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Overview of the role

A leader who has senior management responsibility.

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Senior leader

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in small, medium and large organisations in the public, private or third sectors and in all areas of the economy including health, finance, engineering, manufacturing, business and professional services, education, retail, leisure, technology and construction. Senior Leaders are a key component of all types of business model where there is a workforce to lead, manage and support. The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide clear, inclusive and strategic leadership and direction relating to their area of responsibility within an organisation. Typically, this involves setting, managing and monitoring achievement of core objectives that are aligned to the overall strategic objectives of their organisation’s Board (or equivalent). In a smaller organisation they are also likely to contribute to the execution and achievement of these strategic objectives. A Senior Leader influences at a higher organisational level, including sometimes at Board (or equivalent) level, and sets the culture and tone across their area of responsibility. They may work in varied environments including in an office, onsite, or remotely and demonstrate a high level of flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of the organisation. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal stakeholders such as members of their team, other senior leaders/managers, support services (for example: finance, marketing, HR) and project groups and, in larger organisations, they may be part of a wider specialist team. Depending on the size of their organisation, a Senior Leader may be responsible for reporting results relating to their area of responsibility to a Board, trustees, shareholders, executive team or to other senior management within the organisation. Externally, a Senior Leader acts as an ambassador for their organisation with wide-ranging networks typically involving customers/clients, supply chains and statutory/regulatory bodies. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for 

• Setting direction, vision, governance and providing a clear sense of purpose for their area of responsibility.
• Providing clear and inclusive leadership.
• Identifying longer-term opportunities and risks using data from internal intelligence sources and external influences.
• Developing ethical, innovative and supportive cultures that get the best from people and enable the delivery of results.
• Resources that may include budgets, people, assets and facilities.
• Staying up to date with innovation and championing its adoption.
• Keeping pace with - and responding to change - by leading agile transformation.
• Leading and promoting sustainable business practices.
• Responding and managing crisis situations.

Typical job titles include:

Associate director Business unit head Chief executive officer Chief financial officer Chief information officer Chief operating officer Divisional head Executive director He registrar Head of department/faculty Warrant officer


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Set the overall strategic direction of their area of responsibility in partnership with the Board (or equivalent), encouraging employees to buy into the organisation’s vision.

K1 K2 K6 K13 K14

S1 S2 S10 S11

B2

Duty 2 Lead on the development and critical review of operational policies and practices within their area of responsibility, to ensure they are aligned to the needs of the organisation and remain fit for purpose and sustainable.

K2 K6 K16 K19

S2 S7 S10 S11

B2

Duty 3 Lead and influence agreed projects to deliver organisational strategy such as change and agile transformation programmes, diversification, new product implementation, and customer experience improvement.

K3 K5 K6 K7 K14 K15

S2 S3 S4

B2 B3

Duty 4 Make decisions about organisational resource requirements (budgets, people, technology) based on strategic insight and reliable evidence.

K4 K6 K7 K8 K9

S5 S7 S10 S11 S12

B2

Duty 5 Lead and respond to crisis management, assessing the risks and opportunities which could affect business/department performance, and finding solutions that meet the needs of both the organisation and its customers/stakeholders in a responsible and ethical way.

K5 K6 K17 K19

S4 S5 S8

B1

Duty 6 Lead people development including talent management, succession planning, workforce design, and coaching, and mentoring arrangements for people within their area of responsibility.

K6 K10 K11 K18

S2 S9 S13 S14 S15 S16 S18

B1 B4 B5

Duty 7 Promote an ethical, inclusive, innovative and supportive culture that generates continuous business improvement.

K6 K10 K11

S4 S9 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18

B1 B4 B5

Duty 8 Report to the Board (or relevant governance/management structure) on the progress of their operational activities towards achieving business goals.

K12 K13

S19 S20

B1

Duty 9 Cultivate and maintain collaborative relationships with key senior internal and external stakeholders to influence key decision makers as appropriate.

K4 K7 K12 K13

S2 S6 S19

B1

Duty 10 Shape the approach to external communications for their area of responsibility and ensure it aligns with any wider organisational communications strategy.

K15 K20

S2 S21

B1

Duty 11 Proactively keep up to date with social, economic and technological trends and developments relevant to their area of responsibility and wider organisation, and promote innovation to address changing requirements and to take advantage of new opportunities.

K3 K4 K7 K19

S3 S4 S7 S9 S13

B3

Duty 12 Ensure that their area of responsibility is compliant with internal governance, such as any assurance framework requirements, and with external governance, such as any regulatory and statutory requirements.

