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Business Analyst Level 4

This role is found in the public and private sector, large multi-national companies and smaller independent enterprises. Business analysis exists in almost every sector, from not-for-profit organisations through to retail and the financial services. It’s fast-paced and collaborative and provides a recognised career with professionals taking lead roles in successful change delivery.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to understand the needs of stakeholders and how these can be met through business change and digital solutions. Business Analysts are change professionals that help organisations deliver business and digital change successfully.

Business Analysts document business problems and user needs, and create solution requirements that align to best practices, and present them in a meaningful and logical way appropriate to the audience. Business Analysts manage stakeholder relationships, ensuring collaboration between business and technical stakeholders. By focusing on benefits and outcomes they ensure the right problems are solved and the right products are developed.

A common area of focus for the Business Analyst role is to model business processes and to facilitate, coordinate and document requirements for the proposed business and IT changes. Business Analysts will determine and present solutions of how technology can be used to deliver business improvements, and support business acceptance to ensure that the proposed solution meets the defined requirements.

They help businesses to understand the current organisational situation, identify future needs and define solutions to meet those needs, often in relation to digital technology. Business Analysts can gain an excellent understanding of the way the organisation works and the sector it operates in. This allows Business Analysts to make recommendations for improvement in relation to people, processes and IT. By analysing, documenting and managing requirements throughout the delivery lifecycle, they help achieve successful business outcomes through new processes, data and/or technology.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a broad range of stakeholders, including customers, business users, suppliers, product owners, software developers, testers and senior leaders. These stakeholders include people both internal and external to the organisation.

Business Analysts play a key role in multidisciplinary teams by collaborating with different groups of stakeholders, working to understand and communicate how digital solutions can support the organisation’s needs. They interact with stakeholders through leading workshops, conducting interviews and using other techniques to effectively understand the business problems and user needs.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for investigating business situations, and analysing problems and opportunities for improvement. They will be responsible for investigating and analysing business processes, understanding data and business information needs, and documenting requirements for digital and business change solutions.

Occupation duties

Duty 1: Apply structured techniques to investigate wants, needs, problems and opportunities

Duty 2: Document the current situation and apply relevant techniques to structure information

Duty 3: Assist in the development of options and recommendations for change

Duty 4: Model business processes using relevant techniques

Duty 5: Perform business process analysis and improvement

Duty 6: Redesign business process models in order to reflect changes in working practice or deliver improvements

Duty 7: Undertake requirements elicitation with stakeholders to identify business and user needs

Duty 8: Analyse, validate, prioritise and document functional and non-functional requirements for business situations, using relevant techniques

Duty 9: Identify data requirements relating to business improvement

Duty 10: Assist in the management and controlled change of requirements

Duty 11: Support the creation of data models to illustrate how data is represented within a business system

Duty 12: Compare current and future state business situations in order to identify the changes required for business improvement

Duty 13: Define acceptance criteria for business and system changes, and support business acceptance

Duty 14: Identify and analyse stakeholders impacted by a proposed change, understand their perspectives and assess how their interests are best managed

Duty 15: Assess and document the drivers, costs, benefits and impacts of a proposed business change

EXTERNAL END-POINT ASSESSMENT

Length of end-point assessment period

The EPA will be completed within an EPA period lasting typically of 3 months, starting when the EPAO has confirmed that all gateway requirements have been met.

Order of assessment methods

The assessment methods can be delivered in any order. The portfolio is created prior to the gateway, both assessment methods take place post-gateway. Each KSB is assessed by one assessment method only.

Assessment method 1: Project proposal with presentation and questioning 

This assessment method has 2 components: 

  • 5,000-word Project Proposal
  • 45 minutes Presentation and Questioning

Overview

The assessment method is the production of a project proposal, presentation and questioning. The work is carried out after the apprentice has gone through the gateway.

A project proposal involves the apprentice completing a relevant and defined piece of work that has a real business benefit. The project proposal must be undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. Apprentices will prepare and deliver a presentation that, along with the proposal, appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. It will be followed by questioning from the independent assessor.

