The Future of Improvement – Learn More

Level 6 – 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 6 – Knowledge, Skills, & Behaviours- image - 2

What are they?

Improvement Leaders have the Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Strategy development: Policy deployment principles and Hoshin Kanri Porter’s 5 forces, Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT)/Political Economic Social Technological Legal Economic (PESTLE), Ansoff’s growth matrix, Boston Consulting Group growth share matrix, GE-McKinsey matrix
  • Business benefits: Net present value, activity based costing
  • Team formation & leadership: Team types and constraints, dysfunctional teams, emotional intelligence, Neuro-linguistic programming techniques, reinforcement strategies
  • Self-development: Latest thinking in Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence
  • Presentation and reporting: Single page reporting – A3 thinking
  • Project selection and scoping: Business performance metrics
  • Measurement systems: Audit Measurement System
  • Data analysis – statistical methods: Regression (multiple & binary logistic), forecasting and queuing theory
  • Experimentation and optimisation: Monte Carlo and Discrete Event simulation. Balanced and unbalanced designs, General Linear Model


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

  • Strategic deployment of continuous improvement: Contribute to the business planning cycle and lead the development of improvement strategy. Analyse current state and identify opportunities. Develop deployment plans considering key enablers. Contribute to the development of an improvement culture. Maintain engagement through effective communication
  • Business benefits: Identify, quantify and communicate financial and non-financial benefits
  • 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. Facilitate multi-functional workshops. Advise on selection of individuals for different levels of training
  • Project management: Plan and manage an improvement programme with appropriate levels of governance. Apply processes for managing a portfolio of improvement projects including reporting, escalation, audit and risk management/mitigation
  • Reviewing projects and coaching others: Provide guidance for structured project reviews. Conduct group coaching reviews. Identify, diagnose and resolve project performance issues
  • Presentation and reporting: Critique own and others’ improvement reports/presentations
  • Change management: Assess the effectiveness of change and identify opportunities to improve outcomes, guiding and supporting others to deliver results
  • Principles and methods: Clearly communicate the importance of appropriate method-selection to others, and enable the organisation to make appropriate decisions through learning and tools
  • Project selection and scoping: Establish guidelines for project identification and prioritisation. Assess effectiveness of identification and prioritisation processes and implement counter-measures to enhance outcomes. Engage leadership team to identify improvement opportunities
  • Problem definition: Promote importance of evidence-driven problem definition in everyday work
  • Voice of Customer(VOC): Coach others on the importance of understanding VOC. Identify ways that an organisation can improve customer insight through feedback loops to enable improvement activities to be focused appropriately
  • 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. Assess the effectiveness of a Lean strategy and make recommendations for improving outcomes
  • Data acquisition for analysis: Assess data acquisition conducted by others in terms of tool selection and application, conclusions and recommendations
  • Statistics and graphical analysis: Assess and guide graphical and statistical analysis conducted by others in terms of tool selection and application, conclusions and recommendations. Communicate opportunities for robust application of basic data analysis methods and engage others to extend/embed the application of data-driven approaches. Investigate and evaluate measurement and analysis approaches which extend the capabilities of the organisation. Establish strategies for gathering and analysing life-cycle data
  • Process capability and performance: Make recommendations on how an organisation can drive improvement through the selection of tools and metrics for process capability analysis
  • Root cause analysis: Guide and coach others in planning to ensure efficiency of approach
  • Experimentation, optimisation and simulation: Support the building of mathematical models and exploitation of these
  • Identification & prioritisation: Develop a Creative Thinking strategy to support improvements
  • Failure Mode Avoidance: Communicate the business case, aims, methods & key tools. Identify opportunities for application within product and project life cycles including Lean Design
  • Data analysis – Statistical Process Control: Make recommendation on how an organisation can drive sustained improvement through the application of Statistical Process Control
  • Benchmarking: Develop a benchmarking strategy to support an improvement programme


Improvement Leaders demonstrate the following Behaviours:

  • Drive for results: Be a primary advocate for Improvement and Operational Excellence acting as a role model for others, focused on improving customer experience and delivering benefits
  • Team Working: Actively seeks opportunities for improving team performance and coaches others to resolve under-performance issues
  • Professionalism: Demonstrates personal resilience. Challenge, influence & engage seniors
  • Strategic Thinking: Drives future thinking for themselves and others. Actively seeks out new ideas, opportunities methods and tools. Build a knowledge and best practice sharing network
  • Safe Working: Recognises opportunities to improve safe working practices


Improvement Leaders must also build a Training Video into their evidence portfolio:

  • The training session must cover a subject selected from the following list: Project and Change Management, Lean Principles and Tools, Measurement System Analysis and Data Collection Planning Graphical Analysis and Statistical Analysis, Data Transformation and Process Capability, Experimentation, Optimisation and Modelling, Failure Mode Avoidance
  • The training materials must be prepared by the apprentice (they must not deliver published training material prepared by someone else and this requirement will be authenticated by a signed statement provided by the apprentice’s employer) and included in the portfolio of evidence
  • The training session must be delivered to a group of Level 5 delegates in their normal working environment and last 45-50 minutes in duration
  • A continuous video recording of the session must be included in the portfolio of evidence
  • Training materials may include for example PowerPoint presentation, lesson plan, training notes, photographs of white boards, handouts, flipcharts
  • All training materials and records of delegate feedback must be included in the portfolio of evidence


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:

KSB Criteria Professional Discussion Dissertation
Knowledge K1 Strategy Development X
K2 Business benefits X
K3 Team formation & leadership X
K4 Self-development X
K5 Presentation and reporting X
K6 Project selection and scoping X
K7 Measurement systems X
K8 Data analysis – statistical methods X
K9 Experimentation and optimisation X
Skills S1 Strategic deployment of continuous improvement X
S2 Business benefits X
S3 Team formation and leadership X
S4 Capability Development X
S5 Project management X
S6 Reviewing projects and coaching others X
S7 Presentation and reporting X
S8 Change management X
S9 Principles and methods X
S10 Project selection and scoping X
S11 Problem definition X
S12 Voice of Customer (VOC) X
S13 Process mapping and analysis X
S14 Lean concepts and tools X
S15 Data acquisition for analysis X
S16 Statistics and graphical analysis X
S17 Process capability and performance X
S18 Root cause analysis X
S19 Experimentation, optimisation and simulation X
S20 Identification & prioritisation X
S21 Failure Mode Avoidance X
S22 Data analysis – Statistical Process Control X
S23 Benchmarking X
Behaviours B1 Drive for results X
B2 Team Working X
B3 Professionalism X
B4 Strategic Thinking X
B5 Safe Working X

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