Operations / Departmental Manager Level 5 – ST0385

Operations / Departmental Manager 

An Operations or Departmental Manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects, and achieves 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 a business owner. Working in the private, public or third sector and in all sizes of organisations, 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

Gateway Requirement 

The decision to take an apprentice through Gateway is made between the employer, training provider and apprentice, typically after 24 – 30 months on-programme. The apprentice must have completed all on-programme elements before they enter Gateway, including the completion of a Portfolio of Evidence and Level 2 in English and Maths.

End-point Assessment (EPA)

EPA consists of two discrete assessment methods. These can be delivered in any order – via remote assessment – and are weighted equally in their contribution to the overall EPA grade.

Assessment MethodDurationMinimum gradeMaximum grade
Professional discussion, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence60 mins (+10% discretion)PassDistinction
Project proposal, presentation and questioning60 mins (+10% discretion)PassDistinction

Professional discussion, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

The Professional Discussion will be appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and will cover the KSBs assigned to this assessment method. It is an in-depth, two-way dialogue between the apprentice and the IEA, encouraging the apprentice to explore their own practice and experience.

Project proposal, presentation and questioning

This assessment method consists of 2 components; the Project Proposal and the Presentation with Questioning. The Project Proposal involves the apprentice completing a relevant and defined piece of work that has a real business benefit, this will comprise 4,000 words.  The project proposal must be undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway and the maximum duration is 12 weeks.

Both assessments are graded Fail, Pass, or Distinction.

To achieve a Distinction, the apprentice must meet all of the Pass descriptors and Distinction descriptors assigned to this method. Example: –

Presentation with Q&AProfessional Discussionunderpinned by a portfolio of evidenceOverall grading


The IEA will not provide the apprentice (or their manager) with a preliminary grade, as it will be subject to Skillsfirst internal quality assurance processes. Skillsfirst will aim to confirm the apprentice’s final and overall grade approximately 10 working days after the last assessment.


Once moderation is complete and the apprentice has successfully completed all EPA methods, Skillsfirst will activate certification through the Apprenticeship assessment service. Certificates will be sent directly to the employer.

You can download a copy of the information on this page here

A link to the Operations / Departmental Manager standards page, can be found here