Incorporating the Senior Leader Level 7 Apprenticeship Standard, the PMA Senior Leader course is designed for a leader who has senior management responsibility.

Senior Leaders are key where there is a workforce to lead, manage and support. The broad purpose of the senior leader role is to provide clear, inclusive and strategic leadership and direction which contribute to the execution and achievement of the strategic objectives set by the organisation.

Senior leaders influence at a higher organisational level, including board level (or equivalent). They set the culture and tone across their area of responsibility.

In their daily work, they will interact with internal stakeholders such as members of their team, other senior leaders and managers, support services, and project groups and they may be part of a wider specialist team.

Depending on the size of the organisation, a senior leader may be responsible for reporting results relating to their area of responsibility to a board or to other senior management within the organisation.


This apprenticeship is 95% government-funded with a 5% employer co-investment. Please call or email for more information.

If you are an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will automatically be paying into the apprenticeship Levy. Please call or email for more information.

Further funding information can be found here.

  • Duration: 15-18 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

It is expected that the learner will be working towards Functional Skills Level 2 or have prior accepted GCSE certificates. Alternatively, learners with long-standing evidence of work to a Level 3 standard may apply if they are supported by their employer and would then follow Functional Skills training alongside the apprenticeship.

It should also be noted that the learner will need to achieve a Level 2 standard in English and mathematics prior to their End Point Assessment. These are referred to as Functional Skills and during enrolment, learners will be required to complete both Maths and English Initial Assessments and diagnostic tests to assess their level of understanding. If learners are exempt due to prior achievements, certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

To be eligible for the apprenticeship learners will need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and have the support of their line manager and employer. Learners will complete a self-assessment to assess their knowledge, skills and behaviours to ensure they are eligible for the apprenticeship.


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.

Occupational Duties


  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs)


  • How to shape organisational mission, culture and values.

  • Organisation structures; business modelling; diversity; global and horizon scanning perspectives; governance and accountability; technological and policy implications.

  • New market strategies, changing customer demands and trend analysis.

  • 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.

  • Systems thinking, knowledge/data management, research methodologies and programme management.

  • Ethics and values-based leadership theories and principles.

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

  • 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.

  • Financial governance and legal requirements, and procurement strategies.

  • Organisational/team dynamics and how to build engagement and develop high performance, agile and collaborative cultures.

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

  • Influencing and negotiating strategies both upwards and outwards.

  • The external social and political environment and use of diplomacy with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders.

  • Working with board and other company leadership structures.

  • Brand and reputation management.

  • 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.

  • Crisis and risk management strategies.

  • Coaching and mentoring techniques.

  • Approaches to developing a Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

  • The organisation’s developing communications strategy and its link to their area of responsibility.


  • Use horizon scanning and conceptualisation to deliver high performance strategies focusing on growth/sustainable outcomes.

  • Set strategic direction and gain support for it from key stakeholders.

  • Undertake research, and critically analyse and integrate complex information.

  • 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.

  • Lead and respond in a crisis situation using risk management techniques.

  • Act as a Sponsor/Ambassador, championing projects and transformation of services across organisational boundaries.

  • Challenge strategies and operations in terms of ethics, responsibility, sustainability, resource allocation and business continuity/risk management.

  • Apply principles relating to Corporate Social Responsibility, Governance and Regulatory compliance.

  • Drive a culture of resilience and support development of new enterprise and opportunities.

  • Oversee development and monitoring of financial strategies and setting of organisational budgets based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and challenge financial assumptions underpinning strategies.

  • Uses financial data to allocate resources.

  • Oversee procurement, supply chain management and contracts.

  • Use personal presence and “storytelling” to articulate and translate vision into operational strategies, demonstrating clarity in thinking.

  • Create an inclusive culture, encouraging diversity and difference and promoting well-being.

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

  • Enable an open culture and high-performance working environment and set goals and accountabilities for teams and individuals in their area.

  • Lead and influence people, building constructive working relationships across teams, using matrix management where required.

  • Optimise skills of the workforce, balancing people and technical skills and encouraging continual development.

