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Level 3 – Knowledge, Skills, & Behaviours

All apprentices must take an independent assessment at the end of their training to confirm that they have achieved occupational competence. Rigorous, robust and independent end-point assessment (EPA) is essential to give employers confidence that apprentices completing an apprenticeship standard can actually perform in the occupation they have been trained in and can demonstrate the duties, knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) set out in the occupational standard.

View Standard on Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education
Level 3 – Knowledge, Skills, & Behaviours- image - 2

What are they?

Improvement Technicians have the Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Compliance: Legislative and customer compliance requirements including health and safety
  • Team formation & leadership: Improvement team roles and responsibilities in a change environment
  • Self-development: Different sources for knowledge development
  • Project management: Project charter, Gantt chart, reporting documentation, Red Amber Green (RAG) status, communication (verbal and non-verbal channels) and implementation plans
  • Change management: Roles of the manager and leader within change. Influencing, reinforcement and coaching principles
  • Principles & methods: Six Sigma principles per ISO13053 (International Organisation for Standardisation), interim containment actions, Lean principles
  • Project selection & scope: Selection matrix, scoping tree
  • Problem definition: Exploratory data analysis, data collection planning, problem and goal statements
  • Process mapping & analysis: Supplier Input Process Output Customer (SIPOC), process mapping, value and waste analysis, performance metrics – discrete data
  • Data acquisition for analysis: Data stratification, sampling theory, data types, variation types and sources, data collection tools, operational definition and principles of measurement error
  • Basic statistics & measures: Control charts – discrete data
  • Process capability & performance: Capability analysis – continuous data
  • Root cause analysis: Histograms
  • Experimentation: Active analysis versus one factor at a time, Plan Do Check Act
  • Identification & prioritisation: Brainstorming, selection criteria
  • Sustainability & control: Process

 

Improvement Technicians have the Skills within the context of their own organisation to:

  • Compliance: Work in accordance with organisational controls and statutory regulations
  • Communication: Share improvement progress through appropriate reporting
  • Project management: Plan, manage and implement improvement activities. Identify and support management of risks. Develop the business case for improvement activity and implementation
  • Change management: Engage through communications. Reinforce – positively and negatively. Effectively coach peers
  • Principles and methods: Use a structured method and appropriate improvement tools engaging with subject matter experts to deliver business benefits
  • Project selection and Scoping: Identify and scope improvement projects and establish clear measurable objectives
  • Problem definition: Develop a problem/opportunity statement supported by validated data
  • Voice of the customer: Apply techniques to identify customers, their requirements and translate these to metrics
  • Process mapping & analysis: Apply process mapping tools to visualise processes, analyse process performance establishing key insights for performance improvement
  • Lean tools: Apply techniques such as identification and removal of 8 wastes, 5S (Sort, Shine, Set, Standardise, Sustain), standard work, kaizen, visual displays and controls, error proofing, preventative maintenance
  • Data acquisition for analysis: Develop data collection plan and validated measurement processes to understand performance
  • Basic statistics & measures: Establish patterns and trends in data over time using tally, pie, run/trend and pareto charts
  • Data analysis-statistical methods: Identify common and special cause variation
  • Process capability & performance: Analyse product/process performance using good quality data
  • Root cause analysis: Use cause and effect diagrams, technique of 5 whys and graphical analysis to understand and verify root causes
  • Identification & prioritisation: Identify and prioritise improvement solutions
  • Benchmarking: Recognise the value of sharing best practice
  • Sustainability & control: Create control and reaction plans with detection measures, identify opportunities to embed changes to leverage benefit to the business.

 

Improvement Technicians demonstrate the following Behaviours:

  • Drive for results: Clear commitment for identifying opportunities and delivering improvements, pays attention to detail
  • Team-working: Helps when asked, works effectively in a diverse team, considers impact of own actions on others, motivates peers
  • Professionalism: Acts in a moral, legal and socially appropriate manner, aligns behaviours to the organisations values, trusted to working on own when appropriate
  • Continuous development: Acts upon feedback, reflects on performance and has a desire for learning
  • Safe working: Ensures safety of self and others, challenges safety

How are they assessed at EPA?

For full, in detail criteria of all parts of the assessment and each KSB (including Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction criteria), please see: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/media/3279/st0193_improvement-technician_l3_ap-for-publication_080719.pdf

In order to achieve Merit / Distinction in your Project Report and Professional Discussion require the delegate to demonstrate specific criteria that is detailed in the link above or can be explained by your End Point Assessor.

KSB Criteria Exam Project Report Professional Discussion
Knowledge K1 Compliance X
K2 Team formation and Leadership X X
K3 Self Development X
K4 Project Management X
K5 Change Management X
K6 Principles and Methods X
K7 Project Selection and Scope X
K8 Problem definition X
K9 Process mapping and Analysis X
K10 Data acquisition for analysis X
K11 Basic Statistics and measures X
K12 Process capability and Performance X
K13 Root cause analysis X
K14 Experimentation X
K15 Identification and prioritisation X
K16 Sustainability and Control X
Skills S1 Compliance X
S2 Communication X
S3 Project management X X
S4 Change management X X
S5 Principles and Methods X
S6 Project Selection and Scoping X
S7 Problem Definition X
S8 Voice of the Customer X
S9 Process Mapping and Analysis X
S10 Lean Tools X
S11 Data Acquisition for Analysis X
S12 Basic Statistics and Measures X
S13 Data Analysis – Statistical Methods X
S14 Process capability and performance X
S15 Root Cause Analysis X
S16 Identification & Prioritisation X
S17 Benchmarking X
S18 Sustainability & Control X
Behaviours B1 Drive for results X
B2 Team-working X
B3 Professionalism X
B4 Continuous Development X
B5 Safe Working X
Level 3 – Knowledge, Skills, & Behaviours- image - 4

