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Apprenticeships

Associate Project Manager - Level 5 (Standard)

Course overview

Projects can be defined and delivered within different contexts, across diverse industry sectors. They can be large or small. Every project needs to be managed to ensure its success. An associate project manager knows what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take and how much it will cost, and works with the project team to achieve the required outcomes. Associate project managers need good planning, organisation, leadership, management and communication skills.

An associate project manager utilises resources with suitable skills, qualifications, experience and knowledge to work together in a motivated and integrated team, with clearly defined reporting lines, roles, responsibilities and authorities. Dependent upon the size of the organisations and the complexity of projects, associate project managers’ job titles will vary, but typically they can include: assistant project manager, junior project manager, project team leader. Some organisations use ‘project manager’ as a generic job title.

What will I learn as an apprentice?

Skills:
Project Governance:
>Project monitoring and reporting cycle to track, assess and interpret performance by the application of monitoring techniques to analyse status and manage information.

Stakeholder and Communications Management:
>Manage stakeholders, taking account of their levels of influence and particular interests. Manage conflicts and negotiations. Communicate to a variety of different audiences. Contribute to negotiations relating to project objectives.

Budget and Cost Control:
>Develop and agree project budgets, monitor forecast and actual costs against them and control changes. Support funding submissions. Tracking systems for actual costs, accruals and committed costs; structures for alternative cost breakdowns.

Business Case:
> Contribute to the preparation or maintenance of a business case including achieving required outcomes

Scope Management:
>Determine, control and manage changes to the scope of a project, including assumptions, dependencies and constraints.

Consolidated Planning:
> Consolidate and document the fundamental components of projects. Monitor progress against the consolidated plan and refine as appropriate, implementing the change control process where relevant.

Schedule Management:
> Prepare and maintain schedules for activities aligned to project delivery.

Risk and Issue Management:
> Identify and monitor project risk or opportunity, plan and implement responses to them, contribute to a risk management plan. Respond to and manage issues within a defined governance structure.

Contract Management and Procurement:
> Facilitate a procurement process, contribute to the definition of contractual agreements and contribute to managing a contract.

Quality Management:
>Develop a quality management plan, manage project assurance and contribute to peer reviews. Utilise an organisation’s continual improvement process including lessons learned.

Resource Management:
> Develop resource management plans for project activities, acquire and manage resources including commitment acceptance, monitor progress against plans.

Knowledge:
Project Governance:
> Different types of organisational structures and responsibilities, functions and project phases on different types of project. How governance can control and manage the successful delivery of projects. The significance of the project management plan (PMP).

Project Stakeholder Management:
> Stakeholders: their perspectives, different interests and levels of influence upon project outcomes.

Project Communication:
> Key contexts of a project communication plan, its effectiveness in managing different stakeholders. Factors which can affect communications such as cultural and physical barriers.

Project Leadership:
> The vision and values of the project and its links to objectives; the ways in which these can be effectively communicated and reinforced to team members and stakeholders. Leadership styles, qualities and the importance of motivation on team performance. Characteristics of the working environment which encourage and sustain high performance.

Consolidated Planning:
>Purpose and formats for consolidated plans to support overall management, taking account of lessons learnt and how the plans balance fundamental components of scope, schedule, resources, budgets, risks and quality requirements.

Budgeting and Cost Control:
>Funding, estimating, overheads; direct costs, indirect costs, fixed costs, variable costs and an overall budget for a project; tracking systems for actual costs, accruals and committed costs; alternative cost breakdowns to provide for graphical representations and performance management.

Business Case and Benefits Management:
>Preparation and/or maintenance of business cases, including benefits management.

Project Scope:
>Requirements management and evaluation of alternative methods to learn from the past to improve delivery. Project scope change control, baseline change management, configuration management.

Project Schedule:
> Scheduling and estimating for project activities including how they can be quality assessed. Progress monitoring and metrics to assess work performed against the schedule. Schedule management methods to evaluate and revise activities to improve confidence in delivery.

Resource Management:
> Resource analysis, resource allocation and resource acceptance.

Project Risk and Issue Management:
> The need for and implementation of a risk management plan. Risk management methods and techniques to identify and prioritise threats or opportunities. Mitigation actions to minimise risk impacts and to optimise benefits by managing opportunities.

Contract Management and Procurement:
>The nature of contracts and their implications for contracting organisations. Procurement processes. Legal and ethical means for managing contracts.

Project Quality:
> Quality management processes, assurance and improvements. Outcomes of a quality management plan, metrics for processes and quality standards.

Project Context:
> The different contexts in which projects can be delivered, including health, safety and environment management. The interdependencies between project(s), programme(s) and portfolio management. Project phases and key review points, across project life cycles.

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set their own entry requirements for their apprentices. Typically candidates will have achieved a grade C or above in at least 5 GCSEs including English and mathematics and hold a minimum of 48 UCAS points, or equivalent.

Either before or during the apprenticeship, apprentices will be required to achieve level 2 qualifications in English and mathematics prior to taking end point assessment (EPA). Apprentices are required to achieve a suitable level of knowledge as part of their development such that they achieve an IPMA Level D qualification or APM Project Management Qualification, prior to their EPA.

How will I be assessed?

The End Point Assessment (EPA) can only be triggered after 12 months of starting the apprenticeship and is dependent on when the employer and training provider decide the apprentice is ready. EPA is typically expected to conclude within 3 months. The employer has the final decision to progress the apprentice to EPA. The apprentice and training provider should feel confident the learning outcomes have been achieved.

The EPA consists of three elements, all of which may be completed online. All assessment methods need to be passed. Each assessment method should directly assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the Standard. The assessor has the final decision.