ILM Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers

The ILM Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers (formerly CSBM) is a nationally recognised programme for school business managers. It has been designed to develop professional knowledge, understanding and competencies so that those completing the qualification can contribute effectively to key areas of school business management.


Who is this for?

The Level 4 DSBM is part of a suite of school business management qualifications. The programme is designed for existing and aspiring school business managers who wish to enhance both their leadership, management and administrative skills together and their knowledge and understanding of key areas of school business management through a professional qualification.

How to apply

Please complete the online registration form in the right-hand bar to apply for a place.

You will be asked to upload the following as part of your registration:
A signed declaration from your headteacher in which they agree to support you through the programme and confirm that the school will finance the cost of the course.

It will save time if you have this before you start your online registration.

What are the benefits?

The Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers will equip senior administrators and new SBMs with the operational skills required to be an effective school business manager. Throughout the programme you will:

  • manage resources within a school more efficiently, effectively and sensitively
  • develop an understanding of the purpose of business management in a school context
  • demonstrate leadership and management decision-making skills
  • evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of business management operations within a school
  • understand the nature of school business management
  • gain CPD against the ISBL professional standards

How is it delivered?

The ILM Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers programme (qualification no. 603/1997/5) is delivered over 12 months.

The ILM credit value of the qualification is 39 to 40 credits, which comprises three mandatory units (35 credits), plus one optional unit of 9 or 10 credits.

The units are:

Mandatory Units Optional Units
  • Leading Support Services in a School
    35 guided learning hours
  • Finance in a School
    35 guided learning hours
  • Procurement in a School
    35 guided learning hours
  • Supporting Human Resource Management in a School
    30 guided learning hours
  • Supporting School Infrastructure and Management
    35 guided learning hours
  • Marketing in a School
    30 guided learning hours

Blended learning pathway – a mix of face-to-face and online training

  • Face to face delivery from a specialist facilitator (3 full days)
  • Supported online learning
  • School-based projects
  • Online tutorials


The programme is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). 

Evidence for skills/competence-based assessment criteria should be produced in a school environment/context where possible. Evidence for these units is likely to come from naturally occurring activities from the workplace and may include (but is not restricted to):

  • Products from the learner’s work
  • Records of Team Minutes/Agendas
  • Direct observation of the learner’s performance by their assessor
  • Outcomes from oral or written questioning
  • Personal statements and/or reflective accounts
  • Professional discussion
  • Authentic statements/witness testimony
  • Records of External Customer communications
  • Written reports/case studies


We are delivering ILM Level 4 DSBM nationally in partnership with teaching school alliances and other school networks.

What does it cost?

The full cost of the programme including assessment and certification is:

  • Blended learning pathway - £1,495 +VAT
  • Members of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) are entitled to a 5% discount (ISBL membership number required).

Bespoke delivery for your school alliance

We are able to offer bespoke groups for schools or school alliances where a minimum of 10 staff register for DSBM. This arrangement provides schools with the potential benefits of using their own facilities for face to face training. Local delivery for DSBM candidates supports the sharing of good practice and delivery that can be tailored to the local context. Please contact us to discuss setting up a bespoke training group.