Project Report – Fail Criteria

The apprentice will be deemed as a ‘fail’ for the project report element if the criteria for ‘Pass’ grade are not met, specifically the apprentice will fail should they meet any one or more of the criteria below:

  • Not submit their project report to the EPAO within one month following the gateway
  • Not provide a statement signed by their employer authenticating the project report and presentation and confirming business benefits associated with the improvement project
  • Not demonstrate their role in working with others in an improvement team (i.e. worked alone without communication and consultation throughout the project)
  • Fail to address a substantive business problem/opportunity in the workplace
  • Are unable to demonstrate that sustainable business benefits have been delivered into the business as a result of any project(s) carried out
  • Not demonstrate that they have applied a recognised methodology (e.g. PPS, DMAIC, 8D)
  • Not correctly applied and/or interpreted Lean, Six Sigma, Project and Change Management tools
  • Fail to demonstrate data-backed decision making to support definition, measurement, analysis and improvement or equivalent phases of the recognised methodology being applied.
  • Not present the project using a concise, visual format
  • Not demonstrate holistically through the project report, presentation and questioning, their knowledge and skills as set out in Annex 3 and as detailed in the L3 standard

Project Report – Pass Criteria

Apprentices must demonstrate all the following criteria: 

1. Prepare, submit and present a project report to agreed timescales that details one improvement project. The project must:  

  • Show business benefit to the apprentice’s employer (S18) 
  • Follow the steps of a recognised Problem Solving methodology (e.g. PPS, DMAIC, 8D) with a clear flow from one step to another and supported by the application/interpretation of appropriate Lean, Six Sigma, Project and Change Management tools (S1, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S16, S18) 
  • Demonstrate data-backed decision making to support definition, measurement, analysis and improvement (S11, S12, S13, S14, S15)

2. Present the project using a concise, visual format and include: 

  • Explanation of why the project was chosen (S3) 
  • How they used each tool (S5) 
  • How they worked with others in a team during the project (K2, K4) 

 

Project Report – Merit & Distinction Criteria

In order to obtain a Merit, the delegate must satisfy all pass criteria (related to KSBs above) and satisfy both of the below:

  1. Clearly explains how the outputs of each tool are used to inform the next step.
  2. Identifies and takes the opportunity to share and/or replicate the improvements made to one other area / system where there are differences in the solutions/controls required to deliver successful outcomes.

In order to obtain a Distinction, the delegate must satisfy all pass and merit criteria and satisfy both of the below:

  1. Identifies and takes the opportunity to share and/or replicate the improvements made to one other area / system where there are differences in baseline metrics.
  2. Seeks opportunities to apply Lean, Six Sigma, Project and Change Management tools in daily work.

 

Professional Discussion – Fail Criteria

The apprentice will be deemed as a ‘fail’ for the professional discussion element if the criteria for ‘Pass’ grade are not met, specifically the apprentice will fail should they meet any one or more of the criteria below:-

  • Not submit their CPD log to the EPAO within one month following the gateway
  • Not demonstrate holistically, their knowledge skills and behaviours as set out in Annex 3 and as detailed in the L3 standard • Not clearly explained how they worked with others
  • Not regularly communicated progress of their project with others
  • Not developed a clear case and implementation plan for improvement activities

Professional Discussion – Pass Criteria

1. Provide evidence of their behaviours as detailed in the L3 standard (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5) 

2. Clearly explain: 

  • Their role in the team (K2) 
  • The different sources used to develop knowledge (K3) 
  • How they shared progress throughout the project (S2) 
  • Their approach to Project Management including identification and approach to risks (S3) 
  • How they engaged others through Change Management (S4) 
  • How best practice can be shared with others (S17)

Professional Discussion – Merit & Distinction Criteria

In order to obtain a Merit, the delegate must satisfy all pass criteria (related to KSBs above) and satisfy all of the below:

  1. Identifies opportunities for improvement in their area.
  2. Uses own knowledge and skills to support colleagues in their application of improvement tools.
  3. Takes the opportunity to prepare and/or deliver training to upskill colleagues.

In order to obtain a Distinction, the delegate must satisfy all pass and merit criteria and satisfy all of the below:

  1. Critically evaluates their improvement journey and identifies recommendations for improvement/change (e.g. “If I were to do this again I would…”)
  2. Identifies other opportunities for improvement.
  3. Uses own knowledge and skills to support colleagues in their application of improvement tools.
  4. Takes the opportunity to prepare and/or deliver training to upskill colleagues.

 

Multiple Choice Examination (maximum obtainable = 40 marks)

  • Fail Criteria – Less than 25 marks
  • Pass Criteria – 25 to 29 marks
  • Merit Criteria – 30 to 35 marks
  • Distinction Criteria – 36 marks or greater
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