Improvement Specialists are responsible for leading the deployment of improvement strategy, for training others and for providing broad and deep technical expertise in advanced and complex Lean and Six Sigma, Project and Change Management principles and tools to enable identification and delivery of improvement opportunities aligned to key business goals.

Improvement Specialists typically report to Improvement Leaders who develop the improvement strategy and governance processes, and who provide technical guidance on advanced analysis. Improvement Specialists manage (directly and/or matrix) Improvement Practitioners who lead smaller improvement projects aligned to the improvement strategy. A typical ratio of Improvement Specialists to Improvement Practitioners in an organisation could be 1:10. In comparison with the work of an Improvement Practitioner, Improvement Specialists draw on their advanced knowledge and skills in applying Improvement principles and tools across a range of programmes/ projects/areas to build the capability of others.  They also swiftly visualise processes, problems and opportunities and use both graphical and statistical analysis to deliver improvements.

They work closely with other Improvement Specialists to support the delivery of improvement strategy, working on multiple simultaneous projects linked to key business objectives, identifying and engaging both subject matter experts and key stakeholders. Their work generally requires them to interact with others but typically involves a high-degree of autonomy.

Typical roles and responsibilities:

  • Leading the local deployment of improvement strategy; supporting delivery of business goals, for example they may model critical process inputs to enable root causes of complex problems to be verified or they may develop bespoke measurement processes to enable the collection of good-quality data in support of change
  • Providing technical expertise in structured Improvement methods and advanced tools such as Multiple Regression and Designed Experiments to analyse relationships between inputs and outputs
  • Leading advanced and/or cross-functional Improvement projects such as process re-engineering and change programmes or reducing defects on complex products.
  • Co-ordinating Practitioner-level Improvement training, activities and projects; for example, they may deliver Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training and coaching to an awarding body accreditation standard
  • Coaching, mentoring and communicating with Improvement Practitioners, business leaders and stakeholders

The role is typically office-based but involves working wherever their improvement activities are focused, for example they could be delivering training in a classroom environment, they could be working on the shop-floor or at a supplier premises.

Roles are commonly found in all industry sectors and functions including Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Telecommunication, Retail, Finance, Food, Drink, Travel and Leisure. Job titles associated with the Specialist occupation include, but are not limited to: Business Improvement Expert, Continuous Improvement Consultant, Process Excellence Manager, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Business Improvement Consultant, Business Transformation Consultant.

Improvement Technicians are responsible for delivery and coaching of improvement activity within an area of responsibility, often associated with Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. They can be found across all industry sectors and functions including automotive, banking, engineering, food products, IT, property, retail, telecoms etc.

Typically, Technicians work as a member of an operational team to resolve problems – preventing re-occurrence, engaging others in issues affecting them and to support the improvement of performance. Typical activities include:

  • Engaging team members in the identification of improvement opportunities and relevant countermeasures and controls
  • Initiating and facilitating improvement activities through to confirmed resolution
  • Providing local expertise in business improvement methods and basic tools to team

There are a variety of job titles associated with the occupation, these include, but are not limited to: Business Improvement Co-ordinator, Continuous Improvement Executive, Process Technician, Operational Excellence/Lean Engineer, Lean Six Sigma Yellow belt and Quality Control Analyst.

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. Typical activities include:

  • Identifying potential opportunities, diagnosing issues, proposing solutions and implementing changes and controls
  • Coaching teams and sharing best practice
  • When leading projects they may manage small teams ensuring motivation and momentum, and be responsible for the successful

There are a variety of job titles associated with the occupation, these include, but are not limited to: Business Improvement Practitioner, Continuous Improvement Manager, Process Excellence Manager, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Quality Control Senior Analyst.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to produce a high-quality recording. They work on the technical aspect of recording. This requires balancing and adjusting sound sources using equalization and audio effects, mixing, reproduction and reinforcement of sound. This usually starts with a “sound brief” which outlines what is required. Their job is to check that this is delivered, engaging with artists and clients. This can include the placing of microphones, pre-amp settings, the setting of levels, the specification and set up of equipment. They monitor the quality of the recording in relation to the equipment setup and use this information to make adjustments. They adapt their approach to suit the artist and to achieve the final sound required. They record how the equipment was set up, so it can be replicated if required. They also store the final audio files in a suitable format, and which protects the security of the data. An Assistant Recording Technician resolves hardware and software problems and monitors the use of software. They engage with the artist and/or client to ensure that their needs are met. The physical recording of any project is done by an audio engineer. It is a creative profession where musical instruments and technology are used. Assistant Recording Technicians assist with the recording of master files and ensure that audio files are stored securely.

