Operations Management Standard

Project Overview:

The Work Based Project is one that represents the skills, knowledge and behaviors in the Standard.  It provides a substantive evidence base from a business-related project to demonstrate the application of skills and knowledge.

The project will take place towards the end of the apprenticeship – likely to be during the last 6 months

Each project must enable the following to be demonstrated:

  • The application of knowledge and skills to meet the outcomes in the standard
  • The approach to planning and completion of the project
  • The application of behaviors from the standard

It is designed to assess you in a consistent way, irrespective of your workplace and training provider.  The employer and training provider will work together with the you to agree a project that is achievable within the employer’s business constraints whilst meeting the needs of the Standard.   The project should be conducted as part of your normal work. The employer should make allowance, in terms of time and resource, for the project to be undertaken.  Any elements which need to be undertaken outside of normal work should be agreed between the employer, you and training provider so that apprentices are not disadvantaged in any way from performing your job and meeting the requirements of the project. 

The completed project work will be submitted to the independent assessor who will ensure that it demonstrates competence across the Apprenticeship Standard.   

Work-based Business Project, Presentation and Q&A session guidance

As part of the End-Point Assessment you are required to complete a Work–based Project and present your findings to a panel made up of your Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA), your Independent Training Provider (ITP) and your employer. The Work-based Project

The Project must be completed within the final 6 months of your apprenticeship and should demonstrate your application of the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) within the standard as well as your approach to planning and completing a project. Your ITP and employer should support you in identifying a project. This should ideally be based on a business problem that forms part of your role with your employer. When identifying your project you must ensure that you are able to evidence all of the criteria under Project Management. You should identify the other criteria you will cover as appropriate to your project and must be confident that the project is of sufficient demand to fully evidence the Pass criteria as outlined in Table 1. A full list of all the criteria can be found in Table 2. Your employer and ITP should both identify a person to oversee the project and support you. They will ensure that any support needed to enable the Project to be undertaken is in place; including setting aside time to plan, undertake and write up your project and that you have access to the tools and systems required. The Project should be conducted as part of your normal work. Any elements which need to be undertaken outside of normal work should be agreed between your employer, ITP and you so that you are not disadvantaged in any way from performing your job and meeting the requirements of the Project.

Before you begin your Project you should work out what is required and present terms of reference and an initial plan for agreement with your employer and ITP. This should include the criteria covered by your project. A specification must be devised of what has to be delivered on completion of the project – this must include the outputs, project plans, etc. Operations / Departmental Manager L5 Work-Based Project Guidance 2 Your project must document your assumptions and highlight the consequences of these assumptions – enabling you to demonstrate your understanding of commercial pressures and the application of your thinking and problem-solving skills. You will need to submit a project report and any supporting evidence, along with a signed statement to confirm that the Project is your own work, to your IEPA at Gateway.

We suggest that the project report should include:

  • Introduction and background
  • Outline of challenge or opportunity
  • Aims and objectives
  • Evidence of consultation and engagement of stakeholders
  • Evidence of effective research
  • Legislative requirements explained and adhered to
  • Analysis of costs and commercial context
  • Identification of measurable improvements and benefits to the organisation Justified recommendations for implementation
  • Proposed timeframes for implementation.

 

The Project could be structured as follows:

  • Introduction and Background
  • Focus, Aims and Objectives
  • Research
  • Findings
  • Conclusions and Recommendations.

 

The Presentation and Question and Answer (Q&A) You will be required to present the findings of your Work-based Project to a panel comprising your IEPA, your ITP and employer. The panel will review your Work-Based Project and use this to plan questions for the Q&A session that follows the Presentation. The Presentation will usually be conducted via our online video conferencing platform. You will be required to deliver a 15-minute presentation which describes the objectives

  • What you set out to achieve
  • What you produced in the project
  • How you approached the work
  • How you dealt with any issues
  • You will also be expected to confirm the demonstration of appropriate interpersonal and behavioural skills

 

The primary focus of the Presentation will be on the work undertaken during the Project, however during the Q&A session the panel will be able to explore your broader experiences to demonstrate that the KSBs defined in the standard have been met. The Q & A session will be of 15 minutes duration. During the Q&A session you will be asked 5 questions.

 

Knowledge Test

The knowledge requirements within the Standard will be tested using a structured series of questions to assess the apprentice’s knowledge to ensure all aspects are given coverage. It should be set at a level which would be expected to be achieved through a Level 5 Diploma (or equivalent) or from training of an equivalent standard, quality and scope. A series of different scenarios and situations will be used, with a series of questions requiring responses which will demonstrate the apprentices knowledge of that particular topic. The knowledge test may be delivered online or be paper-based, and is likely to be multiple choice. The assessment organisation will set out the test specifications including the number of questions to be included, time allowed, and conditions for invigilation, to ensure consistency and quality.

