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Improvement Leader Apprenticeship

Improvement Leader Apprenticeship | Managing Business Transformation

At a glance

  • Empower managers to deliver complex change projects when faced with a volatile business environment
  • Build organisational capability and equip operational improvement leaders to drive change and transformation
  • Equip learners with globally-recognised expertise in project and change management principles
  • Build confident leaders who empower others to champion change
  • Use impactful work-based projects to enable immediate change
Subject area(s)
Business & Management
Attendance
Part-time
Fee
£15,000 (can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account)
Course length
Up to 23 months, including the End-point assessment (EPA)
Suitable for
Those responsible for developing or leading improvement strategy and for providing leadership in improvement activities.

Overview

Today’s organisations face major changes like never before. In the aftermath of the pandemic, teams are adjusting to a remote or hybrid working world. This coincides with other significant shifts in the workplace, such as digital transformation, improving sustainability, and tackling recruitment issues. With these developments affecting businesses of all types, teams need dependable, competent leaders to champion improvement and maintain stability.

The Improvement Leader Apprenticeship | Managing Business Transformation programme will upskill management and leadership staff in your organisation. This Level 6 degree apprenticeship enables managers to become resilient leaders who can embrace business opportunities and withstand challenges.

Learners who complete this programme will become capable leaders who can:

  • train and delegate improvement specialists, teams and stakeholders to ensure an efficient improvement strategy
  • plan processes and resources to support improvement strategy deployment, such as guidance for structured project reviews
  • develop a long-term transformation strategy that incorporates Lean and Six Sigma principles
  • design and source training solutions for your organisation
  • lead large-scale, complex improvement or sustainability activities
  • support colleagues to apply theory and graphical or statistical analyses to projects and tasks

Apprentices who complete this Executive Diploma will gain a sought-after qualification from our Business School, which specialises in the fields of leadership, organisations and behaviour. Our open executive-level programmes are ranked the fourth highest in the UK, cementing Henley’s role in defining change in the nation’s businesses.

Next available dates (open cohort)

Cohort

Start date

Nominations due

ILA01

17/04/2023

23/01/2023

Key benefits

Typically, learners on this programme will have at least two years’ experience in improvement activities. This might include:

  • a history of participating in projects, process and change management activities
  • experience in developing methods and resources to support colleagues and stakeholders
  • an understanding of business improvement techniques, such as coaching or building the capability of others
  • the ability to apply improvement principles within projects
  • experience with building strategies and leading improvement projects.

As the employer, you need to formally nominate learners before they can apply to our apprenticeship programmes. You must also enter a three-way agreement with the apprentice and Henley Business School / the University of Reading. Find out more about the application process.

Entry requirements for the individual

Learners on the programme typically have two years’ experience within improvement activities. Their application and supporting baseline assessment will need to demonstrate they require significant new learning against the Improvement Leader Standard (Level 6).

In their CVs and personal statements, applicants need to demonstrate professional experience, over 2 years, in a minimum of three of these areas (in no order of priority):

  • Leading/managing individuals or teams in improvement activities
  • Training/Coaching/mentoring of individuals or teams in improvement activities
  • Designing/sourcing/facilitating and evaluating training solutions for the business to build capability in improvement principles, methods, and/or tools. Assess needs and selection of individuals for different levels of training
  • Leading/managing/facilitating project management, change management tools and techniques
  • Application of improvement methodologies to design a new process, product, or service. Guide improvement practitioners on the selection of improvement methods
  • Application of process mapping & analysis principles and tools
  • Application of data acquisition planning, data analysis and statistics. Guide others on the planning, analysis, and interpretation of data collection and measurement studies
  • Identification and prioritisation of new opportunities in the context of a portfolio of multiple improvement projects
  • Guide others on the planning, analysis and interpretation of experiments. Plan, conduct, analyse and optimise both full and fractional experiments
  • Application of problem-solving methods.

Applicants must not already be a Lean Master, Senior Lean Leader, Senior Navigator, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, or Senior Consultant.

L6 Improvement Leader Eligibility to apply (Apprenticeship requirements)
  • Applicants’ work contract must cover the 23-month duration of the programme
  • Applicants must not already be undertaking another apprenticeship, or another DfE funded FE/HE programme, at the start of this programme
  • Apprenticeships levy funded applicants must spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the programme. (Unless commercially funded)
  • Apprenticeships levy-funded applicants must have an eligible residency status and right to work in England. Please see ESFA funding rules for guidance and exceptions
  • If applicants already have any level 6 or level 7 qualification in a related field they will be ineligible for apprenticeship funding on this programme.

See here for the Improvement Leader Occupational Standard and Assessment plan for this apprenticeship.