  • Manage relationships across multiple and diverse stakeholders.

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

  • Shape and manage the communications strategy for their area of responsibility.


  • Work collaboratively enabling empowerment and delegation.

  • Take personal accountability aligned to clear values.

  • Curious and innovative – exploring areas of ambiguity and complexity and finding creative solutions.

  • Value difference and champion diversity.

  • Seek continuous professional development opportunities for self and wider team.

Course Delivery

This will include a wide range of teaching and learning techniques and styles including one-to-one coaching, discussions and teaching, observations, practical assessments, mentoring, independent research and e-learning. The assigned PMA Tutor/Assessor will use online face-to-face platforms such as Zoom/MS Teams/FaceTime/Skype, as well as periodic workplace visits.

Learners will have access to Aptem, our e-portfolio system that supports monitoring progression throughout the apprenticeship.  It is the central system that keeps track of learner assignments, and evidence and holds resources that will support learners to complete the apprenticeship.

Line managers will be key drivers in learner development, importantly in agreeing the unique learning plan and keeping abreast of progress at every step.

What is off-the-job training (OTJ)?

The learner will be able to evidence that they spend 6 hours per week on learning/training and that this is:

  • Directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard or framework and is teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • The learning is taking place within the apprentice’s normal working hours (paid hours excluding overtime)

Apprentices will be expected to keep a log of all learning activities working towards the off-the-job requirements of 6 hours per week.

Off-the-job activities could include:

  • Attending masterclass teaching and learning sessions
  • Coaching
  • Independent research
  • In-house training
  • Shadowing
  • Industry visits
  • Mentoring
  • Supervision with employer
  • Writing assignments
  • Online learning
  • Manufacturer training
  • Roleplay
  • Simulation exercises
  • Team meetings that include training
  • Completion of a reflective journal.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are nationally recognised qualifications in English and maths.  They are part of a government initiative and designed to improve literacy and numeracy skills across the workforce.  Due to this, Functional Skills are a mandatory part of Apprenticeship Standards.  Anyone enrolling to an Apprenticeship must complete Functional Skills English and Functional Skills maths unless they have already achieved them previously at Level 2 or have GCSE’s (or equivalent) in both subjects at Grade C or above.  Certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

In order to support you in completing Functional Skills, PMA will undertake an initial assessment and diagnostic assessment which will enable its specialist tutors to identify which areas to focus on with you and this will form the basis of a personalised learning plan.

It is important to bear in mind that Functional Skills do require apprentices to sit formal examinations.  The team will support you with exam technique alongside your learning plan, and will arrange for the examinations to take place at your workplace.

If you are undertaking a Level 2 Apprenticeship, you are required to complete Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1.  If however you complete Functional Skills early, it is a government requirement for PMA to upskill you to Level 2 Functional Skills.  If you are undertaking an Apprenticeship at Level 3 or higher, then you will automatically be enrolled to Level 2 Functional Skills.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

EPA is the name given to a series of tests that an apprentice must complete at the end of their apprenticeship in order to receive their certificate. The EPA confirms apprentices are capable of undertaking the job that they have been trained to do.  These tests are undertaken with an external organisation (known as an end point assessment organisation) to remove any bias from the examination process.  The employer will choose the end point assessment organisation and PMA will support them to obtain information pertinent to this if needed.

When apprentices enrol on an apprenticeship, they study various units covering a wide range of relevant topics for their job enhancing their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This is often referred to as being ‘on programme’ and apprentices must complete all of the mandatory components of this including Functional Skills where appropriate.

Once this is completed, it is at this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and PMA, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment.

The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessment methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job.

End-point assessment methods Duration Grading options
Strategic Business Proposal, Presentation with Q&A 60 minutes Fail/Pass/Distinction
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence 60 minutes Fail/Pass/Distinction

Join our vibrant community of over 50,000 today and benefit from our services

As a PMA member, you will benefit from regular news and updates on key issues and regulatory changes that affect GP practices. You will gain access to exclusive training and events that ensure you maintain currency of knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with your peers from around the UK.

Join PMA