BRC Learning

Careers and professional development in retail


The retail industry is going through a period of unprecedented and rapid change driven by changes in technology, new channels to market and increased customer expectations.  In order to help organisations succeed, management and leaders in the retail industry need to be skilled to meet these unique challenges.

As the UK’s largest private sector employer, the retail industry is committed to equipping its colleagues with skills for the future.   However, many retailers have struggled to find high quality courses relevant to the retail industry to maximise their return on the Apprenticeship Levy.  What’s more, employers need to move quickly to spend their levy or risk losing the money altogether.

That’s why the British Retail Consortium (BRC) are delighted to have partnered with Leeds Business School, part of Leeds Beckett University, and Corndel to bring the industry apprenticeships that will equip students with the blend of industry knowledge, and practical, relevant experience they will need to capitalise on the opportunities created by a dynamic retail industry.


We are now recruiting onto the BRC Retail Leaders Apprenticeships.  This is an opportunity for retailers to enrol a small number of employees onto the course, before committing to running a closed group for your business.

Benefits of the Programmes:

  • Brought to you by the BRC and our hand-picked provider partners
  • The same great retail customised content and delivery
  • Now available for smaller numbers of candidates
  • Learn with colleagues from across the retail industry
  • A great way to pilot your new apprenticeship offer

About the Programmes:

  • BRC Retail Leaders Apprenticeships Level 5 and Level 6
  • For new and emerging leaders and managers in retail
  • CMI Level 5 Certificate and Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (Retail)
  • Face to face learning takes place in London and Leeds
  • 100% fundable through the apprenticeship levy

Spaces are limited so find out more today!

Download our brochure to find out more. 


Developed with leading representatives from the industry, our Apprenticeships are tailored around the BRC Future Retail Careers Framework where six areas have been identified to describe where future careers will be focused. In addition, we understand the needs of an industry with a large, dynamic and often part-time workforce and incorporate flexible scheduling of the programmes to fit around your business needs.  Working together with our hand-picked provider partners, we offer retailers relevant, accessible management apprenticeships tailored specifically to the retail industry, helping to improve long term business performance and meet the needs of your business.

See page 8 of our brochure for 12 reasons to choose a BRC Apprenticeship.


Our apprenticeships make use of exclusive BRC retail industry reports, insights and perspectives, pulled together by our team of experts and usually only available to BRC Members.  Presented in a variety of easy to understand formats, they provide relevant real-world information to help participants understand the changing face of retail and make better decisions for your business and the industry.  In addition, participants will have access to BRC Events and Webinars on the hot topics that matter to retailers today.


The BRC Retail Leadership and Management Level 5 Apprenticeship develops the critical knowledge and skills behaviours needed by senior managers.

Delivered in both open and closed cohorts, the programme builds highly trained effective managers who think critically about business challenges and nurture high-performing teams.

Underpinned by one-to-one executive coaching, the programme develops strategic management and leadership skills, in addition to self-awareness and communication skills.

Benefits of the course:

  • Tailored for the retail industry to meet the needs of a dynamic future workforce
  • Incorporates BRC insights, perspectives and content placing learning within a retail context to ensure participants can apply it in their jobs
  • Includes short videos that engage participants and bring the training to life
  • Engaging, interactive workshops focus on your strategic priorities to make a difference to your business
  • Fortnightly one-to-one coaching from a Professional Development Expert supports each participant through the course
  • Quarterly 360° feedback and three-way progress reviews with line managers are included to support career development
  • Accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), participants can apply to be awarded Chartered Manager (CMgr) status on completion of the programme

Duration: 13 months
Cost: £7000

Qualification gained: Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Level 5 Certificate 

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The Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (Retail) provides current and aspiring managers with relevant knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of effective management, in the context of the challenges and opportunities facing retailers at a time of rapid change.

Year one focuses on core management themes include the Retail Economics module where participants will be introduced to the retail industry’s unique economic context.  Years two and three build on the core management themes in more depth and introduce management strategy, plus retail specific modules focused on Retail Management and Retail Futures.

Participants will work on live company projects through the programme and will benefit from a flexible learning model, including face-to-face and online teaching, the resources of Leeds Business School and the expertise of the BRC.

Benefits of the course:

  • Incorporates BRC insights, perspectives and content to place learning within a retail context to ensure participants can apply it in their jobs
  • Meets the requirements of the apprenticeship standard whilst also introducing retail specific modules putting learning into the context of the challenges and opportunities facing retailers today
  • Combines face-to-face university teaching, online learning research, reflective practice and assessment to cater for all learning styles
  • A personal tutor and a workplace mentor is assigned to each participant, supporting them through the programme
  • Participants work on projects that are relevant to their employer with a strong emphasis on real workplace impact to make a difference in their own businesses
  • There are no exams, instead a portfolio of evidence is gathered under the guidance of their personal tutor and workplace. All course materials, submissions and evidence gathering is carried out online, reducing the administrative burden to a minimum
  • Accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), participants can apply to be awarded Chartered Manager (CMgr) status on completion of the programme

Duration: 3-4 years                                
Cost: £22,000 

Qualification gained: BA (hons) Business Management Practice

Fast track options are available for developing your high-flying talent, keeping them committed and motivated. 

Contact us for further details.

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Future Careers

The BRC’s goal is to help its members achieve the Better Jobs vision by working with them to create the go-to organisation for careers and professional development in retail. We care about the careers of people who work in our industry and the communities retail touches.

To help support the careers provision in the UK and in association with our members, we have created a new careers website - Rethink Retail. The website aims to help those interested in retail careers, careers guidance professionals and retail members, learn more about the future of retail careers.

As part of our commitment to repositioning ‘Retail as a Career of Choice’, our site provides impartial insights into working in retail today and in the future. It is built around the BRC Future Retail Careers Framework and is a tool to support career choices and provide guidance.

We have worked with our retail members to showcase the diverse range of retail careers by interviewing the people who are already doing them. Their interesting and innovative retail stories will shed some light on what really goes on in some of the UK’s most forward-thinking retailers and help attract new people to the world of retail.

Find out more at Rethink Retail.

If you would like to learn more about Rethink Retail or have a career story you would like to share please get in touch with Ralph La Fontaine.

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OSS Retail


OSS Retail, formerly known as Oxford Summer School, is now part of the BRC.

Bringing OSS Retail into the BRC furthers our commitment to position retail as a career of choice and support the talent retention and development so vital to the industry’s ongoing success and transformation.


OSS Retail has an amazing heritage of over 90 years in supporting retailers to develop talent across the industry. Their unparalleled leadership programmes are run by retailers for retailers, with alumni now found in leadership roles across the retail industry both in the UK and beyond.

Bringing together the expertise and insights of OSS Retail and the BRC means we can further enhance the leadership development available and offer unique industry leading learning opportunities.

Chat to OSS Retail team on 020 7854 8900, email or visit

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