L4 Business Improvement Practitioner

Improvement Practitioners use a blend of Lean and Six Sigma, project and change management principles and tools to identify and lead the delivery of change across organisational functions and processes. Improvement Practitioners can be found across all sectors and functions including automotive, banking, engineering, food products, IT, property, retail, telecoms etc.

Typically, Practitioners lead smaller projects and/or play a key supporting role in a larger programme tackling issues that may require swift problem solving or re-occurring challenges that require in-depth analysis and the implementation of a range of effective and sustainable countermeasures. They are the focal point for all stakeholders and responsible for communication throughout a project.

Aims of this qualification

On completion the learner will be able to:

• Identifying potential opportunities, diagnose issues, propose solutions and implement changes and controls
• Work in accordance with organisational controls and statutory regulations
• Select and apply the appropriate graphical tool dependent on the data type to identify patterns, trends and signals
• Plan designed experiments with clear objectives, and appropriate levels of controls and measurement
• Coach teams and share best practice.

Job Roles this qualification is suitable for:

Business Improvement Practitioner, Continuous Improvement Manager, Process Excellence Manager, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Quality Control Senior Analyst.


The apprenticeship consists of a range of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours


• Compliance: Legislative and customer compliance requirements including health and safety
• Team formation & leadership: Decision-making techniques e.g. consensus, authority rule, majority rule
• Project management: Business case, risk analysis and management, toll-gate reviews, work breakdown structure, lessons learned, pilot studies, project review, process management and measures, benefits tracking
• Presentation & reporting: Reporting templates, message mapping, case for change
• Change management: Stakeholder identification, analysis and management (RACI). Change curve, resistance characteristics, change sponsorship, compelling point of view
• Principles & methods: Business value of Lean and Six Sigma improvement methods – 8D, practical problem solving, Define Measure Analyse Improve Control, Design for Six Sigma
• Project selection & scope: Y=f(x) equation (outputs are the result of inputs), business scorecard cascade
• Problem definition: Cost of Poor Quality, problem analysis models such as Is/Is Not
• Process mapping & analysis: Swim lane, value stream map, performance metrics – continuous, Parameter diagram, Takt time, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, theory of constraints principles, Kanban
• Data analysis – basic tools: Spreadsheets and pivot table analysis, statistical analysis software
• Measurement systems: Repeatability and Reproducibility principles
• Basic statistics & measures: Control charts – attribute data, principles of normality
• Data analysis – statistical methods: Measures of central tendency and spread
• Process capability & performance: Capability analysis – continuous data for normal distribution
• Root cause analysis: Key principles including symptoms, failure-mode, potential/verified cause, critical inputs, escape point. Graphical representation of data with dot, scatter and box plots
• Experimentation: Active versus passive analytics, design of experiments, experiment plan
• Identification & prioritisation: Selection and prioritisation matrix, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis


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

• Compliance: Work in accordance with organisational controls and statutory regulations
• Communication: Speak and write clearly. Influence others, question effectively. Plan and deliver meetings presenting insight to engage audiences
• Coaching: Observe, listen, use questioning, provide feedback and spot learning opportunities
• Project management: Define, sequence, plan and schedule activities with phases and milestones. Estimate effort and duration. Create and update project charter. Review progress
• Change management: Sponsorship contract, surface and manage resistance, build compelling narratives for change, assess change impact
• Principals and Methods: Select and apply a structured method and appropriate improvement tools engaging with subject matter experts to deliver business benefits
• Project selection and Scoping: Support the identification of improvement opportunity and the scoping of these projects
• Problem definition: Support development of problem/opportunity statements
• Voice of the customer: Support application of techniques to identify and prioritise customers, their requirements and ensure balance against the stated and unstated needs of the business (Voice of the Business)
• Process mapping & analysis: Process map to measure and analyse flow and value. Identify interfaces, functional responsibilities and ownership. Use insight to identify potential opportunities and map future state
• Lean tools: Seek in-process waste through understanding of value within the value stream
• Measurements systems: Plan, carry out and assess results of a measurement system study
• Data acquisition for analysis: Develop a sampling strategy
• Basic statistics & measures: Use graphical analysis to understand distribution and stability
• Data analysis-statistical methods: Identify datatypes and select analysis methods and tools. Assess time series data stability and analyse making relevant insight
• Process capability & performance: Select methods and metrics for analysis
• Root cause analysis: Select and apply the appropriate graphical tool dependent on the data type to identify patterns, trends and signals to establish hypothesis
• Experimentation & optimisation: Plan designed experiment with clear objectives, and appropriate levels of Measurement Systems Analysis, analyse experiment data and optimise
• Identification & prioritisation: Identify and prioritise factors, ideas and solutions
• Data analysis – SPC: Select and apply appropriate tools for ongoing monitoring and control. Analyse and interpret control charts
• Benchmarking: Conduct structured benchmarking to support target setting
• Sustainability & control: Identify failure modes and embed learning from improvements


