Candidate Guide for City & Guilds Level 5 Qualifications

The purpose of the guide is to provide information about the qualifications available to you and to answer some of the questions you may have.


This guide, for the City & Guilds Award in Project Specification for Operational Delivery at Level 5 aims to make your learning journey easy and rewarding, and to ensure that you both enjoy your study and value the skills you gain in the process.

Learning time

All City and Guilds qualifications have been mapped to the existing CSL Learning Opportunities giving you a choice of on-line learning from the CSL and ODP pool of modules.  As many of these courses have been mandatory at some point, you may find that you have already completed a large chunk of the learning required to obtain a City & Guilds qualification and all you need to do is to refresh your knowledge and sit the tests.  There is no requirement to attend any face to face courses in order to complete the qualifications.

The time you need to dedicate to obtain an Award at any level may be as little as just a few days from your allocated annual study time in order to revise and sit the tests or complete the assignments.

Your qualification structure

To achieve the Level 5 Award you must complete the following unit:

Unit 501     

The assessment

You will need to successfully complete one written assignment for the unit.   The assignment is based on the assessment criteria listed in the unit.  You will be expected to use real work examples and products for your assignment..

When you register for the qualification you have chosen you will be given log in details that will give you access to the assessment criteria for your unit.

This will also provide you with information on Learning Opportunities available through CSL Learning which will provide you with the knowledge to achieve the qualification.

To prepare yourselves for the assessment it is recommended that you carefully read the step by step guide that accompanies each unit that will be made available to you following log in.  You may have already completed some of the learning options recommended; in which case, all you need to do is to refresh your memory before attempting each assignment.  

As your Level 5 qualification is part of the City & Guilds ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) you will be given access to the Institute of Leadership and Management study Membership, for the first 12 months of your qualification, this will provide you with additional on-line learning resources covering a variety of management topics.

As a studying member, you have access to the members only area of the ILM website including the following:

• Learning Zone – ILM’s learning and development portal with over 400 digital learning resources, developed by leading experts and covering essential leadership and management topics. The zone includes video seminars, expert e-learning modules giving an in-depth guided session to build skills and knowledge. Downloadable factsheets and subject overviews.
• Resource centre -  online access to the latest leadership and management articles, magazines and journals.
• Business book summary service –the latest management books clearly and concisely summarised.
• Regular e-communication – monthly E-Edge, plus our weekly email newsletter straight to students email address
• Career centre – job boards with opportunities from thousands of newspapers, job sites, associations and company career sites; CV advice; practical careers advice.
• CPD – a downloadable planner that helps to identify goals in skills and learning and identify where there are gaps in your skills and learning, set goals and plan CPD activity.


A step by step learner guide to studying for each unit

By following the guidance below you will be able to make the most out of the study experience and be able to prepare for the assignment.

When you have chosen your qualification, your first step is to follow the booking guidance for Operational Delivery Qualifications on the CSL Portal.

Within 5 working days of your start date (indicated on the CSL Portal) you will receive joining instructions. These instructions consist of a welcome letter and a link to the log in page of the qualification support web site managed by Premier Partnership.

In addition you will be provided with a password that enables you to log into your own personal qualifications page. This page holds all the details and information that you will need to undertake your qualification.

Step 1: Read through the requirements of the unit selected

Begin by reading the unit specification.  This sets the scene and outlines what you will be expected to understand, know or be able to do once the unit has been successfully completed.  The unit specification is highly detailed and forms the basis of each assignment. 

You will notice certain words appear in bold. These are the areas that may be covered in the multiple choice assessment.

Step 2:  Review the assignment specification

Read the requirements for the assignment through fully. You must review:

  • Instructions for completing the assignment
  • Assignment task
  • Marking guide

Some of the assignments will give you the option to complete a set task or provide evidence sourced from the workplace.  Please ensure you read through the assignment requirements fully before deciding how you approach each task. 

Step 3:  Take time to reflect on the unit content and assignment specification

Once you have read through the unit and assignment specification, identify the skills and knowledge you already have which relate to the unit aims. 

