower level than, a qualification the applicant already holds. It should allow the apprentice to acquire substantive new skills and the content must be materially different from any prior qualification or a previous apprenticeship.
  • Have commitment from their line manager to ensure that appropriate support is given to enable them to carry out their job and successfully complete their apprenticeship.


  1. Complete the Staff Professional Development Request - Use Google Chrome web browser for best results. Once you have submitted it your Line Manager then approves/rejects, endorses and adds a statement of support to your request.  This then goes to the People Development team to approve/reject.
  2. Once your application is approved by your line manager and People Services, your details will be sent to Exeter College. 
  3. Exeter College will check your eligibility and any accreditation to prior learning before they come to the University to meet with you to complete their admissions paperwork.  You may also be required to complete online functional skills assessments for English and Maths which you can do at your desk in your office.

Please note that approval of an application does not guarantee a place, the Training Provider admissions team will make contact with the candidates individually to confirm eligibility as part of their admissions process. Applicants may be required to complete online functional skills assessments for English and Maths (if they do not hold a GCSE grade C or above in those subjects) and will need to be able to provide evidence of further education as required.