A Junior Content Producer (also referred to as a Creative Content Assistant) is responsible for developing and creating content that can be used across a variety of media including digital, social media, broadcast or in print. Working to the customer/client brief, they research, prepare and develop the media messaging to maximise audience engagement, capturing the strategy and objectives of the brand and needs of the customer they are representing.The content they create can be used as part of media, advertising and marketing campaigns.They have to capture what is exciting about a campaign and design the elements that can be used across media platforms and channels. Junior Content Producers collaborate with designers and developers, using authoring languages to create content for the World Wide Web, which may include video, images, text (or “copy”) and web pages and social media content, so an enthusiasm for technology and creating great online experiences is a must.They can work in advertising, marketing or digital agencies, or in interactive roles for broadcasters. Junior Content Producers may progress into Content Creation/Development roles at more senior levels across the industry, including with digital agencies, broadcasters and publishers.

A Broadcast Production Assistant (also referred to as Broadcast Assistant, TV/Radio Production Assistant, Production Secretary, Runner, Production Management Assistant) provides support and assistance to editorial or technical colleagues to ensure the smooth delivery of content for TV or Radio productions (programmes). These productions may cover different genres including factual, daytime, light entertainment, drama, comedy, documentary and current affairs.  Broadcast Production Assistants work as part of a Production Team and need to be adaptable and able to learn quickly on the job; building their understanding of the TV & Radio industry as they move across production teams. As part of their role, Broadcast Production Assistants may be involved in developing programme ideas, supporting the pitching of these new ideas and then work as part of a production team to develop and deliver these. Broadcast Production Assistants may plan projects or events, manage guests, and obtain and manage resources, including finance. They may also need to assist production colleagues in technical support and operational areas such as camera, lighting, sound and editing. For commercial and independent TV and Radio sectors, tasks could also include developing branding, promotions or commercials and working with marketeers. Broadcast  Production Assistants  may progress into  TV  or  Radio  creative, production  management or editing roles, such as Researcher, Production Co-ordinator Editorial Co-ordinator.

This occupation is found in the Advertising and Media industry which is worth over £20bn to the UK economy.  People in the industry create messages (campaigns) which are intended to inform or influence the people who receive them. Agencies exist in every part of the UK and range in size from two people to thousands, however the majority are Small to Medium sized businesses, where they always work as part of a team of internal and external people.

The broad purpose of the occupation is helping the day to day progress of the whole advertising process, from receiving the brief from the marketing team, including objectives, budget and timescales, through to the measurement of how effective the advertisement has been. They also understand how the component parts are successfully orchestrated, with effective trade-offs being made as the process continues and evolves. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with many other people, processes and systems. (For example the client, 3rd party suppliers, the broad team at the agency.) They help campaigns move forward, coping with inevitable set-backs and changes in direction (some at the last minute), whilst showing collaboration and maintaining relationships with all. Usually they report to an Account or Media Manager.

They usually specialise in one of two parts of the advertising process: the first is the process of producing the advertisement (creative); the second is the process of distributing the advertisement (media). Apprentices must therefore complete the core apprenticeship and one of these options. It is important that whatever part they specialise in they have an understanding of the ‘other’ part – decisions taken in the creative part of the process have substantive consequences for the distribution to media part, and vice versa. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for creative or media campaigns.

An Advertising and Media Executive Creative Specialist will be responsible for: working with creative producers (television/film producers, radio producers, designers, copywriters, art buyers) to assist them in their decision making. This might include providing a briefing regarding competitive brands to assist their decisions. They monitor the progress of the creative producers and evaluate their output, keeping team updated e.g. via status reports. They are aware of how the creative work helps the client’s marketing objectives. They also keep abreast of the latest trends within the industry, providing examples of best practice to the creatives.

An Advertising and Media Executive Media Specialist is responsible for: interacting with and getting the best out of automated platforms, using their awareness of what programmatic/automatic buying can do (e.g. evaluate and bid for, in real time, thousands of optional spots e.g. Facebook, TV) and what it cannot do (be certain that spot is the right environment for the message). They understand clients’ marketing objectives and help link to the media where they might place their advertising. They will assist in planning campaigns by providing the team with up to date media metrics.  They are aware of the performance and trends of different media options and take this into account when discussing with the team. They help build and maintain relationships with media owners and use this to help negotiate rates strategically and tactically, conscious of long-term relationships.

The primary role of a digital marketer is to define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention. A digital marketer will typically be working as part of a team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall marketing plan or campaign. The marketer will work to marketing briefs and instructions. They will normally report to a digital marketing manager, a marketing manager or an IT Manager.

Public Relations (PR) and Communications concerns the building, protecting and maintaining of positive reputation for brands, organisations and individuals. It also concerns the way those brands, organisations and individuals communicate about themselves, their products or their services with the public, via different methods. This occupation is found in organisations that come from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Typically, PR & Communications Assistants either work in agencies or in-house for employers. They communicate with different people: the media, the public, internal colleagues or any number of different audiences to get their client’s or organisation’s message across and influence opinions and behaviour in the most effective way.

They are responsible for researching and understanding their clients’ / organisation’s goals, and then using their digital and communication expertise to support the day to day delivery of effective campaigns in order to deliver specific or organisational objectives. This could take various forms including supporting social media activity, blogs, press releases or planning events. The occupation requires using one’s own initiative while supporting those leading on campaigns and so involves working closely with colleagues in a team environment.