 

Competency Based Interview

The knowledge requirements within the Standard will be tested using a structured series of questions to assess the apprentice’s knowledge to ensure all aspects are given coverage. The interview can be conducted using a range of media (telephone interview, live media, online or written), whichever is the most appropriate for the apprentice.

Competency-based Interview As part of your Operations / Departmental Manager apprenticeship you will be required to hold a structured interview with your Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA).

The Interview is designed to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and application of learning across following areas of the standard:

  • Leading People
  • Managing People
  • Building Relationships
  • Communication
  • Operational Management
  • Project Management Finance.

The Interview will usually take place via our online video conferencing platform and will be recorded to allow the IEPA to review the Interview and make their grading decision. It will last for no more than 60 minutes. The list below gives some example questions or discussion points to help you prepare for your Interview.


Applying the STAR approach will help you to provide details answers that showcase your knowledge and application of learning. STAR approach:

Situation – the context of the example

Task – what you were expected to do/were responsible for doing

Activity – what you actually did

Results – what were the results?

Example questions or discussion points:

Operational Management

  • What role does commercial awareness play in your organisation?
  • What management systems and processes do you use?
  • What examples have you come across of barriers to change and how have you overcome them?

Project Management

  • Explain one of the projects you have been involved in and the project management tools and techniques you used.
  • How have you applied risk management techniques?

Finance

  • What do you need to consider for carrying out financial forecasting?

Leading People

  • What is meant by organisational culture?
  • Explain when you have used different leaderrship styles and why

 

 

Managing people

  • Explain your role in managing your teams.
  • How do you attract the right people for the right job

Building Relationships

  • Give an example of a negotiation you have carried out.
  • What specialist support was available and how did you use this?
  • What are the common causes of conflict? Can you give an example of how you have overcome these?

Communication

  • What are the different roles within a team meeting and the responsibilities of each role?
  • Why do you need to communicate in different ways?

 

The Portfolio

The completed portfolio will be assessed by the Independent Assessor who makes their own judgement on the quality of the work. It will comprise a collection of evidence (preferably in an online portfolio with written, audio and video evidence) which might include: - Written statements - Project plans - Reports - Observations (by Training Provider) - Professional Discussion between Provider and Apprentice - Presentations - Performance reviews - Feedback from line manager, direct reports, colleagues, customers and stakeholders (captured through discussion) - Peer feedback – 180/360 degree assessment type approach The evidence contained in the portfolio will comprise of complete and/or discrete pieces of work that cover the totality of the Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship Standard. This will be a range of materials and documents generated over the period of the apprenticeship and which provide evidence of the apprentices’ ability to apply and demonstrate management and leadership concepts. The portfolio will be produced by the apprentice having first learned and applied the relevant skills/competencies and behaviours. It will demonstrate their very best work, enabling them to demonstrate how they have applied their knowledge and understanding in a real work environment to achieve real work objectives. The portfolio will also show how the apprentice has demonstrated the behaviours, especially around contact with others, team work and areas where they have exceeded the requirements of the role. This can be in the form of manager’s reports, emails, customer comments, peer review etc. The employer and the training provider will assist the apprentice to develop their portfolio to ensure that it is complete and that it covers the totality of the Standard

 

Question and Answer session

The apprentice will provide responses to a series of competency based questions put to them by the panel members. The questions will require the apprentice to draw on their experiences throughout their apprenticeship but will also focus on the findings/recommendations made within their Work Based Project activity. Further guidance will be developed by the employer group and provider steering group, on the nature of presentation and the assessment criteria used, as well as a template for the question and answer session.

 

Professional Discussion relating to Continuing Professional Development

The apprentice will provide evidence of any additional learning/CPD undertaken during the apprenticeship, which will include: · Activity undertaken during the Level 5 Diploma or learning activity · Details of any formal or informal learning undertaken · Details of any professional discussions undertaken or support provided through Professional Bodies

The Professional Discussion will be a dialogue between you and the Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA) to establish your application of the learning and development that has taken place during your period of training.

The Professional Discussion will need to take place in a suitable environment and should last between 20– 30 minutes .

The discussion will usually take place via our online video conferencing platform and will be recorded to allow the IEPA to review the discussion and make their grading decision. You must complete a CPD log throughout your apprenticeship . This must be uploaded at Gateway along with copies of any ILPs or training plans and any certificates achieved. This will form the basis of your discussion.

Your CPD log should include:

  • Activity undertaken during the on-programme qualification, including any assignments or projects.
  • Details of any formal or informal learning undertaken.
  • Details of any professional discussions undertaken or support provided through Professional Bodies.
  • Copies of Training Logs/Plans/Individual Learning Plans (ILP).
  • Copies of Certificates (formal & Informal).

It is recommended that the CPD log should show an average of 2 hours per week as a minimum and include independent learning and research undertaken.

Any off-the-job training undertaken can be included in your CPD record provided that it is correctly recorded and applied. The IEPA will look at these documents and discuss the activities to allow you to fully demonstrate your competence against the standards. During the Discussion you will be asked a minimum of 3 questions.

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