The project proposal should be designed to ensure that the apprentice’s work meets the needs of the business, is relevant to their role and allows the relevant KSBs to be assessed for the EPA. The employer will ensure it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure it meets the requirements of the EPA, including suitable coverage of the KSBs assigned to this assessment method as shown in the mapping of assessment methods. The proposal will be a detailed project implementation proposal that will enable the project to be fully implemented. The project does not need to be fully implemented during the EPA period. The implementation of the project proposal must begin during the EPA period and ensure that S1, S5, S6 and S7 can be assessed and progress against these skills must be discussed during the presentation.

Apprentices must include evidence of management/leadership support of the project proposal detailing what has been implemented to date, which must be included as an appendix so that this can be discussed during the presentation (this could be either an email, letter or similar written confirmation).

Assessment method 1 component 1: Project proposal

The project proposal may be based on any of the following:

  • an idea/opportunity to improve the business or a system by using Business Analysis techniques and stakeholder engagement
  • a specific business problem concerning stakeholder engagement challenges to be addressed using Business Analysis techniques
  • a recurring issue with stakeholder relationships within a Business Analysis context to be addressed using Business Analysis techniques.

The EPAO must provide a generic specification for a range of qualifying projects, to enable the employer to select a project that will meet the requirements of the EPA. Note that the employer is not restricted to this selection.

Typical project proposal titles could cover:

  • How business improvement can be achieved through Business Analysis and stakeholder engagement.
  • Application of Business Analysis approaches to optimise stakeholder engagement 
  • How Business Analysis techniques may be used to improve customer relationships 
  • How Business Analysis approaches to stakeholder analysis and management can be used to identify business challenges 

The list above is not exhaustive but the EPAO should sign off the project proposal’s title and scope to confirm its suitability at the gateway. The employer is responsible for ensuring it has a real business benefit and the EPAO is responsible for confirming that it provides appropriate coverage of the KSBs. In order to ensure that all the EPA related work is completed during the EPA period, the EPAO must be involved in determining the focus of the project scope and title at the gateway.

Assessment method 1 component 2 – Presentation with questioning

A presentation with questioning involves an apprentice presenting to an independent assessor. It will be followed by questioning from the independent assessor.

The presentation will be based on the project proposal and will cover the themes detailed below in the delivery section.

Apprentices will prepare and deliver a presentation that appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. Followed by questioning from the independent assessor. The purpose of the questioning is to enable the independent assessor to seek clarification of the proposal or presentation, to assess the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and behaviours, and to assess any KSBs that the apprentice did not have the opportunity to demonstrate with the proposal, although these should be kept to a minimum.

A copy of the presentation should be submitted at the same time as the project proposal (a maximum of 6 weeks after the EPAO signed off the project proposal). The independent assessor should have two weeks to review the proposal prior to the presentation. The apprentice needs to notify the EPAO at the submission of the project proposal and presentation of any technical requirements for the presentation component.

The presentation will be presented to an independent assessor, either face-to-face or via online video conferencing.

The rationale for this assessment method is:

  • A Business Analyst is required in their occupation to be able to present clearly and effectively. Assessing occupation competence in this way aligns to the requirements of the occupation.
  • The presentation enables assessment of KSBs that would not be assessable in the project proposal, for example, use of presentation and communication skills.
  • The method can be delivered remotely and thereby is cost effective due to reducing assessor travelling time.

The presentation will typically last for 15 minutes, and the questioning will typically last for 30 minutes. The independent assessor will ask a minimum of 10 questions at the end of the presentation.

To deliver the presentation, the apprentice should have access to:

  • Audio-visual presentation equipment
  • Flip chart and writing and drawing materials
  • Computer
  • Any other requirements as notified to the EPAO on submission of the project proposal and presentation.

This is a creative opportunity for Business Analyst apprentices to display their presentation ability and ideas, so this list is not exhaustive.

Assessment method 2: Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio (This assessment method has 1 component)

Overview

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion which must be appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and cover the KSBs assigned to this assessment method. It will involve the questions that will focus on the KSBs mapped to this method.

The rationale for this assessment method is:

  • This will allow some KSBs which may not naturally occur in every workplace or may take too long to observe to be assessed and the assessment of a disparate set of KSBs.
  • The method can be delivered remotely and thereby is cost effective due to reducing assessor travelling time.
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