English and maths requirements

Nominated learners MUST hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths (i.e. GCSEs at Grades 9-4 or A*-C, or equivalent) before starting their Henley apprenticeship programme.

We ask you, the employer, to ensure applicants can provide evidence of these qualifications. You must do this before including them on your cohort form.

For more information, view our FAQ page.

The Improvement Leader Apprenticeship | Managing Business Transformation costs £15,000. Your organisation can fund this with its apprenticeship service account. All employers will need to have an account to access our apprenticeship service.

How the apprentice is supported

Off-the-job training

Apprentices will spend a minimum of six hours per week (equivalent) of their time on ‘off-the-job training’. This is a mandatory component of an apprenticeship that the employer must support them with. Both the learner and employer need to agree on how this time is set aside around the learner's work commitments as it is training that they will undertake during their paid hours. Off-the-job training is not exclusive to workshops and online study sessions - other examples include:

  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring and industry visits
  • Chairing or attending meetings (outside the normal job function)
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments
  • Meeting with the apprenticeship tutor
  • Working on their evidence portfolio.
Line manager

Additional support for the apprentice comes from their line manager. We will engage with them to ensure they understand the details of the programme and format for learning as well as the requirements for off-the-job training. Line managers will also be involved in agreeing on impactful work-based projects, meeting with the apprenticeship learning coach, and, if required, allocating apprentices a mentor.

During the action learning workshops and through some of the online learning apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from our academic staff, whose knowledge and expertise underpin the modules they will study.​

The Improvement Leader Apprenticeship programme will be taught using a blended learning method that combines learning in the workplace with face-to-face workshops* and online learning. In the workshops, apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from Henley's apprenticeship learning coaches who have relevant background experience in these subject areas.

The programme includes:

  • Blended learning combines face-to-face workshops, with the virtual learning environment (VLE). The VLE provides access to resources and learning coach interactions to develop your learning portfolio which allows you to reflect on the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you develop throughout the programme
  • Application of learning in the workplace: Implementation of the new tools, techniques and methodologies learnt, with guidance from Henley academic staff and learning coaches
  • Continuous 360-degree reviews of your progress with you, your line manager and Henley learning coaches
  • Liaison with the learner's employer and line manager to determine the topics to use in the work-based projects

The learning in the workplace is supported by ten 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 delivered over three stages.

Streams

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Leading direction

Strategic thinking

Teams and leadership

Project and change management

Process improvement

Process management

Problem-solving methods

Improvement methods and strategies

Data-driven measurement

Measurement systems

Data analysis

Experimentation and optimisation

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’ which will enable 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

Optional modules Credits

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.

The module recognises the effects of business/unit-level strategic decisions and planning at a corporate level. It supports the application of improvement strategy development and deployment planning in the broader corporate and global context.

It aims to expand the knowledge and understanding of emergent knowledge strategies, new ways of working, digitalisation strategies, and equality, diversity and inclusion strategies. In addition, the module strongly outlines key behavioural skills –professionalism, strategic thinking, and safe working – for effective strategic planning and management. The learner, therefore, gains knowledge and understanding of how to deliver unit/business/corporate level strategies, focusing on techniques and analyses and sustainable behavioural outcomes.

In addition, the learners will also gain insights into identifying internal and external stakeholders and understanding how to build and gain the support of the strategic alliances while setting strategic direction.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

The module 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.

The module covers the aspects of developing processes and resources to support improvement strategy deployment. In addition, the learners will gain insights into presentation and reporting skills and understand the importance of active listening and giving structured and constructive feedback to others.

Key behavioural skills – team working, professionalism, strategic thinking, and safe working– for effective strategic planning and management are strongly outlined throughout the module. The learner, therefore, gains knowledge and understanding of how to commence and lead process mapping analysis and process capability tools and metrics at unit/business/corporate level strategies, focusing on techniques and analyses and sustainable behavioural outcomes.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

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.

Additionally, the module covers the aspects of understanding business performance measures and cost-benefit analysis.

Key behavioural skills – drive for results, professionalism, strategic thinking – for effective application of measurement systems and the identification and communication of the business benefits are strongly outlined throughout the module. The learner, therefore, gains knowledge and understanding of planning and implementing measurement systems analysis at the unit/business/corporate level, focusing on techniques and tools and sustainable behavioural outcomes.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

Stage 2

Optional modules Credits

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.

It aims to develop the learner's approach to using appropriate tools and techniques to identify, diagnose and resolve sources of under-performance and conflict within teams.