Improvement Practitioners demonstrate the following Behaviours:

• Drive for results: Continuous drive for change and encourages others to deliver results across functional areas capturing and standardising best practice.
• Team-working: Awareness of own and others’ working styles. Creates high performing team
• Professionalism: Promotes a moral, legal and socially appropriate working manner, aligns behaviours to the organisations values. Maintains flexibility to needs of project
• Continuous development: Proactively seeks and acts on feedback. Reflects on performance and has a desire for development. Adapts quickly to working with new situations/stakeholders/challenges
• Safe working: Ensures safety of self and others, speaks out to challenge safety issues.

On Programme Learning:

It is strongly recommended that on programme assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviour outcomes en-route to the final synoptic end-point assessment takes place.

The programme consists of the following:


    • L4 Improvement Practitioner
    • Functional skills in maths at Level 2 (consisting of a test, unless a valid exemption can be provided)      
    • Functional skills in English at Level 2 (consisting of 2 tests, reading and writing and an assessment in speaking and listening, unless a valid exemption can be provided)
    • End Point Assessment

How is it delivered?

You will be allocated a qualified Tutor to support the full completion of your qualification and prepare you for end point assessment. They will visit you on a regular basis in the workplace to conduct assessments which will be planned with you and your manager; assessment will also be conducted through a blended model of E–Learning and face to face delivery. The Tutor will manage your portfolio of evidence using an online electronic system called Onefile and give you regular updates about progress. You can contact your Tutor in between visits to discuss any aspect of your qualification and will be able to access your portfolio 24/7.

End Point Assessment

An End-Point Assessment will be carried out by staff from an independent End-point assessment provider approved by the Register of Apprenticeship Organisation.

The End Point Assessment will test the entire Standard, and be undertaken as follows:

  • Multiple choice test (60 minutes)
  • Practical observation of normal work (90 minutes)
  • Evidence portfolio and Interview between (30 minutes to a maximum of 60 minutes)

The End Point Assessment requires apprentices to demonstrate they have achieved the standard.

Assessment Gateway


EPA can only start once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the standard. Employers must ensure that the apprentice has met the following requirements prior to EPA taking place, and provide a signed declaration confirming this to the EPAO in order to trigger the EPA

1. Completion of a log

The log will typically include one piece of evidence for each KSB that is assessed by the professional discussion. Evidence must be holistically mapped against the KSBs. For example, the apprentice may write up a meeting held with stakeholders to demonstrate team working and communication, and/or examples of application of learning to the wider job role. The log will typically reference between 13 and 15 pieces of evidence. The log will be used to underpin the EPA professional discussion.

2. Completion of a project portfolio to evidence completion of an improvement project(s)

The improvement project(s) will be the subject of a project report to be produced during the EPA period and the subject of the presentation and questioning. The improvement project must: 

• Clearly demonstrate delivery of business improvement benefit as confirmed in writing by the apprentice’s employer
• Be completed in the apprentice’s workplace

The purpose of the end point assessment is to test (in a synoptic way) the skills, knowledge and behaviours of the apprentice as set out in the apprenticeship standard

End Point Assessment provides apprentices with a showcase opportunity to provide oral and documentary evidence of their knowledge, skills and behaviours developed throughout the apprenticeship. Enables the independent assessor to assess the skills and behaviours of the apprentice by observing the apprentice in the course of their normal work. Tests the knowledge acquired by the apprentice throughout the apprenticeship. 

How long will it take to complete?

The qualification usually takes around 15-18 months however it is possible to complete earlier depending on existing achievement and individual circumstance- this can be discussed with your Tutor.

We at Pier Training would be very happy to discuss any aspect of this or any other Apprenticeship Qualification you may be interested in.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we look forward to hearing from you.