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Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership)

At a glance

  • Designed for senior managers
  • Created based on extensive research with leading employers across a range of industry sectors
  • Provides your employees with a deep, multi-faceted understanding of modern leadership
  • Balances interactive teaching sessions with practical experience
Subject area(s)
Leadership, Strategic Management
£14,000 (can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account)
Course length
Up to 21 months including End-Point Assessment (EPA)
Suitable for
Those currently leading organisations, teams, people and projects


Please note, as of June 2021 this programme is awaiting approval from the University of Reading and will be confirmed in due course.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership) enables your employees to develop their leadership capability and maximise their team's performance.

Faced with uncertainty and disruption, today's organisations are turning to new types of leaders: those that instil leadership in others with their transparency, vision, passion and integrity. Through the programme, your apprentice can become a leader who is analytical and self-aware, a leader with a strong sense of responsibility who understands how to make people thrive and has the confidence to take your organisation forward.

Key benefits

Before they can apply to join any of our apprenticeship degree programmes, learners need to be formally nominated by you, their employer. A three-way agreement also needs to be put in place between Henley Business School and the University of Reading; you, the employer; and the apprentice.

Entry requirements for the individual

Learners on this programme will typically have several years of management experience. However, in their baseline assessment, they will need to demonstrate the need for new learning of the knowledge, skills and behaviours as outlined in the apprenticeship standard. On their online application for this programme, they will need to demonstrate they have the necessary management experience.


Nominated learners must have obtained Level 2 equivalent qualifications (Grade C or above, GCSE or equivalent) in English and Maths. Employers will be asked to ensure that applicants can provide evidence of these qualifications before including them on a cohort form. The Government has provided a useful link for those who may have mislaid their certificates.

A good first degree or the equivalent professional or international qualification is typically required plus a minimum of three years' management experience. However, we welcome applications from candidates with exceptional management experience who may not meet all the formal criteria for admission. If nominated learners have a minimum of five years’ experience at a senior or strategic level with no degree, we would be happy to consider an application. Our Admission Panel reviews all non-standard applications for suitability.

Subject to the University of Reading approval, the first open cohort is expected to start in Autumn 2021.

Course fee: £14,000 (can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account)
Duration: Up to 21 months including End-Point Assessment (EPA)
Suitable for: Those currently leading organisations, teams, people and projects

How the apprentice is supported

Off-the-job training

Apprentices will spend 20% of their time on ‘off-the-job training’. This is a mandatory component of an apprenticeship that the employer must support them with. Both the learner and employer need to agree on how this time is set aside around the learners work commitments' as it is training that they will undertake during their paid hours. Off-the-job training is not exclusive to workshops and online study sessions - other examples include:​

  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring and industry visits​
  • Chairing or attending meetings (outside the normal job function)​
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments​
  • Meeting with the apprenticeship tutor​
  • Working on their evidence portfolio​

Support for the apprentices

Apprenticeship tutor ​

The apprenticeship tutor supports the learners and line manager through the apprenticeship journey. The tutor will meet regularly with the learner, either within the workplace or virtually, to provide pastoral and learning support and review and assess the evidence gathered for the portfolio.​

Line manager ​

Additional support for the apprentice comes from their line manager. We will engage with them to ensure they understand the details of the programme and format for learning as well as the requirements for off-the-job training. Line managers will also be involved in agreeing on impactful work-based projects, meeting with the apprenticeship tutor, and if required, allocating apprentices' a mentor.​

During the action learning workshops and through some of the online learning apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from our academic staff, whose knowledge and expertise underpin the modules they will study.​

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership) programme will be taught using a blended learning method that combines face-to-face workshops* with online and off-the-job learning. Apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from international academic staff at the cutting edge of their disciplines.

* Due to COVID-19, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online. Find out about our remote education offer for apprentices.

You can opt for your organisation to join open, closed and/or consortium cohorts:

Open cohorts (max. 9 learners per organisation) are available throughout the year. These enable a small number of learners from an organisation to join with others from a range of organisations and backgrounds. Top-up fees on these cohorts may apply.

