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A Comprehensive Guide to the Improvement Specialist Apprenticeship

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Choosing the correct training programme for yourself can be a challenging endeavour!

This blog post provides comprehensive information about the Level 5 Improvement Specialist apprenticeship offered by GLP Training.


What is an Improvement Specialist?

Improvement Specialists play a crucial role in leading the implementation strategies that will help improve the organisation in many ways. They are tasked with training individuals and offering extensive technical proficiency in advanced Lean and Six Sigma, Project Management, and Change Management principles. Their goal is to facilitate the identification and realisation of improvement opportunities that align with key business objectives.

The Improvement Specialist programme has the addition of the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, whereby the individual will become able to lead and manage projects. The programme typically takes 14+ months to be completed. The Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that will be learnt on this apprenticeship programme include:


  • Leading Improvement Teams

  • Project Planning

  • Project Reviews & Coaching

  • Principles & Methods for Improvement

  • Process Mapping and Analysis

  • Root Cause Analysis




Who is it suitable for?

The Improvement Specialist apprenticeship is suitable for individuals managing improvement activities within their organisation. The typical candidates job role could be, but is not limited to:

  • Business Improvement Expert

  • Continuous Improvement Consultant

  • Process Excellence Manager

  • Business Improvement Consultant

  • Business Transformation Consultant

  • Environmental Manager


What could your day-to-day job look like?

Day-to-day activities are likely to include:

  • Leading Local Improvement Initiatives.

  • Using Advanced Tools to Analyse Processes and Outcomes.

  • Directing Cross-Functional Projects while Reducing Waste and Defects.

  • Coordinating Practitioner-level Training and Coaching.

  • Communicating with Stakeholders.



Cost to Individual:

There are no financial costs to the individual, as the expense is covered by the employer. The individual will have to be in full-time employment, or secure a job that is offering this programme prior to enrolling.

Cost to Employer:

The total cost of this programme is £9,000. Non-Levy paying employers will contribute only 5% of the total course cost, with the government covering the remaining 95%. For this specific programme, the maximum cost to the non-levy employer would be £450.

Levy paying organisations will fund the £9,000 from their levy pot. It's crucial to note that any unspent funds in the levy pot by the end of the year will be claimed by the government as a tax. Therefore, it is advisable for levy-paying employers to use these funds to up-skill their workforce.


Assessments Explained

The end point assessment for this apprenticeship standard consists of 2 assessments, that are graded a Distinction, Pass or Fail. In order to complete the apprenticeship, apprentices will need to achieve either a Pass or Distinction.

Assessment Method 1: 

Professional Discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

  • Throughout your apprenticeship, you will gather evidence and information that forms your portfolio, and this will be used for your professional discussion. This discussion with your assessor allows you to showcase everything you have learned over the course of the programme.

Assessment Method 2:


  • The examination will consist of 8 mini case studies. The case studies will include a brief description of the scenario along with a set of data in a software package such as excel. The apprentice will be responsible for analysing and drawing conclusions from the case study, and will answer 10 multiple choice questions for each case study.


Progression Opportunities after Completion

After completing this apprenticeship, the individual will have the ability to manage improvement projects and teams.

If an individual is looking for further management qualifications, they can progress onto the Level 6 Improvement Leader apprenticeship, that includes the Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Upon completion, after having gained relevant experience, you may be able to progress onto roles such as Senior Lean Leader, Environmental Health and Safety Leader or a Transformation Leader.


Expected Salary after Completion

The average salary for an Improvement Specialist in the UK is £41,000 as of January 2024.

Average salary can range from £30,000 to £48,000 dependent on experience and location.


Are you interested?

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