The module also aims to expand the knowledge and understanding of leadership concepts in the 21st Century (e.g., Emergent, adaptive, change leadership, knowing-doing gap), as well as leading different generations (e.g., Millennials, getting ready for Gen Z and ageism in the workplace) and developing the leadership skills of others. The module explores coaching and mentoring techniques for behavioural change and capability development by developing the learner's skills to design, source, and evaluate learning interventions, facilitate multi-functional workshops, and assess individuals' needs and selection for different training levels.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

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

The module covers the topics of problem definition, root cause analysis, failure mode avoidance, identification & prioritisation, and voice of the customer (VOC). The module also aims to develop a customer-focused strategy for regularly acquiring and assessing customer feedback. It aims to develop the learner’s ability to build the organisation’s knowledge and skills in developing a creative strategy and utilising Creative Thinking principles and tools.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

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.

It aims to develop the learner's skills in using systematic decision-making tools (statistical process control) through the implementation of statistical-based techniques to monitor and control a process to advance the quality or uniformity of the output of a process.

The module largely focuses on developing the learner's skills in data analysis, especially in assessing the organisation's approach to these data analyses, guiding others on the completion of these analyses, and making recommendations to drive sustained improvement strategy. Additionally, the module covers using Minitab for graphical and statistical analysis.

The module strongly outlines key behavioural skills – professionalism and strategic thinking. The learner, therefore, gains knowledge and understanding of planning and implementing data and statistical analysis at the unit/business/corporate level, focusing on techniques and tools and sustainable behavioural outcomes.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

Stage 3

Optional modules Credits

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.

The module is designed around several interrelated topics such as project selection and scoping, project and change management, structured project reviews, coaching improvement projects and coaching others leading improvement projects. It aims to develop the learner’s approach to assessing the organisation’s approach to project and change management and to identify recommendations for improvement.

The module also extends the knowledge and understanding of Project Portfolio Infrastructure and Management (Governance methods, Cross-functional project assessment, executive and midlevel management engagement), Resistance to Change, Organisational Culture and Change Techniques, as well as developing the skills to manage the scope, schedule, cost and risk of improvement projects to enable effective monitoring, milestone achievement, and project success. The module also aims to evaluate the project and change management steps taken and recognise the future intervention steps to execute for sustainability of the transformation strategy.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

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.

The module is designed around several interrelated topics such as Self-development (operational excellence), Lean concepts and tools, Six Sigma methodologies, principles and methods to deliver business benefits, and benchmarking.

The module extends the knowledge to the broader context by linking the improvement strategy (e.g., Lean) to the business planning cycle, analysing the current state and opportunities and engaging with external enterprises to extend and strengthen the organisation’s transformation strategy. The module also aims to develop the learner’s skills in assessing the organisation’s approach to the latest thinking in continuous improvement, methods and tools selection, deployment of improvement methods and strategies, and benchmarking. Finally, the module also introduces future intervention areas for continuous improvement.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

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.

Academic authors
Sinem Bulkan Photo
Dr Sinem Bulkan
0 [0 ECTS credits]

*The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change. Please note, constraints in timetable scheduling may mean you are unable to take some optional modules at the same time as others.

Dr Sinem Bulkan is an experienced lecturer in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at Henley. Her specialities include the impact of ‘dark leadership’ on employees’ behaviours and attitudes. She has presented her research at leading academic conferences, including the British Academy of Management.

Dr Sinem Bulkan is an experienced lecturer in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at Henley. Her specialities include the impact of ‘dark leadership’ on employees’ behaviours and attitudes. She has presented her research at leading academic conferences, including the British Academy of Management.

Sinem has extensive experience in the managerial world, having worked for 12 years as a regional sales manager and finance manager in Istanbul. She combines her award-winning academic credentials with her business experience to teach apprentices the most effective leadership strategies.

The assessment process allows learners to showcase the impact of their work and learning with the submission of a work-based project at the end of each module. ​

Learners will collect evidence of knowledge, skills and behaviours as they progress through the programme. They will then showcase this evidence in the final stage of the apprenticeship. This is known as the end-point assessment (EPA), comprising an evidence portfolio and work-based dissertation.

Awards

On successful completion of the EPA, learners will hold:

  • Level 6 Improvement Leader Apprenticeship
  • Henley Executive Diploma in Managing Business Transformation.

For clients who want to run a closed cohort, we have the flexibility to deliver the programme at locations nationwide. If you do not want to use your organisation's facilities, we are happy to arrange an alternative teaching venue that is more convenient for your staff.

Henley Business School also delivers open cohorts in venues across the country. We typically deliver our first and last workshops at our Greenlands campus near Henley-on-Thames. Set in sweeping parkland on the banks of the River Thames, this beautiful campus provides an inspiring and reflective environment for focused work and study.

Find out more about our facilities and how to find us

Why choose Henley?

For 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders. Find out more about our approach to working with you

Contact us

For more information about Henley’s apprenticeship programmes please contact

Email: apprenticeships@henley.ac.uk
Telephone: (0)118 378 4030