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LCS Level 3 Lean Certification


Level 3 is the highest LCS qualification and indicates that the holder has a progressive, mature and broad understanding of lean thinking, is a capable lean leader and is able to effectively design and implement lean programmes at a strategic or transformational level.

LCS Level 3 lean certification is gained by completing a Level 3 Programme, which entails developing and submitting a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates the Level 3 capabilities. The Level 3 programme is part of the LCS’s Approved Prior Learning and Experience (APLE) route to personal certification.

The Programme is completed virtually. it does not include formal teaching and generates significant learning from critical reflection, research, reading and analysis.

“I have found [LCS lean certification] to be a hugely worthwhile and interesting process. It’s been a real learning experience for me…and has certainly developed my own thinking”. Successful L3 Programme candidate, 2015

“While producing the case studies … I found that I was able to draw many more insights that I had previously overlooked and glean a better understanding of how my approach and understanding has evolved.” Successful L3 Programme candidate, 2020

Key Link & Download

Level 3 Application Form

LCS – Level 3 Programme Brochure (PDF)

Who Should Apply?

The Level 3 Programme is suitable for senior managers that have a significant track record of managing lean transformations and a deep knowledge and understanding of lean thinking principles and techniques, gained through several managerial roles in employment.

Applicants may already have a range of academic or technical qualifications or have no formal high level lean qualifications or recognition of their credentials.

LCS Level 3 lean certification is also the natural progression for experienced LCS Level 2 managers, who have developed strong leadership capabilities and strategic implementation experience.

Candidate Profile & Eligibility

Candidates should have:

  • Been successful in applying lean thinking in varied environments over at least ten years’ in management roles.
  • Demonstrable leadership capability and experience.
  • Experience in strategy development and deployment and lean/CI programme design and implementation
  • A broad knowledge of lean thinking gained through application, training, education or research

Lean Leadership Competencies

The LCS takes a systems approach to lean thinking and lean leadership and has suggested Five Personal Lean Competencies that represent the observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to being an effective lean leader and necessary for enhanced performance and organisational success.

The Level 3 Programme is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate they possess and are developing these competencies


Individuals will:

  • Be able to use the third case to address a strategic imperative of their employer
  • Improve critical reflection and analysis capabilities
  • Receive independent endorsement of their strategic capabilities.
  • Become more confident and self-assured.
  • Enhance their understanding of lean thinking.
  • Develop a clear appreciation of lean leadership attributes.
  • Strengthen their credibility as a senior lean thinker.
  • Gain access to a network of professionals for continuing development and peer-to-peer learning.

Sponsoring organisations will:

  • Receive a payback through the third case study, which can focus on a current issue, development or strategic imperative.
  • Gain a more confident and informed senior lean leader, with an enhanced ability to contribute at a strategic level.
  • Develop insights for lean strategy development through the lessons learned and conclusions of the assignment and cases.
  • Be able to demonstrate commitment to the personal development of managers and the importance of lean competency recognition.
  • Have an opportunity to stimulate debate among managers, particularly through the Panel presentation.


The evidence of capability is provided by the following:

Application Form

This contains employment history – nature of roles held, key responsibilities and achievements, scope of lean related experience, qualifications (academic/professional), education and training undertaken.

Case Studies

These demonstrate lean implementation at a strategic or transformational level, where the effective application of lean principles have produced an organisational benefit at an appropriate scale and level. The candidate’s role should have high levels of responsibility in terms of leadership, planning, design and management.

At least two cases should be drawn from the candidate’s past experience, while there is an option for the third case to be a new project or initiative linked to the candidate’s current role. This is an opportunity for the candidate to address a development or issue of strategic importance for his or her organisation that produces a clear benefit or return and also demonstrates his or her strategic capabilities.


A 4,000 word assignment on the development of lean thinking and highlighting specific issues or future challenges; this formally assesses the depth and maturity of the candidate’s lean knowledge and understanding, in which the candidate researches and reviews lean literature and demonstrates independent thinking, critical analysis and evaluation.

Panel Presentation

The candidate delivers a presentation to an LCS panel on a topic that draws together the conclusions of the cases and assignment, focusing on the implications for lean leadership and lean thinking in general. Colleagues from the candidate’s organisation may be present at the session.


Level 3 advisors support the candidate in producing the case studies and assignment over a period of six to nine months. Key support elements:

  • Workshops introducing the different programme elements (physical or online).
  • Peer review of the candidate’s output (in group situations).
  • One-to-one support when developing the cases and the assignment
  • Access to a cloud based personal resource area, plus discussion groups/forums.
  • Post programme networking opportunities.
  • Comprehensive documentation and reference material provided (eg hand outs, guides, templates, articles, papers etc.)


The L3 Programme must be completed within 12 months of the initial kick off meeting.

Programme Fee

The fee guide for the Level 3 Programme is £4,250 (plus VAT). The fee when taken through an accredited consultancy may differ, depending on the level and nature of expert advisory support that the candidate requires.

A 10% discount is available for candidates from LCS accredited organisations and for those with exemptions.


Applicants with a lean masters (or equivalent) qualification, may be exempt from the assignment component and eligible for a discount. Please check with LCS management.

Routes to Level 3

There are two routes to achieve Level 3 certification:

  1. Undertake the programme on an individual or group basis, managed by the LCS centrally.
  2. Undertake the programme on an individual basis, managed by an organisation (usually a consultancy) accredited to Level 3.

The Level 3 lean certification programme will usually take around six to nine months to complete, though the timing is more flexible when undertaken on an individual basis. For all routes, support and guidance is provided over the programme by a Level 3 Advisor, from either the LCS centrally or from the Level 3 accredited organisation.

Accredited Level 3 Consultants

  • Baringa Partners
  • Castlefirth
  • OEE Consulting
  • Reinvigoration
  • SA Partners

How to Apply & Further Information

Download the L2 and L3 competency profile guidance. dowbload icon

dowbload iconDownload the  LCS – Level 3 Programme Brochure

Complete and submit the LCS Level 3 Programme Application Form

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