K2 K9

S3 S8 S12

B3


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: How to shape organisational mission, culture and values. Back to Duty

K2: Organisation structures; business modelling; diversity; global and horizon scanning perspectives; governance and accountability; technological and policy implications. Back to Duty

K3: New market strategies, changing customer demands and trend analysis. Back to Duty

K4: Innovation; the impact of disruptive technologies (mechanisms that challenge traditional business methods and practices); drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture and sustainability. Back to Duty

K5: Systems thinking, knowledge/data management, research methodologies and programme management. Back to Duty

K6: Ethics and values-based leadership theories and principles. Back to Duty

K7: Competitive strategies and entrepreneurialism, approaches to effective decision making, and the use of big data and insight to implement and manage change. Back to Duty

K8: Financial strategies, for example scenarios, modelling and identifying trends, application of economic theory to decision-making, and how to evaluate financial and non- financial information. Back to Duty

K9: Financial governance and legal requirements, and procurement strategies. Back to Duty

K10: Organisational/team dynamics and how to build engagement and develop high performance, agile and collaborative cultures. Back to Duty

K11: Approaches to strategic workforce planning, for example, talent management, learning organisations, group work, workforce design, succession planning, diversity and inclusion. Back to Duty

K12: Influencing and negotiating strategies both upwards and outwards. Back to Duty

K13: The external social and political environment and use of diplomacy with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders. Back to Duty

K14: Working with board and other company leadership structures. Back to Duty

K15: Brand and reputation management. Back to Duty

K16: Working with corporate leadership structures, for example, the markets it operates in, roles and responsibilities, who its stakeholders are and what they require from the organisation and the sustainability agenda. Back to Duty

K17: Crisis and risk management strategies. Back to Duty

K18: Coaching and mentoring techniques. Back to Duty

K19: Approaches to developing a Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Back to Duty

K20: The organisation’s developing communications strategy and its link to their area of responsibility. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Use horizon scanning and conceptualisation to deliver high performance strategies focusing on growth/sustainable outcomes. Back to Duty

S2: Set strategic direction and gain support for it from key stakeholders. Back to Duty

S3: Undertake research, and critically analyse and integrate complex information. Back to Duty

S4: Lead change in their area of responsibility, create an environment for innovation and creativity, establishing the value of ideas and change initiatives and driving continuous improvement. Back to Duty

S5: Lead and respond in a crisis situation using risk management techniques. Back to Duty

S6: Act as a Sponsor/Ambassador, championing projects and transformation of services across organisational boundaries. Back to Duty

S7: Challenge strategies and operations in terms of ethics, responsibility, sustainability, resource allocation and business continuity/risk management. Back to Duty

S8: Apply principles relating to Corporate Social Responsibility, Governance and Regulatory compliance. Back to Duty

S9: Drive a culture of resilience and support development of new enterprise and opportunities. Back to Duty

S10: Oversee development and monitoring of financial strategies and setting of organisational budgets based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and challenge financial assumptions underpinning strategies. Back to Duty

S11: Uses financial data to allocate resources. Back to Duty

S12: Oversee procurement, supply chain management and contracts. Back to Duty

S13: Use personal presence and "storytelling" to articulate and translate vision into operational strategies, demonstrating clarity in thinking. Back to Duty

S14: Create an inclusive culture, encouraging diversity and difference and promoting well-being. Back to Duty

S15: Give and receive feedback at all levels, building confidence and developing trust, and enable people to take risks and challenge where appropriate. Back to Duty

S16: Enable an open culture and high-performance working environment and set goals and accountabilities for teams and individuals in their area. Back to Duty

S17: Lead and influence people, building constructive working relationships across teams, using matrix management where required. Back to Duty

S18: Optimise skills of the workforce, balancing people and technical skills and encouraging continual development. Back to Duty

S19: Manage relationships across multiple and diverse stakeholders. Back to Duty

S20: Lead within their area of control/authority, influencing both upwards and outwards, negotiating and using advocacy skills to build reputation and effective collaboration. Back to Duty

S21: Shape and manage the communications strategy for their area of responsibility. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Work collaboratively enabling empowerment and delegation. Back to Duty

B2: Take personal accountability aligned to clear values. Back to Duty

B3: Curious and innovative - exploring areas of ambiguity and complexity and finding creative solutions. Back to Duty

B4: Value difference and champion diversity. Back to Duty

B5: Seek continuous professional development opportunities for self and wider team. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

7

Duration (months):

24

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0480
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 29/03/2021
Approved for delivery: 27 February 2018
Route: Business and administration
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £14000
Trailblazer contacts (for apprenticeship standard content and trailblazer membership queries only): alison.cox@managers.org.uk anne.thomas@serco.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: Serco (employer chair), Civil Service (employer chair), Acivico (Birmingham City Council), Anglo Educational, Barclays, BT, Balfour Beatty, Barchester Healthcare, Boots UK Ltd, British Army, BBC, CMI, Co-op, DFS, Grant Thornton, Interserve, JRV Associates, KPMG, Morgan Sindell, NHS (Dept of Health), Nestle, Opus Building Services, Pearson, Pendragon plc, Ricoh, Sainsburys, Santander UK plc, Speedy Services, umi Digital, Unipart, United Utilities plc, Virgin Media, Wincanton, XPO Logistics.
LARS Code: 236

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Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard, Funding and End-point assessment plan revised. 29/03/2021 Not set Not set
1.0 Retired 27/02/2018 28/03/2021 Not set