Improvement Leader Level 6 Apprenticeship

Our Level 6 improvement leader apprenticeship is for people in roles common across all industry sectors and functions including Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Telecommunication, Retail, Finance, Food, Drink, Travel and Leisure, Local and County Councils, NHS, Voluntary / Charity, Utilities, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance and Hospitality. 

Reporting to board level, Improvement Leaders have high-level expertise in Lean, Six Sigma, Project and Change management and are recognised as the specialists in leading improvement strategy and providing leadership in improvement for the business. Typically they will manage a team of improvement specialists, who deploy the strategy and lead improvement projects.  

Improvement Leaders work closely with all functions of the business to support the setting and achievement of business goals, often accountable for improvement activities within the largest-scale and highest priority programmes of work. For example, they may develop top-level Value Stream Maps to identify improvement opportunities that are then scoped into projects to be delivered by Improvement Specialists or they may design new products, processes or services.

Job titles associated with the Improvement Leader function include; Lean Master, Senior Lean Leader, Senior Navigator, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Senior Consultant, Environmental Health and Safety Leader, Logistics / Supply Chain Manager and Change / Transformation Leader.

Improvement leaders include:

  • Developing and lead Improvement strategies for the business
  • Developing processes and resources to support improvement strategy implementation such as guidance for structured project reviews
  • Training, coaching and mentoring senior stakeholders
  • Designing and sourcing training solutions for the business
  • Leading large-scale, complex Improvement activities and sustainability activities
  • Managing and training a team of Improvement Specialists

This apprenticeship duration is 18 months.


The Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours covered during your apprenticeship training.

Delivery & EPA

How we deliver the apprenticeship and how it is assessed in your end-point assessment.


View the overview document below that explains the apprenticeship in more detail.

Improvement Leader Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set their own entry requirements; typically an Improvement qualification at level 5 or equivalent is required.

Desirable: Achieved Green Belt/Level 4 or equivalent. If not, alternative routes are available for applicants to join, such as:

  1. Hold a U/G of P/G in a STEM subject, Economics, Finance or other major that has a mathematical or statistical orientation
  2. Have experience of working / undertaking on projects / change-based initiatives for two years or more
  3. Are a new graduate they are assigned on a full-time basis to a project/change role as their day-to-day job i.e. they are not working in an operational role. This will mean that we lead on the proviso that the new graduate will be working on projects, so that we use their projects to deliver an applied CI/LSS course.

level 6 improvement leader courses
level 6 improvement leader courses 1
level 6 improvement leader courses 2


The level 6 improvement leader apprenticeship includes the following core knowledge and skills throughout their training:

  • Project management: Plan and manage an improvement programme 
  • Reviewing projects and coaching others: Provide guidance for structured project reviews. Conduct group coaching reviews. Identify, diagnose and resolve project performance issues
  • Project selection and scoping: Establish guidelines for project identification and prioritisation. 
  • Statistical analysis: Assess and guide statistical analysis, while establishing strategies for gathering and analysing life-cycle data
  • Strategic deployment of continuous improvement: Contribute to the business planning cycle and lead the development of improvement strategy. 
  • Voice of Customer (VOC): Coach others on the importance of understanding VOC. 
  • Process mapping and analysis: Apply process thinking to identify opportunities to improve business and process performance and maintain ongoing process control
  • Lean concepts and tools: Easily translate and communicate fundamental Lean concepts for application to a wide range of business functions. 
  • Data acquisition for analysis: Assess data acquisition conducted by others in terms of tool selection and application, conclusions and recommendations
  • Team formation and leadership: Use appropriate tools and techniques to identify, diagnose and resolve sources of under-performance and conflict within teams
  • Capability Development: Design, source and evaluate learning interventions. 
  • Process capability and performance: Make recommendations on how an organisation can drive improvement 
  • Change management: Assess the effectiveness of change and identify opportunities to improve outcomes, guiding and supporting others to deliver results

Delivery model 

Our COVID friendly delivery model means apprentices can complete their training anywhere; from the office, training room or even from home. Mandatory training sessions occur nearly every week, using secure web-based software in a virtual setting. 
Apprentices will attend their morning tutorials before completing guided study for the rest of that day. Our courses start at various points in the year in January, April and September. 

All enrolments must be completed two weeks before the 1st Digital classroom session.

End Point Assessment

Following successful completion of the Gateway, a meeting to decide if you are ready to undertake your EPA, you will proceed to end-point assessment (EPA).
Your employer selects an independent assessment organisation to conduct the EPA, which includes the following components::

  • Professional discussion, underpinned by portfolio of evidence 
  • Dissertation, presentation and questioning

The End Point Assessment organisation will determine the overall grade as Fail, Pass, or Distinction.