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Level 7  The Senior Leader Apprenticeship – Business Management with optional top-up MBA



This apprenticeship standard was co-developed by businesses, professional bodies, and training providers to ensure that the development and demonstration of key skills and behaviors are given equal, if not, more weighting to pure academic knowledge. From 29 March 2021 the Master’s degree was no longer part of the apprenticeship.

However, we are pleased to announce that participants will have an opportunity to top-up into an MBA for a small additional fee and where they will need to work on a dissertation.

The Senior Leader programme follows a work-based and problem-based learning approach, and participant will be expected to demonstrate how they have utilised their learning and development in solving business-related issues and problems by integrating and building on perspectives from the course and the learning material, plus their own contexts

Participants will complete six core modules and be assessed on how they have been applied in their workplace.  Participants must pull together all of their technical knowledge plus their skills and behaviour training to demonstrate competencies across the whole Senior Leader Standard

The End Point Assessment for the programme comprises of a presentation of a Strategic Business Proposal, plus questioning and a Professional Discussion underpinned by a Portfolio of Evidence

London Examinations Board has a unique apprenticeship programme with an option for participants to top-up into a UK MBA.  The top-up comprises a research-methods module(s) and dissertation with the University of Gloucestershire or the University of South Wales . This is not part of the apprenticeship and must be undertaken in your own time outside of work


This Senior Leader programme is designed for professionals and employees at management level who want to add more value and be equipped for senior leadership positions. It is recommended for individuals in or moving into a senior role

Our programme focuses on shaping leaders in the private and public sectors. From general managers to chief executive officers, the qualification allows them to realise their full career potential

There is no age restriction but:

      • You are an existing PAYE employee or a new hire in a real job in England

      • Your employer agrees for you to spend at least 20 percent of your working time doing off-the-job training i.e., on the apprenticeship programme

      • You already have GCSEs or equivalent in English and Maths (otherwise this must be achieved before Gateway)

      • You have a Bachelor’s degree or have at least three years’ work experience at a supervisory level

    If you do not have a degree but you have other professional qualifications and/or managerial experience – this may be sufficient. Please contact us for further information


        • Participants will gain the knowledge, behaviours and skills to confidently engage in sustainable, evidence-based business decision-making

        • Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of how to shape organisations, explore new market strategies, apply economic theory and build high-performing collaborative teams

        • From the start, Participants are required to apply what is being taught to their employment context: reflecting on their work-based experience and solving real issues faced in their organisation

        • Participants are being empowered to undertake £14,000 worth of respected training and learning and achieve valuable training which is free for apprentices and at nil or low cost to the organisation

        • It is a £14,000 tax-free perk for an employee which should engender increased loyalty to the employer

        • The organisation will continue to have all the normal statutory employer responsibilities for the Participants. The employers will need to agree to provide paid time-off from work for study, provide in-company support/mentoring for the participant and collaborate with London Examinations Board. However, the participant continues to devote most of his working day to the job

        • They will undertake a Master’s-level programme covering business, financial, management and leadership issues that all companies face while working and earning their salary

        • While having on-the-job training at Master’s-level they will be able to apply what they learn quite early on in the programme


      Phase 1: Months 1 – 14

      The Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Strategy and Innovation’s six core modules (PGDLSI).  Each module is over a 2-month period to allow you to properly apply the knowledge you gain.  Each module is delivered through live online lectures held every week for 8 weeks, plus online learning.  The core modules are:

          1. Managerial Accounting

          1. Strategic Management

          1. Strategic Human Resource

          1. Corporate Governance, Ethics and CSR

          1. Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship

          1. Leading Change

        Assessment of each Module is a written assignment of about 2,000 words for the testing of knowledge; and evidencing the achievement of the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviours with your skills coach/assessor  


         Phase 2: Months 14 – 16
        Preparing for EPA:

          • A 500-word Strategic Business Proposal summary (this must be agreed by the employer and approved by ILM)

          • Outline of a Strategic Business Proposal

          • Completed Strategic Business Proposal Matrix

          • Compiled Portfolio of Evidence

        Phase 3: By month 18

        ILM End Point Assessment.  Before starting the EPA, an apprentice must meet the Gateway requirements, i.e.:

          • the employer must be content that the participant is working at or above the occupational standard

          • the participant must have achieved English and mathematics at Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent at grade C or above)

          • the participant has prepared the 500-word Strategic Business Proposal summary (this must be agreed by the employer and approved by ILM)

          • a completed Strategic Business Proposal Matrix

          • a compiled Portfolio of Evidence

        The End Point Assessment Officer (EPAO) must confirm that all required gateway evidence has been provided and accepted as meeting the gateway requirements. The EPAO is responsible for confirming gateway eligibility. Once this has been confirmed, the EPA period starts

        This EPA should then be completed within an EPA period lasting typically for 3 to 5 months. This EPA consists of 2 discrete assessment methods

        Phase 4: After EPA 

        The optional MBA top-up.  Having completed the 6 core modules and EPA , you will be able to undertake the top-up MBA.  This will comprise either research methods module plus dissertation delivered and supervised by us; or research methods modules delivered and assessed by the University of South Wales and submission of a Dissertation

        There is a small fee for the top-up MBA qualification and this is your responsibility.  It can either be paid just before you are accepted by the University or by monthly instalments.  If you pay by instalments you will be fully refunded if you change your mind about the top-up MBA prior to you starting it


        From start to finish this Senior Leader Programme should take no more than 18 months.  If the top-up MBA is to be included, then the programme + MBA top-up can be completed in 2 to 2 ½ years.  It is delivered on a part-time basis, i.e., while the participant continues to work for the organisation


        If an organisation has a payroll bill of over £3 million each year – it pays the Levy. It can use its Levy funds only for apprenticeship training

