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BCS Commercial Awareness

The BCS Commercial Awareness course provides business analysts with a broader understanding of their organisation and the business domain within which their work takes place. Delegates are introduced to the various financial, commercial and organisational issues which impact on their role. Key areas include:

- Financial reporting
- Budgeting, costing and pricing
- Evaluating a financial case
- Organisational behaviour and culture
- Organisational structure and operating models

The course uses a mixture of discussions and group and individual exercises to explore the topic areas and, at the end of each section, test questions help participants prepare for the BCS examination. A comprehensive course manual is provided.


Who should attend?

  • Those wishing to acquire a basic level of understanding about business finance and behavioural influences.
  • Those wishing to attain the BCS Certificate in the Commercial Awareness.

This is the updated course previously known as ISEB Organisational Context


12-month BCS Associate membership (not available to previous members). Click here for terms and conditions.

Bundle Offer   BCS Business Analysis Diploma Bundles from £1,995 - More Details



Learning Objectives

  • Understand techniques used to evaluate a financial case.
  • Understand costing and pricing.
  • Understand cash flow forecasting and budgeting.
  • Describe the contents of financial accounting documents.
  • Interpret financial accounts.
  • Explain specified business performance ratios.
  • Define the elements and usage of Porter’s Five Forces Framework and Value Chain.
  • Define the elements and usage of the Boston Consulting Group’s matrix.
  • Define the performance measures and usage of the Balanced Business Scorecard.
  • Define the elements of specified cultural analysis approaches.
  • Explain the different management structures and their characteristics.
  • Define the different architectures that may be adopted by organisations.


There are no specific pre-requisites for this course

Course Content

Financial reporting
The balance sheet
The income and expenditure statement (profit and loss account)
The cash flow statement
Financial ratio analysis

Budgeting, costing and pricing
Budgets and departmental businesses
Cash flow and cash management
Costing and pricing

Evaluating a financial case
The purpose of building a financial case
Techniques for evaluating a financial case:
- Payback / breakeven
- Discounted cash flow / net present value (DCF/NPV)
- Internal rate of return (IRR)

Market analysis and competitive advantage
Analysing the business domain
Analysing the product / service portfolio
Delivering business value

Organisational behaviour and culture
What is organisational behaviour?
Organisational effectiveness and the balanced business scorecard
Understanding and analysing culture

Working in groups
Groups and group dynamics
Formal and informal groups

Organisational structure
Organisation structuring
Types of jobs
Line, staff and functional responsibilities
Formalisation of rules and procedures
Centralisation and decentralisation

Operating models
Organisation structures and their characteristics
Organisational boundaries

Exams & Certification

The BCS exam for the Certificate in Commercial Awareness is included and is taken on the final afternoon.

The exam is a one-hour, multiple-choice paper.

The certificate is a knowledge-based specialist module contributing to the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.

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Virtual Classroom

Virtual classrooms provide all the benefits of attending a classroom course without the need to arrange travel and accomodation. Please note that virtual courses are attended in real-time, commencing on a specified date.

Virtual Course Dates

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