Operations - Departmental Manager Apprenticeship CMI Level 5 (Online and Virtual Classroom)

Duration Age Group Study Cost Available Locations
Duration Age Group Study Cost Available Locations


The Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Staff learn on the job, applying new skills to their existing role. It is ideal for those who are, or who wish to become, Operations/Departmental Managers, or existing managers who have practical management skills, but wish to develop their theoretical understanding further.

Online and Virtual Classroom

This flexible course is delivered by South Essex Colleges Group in partnership with Mindful Education and combines online learning with regular term-time Virtual Classroom sessions with a college tutor. 

Please note: Virtual Classroom sessions take place regularly during term time.

Start dates are available throughout the year.

The duration of the apprenticeship will be 18-24 months


To apply for an Apprenticeship you will need to find employment in a related trade/industry before filling out our application form here

Apprenticeship Application Form

For more information contact our Workforce team

Call: 01702 221800


Entry Requirements

  • Employed in a trade/industry related to the apprenticeship.
    You will need to find employment in a related trade/industry before applying for the apprenticeship programme you wish to complete.
  • Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprentices though most will be expected to hold 5 GCSEs at grade 5 (C) or higher. Prior experience may also be considered.
  • Apprentices should also have achieved qualifications in English and maths 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.

Course Structure

The apprenticeship covers a wide range of business management skills and knowledge, including organisational performance, interpersonal skills and personal effectiveness.   

Units of study

The Level 5 apprenticeship covers a range of key areas, including: 

  • Using Reflective Practice to Inform Personal and Professional Development
  • Principles of Developing, Managing and Leading Individuals and Teams to Achieve Success
  • Managing Projects to Achieve Results
  • Managing Change
  • Managing Finance

Assessment & Feedback

Study Method – Online and Virtual Classoom

We have partnered with Mindful Education  to deliver this apprenticeship through our Online and Virtual Classroom model. Apprentices study online materials during allotted time at work, and also attend regular virtual 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.

Virtual Classroom, apprentices benefit from regular virtual classes with an experienced college tutor. 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.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for the CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership is via practical work-based assignments provided by the college. This ensures you minimise time away from work and that you undertake work study which is relevant to your own organisation’s context.

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 Portfolio of Evidence.

Course Cost

Apprenticeship, distance_learning: Contact us

  • 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%

What Next...

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, there is an opportunity to study CMI courses at higher levels.

Career opportunities

Apprentices who successfully complete the programme will be awarded a Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership and will also be eligible to register as full members of the CMI.

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.