        If the employing organisation doesn’t pay the Levy or if it has used all its Levy there is co-investment where it only pays 5% of the training costs and the government pays 95%

        The funds cannot pay for other costs associated with participants (e.g., wages, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, work placement programmes or the setting up of the programme)

        The funds can only be used up to the funding band maximum for the programme (£14,000 for the Senior Leader programme). It cannot be used to pay for the top-up MBA.  This cost is the participant’s responsibility


        End Point Assessment method 1: Strategic business proposal, presentation with questioning (this assessment method has 2 components)

        Component 1: Strategic business proposal (undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway)

        The assessment method is the production of a strategic business proposal, presentation and questioning. The strategic business proposal must be undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway

        A strategic business proposal involves the participant completing a relevant and defined piece of work that has a real business benefit. Participants will prepare and deliver a presentation that, along with the strategic business proposal, appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. It will be followed by questioning from the independent assessor

        The strategic business proposal should be designed to ensure that the participant’s work meets the needs of the organisation, 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 strategic business proposal does not need to be fully implemented during the EPA period, but it must be a comprehensive strategic business proposal that will enable full implementation at an appropriate time for the organisation. The strategic business proposal must include evidence of a board or senior leader sign-off for implementation

        The strategic business proposal’s word limit is 4,000 words (+/- 10% at the apprentice’s discretion) excluding tables, graphs, figures, references and annexes.  The 4,000 words is reflective of the real world that senior leaders work in and aligns with this role’s demands, as well as adding real value

        The participant will have 12 weeks to write and submit the strategic business proposal and presentation, following the EPAO’s approval of the strategic business proposal’s scope and title

        Component 2: Presentation with questioning

        Participants will prepare and deliver a presentation that appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. The purpose of the questioning is to seek clarification of the strategic business proposal or presentation, to assess the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and behaviours and to assess those KSBs that the participant did not have the opportunity to demonstrate with the strategic business proposal, although these should be kept to a minimum

        The presentation must be submitted at the same time as the strategic business proposal (no later than 12 weeks after the Gateway). The independent assessor should have two weeks to review the strategic business proposal prior to the presentation

        The participant will be given 4 weeks’ notice of the presentation date to allow the independent assessor sufficient time to review the strategic business proposal and presentation and prepare appropriate questions

        The presentation will typically last for 20 minutes, and the questioning will typically last for 40 minutes. The discretionary additional 10% time can be allocated in any proportion across the presentation and questioning

        End-point assessment method 2Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence (this assessment method has 1 component)

        A professional discussion is a two-way discussion which involves both the independent assessor and the participant actively listening and participating in a formal conversation. It gives the participant the opportunity to make detailed and proactive contributions to confirm their competency across the KSBs mapped to this method

        The professional discussion was selected as a valid way to draw out KSBs, in particular behaviours. It allows for a range of examples to be brought forward during the two-way conversation and ensures that excellence can be achieved and acknowledged. It allows the participant to be assessed against KSBs that may not naturally occur during other assessment methods. It enables the participant to demonstrate the application of skills and behaviours as well as knowledge

        It allows scope for the participant to demonstrate the depth and breadth of KSBs, allowing for a distinction marking

        The professional discussion must last for 60 minutes. The independent assessor has the discretion to increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10% to allow the participant to complete their last answer

        The participant will be encouraged to refer to their portfolio of evidence during the professional discussion to support their responses

        The portfolio of evidence

        This should be complied during the programme period and must contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by the professional discussion.

          • It will typically contain 15 discrete pieces of evidence

          • Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested

          • Evidence must be clearly mapped, in an annex, against the KSBs allocated to this assessment method

          • Evidence sources may include*:
              • video/audio extracts (these should be a maximum of 5 minutes in length)

              • written statements

              • project plans

              • observation reports

              • presentations to feedback from managers, supervisors or peers (any employer or peer contributions should focus only direct observation of evidence (for example witness statements) rather than opinions

              • papers or reports written by the apprentice

              • performance reviews

        This is not a definitive list; and other evidence sources are allowable

        The portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed/marked. It underpins the professional discussion


        This is an opportunity for learners who have successfully completed the 6 taught modules and EPA. Our top-up MBA partner is either the University of South Wales or the University of Gloucestershire.

        The Dissertation with the University of South Wales

        The taught element of the dissertation will be delivered synchronously online and be supported by two synchronous lectures delivered by University of South Wales staff.  

        Assessment of the 20 credits USW Research Methods is by two components consisting of a 2,500-word assignment critically appraising quantitative research methods and a 3,000-word assignment on qualitative research methods where students collect and analyse qualitative data

        The Dissertation of 12,000 words carries 40 credits 

        The Dissertation with the University of Gloucestershire

        This is delivered by us and includes an unassessed research methods module.  The dissertation of 10% goes to the Research Proposal (1,500 words); 80% goes to the dissertation/major project of 15,000 words; and 10% goes to a Reflective Paper of 1,500 words.


        London Examinations Board has significant experience in delivering Master’s level programmes and pathways in partnership with various universities in the UK, Australia, USA and Europe

        Over a thousand of our learners have graduated with an MBA from our partner universities.  Our experience has given us complete confidence that, as an established training provider, we can cater to the needs of individual learners who wish to develop their knowledge through structured and customised learning

        Our Senior Leader Programme will be delivered online so it is more flexible to meet employers’ and participants requirements and by taking into account your family and work needs.  We are not a university delivering only academic focused learning

        Face-to-face learning will take place via live online lectures and workshops to create the most conducive and best possible learning experience

        Participants on the optional top-up MBA are also welcome to attend a graduation ceremony at the relevant University

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