Serco Education

Operations Manager Apprenticeship (External)


The Operations Manager Apprenticeship (course code 535 for non-Serco managers) is suitable for anyone who manages teams and/or projects/resources. The Operations Manager Apprenticeship includes a Level 5 Diploma in Management & Leadership and is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

Please read through the detailed programme information below, including the Key Documents:

Course code: 535

Duration: 18 months approx.

Accreditation: CMI

Level: 5

Programme details

The Operations Manager Apprenticeship (OMA) will include face-to-face sessions with online and work-based learning, covering a wide range of management and leadership skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours.  

We offer two versions of the OMA programme, one for Serco-only managers (course code: 530) and one for all external, non-Serco managers (course code: 535). Information and supporting documents on this page refer to the external, non-Serco OMA programme (course code: 535).

The Operations Manager Apprenticeship will support you in developing your personal management and leadership capabilities, make effective use of information in decision-making, planning marketing activites and resource management.  On completion of this apprenticeship, you can register as a member of the Chartered Management Institute and those with 3 years' of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through CMI.

The Operations Manager Apprenticeship will cover the following units:

  • Introduction to Management  & Leadership (this unit is about the foundation skills and knowledge of a middle manager and leader)
  • Organisational financial management (this unit is about financial management systems and controls and the impact of external factors on organisational financial management)
  • Conducting a management project (this unit is about identifying, researching and producing a work-related project and evaluating its impact)
  • Information-based decisions (this unit is about using, presenting and communicating data that supports decision making)
  • Managing teams and individual performance (this unit is about the management of individual and team performance and how to improve performance)

Successful apprentices will achieve:

  • A Level 5 Diploma in Management & Leadership
  • CMI membership (with an option to apply for Chartered Management status if eligible)
  • On-the-job experience
  • A professional pathway for future development
  • Level 2 in Maths and English (if you don't already have these qualifications)

Who can apply?

The Operations Manager Apprenticeship is open to anyone who manages teams and/or projects and resources, including those who already have a Level 5 or higher qualification in disciplines other than business.  

If you are a manager, based in England, of any age and you are responsible for managing projects, tasks or people, then you may be eligible to join the programme.

It is essential that you have the support of your line manager.

A minimum of English & Maths at Level 2 which is equivalent to GCSE grade A*- C are required in order to complete this apprenticeship, but if you don't have these qualifications we can help you gain the level 2 requirements during your studies.

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone currently undertaking an apprenticeship or DfE funded programme of study will not be eligible for a higher apprenticeship until they have completed their current apprenticeship/studies.

Other considerations

The apprenticeship levy will normally cover the cost of the training programme but doesn’t cover travel costs to workshops, etc., or accommodation (if you need this).  Salaries will not be covered.

This is an exciting opportunity to gain a level 5 diploma in management and leadership as part of your apprenticeship whilst working full time but please think carefully about your time commitment and how you will manage the day-job.  Although the programme is delivered flexibly there will be deadlines for assignments and attendance at workshops is mandatory.  Should you wish to discuss this further please contact Serco Education either by phone on 01452 930 300 (office hours) or email:

Remember to discuss this opportunity with your line manager who will be required to support you during your studies and will be involved with the personal review process as part of the programme.

Please note that, whilst your learning will be guided, with support from your facilitators (at the workshops and online) and your coach, you will be expected to work through the learning materials via our learning platform.  Each block of modules which you study will have a start and end date and you may have one or two milestones during the module, but aside from these it will be up to you to determine the pace at which you study and the amount of additional reading you do.  This may be a different style of learning to your previous experience and it relies on your own motivation to succeed.

Is this the right programme for you?

It is extremely important to seriously consider if this is the right programme for you and your career development. To assist your decision please complete the following document which contains some extremely useful exercises to help with your decision:

Ready to apply?

If you have read the information and Key documents on this page and believe this is the course for you, please click here to access the OMA (External) application area and apply online.

Expressions of Interest

If you are interested in studying the OMA progrmme later this year or next year, please email to register your interest (and include the town/region you are based in).  We will add you to our 'expressions of interest' register and contact you as soon as further start dates are confirmed.

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