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Apprenticeship Lean Manufacturing Operative ST0420 Standard Level 2Apply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Other

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This Intermediate Apprenticeship for Lean Manufacturing is designed as a 12-month programme. It will equip you with skills and knowledge to work safely and to high quality standards in a fast-paced and efficient processing environment. It will also develop you to become a multi-skilled operator.

As part of your apprenticeship, you will be required to prepare, control, contribute to and complete manufacturing operations, and follow manufacturing processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs) whilst adhering to specific safe working policies and procedures.

As a Lean Manufacturing Operative, you will be responsible for maintaining Health and Safety requirements at all times e.g. wearing correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), correct use of equipment and tooling, safe stopping and resetting of machinery, maintaining an organised work area e.g. 5S (Sifting, Sorting, Sweeping, Spick and Span and Sustain), and ensuring the safe disposal of waste in line with environmental systems and regulatory requirements (ISO 14001).

You will also be required to contribute, develop and support improvement in the manufacturing operation using continuous improvement methods, kaizen tools, process visualisation using lean principles and problem-solving tools and techniques. You will carry out quality checks throughout the manufacturing operations to ensure quality is built in and that any defects or concerns are highlighted and dealt with in line with relevant quality standards (ISO 9002).

Typically, the duration of this apprenticeship is 12 months excluding your End-point Assessment (EPA). This duration may be reduced for a candidate with previous relevant experience or who is already part-qualified.

This course will be delivered entirely in the workplace.

Entry requirements

Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to achieve qualifications at Level 2 in English and Mathematics within the period of apprenticeship if they have not already achieved these.

Course Content

Core Knowledge

A Lean Manufacturing Operative will have the following knowledge and understanding of:

  • Health and Safety: Relevant statutory, organisational and health and safety regulations relating to lean manufacturing operations and safe practices
  • Environment: Compliance procedures/systems in line with regulatory requirements e.g. ISO 14001 or other relevant environmental standards
  • Production: Their individual role and responsibilities within the organisation and the flexibility required to deliver products to meet customers' costs/delivery targets/requirements e.g. Just in time (JIT)
  • Lean Manufacturing Operations: Manufacturing standard operation procedures (SOPs) adherence and development of lean processes
  • Quality Control: Process equipment monitoring, data collection, error proofing and operating procedures e.g. ISO 9002 or other relevant quality standards
  • Problem Solving: The tools and methods of effective problem solving using data, reports and documents to resolve production related issues, e.g. A3 report, graphs, matrices, and escalate concerns   
  • Continuous Improvement: How to study and identify ways to improve safety, quality, cost or process efficiency using lean manufacturing tools e.g. kaizen    
  • Communication: How to share information using a range of methods within the manufacturing environment e.g. oral, written, electronic, information boards, visual displays
  • Workplace Organisation: How to maintain a safe and efficient work site through workplace organisation e.g. 5s and process ownership

Core Skills

A Lean Manufacturing Operative will have the skill and understanding to:

  • Health and Safety: Work safely at all times, complying with health and safety legislation, regulations, and other relevant guidelines. Identify risks within their processes and support/carry out counter-measure activities to improve safe working. Manage tooling, equipment and materials daily in-line with supplier standards e.g. COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
  • Environment: Comply with environmental procedures and systems and contribute to the achievement of specific standards e.g. ISO 14001 or other relevant environmental standards and use the 4Rs (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover) where possible
  • Production: Demonstrate the ability to carry out their role effectively, efficiently and flexibly, maintaining lean manufacturing principles to meet customers' demands e.g. JIT
  • Lean Manufacturing Operations: Demonstrate their skill and knowledge following SOPs and building their versatility across a number of processes and process areas. Select and use appropriate tools, equipment and materials to carry out the manufacturing operation
  • Quality Control: Demonstrate appropriate process documentation control. Accurately complete check sheets, monitoring process and equipment data efficiently and legibly using the correct terminology required to meet the quality standard e.g. ISO 9002
  • Problem Solving: Demonstrate the ability to identify and resolve problems within the lean manufacturing environment using effective problem solving tools and techniques. Manage problems that may occur during the manufacturing process within the limits of their responsibility and escalate as appropriate
  • Continuous Improvement: Generate ideas and contribute to process improvement activities individually or as part of a team through fact finding and analysis to improve the safety, environment, quality, cost or production process. Identify and eliminate the 7 wastes (defects, over production, transportation, waiting, inventory, motion and processing)  
  • Communication: Demonstrate communication skills which include oral, written, electronic (PC), information boards or visual displays to effectively share information
  • Workplace Organisation: Maintain and monitor the work site efficiently and effectively at all times using the elements of sifting, sorting, sweeping, spick and span (5s) within the lean manufacturing environment