Closed cohorts (30-64 learners) allow the programme content to be contextualised around your organisation's objectives and may be taught at a convenient location for your nominated learners. Programme start dates can be planned together.

Sponsored cohorts (min. 5 learners per organisation) enable you to partner with complementary organisations working on similar strategic challenges. You may choose to join one of our open sponsored cohorts, or create a closed consortium cohort working with other organisations of your choosing e.g. those within your supply chain or from within your industry.

Proposed programme structure

Stage 1 - Developing individual leadership

Programme induction

Programme introduction, structure, Canvas, apprenticeship tutors/support and assessment.

Foundations of leadership

Introduction to leadership models and frameworks, leadership marketplace, the latest thinking in leadership research and practice and motivating and engaging people.

Leading personal transformation

Personal leadership development including creating ethical and supportive cultures, communicating, team dynamics, coaching and mentoring, action learning, leading through a crisis with a focus on well-being and building resilience.

Leadership of change and complexity

Exploring the context of leadership and complexity of challenges in the world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Stage 2 - Leading the organisation

Strategic leadership and innovation

Setting strategic direction, vision and purpose. Analysing external environment, opportunities and risks and the impact of organisational structures and marketing strategies.

Inclusive leadership

Responsible leadership, stakeholder management, diversity and inclusivity, sustainability and principles for responsible management education.

Finance for leaders

Financial strategies, budgets, assets and facilities, financial and legal governance.

Strategic business proposal


The assessment process allows learners to showcase the impact of their work and learning with the submission of a work-based project at the end of each module. ​

The final stage of the apprenticeship is the End-Point Assessment (EPA), comprising an Evidence Portfolio and final Strategic Business Proposal. ​

On successful completion learners may be awarded*:

  • Henley Executive Diploma in Leadership (Senior Leader Apprenticeship)
  • The Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership) ​
  • A CMI Level 7 Award
  • Chartered Manager status (on successful EPA)
  • ​CMI student membership (programme duration plus 3 months with option for individuals to pay for full membership thereafter).

*These awards are subject to the approval of this programme by the University of Reading

Additional qualifications and progression onto masters degree

Subject to the University of Reading approval:

On completion of the apprenticeship programme, learners may have the opportunity to gain additional optional academic programmes. These will be subject to further assessment of work-based projects and an associated fee (separate from the apprenticeship). Once awarded, this will allow progression to the final stage of the MA Leadership. **

**Progression on to the final stage of the MA Leadership and additional qualifications are subject to approval by the University of Reading.

Closed cohorts

For clients wishing to run a closed cohort, we have the flexibility to deliver the programme at locations nationwide. If you do not wish to use your organisation's facilities, we are happy to arrange an alternative teaching venue that may be more convenient for your staff.

Open cohorts

Open cohorts are currently taught at our Greenlands campus near Henley-on-Thames. Set in sweeping parkland on the banks of the River Thames, this beautiful campus provides an inspiring and reflective environment for focused work and study.

Find out more about our facilities and how to find us

Why choose Henley?

For over 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders.

Our apprenticeship programmes deliver:

  • A high-quality education rooted in the latest business thinking. We are triple-accredited for the quality of our provision
  • A direct contribution to business value through learning which focuses on live strategic issues. We work with you to identify the people who will benefit most from the programme and whose participation will have the greatest impact on the organisation
  • A blended learning experience - all our apprenticeship programmes feature face-to-face learning*, enhanced and supported by our mobile digital platform. This gives participants access to learning wherever they are and allows the cohort to collaborate outside the classroom
  • A flexible approach - in addition to our open cohorts, we offer closed cohorts that can be delivered at locations nationwide* and contextualised to your organisation
  • Individual membership of our alumni network, which includes over 80,000 alumni across 150 countries

* Due to COVID-19, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online.

Contact us

For more information about Henley’s apprenticeship programmes please contact

Telephone: (0)1491 418733