What qualification will I achieve?
Successful apprentices, on completion, will achieve the Project Manager Degree apprenticeship. They will also achieve BA or BSc Honours degree in Project Management. Apprentices are required to achieve an International Project Management Association (IPMA) Level D qualification or equivalent, prior to taking the end point assessment.
Functional skills in Maths and English would be achieved if the apprentices does not already hold the required qualification at the time of starting the apprenticeship standard.
How long is the course?
This apprenticeship will typically take 48 months.
How will I learn?
The apprenticeship will largely take place at the site of the employer, using day to day working activities to underpin knowledge that is learnt. A portion of the apprenticeship will take place at Furness College through classroom based learning. This is likely to be as part of a day release from the employer although each sector has differing delivery structure and this will be discussed with the employer and apprentice.
What subjects will I study?
The apprenticeship will cover a wide range of knowledge, skills and behaviours all of which will assist the student in their day to day work duties. These will include:
Knowledge: A project manager will have knowledge and understanding of:
- Governance and Financial Control of Projects: How to evaluate and establish appropriate project governance through the incorporation of policies, regulations, processes, roles and structures in different project types and organisational structures, accepting that different sizes of organisation require different levels of control. How to manage project budgets and costs within appropriate financial frameworks and how to report project performance, tailoring reporting requirements to comply with governance norms in the business. How to construct robust project business cases that demonstrate the benefits and value expected from project deliverables.
- The Business Environment: How projects contribute to businesses operating in local, regional, national and global economies. Knowledge of the main UK business sectors and the parameters within which they operate.
- Stakeholder and communications management: How to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders to build and maintain their support for successful project outcomes. How to manage the dynamics of stakeholder relationships and needs during the project and develop appropriate and pro-active project communication plans to ensure that all of the multi-skilled, cross-disciplinary stakeholders are aligned.
- Organisational Change Management: How to work with the project sponsor and within a programme to prepare organisations, teams and individuals for organisational change including an analysis of the current state, preparation of an envisaged future state and plans for progressing from one to the other.
- Estimating, Planning and Scheduling: How to develop and manage projects within different planning frameworks to balance the fundamental components of the project. How to prepare and maintain resourced project schedules and use these for project monitoring, control and delivery. How to analyse schedule integrity, dependencies and their implications.
- Project Justification: How to interpret organisational and programme aims and objectives to develop robust business plans and the requirement to revisit such plans at key stages of a project to ensure ongoing viability of the business case. The identification of realistic benefits, both tangible and intangible, and an appreciation of how these might be delivered.
- Quality Management: How to apply quality management frameworks and monitor their impact in a project environment. How to deliver quality within a project environment including assurance, control and continuous improvement of deliverables, processes and procedures.
- Procurement and Contract Management: How to procure goods and services in a cost effective, process driven manner. How to manage projects within commercial and contractual policies, practices and relationships. The importance of supply chain management in a project environment. How to manage the procurement cycle and identify opportunities for maximising benefits through the effective establishment and management of contracts.
- Risk Management: How to apply methodologies for risk evaluation and management. How to mitigate the impact of risks on project performance in terms of schedule, cost and quality.
- Project Change Control: How to apply the concepts of project change control. How to define and use appropriate processes and tools to manage scope, requirements, benefits and success factors of a project. How to analyse the impacts and interdependencies of changes on the project and its deliverables.
- Organisational Strategy: How organisational strategy is the totality of actions a company needs to take to achieve long-term goals and how the processes used by organisations are applied to develop strategic plans. How programmes and projects enable organisations to achieve their short, medium and long-term strategies and how these can vary depending on the size of the organisation.
Skills: A project manager will be able to determine, deploy and evaluate the following skills within their organisation.
- Governance Frameworks: Lead and take responsibility for the project management plan as required by the governance structure. Apply techniques and project management methodologies as appropriate, dependent upon project complexity and criticality to the organisational environment in which a project is being delivered. Maintain, review and communicate a project business case for approval through the stages of a typical project lifecycle ensuring continued value for money and continued alignment with organisational objectives.
- The Business Environment: Identify and analyse the context, opportunities and challenges presented by projects in a range of organisational settings, appreciating the differences within both large and small organisations and in different industry sectors and the consequent need for tailoring. Identify the operating constraints that apply to projects including ethical, legal and regulatory considerations.
- Stakeholder and communications management: Lead and take responsibility for the identification and analysis of internal and external stakeholders and their impact on the project. Manage an effective project communication plan across stakeholders with different cultural and physical barriers. Analyse information and communicate with stakeholders incorporating elements of feedback to understand and measure the effectiveness of planned communications. Effectively listen and influence others through negotiation and persuasion.
