AOM Example Question Paper and Mark Schemes

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1 AOM Example Question Paper and Mark Schemes Please be aware the live examinations are taken at a Pearson Vue test centre and the layout will be different to this example paper. During live examinations you will not be presented with the Mark Scheme, these are intended to aid your study and not as a practice to guide you on whether you are exam ready. There is only this one example paper available for this unit and there is no feedback provided or discussion around the content. Please do not contact the Awarding Body for feedback or to mark your paper. You will find a sister document which contains example answers, which you can use to see if you could have achieved a Pass or Distinction, again these are not for discussion and should only be considered to aid your practice. See the following pages which contain the scenarios and linked questions which have been created as practice and no content within this document will be presented during the live examinations.

2 Scenario 1 You have recently taken over as the manager of an agency office with an assistant manager, 2 full-time negotiators, a part-time negotiator and a full-time administrator. The office is part of a 6 office company and for the last 2 years the office has just broken even. Apart from the standard reporting processes each branch has been operating individual systems. The owner of the company has provided you with the last 2 years accounts and the profit and loss statement for the year to date. This is the poorest performing office in the company. Question 1 of 2 Describe the information the profit and loss statement would provide and explain the analysis you may carryout and how you would use this information to improve the performance of your branch this year? Explain Income and expenditure in relationship to the profit and loss Analyse Income - is it going up or down Analyse Expenditure - is it going up or down Reduce expenditure e.g. Expenses, Staff costs, utilities, rent Analyse Profit - is it going up or down As pass but with greater attention to the following with specific and relevant examples Income identify specific elements of income that can be maximised i.e. Pricing policy. Solutions sort may depend on factors affecting the business. Be more competitive Customer service diversify Expenditure identify specific elements in more detail i.e. Cut down expenses, change suppliers, use less energy, cheaper advertising, in-house v outsource, lease instead of buy Profit analyse to see the impact of any changes made

3 Scenario 1 You have recently taken over as the manager of an agency office with an assistant manager, 2 full-time negotiators, a part-time negotiator and a full-time administrator. The office is part of a 6 office company and for the last 2 years the office has just broken even. Apart from the standard reporting processes each branch has been operating individual systems. The owner of the company has provided you with the last 2 years accounts and the profit and loss statement for the year to date. This is the poorest performing office in the company. Question 2 of 2 Using one specific example of a fixed cost and one specific example of a variable cost explain how these could be changed to improve the performance of the business, and what impact these changes may have in the short term and the long term. Will provide an example with limited explanation of their impact Fixed cost examples may be: rent, utilities, and rates Variable cost examples may be: advertising, stationary Simple - Short term save money Simple - Long term earn more profit. Fixed cost example: unlikely to be able to change if in a contract and the changes make take longer to impact on the bottom line Variable cost example: quicker impact on bottom line but may be harmful to the business in the long term Short term save money and produce profit Long term reduces impact of the business so in long term may harm the business.

4 Scenario 2 As the senior office manager you are presented with two tasks by your managing director and asked to deal with them on behalf of the company. Question 1 of 2 One task is to respond to a letter from a former customer who is trying to claim compensation for a financial loss he alleges he has suffered, but offers no evidence of such financial loss. Explain how you would address this and why you would need to. (60% of the marks for this scenario will be There should be a procedure in place for complaints handling; acknowledge the complaint and request evidence of financial loss (eg receipts) giving an indication of when a full response will be given, investigate, respond either rejecting or making an offer of compensation then record outcome. The candidate should also provide some of the following to pass: This would be in order to help other employees deal with this kind of problem and to prevent this problem from reoccurring. Ignoring the letter will not make the complaint go away and may cause extra work in the long run. As with the pass grade and also advice on how to address; intervention needed, mediation, consultation, solution. The complaints procedure would recognise the effects of complaints: reputation of company/individual, useful to competitors, prompt efficient complaints handling retains customers, quality control is maintained. There may also be legal and financial (bottom line) implications. Learn from complaint, prevention, monitor and control. Recognition that some people will complain because they think they may avoid fees, or make a profit out of a company s failings (prevent rather than cure). They may also mention the ombudsman scheme and professional body rules requiring them to deal with this or will be in trouble with them.

