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New Head of Operations Marks Fresh Chapter for the LCS

20th October 2023

The LCS is pleased to announce that Sarah Wooledge is the new Head of Operations for the LCS as part of major changes to the organisation that have resulted from succession planning activities this year.

Sarah is a highly experienced lean practitioner, having held senior management CI roles in several organiations, including the Bank fo England, NHS Blood & Transplant, the BBC and The Binding Site. She has used the LCS extensively and holds the Level 3 award – the highest LCS qualification.

Simon Elias retires

Simon Elias steps down from the LCS Director role he has held from the inception of the LCS in 2005.

In explaining the reasoning for the changes Simon commented,

“the rationale for the change is straightforward: the growth and success of the LCS means that it now needs an updated strategy, fresh leadership, an enhanced organisation and more resources to meet the challenges and demands that growth brings and also to exploit the opportunities available.

In addition, as I approach my 66th birthday this year I (reluctantly) realise it’s time to slow down after 45 unbroken years of full time work! This will also mark the end of my 26 year relationship with Cardiff University – an experience that has been stimulating, full of great challenges and very enlightening.”

New owner

The company that holds the LCS University licence, Lean Competency Services Ltd, (LCS Ltd) is now owned by the Reinvigoration Group.

This business was founded by two graduates of Cardiff University’s Lean Enterprise Research Centre’s MSc in Lean Operations and has built a strong reputation and significant expertise in continuous improvement services. Reinvigoration has been using the LCS since 2010, so has a deep knowledge and understanding of the system and is fantastically placed to develop the LCS further in the future.

Referring to the new owner, Simon Elias said

“In addressing this task, it was important to me that any new steward of the LCS brand had a clear grasp of the LCS proposition and its underlying values and philosophy that would allow it to build on what has been achieved and take the enterprise to the ‘next level’.”

Key points about the change

  • LCS Ltd will continue as a separate company, managing and developing the LCS with its own dedicated management team.
  • Current staff will continue in their existing roles.
  • Existing confidentiality protocols will be maintained and LCS Ltd will remain at ‘arms length’ from its parent.
  • Together with Cardiff University, a new LCS governance body will be created to provide ongoing high level quality assurance oversight.
  • Simon Elias will continue working with the new team for some time to ensure a smooth handover and the continuity of business operations.

For further information, contact Sarah Wooledge.

2023 Webinar Programme


The LCS 2023 webinar programme provides a great opportunity to find out more about LCS accreditation, certification and continuing professional development. Informative sessions on LCS services last less than an hour and provide a time efficient way to gather key facts, plus you can discuss queries with LCS presenters.

There are also sessions focusing on special topics and themes, which are more educational in nature, involving participant interaction and generating unique insights.


Topics include the Level 3 Programme, An Introduction to LCS Continuing Professional Development, How to Become LCS Accredited, Using Accreditation to Help Embed Continuous Improvement and the Kata Competency System. The sessions are ideal for practitioners considering personal development opportunities and for organisations or consultancies thinking about becoming accredited.


Our new webinar series is now available and offering a wide range of events aiming to help those interested in starting or progressing with their lean journey. Please have a look below for more details about our Autumn 2023 calendar.


Dates to 13th December

Click on the links to register. Note: all webinars are FREE OF CHARGE

Information webinars (45 minutes)

Lean Competency System Celebrates Decade in Business

Paul Devlin, Head of Research Commercialisation and Impact (L) and Simon Elias

New Ten Year LCS – Cardiff University Agreement as Cardiff based start-up looks to the future

A start-up founded on Cardiff University research that offers ‘lean’ qualifications for global organisations, individuals and consultants is celebrating a decade in business.
‘Lean’ is an organisational management technique that aims to improve business performance through continuous improvement, maximizing customer value by minimizing waste.

Developed at Cardiff Business School, the Lean Competency System – or LCS – offers accreditation to organisations’ lean training programmes, enabling them to issue lean qualifications to those they train. Some of the world’s biggest brands have been LCS accredited, certifying thousands of staff across the world.

Simon Elias established the operating company – Lean Competency Services Ltd – a decade ago after developing the concept whilst a director of Cardiff Business School’s Lean Enterprise Research Centre.

“The LCS represents a hugely successful Cardiff University venture,” said Mr Elias. “We’ve been instrumental in promoting the Cardiff University brand worldwide whilst growing the business every year, expanding our directly accredited organisations from just a handful in 2014 to more than 150 today, and issuing hundreds of thousands of certificates worldwide.”

In recognition of its success and potential for continued growth, Cardiff University has extended the LCS licence agreement for another ten years.

Paul Devlin, Head of Research Commercialisation and Impact, said:

“The LCS has proved a phenomenally successful global export for Cardiff. Its model of accreditation, ongoing training and certification has helped to generate more than £1m in turnover since its inception, creating three direct employees and support staff, and we are delighted to reaffirm our commitment to another 10 years of business with the company.”

Mr Elias added: “We now have thousands of practitioner members and more than 500 organisations using the LCS globally, from sole traders to major organisations. The LCS model continues to meet a real business need in helping organisations engage their staff in improvement and also develop the personal capabilities required to create and embed a sustainable culture of improvement. ”

As well as accreditation, the LCS facilitates a community of practitioners, through its Practitioner Membership offering and promotes personal capability growth through a unique Continuing Professional Development platform.