You will also work towards your Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing (Knowledge and Skills) and achieving Functional Skills in English and maths up to Level 2 if required.

How will I be assessed?

There are three elements that will be assessed throughout your apprenticeship. These are: Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours. Technical knowledge and coaching on-role and off-role (20% off-the-job) will be supported by your employer and your assessor. Pre-assessments will be undertaken to determine your competence in these areas as you progress through your apprenticeship, for which feedback will be provided. 

As an apprentice, you must complete the approved qualification mandated in the lean manufacturing occupational standard and the below requisites to be entered for EPA.

  • Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing (Knowledge and Skills)
  • For Level 2 apprenticeships, apprentices without English and mathematics at Level 2 must achieve Level 1 English and mathematics and take the tests for Level 2 prior to taking their EPA
  • Portfolio of evidence 

You End Point Assessment (EPA) will only start once all of the above pre-requisite gateway requirements have been met and can be evidenced to an End Point Awarding Organisation. Your employer must be satisfied (provide endorsement) that you are consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard.

Your EPA

This must be completed within a typical period of 12 weeks after you have met the EPA gateway requirements. The EPA will be conducted by an external organisation approved to offer services against this apprenticeship standard and will consist of two distinct assessment methods. 

The individual assessment methods will have the following grades:

Assessment method 1: Observation with question and answers

• fail

• pass

Assessment method 2: Professional discussion

• fail

• pass

• distinction

Performance in the EPA will determine the overall apprenticeship standard grade of:

• fail

• pass

• distinction

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard PPE dress code. All safety equipment and PPE will be addressed and provided by your employer.

What can I do after this course?

There are numerous opportunities for Lean Manufacturing Operatives depending on the role selected at the start of the programme. Full-time employment opportunities in the below roles may become available:

- Assembly / Production / Inspection / Quality / Logistics / Material and Production Processing / Finishing Operative

- Team Supervisor / Leader

- Technical Support

For the above positions, and depending on your employer and route taken, there are numerous further qualifications pathways that can be undertaken.


Did you find the course information on this page useful?


Lizzy Henry

Lizzy Henry

Apprentice welder Lizzy sets long-term sights on supervisor role

Former Derby College welding student Lizzy Henry is proud to be one of just 20 applicants nationally to join Doosan Babcock’s first year  apprenticeship scheme.
Around 500 people applied to become an apprentice with the leading power engineering systems business – and of the handful selected, five were from the same level 3 welding course at the College’s Ilkeston site.
Lizzy, who is 19 and from Allenton, puts this success partly down to the support and encouragement she and her fellow students received from college staff.
She said: “Sean Smith, our tutor, was really helpful when we were applying to Doosan. He told us about the apprenticeships and gave us an idea of what to expect from the interview – what questions we might be asked.”
And, she added, this help and support wasn’t confined to the course content.
“Our tutors were great. Sean didn’t just teach us about engineering. We learned life skills as well, such as how to manage money, pensions and the different roles we could aim for – things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”
Lizzy, who is finding her apprenticeship challenging but enjoyable, would like to see more girls training for a career in engineering.
She said: “There are four girl apprentices in my year at Doosan. That’s more than there were on my College course, which is different, but there still aren’t many girls training to be welders. It’s time that changed.
I’m from a big family and have four sisters. They’ve seen how much I like my work and have started asking about jobs in engineering.”
Lizzy’s longer-term goal is to aim aim high and work her way up from coded welder to supervisor once she’s qualified and had a few years on-site experience. 

Our tutors were great. Sean didn’t just teach us about engineering. We learned life skills as well, such as how to manage money, pensions and the different roles we could aim for – things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.


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