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Level 7 Senior Leaders – Meet the tutor!

After developing our brand-new Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship, we would like to introduce our course developer and tutor Steve Roberts.

Steve has vast experience in the sector and started his career as a secondary school teacher teaching Business and IT in Cornish secondary schools. After spending a few years doing this, Steve moved on to work in Further Education at a college in Somerset teaching leadership and management. Following his move to Cornwall, Steve took on a role at a local college, again teaching leadership and management and moved into a leadership role with the college firstly as a Curriculum Manager and then as a Projects Manager with responsibility for ESF Projects and Adult Education across the Cornwall College Group. Steve then moved onto working on Education ESF Projects, which enabled him to move into his role at Dynamo, where he has been working towards developing our brand-new Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship. Steve has also been heavily involved in school governance as Chair of Governors at a Cornish Primary School and a Parent Governor at a Secondary School.

We spoke to Steve about the apprenticeship, and how he has found developing the course:

What sparked your interest in developing the Level 7 course?  

When I started with Dynamo, Gail had the idea to develop the Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship from scratch in house, and from what I had experienced in the past when moving into new roles, I knew there was a gap in the market for this type of guidance and training. Often, when people are successful in their current role they get promoted into a leadership and management role. Just because you are a very effective nurse or teacher, it does not mean you are fully equipped with the skills and experience needed to lead a high performing team. The level 7 Apprenticeship alongside the Pearson qualification and ILM resources offer new managers and leaders the opportunity to learn the theories behind management and leadership but more importantly it creates the space for them to reflect on their own work with the support of a tutor and other managers from different sectors. I was fortunate when I moved into leadership and management in education that I had already had some management experience from an earlier career and of course my degree is in Business Management so I felt reasonably well equipped, however if this apprenticeship had been available 15 years ago when I would have jumped at the chance to do it.

I am a manager, and my role is already extremely busy. How will I fit this in?

While it is important to acknowledge that the apprenticeship is a commitment that you will need to make time for, due to the nature of the learning style it is extremely accessible for those in fast paced, busy and unpredictable roles. The course is completely online, and there will be 24/7 access to all learning resources, meaning that the course can be flexible to your needs, and be fit in around any responsibilities that you have.

Furthermore, the skills taught on the program will allow learners to become more efficient through their management in the long run. It will take off the stresses that managers may find when entering a senior role and take of the immediate pressure of navigating how to manage a team.

Is the Level 7 equivalent to university education?

The Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship can be considered equivalent to working towards a master’s degree, as in a foundation for Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). After completing the apprenticeship if the learner decided to go onto work towards a complete master’s degree, the Level 7 could be credited towards this.

The qualification is a bespoke course created by Dynamo itself from start to finish, and includes the Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship, a Level 5 BTEC qualification in Leadership & Management, and an accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Management. This means that while learners will receive the Level 7 apprenticeship qualification, they will also receive much more in terms of resources and further wrap-around that Dynamo can offer, including advice from people who are considered the finest minds in business.

What is the membership for Institute of Leadership & Management?  

The institute of leadership and management is a professional body of people who support people around the world to improve their leadership capability and advance their careers. Gaining membership with the Level 7 qualification can allow you to:

  • Learn more about your leadership capability – the institutes e-learning tools can support you to learn about your own leadership styles and identify your strengths and areas of development.
  • Enhance your reputation – membership will allow learners to use the institutes post nominals and digital credentials to demonstrate your commitment to leadership.
  • Share and learn from likeminded people – extend your network with the community of over 50,000 leaders and managers.
  • Dive deeper into current issues – the institutes premium journal will keep you up to date with current research and best practice, even after you have completed the apprenticeship.

I have additional learning needs and haven’t been in learning for many years. I’m not sure this is right for me?

As Dynamo has created the course and content from scratch ourselves, the resources can be adapted to meet your needs. As the tutor, I have a lot of experience working with people who have additional learning needs, and I know how to adapt my teaching style to the apprentice’s learning style. It is important to me that the Level 7 program is accessible to a range of people. We recognize that every learner is unique, and the beauty of Dynamo is we are small enough to be able to modify and adapt our approach as recognized very recently in our Good rating from Ofsted.

What is an EPA and what will it entail?

An EPA (End Point Assessment) is the final stage of an apprenticeship. It is an impartial assessment of whether the apprentice has developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Our End Point Assessments are currently carried out by TQUK, who work closely with us to give the best opportunities to all our apprentices.

The Level 7 Senior Leaders EPA will include an individual strategic development plan or project based on the apprentice’s current plans or projects at work. It is important to acknowledge that the qualification is not completely based on theories and strategies and is linked closely with your organisation’s plans and projects. The EPA process is widely recognized as the most beneficial part of the apprenticeship, as the apprentice can focus on a specific project, and seek advice from myself and other business professionals to improve the strategic and development of the project.

Where can this qualification take me?

Completing this Level 7 qualification will allow you to utilise your leadership and management skills in practice at work. Not only will you have gained a qualification, but if you do decide to go onto further education after this apprenticeship it can be credited towards this.

If you are interested in completing the Level 7 Senior Leaders apprenticeship, or would like to find out more, please contact us on 01736 753 933 or email