5 Scenario 2 As the senior office manager you are presented with two tasks by your managing director and asked to deal with them on behalf of the company. Question 2 of 2 In the second task it is suggested to you that you should conduct appraisals within your organisation. Explain what you understand by an appraisal. (40% of the marks for this scenario will be A basic pass will say that an appraisal is a process whereby employees and managers discuss past and present performance and identify ways to improve performance in the future. The candidate will cover the pass criteria and also elaborate by including that the appraisal might also be called a performance appraisal or performance review and that performance will be evaluated or rated against agreed objectives and competencies/skills, recognising achievements and open discussion of how improvements might be achieved in the future. Measurable objectives will be set and agreed and plans made to enable the person to be provided with the knowledge, skills and competencies to help them achieve their objectives and overcome barriers to progress. The distinction answer might also talk about up/down appraisal and 360 degree appraisal.

6 Scenario 3 While considering staffing needs for the new year you notice that the senior negotiator in your office is about to reach retirement age. Question 1 of 2 Explain how you would comply with legislation when discussing this milestone birthday with your senior negotiator and how your company may avoid discrimination. Will state that senior negotiator cannot be made to retire as that would be discrimination. Company must discuss with senior negotiator what it is that they want to do and how that fits with companies vision. Identifies that legislation covering this matter is the Equality Act 2010 and that a protected characteristic under the legislation is age, outlines the right to continue in work and that this must be considered by the employer and that good reason must be given for retiring the employee.

7 Scenario 3 While considering staffing needs for the new year you notice that the senior negotiator in your office is about to reach retirement age. Question 2 of 2 Your senior negotiator decides to retire, explain the process of finding a suitable replacement. Identifies stages of recruitment as application process, selection process and the employment process, little development of individual stages. Will include development of at least five of the following stages (application); job description, person specification, application form, advertise; (selection process), short list, interviews, decision; (employment process), references, job offer and induction. It must cover each of the main stages (application, selection and employment).

8 Scenario 4 As branch manager of a property agency you believe that you are not getting maximum efficiency from your staff and plan to address that using formal training sessions. Question 1 of 2 Time wasters, which reduce staff efficiency, can be individual or interpersonal. Using the example of a property agency discuss how such time waster issues can divert staff away from completing important tasks, and how these issues can be avoided. A Candidate must show some understanding of the nature & characteristics of time wasters, both individual such as: 1. Procrastination 2. Cluttered Brain 3. Cluttered Work Space 4. Lack of organisation 5. Work piling up and interpersonal such as 1. Lack of trust 2. Cluttered work environment 3. Interpersonal problems with colleagues, like excessive conversation, too long phonecalls, excessive s, etc and provide some basic examples of how these issues could be dealt with A distinction answer will use further examples from practice to suggest how some of these time wasters can be illuminated, i.e. 1. Self organisation 2. Use of written lists 3. Division of home/work 4. Regular filing 5. Improve housekeeping 6. Remove agents of procrastination. 7. etc

9 Scenario 4 As branch manager of a property agency you believe that you are not getting maximum efficiency from your staff and plan to address that using formal training sessions. Question 2 of 2 In requesting funds from head office for running weekly training sessions you are required to outline to them what benefits you perceive as coming from such sessions. Explain what points you will cite as being the advantages for your branch of running this training. Candidates will point to the basic advantages of training such as: 1. Basics of the job 2. Development of staff 3. Statutory and other compliance 4. Improve service offered 5. Implement change 6. Improve efficiency/profitability Candidate will expand their answers using examples from agency practice to illustrate how training can achieve such gains.

10 Scenario 5 You are required, as branch manager, to make quarterly budget reports to your line manager. Question 1 of 2 Describe and explain the headings you would use to construct a formal business report. (40% of the marks for this scenario will be Answer will include some of the following in a logical order but with limited explanation: Title Writer s name Contents Introduction Findings/source of information Analysis/recommendations Conclusion Appendices Answer will include the majority of the above and more detailed explanation.

11 Scenario 5 You are required, as branch manager, to make quarterly budget reports to your line manager. Question 2 of 2 Explain the purpose of KPIs and give some examples which would provide useful information in a financial appraisal of your branch. (60% of the marks for this scenario will be Answer will include some of the following with limited explanation: Provide information on how the business is performing Measure specific outcomes Quantitative information Performance against target Assists decision making/planning Relevant examples may include: Valuations v instructions Instructions v completions Asking price v sale price Answer will include more of the above with additional explanation of how break even points can be established for sales, costs etc.

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