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Level 6 Improvement Leader Apprenticeship

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Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship Standard Overview

A programme designed to build leadership capability in Continuous Improvement.

Our Improvement Leader programme is a degree level programme designed to build leadership capability in Continuous Improvement. It incorporates principles, methods and tools from key Continuous Improvement disciplines including Lean, Six Sigma and Operational Excellence, as well as Project Management, Change Management, Team Working and Team Leadership.

It is aimed at Senior Managers, change leaders, and transformation leaders, especially where employers want to build a culture of Continuous Improvement., and is suitable for all disciplines in all organisations. Improvement Leaders can be found across all industry sectors and functions, including manufacturing, finance, engineering, operations, IT, property, retail, service, and hospitality.


Leading the development of continuous improvement strategy. Developing deployment plans to contribute to the development of an Improvement culture.


Primary advocate for Improvement and Operational Excellence, acting as a role model for others, developing team capability and performance.

Project Management

Planning and managing an Improvement programme applying processes for managing a portfolio of projects, providing guidance for structured project reviews.

Change Management

Assessing the effectiveness of change and identifying opportunities to improve outcomes, guiding, and supporting others to deliver results.

Level 6 Improvement Leader

As part of the Improvement Standards, the Level 6 Improvement Leader aligns with the Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. This means that on successful completion of your apprenticeship, you’ll receive two certificates: an Institute for Apprenticeship Certificate, and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification.

Learning Delivery:

Capella was involved in developing this Level 6 Improvement Leader Apprenticeship Standard and Assessment Plan, so we understand it deeply.

We consulted widely to develop our training materials, and they’ve been approved by Toyota, so you can be confident they’re benchmarked against Best in Class. This means we’re able to share best practice and deliver rich learning programmes with our blended approach delivery.

Our blended learning approach to this apprenticeship includes:

  • Tutor-led, bite-sized training sessions
  • Case studies and practical activities
  • 1:1 and group coaching sessions to support the application of learning in the workplace
  • Access to supporting resources and reference materials


Want to learn how to become an apprentice on our next Level 6 programme? Our dedicated apprenticeship team offers online information sessions twice a week. Reserve your seat in the next session here.


Work based application to help you drive success

Learners deliver a portfolio of evidence alongside the apprenticeship, with guidance and support from the learner’s coach and mentor. During the 18-months training period, learners are required to collate a portfolio of evidence, which includes examples of their behavioural development.

What can Learners expect from the End Point Assessment?

The important thing to remember is that throughout our Level 6 Improvement Leader, learners are supported with tutor-led, bite sized training, 1:1 coaching and easy access to supporting resources.

Your End Point Assessment is made up of two parts:

  • Dissertation (50%): your knowledge is assessed with a dissertation of 4,000 – 4,500 words
  • Professional Discussion (50%): learners have a Professional Discussion which is underpinned by the Portfolio of Evidence
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Overview: Level 6 Improvement Leader Apprenticeship


Duration: 18 – 24 months

Content: Designed to build underpinning knowledge and share best practice through a range of specialist trainers and guest speakers, introducing the latest thinking from a broad range of sectors to stretch understanding and enrich the learning experience.

Commitment Required:

  • 21 training days
  • 11 coaching days
  • Mid programme review
  • Final review
  • Maths and English (if required) up to 7 additional days

End Point Assessment:

  • Dissertation (4,000 to 4,500 words)
  • Portfolio of evidence underpinned by Professional discussion

Entry Requirements:

  • Essential pre-requisite: Completion of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or Level 4 Improvement Practitioner training
  • Ideally, learners would have also completed a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or Level 5 Improvement Specialist training


Reserve a Seat on Our Next Online Information Session
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Hear from Amanda Beable, Head of Transformation – Level 6 Improvement Leader

Here’s what Amanda had to say about her experience on a Capella Apprenticeship:

“I first became interested in the world of improvement in customer service management at a previous company. I’ve seen how energising it can be when everyone is driven to improve outcomes in an aligned and motivated culture. I wanted to gain knowledge and develop the leadership skills that would allow me to develop such a culture within my team at Hampshire County Council. Gaining a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt qualification as part of the apprenticeship, has certainly helped this.

These are skills that are transferable across roles and sectors and are the building blocks for a successful career. I wanted to gain both a greater understanding behind the theory of improvement leadership, as well as knowledge of key tools that I can practically implement to improve the work of my team. I also wanted to understand how to nurture the behaviours in both myself and my team that would drive an improvement culture across everything we do.

If you’re interested in making work better for your team and developing yourself as a leader, then definitely consider this apprenticeship.”

Inspired by Amanda’s Story?

Our dedicated apprenticeship team deliver online information sessions twice a week where you can find out more about these apprenticeships.

Reserve a Seat on Our Next Online Information Session

Who We Work With

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Designed to provide business improvement training resources to support learners on our apprenticeship programmes – you’ll want to Bookmark our Apprentice Hub.

Useful for Learners and Employers, the Apprentice Hub is an indispensable resource for key programme information, including learner and employer handbooks, guides, procedures, and policies.


  • Webinars, Podcasts, and Videos to support off-the-job learning
  • Apprenticeship-specific KSBs – Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours
  • Support for End-Point Assessment & Grading
  • Smart Assessor
  • Learner Stories and SO MUCH MORE!
Explore Apprentice Hub

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