Secondly, identify any skills, knowledge gaps or aspects of the programme requiring additional study or research. Use this information to decide on which learning and development opportunities you would like to pursue and identify research you wish to undertake.

Step 4:  Participate in formal learning opportunities in the Civil Service

A range of learning opportunities has been selected for each unit. These learning opportunities range from short E-Learning courses which last an hour to full day training courses. The training is offered by:

  • Learning for Operational Delivery
  • Civil Service Learning (CSL)
  • ILM Source material

Select and participate in training to suit your needs and knowledge requirements. It may be useful to refresh your knowledge if you participated in training previously.

Step 5:  Make use of ILM Membership

If you wish to research specific aspects of the programme or prepare for the assignment you may access a wide variety of resources provided by the Institute of Leadership and Management. 

Once registered with the ILM, membership is automatic once you have logged in,visit this directs you to the home page.  In the section entitled ‘Resource Centre’ click on the heading ‘Go to resource centre now’. Once on the resource centre page, select the first box – press continue and then you will have access to the ILM resource search engine.

Step 6:  Undertake informal independent learning in your own work area

Opportunities for independent learning have been identified for each unit.  You must read through the list.  It simply asks you to reflect on how you undertake certain tasks or look up policies and procedures specific to the subject area. The purpose is to make you think about how you undertake specific activities in your own work area and the organisational and legal requirements which underpin what you do. 

Don’t forget to ask your colleagues or managers for support to understand aspects of topics, roles or responsibilities on which you are unsure.

Step 7:  Undertake the assignment

Once you have reviewed the unit requirements, addressed skills and knowledge gaps and undertaken independent learning and research you should have the confidence to complete the assignment.

Top tips

  • Read the assignment pack thoroughly before beginning the assignment, do not skip the introductory pages and go straight to the tasks as you could miss vital information which will help you complete the assignment
  • You need to answer all the tasks correctly to pass the unit
  • Develop a plan to write the assignments and tick off each task as they are completed to ensure the assignment submitted does not have any gaps.
  • You are only required to answer the tasks, do not spend time providing additional information which has not been requested (additional information unless directly linked to the assessment criteria will not be counted towards the achievement of tasks set)
  • Read each task thoroughly and pay attention to the verbs used to introduce each task.  For example, if you are asked to analyse information you need to study the information in detail rather than describe the information presented.


What support will I have?

Premier Partnership

As well as handling the technical aspects of the accreditation process, Premier Partnership is committed to providing additional learner support, for example if you have any queries about your registration with City & Guilds/ ILM or if you have any special requirements.

You can contact Premier Partnership directly at or by telephoning the help desk on 01302 361226.

Telephone enquiries will be responded to in normal working hours (09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday) or for messages left outside of normal working hours within one working day.

Emails will normally be responded to within 48 hours.

Your Line Manager

Your Line Manager already plays an important role in your professional development. As you progress towards your qualification, your Line Manager will support you in a number of ways. These include:

  • Approving your request to start the learning
  • Agreeing with you what are the most appropriate development opportunities
  • Having regular discussions with you, including reviews of any workshops you have attended or learning activities that you have undertaken

The Line Manager Guide clarifies their role in supporting you through the qualification.

Civil Service Learning

You will already be aware of the wide range of learning opportunities available to you on the Civil Service Learning portal. These include:

  • Workshops and events
  • Workplace learning activities
  • Workbooks and crib guides
  • E-learning

Policies and Codes of Practice

City & Guilds, ILM and Premier Partnership work in accordance with a number of policies and codes of practice to ensure that they carry out their responsibilities in a fair, equitable and legal manner.

Policies and procedures that are particularly relevant to you as a learner are:

City & Guilds, ILM

  • Complaints and Appeals Policy
  • Complaints and Appeals Procedure
  • Reasonable Adjustments Policy
  • Diversity and Equality Policy

Premier Partnership

  • Complaints and Appeals Policy
  • Diversity and Equality Policy

Policies and procedures are based on ACAS guidelines and codes of practice.You may request copies of these by contacting Premier Partnership directly at

Copyright 2013 Premier Partnership