- Control of projects in terms of time, cost and quality: Manage the project within the constraints of time, cost and quality. Control expenditure and produce status reports as required, including control of costs against budgets, forecasting, and establishing performance indicators as required by funding sources. Measure progress and actual costs against plans to determine a full understanding of project performance. Identify, achieve and maintain quality standards appropriate to the context and specific requirements of project activities.
- Risk Management: Ensure that project risks, opportunities and issues are addressed using quantitative and qualitative methods to categorise risks and their impacts. Identify, evaluate and implement appropriate mitigation strategies, ensuring that mitigation actions are incorporated into the project plan and are implemented should they develop into issues. Manage risk through the regular review of a risk management plan, adopting appropriate strategies to manage both threats and opportunities.
- Commercial and Contract management: Maintain and evaluate different commercial contract and procurement types to select appropriate options for specific programmes and projects. Support effective contract management and the achievement of programme and project outcomes.
- Project Change Control: Dependent upon the size and complexity of a project, define and apply a recognised process to manage change in projects. Make effective decisions in the interests of a range of stakeholders with regards to change requests. Handle change within different project management methodologies.
- Schedule Management: Evaluate requirements and methods for data capture and analysis in a project environment. Evaluate project schedule integrity including identification and resolution of scheduling problems. Apply resource acquisition and management techniques to balance programme and project needs against resource demand. Negotiate the allocation and scheduling of internal and external resources to meet programme and project demands.
Behaviours: A project manager will be able to demonstrate, and adapt the following behaviours within an organisational context:
- Leadership: Drive for results with the ability to inspire and support project team members and manage stakeholder relationships. Promote the vision, organisational/project purpose and values. Understand and create the environment for an inclusive and diverse organisational culture.
- Collaboration and teamwork: Work collaboratively to build rapport and trust, develop networks and maintain relationships. Build and inspire teams, empower and motivate others to improve performance and achieve outcomes. Delegate tasks, set goals and accountabilities, provide clear guidance and monitor progress.
- Personal and Professional Responsibility: Drive to achieve in all aspects of work. Demonstrate resilience and determination when managing difficult situations and able to influence the behaviour of others to meet required project outcomes. Seek and adopt new opportunities underpinned by commercial acumen and sound judgement.
- Integrity, ethics, and professionalism: Manage with integrity and take an ethical approach to develop trust with stakeholders. Communicate and issue project-related reports and statements in an objective and truthful manner. Maintain professional conduct so as to enhance the honour, reputation, and usefulness of project management as a professional discipline.
- Inclusive: Be open, approachable and authentic and able to build and maintain trust with others. Actively seek the views of others and value diversity internally and externally.
- Innovation and Resourcefulness: Understand the bigger picture and work enthusiastically and creatively to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions to problems. Have a solution focus, not a problem focus and to be positive and adaptable, responding well to feedback and the need for change.
What is off-the-job training?
Off-the-job training is learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. The 20% off-the-job training requirement is measured over the course of an apprenticeship, not per academic year. This is an essential part of the apprenticeship and therefore must take place during employed time and the apprentice must be paid for the off-the-job training.
How will I be assessed?
At the end of the apprenticeship, students will be expected to take part in an end point assessment, this will assess how an apprentice can apply their skills, knowledge and behaviours acquired in their apprenticeship. Throughout the apprenticeship, students will build up a portfolio of work for discussion, which will compromise of evidence produced in the work place to show the apprentice has met the knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard.
Before taking the EPA, the apprentice will need to have met the below requirements:
- Satisfactorily completed training covering the skills, knowledge and behaviours as described in the standard
- Achieved the Mandatory qualifications set out in the standard
- Achieved the required English & Maths qualifications specified in the standard
- Sufficient evidence in the form of a portfolio of evidence to allow the apprentice to consistently demonstrate knowledge, skills and behaviours as described in the standard.
Students need to achieve at least a grade D in a International Project Management Association (IPMA) qual before taking the EPA.
The two assessments carried out for this standard at the end of the apprenticeship are:
- Work based project –must relate to the apprentice’s work environment and must be formally agreed by the employer and academic supervisor. The report on the work based project must evidence the apprentice’s attainment of knowledge, skills and behaviours of a project manager and demonstrate how these have been applied in a project environment.
- Professional review - will synoptically assess knowledge, skills and behaviours as detailed in the standard
What are the entry requirements?
Whilst entry requirements are a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have achieved appropriate level 3 qualifications on entry e.g. 3 GCE “A” Levels at Grades A to C, or a vocational equivalent. Apprentices are also expected to have typically achieved Maths and English at Level 2 prior to starting the apprenticeship.
Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 2 must achieve this prior to taking the end point assessment.
Can I get more information?
For more information please contact us: T: 01229 825017 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
What opportunities will this lead to?
On successful completion, apprentices are eligible to become full members of Association for Project Management (APM), the Chartered Body for the Project Profession.