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Improvement Leader Apprenticeship | Managing Business Transformation

About the apprenticeship

The Improvement Leader Apprenticeship equips learners with the essential skills to drive improvement and strategic change.

Benefits of the programme

  • Earn an Executive Diploma in Managing Business Transformation from a respected, triple-accredited business school
  • Become an advocate for improvement and operational excellence and act as a role model for others and gain the opportunity to influence strategic review and change
  • Develop and demonstrate personal resilience and learn how to challenge, influence and engage senior stakeholders
  • Build a best practice sharing network

How to apply

Entry requirements: The minimum entry level is Agenda for Change Band 7 or equivalent, with a minimum of 2 years experience in a role managing teams and services that encourages continuous improvement and transformation.

Henley's Apprenticeship Engagement Team will be on hand to guide individuals and their line managers through the application process.

Download the full application process.

Key dates

  • Nominations deadline - 25 June 2024
  • Programme start date - 16 September 2024

Contact the Imperial Quality Improvement Team for further information

If you're from Imperial College Healthcare NHS or the North West London ICS and are interested in applying for this programme and want further information then email the team imperial.quality.improvement@nhs.net

Join one of our upcoming webinars to find our more and ask any questions you may have

Course structure

The learning in the workplace is supported by nine core modules. These will be delivered through a combination of online learning and experiential learning through application in the workplace, supported by a learning coach.

This apprenticeship programme consists of three streams which are taught across the three stages of the programme.

  • Leading direction
  • Process improvement
  • Data-driven measurement

Each stream includes three modules tailored to core aspects of improvement and leadership. Apprentices study each module for an eight-week period, with each stage lasting six months. In addition to the stream-specific modules, all learners will be provided a content of ‘Apprenticeship Essentials’, enabling learners to engage in resources to meet the OFSTED requirements.

Module assessment

At the end of each eight-week module, apprentices complete a 1,500-word work-based project. When completing these projects, learners focus on improving a process, system, product or leadership approach. The work-based assessments form part of each apprentice’s portfolio for their end-point assessment (EPA).

The EPA also includes a work-based dissertation of 4,000-5,000 words. This assessment focuses on the development and deployment of an improvement strategy. Learners present their work to assessors for 45-50 minutes, followed by a questioning session of 35-40 minutes.

Stage 1

Strategic thinking

This first module covers the strategic management and planning theories, concepts and techniques applied to support the organisation's strategy development. It aims to develop the learner's approach to leading strategic decisions while recognising the importance of a strategic plan for continuous improvement.

Process management

Covers the application of process thinking and the selection of tools and metrics for process capability analysis. It aims to develop the learner’s approach to identify opportunities to improve business and process performance and maintain ongoing process control

Measurement systems

The module covers measurement systems analysis and business benefits (net present value, activity-based costing). It aims to develop the learner’s approach to building the organisation’s knowledge and skills in measurement analysis. Learners will assess the organisation’s approach to calculating business benefits associated with improvement programmes and make recommendations for the improvement.


Stage 2

Teams and leadership

The module covers the leadership concepts and theories, team formation techniques and tools to support the improvement strategy of the organisation. The module is designed around several interrelated topics, including team types and constraints, dysfunctional teams, emotional intelligence, Neuro-linguistic programming techniques, and reinforcement strategies.

Problem solving methods

The module primarily focuses on developing learners’ skills to implement, coach, and benchmark approaches to problem-solving methods, to enhance the business improvement strategy.

Data analysis

The module covers key data analysis and statistical methods, statistical and graphical analysis, and statistical process control to build the organisation's knowledge and skills and make recommendations for improvement that extend the organisation's capabilities.


Stage 3

Project and change management

The module covers project and change management principles as part of the organisation’s long-term strategy for business transformation. The module will equip learners with the skills and knowledge required to plan and lead successful projects in their work context.

Improvement methods and strategies

The module covers the principles of Lean, Six Sigma and other improvement methodologies and strategies to enable continuous improvement and support business transformation. The module will equip the learners with the skills and knowledge required to align improvement methods and tools with organisational goals while critically reviewing the outcomes and identifying the gaps for improvement.

Experimentation and optimisation

The module aims to expand the knowledge and understanding of design and application of experimentation, optimisation and simulations to deliver business benefits. It also aims to develop the learner’s approach in assessing the organisation’s approach to mathematical modelling and make recommendations for improvement. The module also aims to equip the learners to guide others in using appropriate experimentation tools and to build the organisation’s knowledge in mathematical modelling.


Imperial colleagues driving change and transformation

See below a sample of just some of the transformational changes Imperial colleagues have been able to make through their learning whilst on an Improvement apprenticeship.

"A paediatric home treatment nurse and then an Improvement fellow. Jo was promoted while on the programme. She has been working on strategic organisational change relating to patient flow and implementing our new quality management system at a ward and service level. Jo has been particularly interested in the use of data to embed and develop these improvements. She has increased her capability and confidence in the application of improvement methods and now regularly teaches on internal improvement courses at Imperial."

Joanna Turner, Paediatric Assessment and Treatment at Home nurse and a Level 6 Improvement Leader Apprenticeship

FAQs about the programme

What if I don’t have Level 2 qualifications in English and maths/can't find my certificates?

To successfully complete their apprenticeship learners must hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths.

The government has provided a useful link for those who may have misplaced their exam certificates. If you need to obtain these qualifications, the Apprenticeship Engagement Team (aet@henley.ac.uk) can help you via a short programme before you start. If you obtained your qualifications overseas, please send your certificates to the Apprenticeship Engagement Team so they can be checked against the National database.

Find out more about English and maths requirements.

Why is there an interview?

The apprenticeship programmes are bound by apprenticeship rules which state that all applicants must be interviewed. This is an important step in order to create your individualised learning plan.

How often will I be expected to attend face-to-face workshops at Henley?

The programmes require learners to attend workshops for each module. In total there are 5 days plus blended learning component across the whole 23 months programme. *

*Programme schedules detailing specific dates will be shared prior to the programmes starting.

What is off-the-job learning?

Download our essential guide to find out more about what off-the-job learning is, how much is required, and how Henley apprenticeship tutors can work with you and your line manager.

Contact us

Imperial Quality Improvement Team

If you are from Imperial College Healthcare and / or North West London ICS and would like further information please email the Imperial Quality Improvement Team.