Project Description

This level 7 vocational qualification is designed to enable existing and aspiring senior managers, working in the operational or strategic field, to develop and enhance current leadership and management skills. It is most appropriate for those well established in a practice management role, already comfortable with providing direction and leadership in addition to managing resources, performance, finances and, most likely, change.

This comprehensive qualification will build on existing experience and provide support, direction and skills to encourage increased responsibility to manage the new models of care within the healthcare environment whilst satisfying various stakeholders. This will benefit those working at scale; leading large, multi-disciplinary teams based on multiple sites via Federations, Super Practices or PC Networks or, alternatively, those in a single practice overseeing a range of services and clinicians.

This qualification builds on substantive operational management experience alongside recognised business and leadership theories and models and candidates are encouraged to apply, critically evaluate and adapt these in a practical and innovative way to their unique organisational circumstances in order to embed their leadership and management development in real work.

As a result, the employer benefits in addition to the learner as the projects and assignments can be aligned to organisational strategic objectives. Furthermore, core qualities that drive high performance such as courage, productivity, competence and creativity will all be explored and exhibited if the learner is to be successful, ultimately having a direct impact on the individual’s workplace environment.

Course Outline

There are two elements intrinsic to this qualification: self -directed learning and social learning. Both elements are learner specific, embedding management in real-work situations and encouraging professional networking.

This diploma comprises of 3 mandatory units each consisting of 20 credits.

These units follow a pattern of knowledge based and competence based learning outcomes, ensuring that the learner has the underpinning knowledge required in order to deliver that aspect of the work role to the required standards.

  • Unit 1 – 8617-700: Developing leadership and management capability through enquiry

    This requires the learner to take a date-driven, enquiry-based approach to their management development. (20 credits)

  • Unit 2 – 8617-701: Developing a high-level business case

    This focuses on presenting arguments for change, constructing business cases and leading change implementation. (20 credits)

  • Unit 3 – 8617-702: Developing and maintaining a high-performance culture and optimising resources

    This involves exploring and evaluating the creation of and maintenance of high-performance cultures. (20 credits)

This 60 credit Diploma sits within post-graduate levels of education. It is equivalent to a PG Certificate and one-third of a Master’s degree in most UK Business Schools.

Successful completion will provide:

  • possible progression opportunities to many university Master’s programmes
  • eligibility to apply for Fellowship of the ILM

Course Delivery / Time commitment

The diploma can be completed in 6 to 12 months with a minimum weekly study of 6-8 hours.

The overall Guided Learning Hours for the programme are 90 which includes induction. Each of the 3 units consists of 30 Guided Learning Hours* and the Total Qualification Time is in the region of 600 hours.

* Guided learning can include tutorials, e-learning courses, guided reading, tutor facilitated discussion, one-to-one feedback and online guidance given by a tutor. It also includes the time spent by staff assessing a learner’s achievement for example in the assessment of knowledge and competence for a vocational qualification.

This qualification is based on blended learning, the majority being self-directed, via the completion of online materials. The delivery materials have been designed so that they are conducive to learning in the workplace. The remainder of the time will be spent building knowledge: critically researching, collecting data, sharing ideas and information with professional colleagues and working with stakeholders to construct and present a full business case/change project.

The tutor will offer support and guidance, signposting the learner to appropriate resources and coordinating and facilitating group learning with their co-learners in their ‘learning communities.’ This support will take place either face to face or via webinars and online.

Nearly a third of the Total Qualification time consists of individual investigation and application to produce the Project work. High levels of personal research and referencing skills are expected.


The ILM pass mark is 50%, which represents a pass or a good pass.

Each unit is accompanied by a detailed work-based assignment brief which includes several learning outcomes and assessment criteria (AC). **

In order to pass each unit, every AC must be met and awarded a minimum of a Pass and, in turn, in order to pass the qualification, all 3 units must be awarded a Pass.

**Sufficiency descriptors are provided, and guidance will be given by the tutor.

‘Pass’ and ‘Good Pass’ are distinguished only in order to clarify the standard and enhance feedback given to the learner. 

However, there is no ‘good pass’ outcome and successful completion of the unit will be shown as ‘pass’ on the statement of results.

For more information please contact the PMA Team at

  • Duration: 6-12 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set their own selection criteria for this level of study.

However, Level 2 Maths and English are required, and it is advisable that candidates “have a background which is likely to be Level 3 Key Skills Literacy and Numeracy or their equivalent” (ILM, Supporting notes 2018). They will be expected to demonstrate substantial study skills; researching, referencing, presenting a coherent argument and analysing data.

In addition, sustained experience in a management role is preferable. Candidates will normally be expected to demonstrate leadership experience and/or qualifications at level 5 or above.

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