‘Take every opportunity to learn and develop yourself’: a learner’s experience of completing the Level 4 Facilities Manager Apprenticeship


  • Employment and Skills

12 May 2021

World FM Day

Professional development and its continuation, CPD, is at the core of IWFM and a fundamental reason for our being. We help workplace and facilities practitioners to grow and enhance their skills and knowledge, supporting them in progressing their careers, inspiring those around them and driving organisational success. 

In 2019, IWFM became an end point assessment organisation for Level 4 Apprenticeship standards and recently we had our first learner – Aaron Pears - complete their Level 4 Facilities Manager Diploma with us.

Aaron Pears

Aaron, who is now HSQE Manager at Ground Control, was kind enough to answer a few questions about his learning and professional journey as part of our celebration of World FM Day.

Can you tell us about your career so far and why you chose facilities management as your vocation?

I started my career as a green keeper and then moved into local authority, working within a parks department as a machine operator. From there I progressed to Operations Manager, delivering parks and cleansing services. Through personal development, I undertook a range of qualifications in Horticulture and Waste Management, as well as completing my assessor qualifications, which enabled me to support others, gain new skills and undertake personal development.

I have always enjoyed the outdoors and worked within the Horticultural sector. My experience of wider facilities management was with Sodexo as Health and Safety Manager for Horticultural Services. That role enabled me to support the business with both safety and operational matters and utilise my skills and experience.

The diversity and scope of FM is both challenging and interesting with every day being different from the next. My current role as HSQE Manager for Ground Control has further enabled me to support compliance and ensure the working environment is both safe and productive and meets our clients needs

Why did you choose to study the Level 4 Facilities Manager Apprenticeship? What were your goals?

I wanted to broaden my skills and knowledge within FM and was offered this through the Apprenticeship route by Sodexo. The qualification covers a great range of FM topics which I wanted to explore further and the apprenticeship route gave me the opportunity to do this whilst working towards a recognised qualification.

How was your learning experience?

My learning experience was great as I was learning and researching topics I was able to apply back in the workplace. The support I received from both my employer and assessor were invaluable with me completing the qualification. Working within FM made the experience relevant to my job role and it integrated really well with my daily workplace activities.

What was the best thing about your Level 4 Apprenticeship?

Researching and learning new skills and subject areas. The scope of the qualification is very wide ranging which enabled me to become more confident and knowledgeable within my role.

What was the most challenging aspect of it?

Ensuring preparedness for the End Point Assessment activities to ensure I was able to fully showcase the skills and knowledge I had learnt through my Apprenticeship programme.

What’s next for you?

With recently starting a new job at Ground Control, once I have settled in I wish to continue my learning and progress with the Level 5 Diploma in Facilities Management. I am also keen to support others in achieving their qualifications through support and mentoring.

Lastly, what would you say to anyone considering taking the Level 4 Apprenticeship?

Take every opportunity to learn and develop yourself, it is time well invested. The Apprenticeship programme will stretch and develop you in a number of different areas and give you the skills and confidence to grow within the workplace.

If you’re interested in pursuing an apprenticeship, you can learn more here.