Cardiff Business School remains a leading light for organisations to pursue lean and operational excellence research and teaching whether through the pursuit of Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships or through our variety of Executive Education offerings in this field.

Professor Sarah Lethbridge, Dean of External Engagement, Cardiff Business School, said: “The legacy of Lean Thinking at Cardiff Business School is immense. We’re so proud that the Lean Competency System continues to go from strength to strength, extending its reach and impact across the globe.”

Seasons Greetings!

The LCS extends season’s greetings to everyone in its community!

Hoping for a positive 2023, where your thinking is scientific, your problem solving is structured, your outlook is lean, your propulsion is electric and your world has more peace…


First Secondary School Becomes LCS Accredtited

In a ‘world first’ Amersham Secondary School in Buckinghamshie, UK, has become LCS accredited

ABOVE: LCS Director Simon Elias, Headteacher Sharon Jarrett, pupils Cyrus Hassan & Orlando Doyle

The LCS is excited to announce the accreditation of Amersham Secondary School, which offers pupils the opportunity to acquire critical business related skills and helps equip them with relevant capabilities for future employment. For the LCS, it means its framework is being applied outside of a traditional work environment for the first time,  demonstrating the flexibility of the LCS qualifications model.

“What is particularly gratifying for me is to see the LCS syllabus, which is rooted in scientific thinking, being taught in a school environment”

Simon Elias, LCS Director

LCS News Announcement – Amersham School Oct 2022 >>> 

Applying the LCS

The School went through the standard process to become accredited, whereby it demonstrated its programme aligned to the LCS framework and delivered the appropriate knowledge and practice outcomes. The initiative is the brainchild of Teacher of Science, Mark Boswell, who describes the accreditation journey:

“We started with a small number of students to trial the delivery, refine the training content and, most importantly, to see if it could successfully be delivered in a school environment. Happily, the answer was yes!

The school now has plans to introduce it into the wider sixth form, starting with another small cohort (10) this year and hopefully, in future, to give all sixth form students a chance to achieve a qualification. We will be working on a number of projects to review and improve existing school processes, such as keeping in touch with our Alumni and the management and handling of petty cash. Completion of a project will enable students to gain a level 1b certification. This requires the knowledge they gain to be put in to practice in a real-world scenario.

Ultimately, we are here to enable our students to achieve at the highest level possible and be able to follow the dreams they have for their own futures. To have this qualification at such a young age should prove extremely beneficial when it comes to taking their next and future steps, such as UCAS applications and job interviews. It should really help our students differentiate themselves in an extremely competitive environment.“

Six former Cyrus Hassan is one of the first to go through the programme and says:

“It is a massive benefit to anyone to have the LCS certification, as it is a sought after credential by many businesses today. Companies such as HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Aviva, Barclays, BBC, PWC and the NHS actively look for people with an LCS qualification.

Not only does the qualification help boost your CV but it helps you to develop your own critical thinking and problem-solving skills. For me, to have this qualification at such a young age is also extremely beneficial when it comes to UCAS applications and job interviews. It helps me stand out from the crowd.”


For the School, the benefits of accreditation include:

  • Offering a unique additional capability to pupils
  • Differentiation of its offering for six formers
  • A route to build relationships and collaboration with industry and commerce
  • Improving pupils’ employability

For the pupils, the benefits of certification include:

  • Acquire skills and knowledge of direct relevance for today’s workfoce
  • Helping to build self-confidence and employment readiness
  • Better employability
  • Developing key workforce related skills

Headteacher, Sharon Jarrett, comments on the School’s achievement:

“We pride ourselves on our ability to provide each and every one of our students with a first class and personalised education, which enables them to flourish and succeed, in all areas of school life. We strive to create a supportive and structured learning environment in which individuals are challenged to realise their full potential and encouraged to be ambitious for their futures. We believe it is of the utmost importance for students to become self-confident, positive and enquiring learners and this vision underpins everything we do.

Our students are encouraged to become well-rounded and broad-minded individuals and we support this through a diverse range of extra-curricular activities. As a Business and Enterprise specialist we focus on the development of skills which inspire and motivate our students to become successful and confident adults.

Achieving the LCS accreditation aligns perfectly with both our specialism and our aspirations for our students. We thank Simon, and all at LCS, for their vision and support in enabling us to provide such a valuable opportunity to our wonderful students”

Forthcoming Webinar

The LCS is planning a webinar in February 2023 that will discuss the Amersham LCS case and explore collaboration opportunities between the school and the business community. Check out the LCS webinar page for more information.


Cyrus Hassan accepts his Certifcate of Lean Competency

The Headteacher accepts the School’s Accredited Certifier certificate

Orlando Doyle accepts his Certifcate of Lean Competency


New Accreditations 2023

Nuclear Transport Solutions

Nuclear Transport Solutions is part of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a public body responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient clean-up of the UK’s nuclear legacy.


The Ricoh Company, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company. It was founded by the now-defunct commercial division of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research known as the Riken Concern, on 6 February 1936 as Riken Sensitized Paper. Ricoh’s headquarters are located in Ota, Tokyo.


OutForm works with great businesses to make them better. Their hands-on consultants work side by side with your teams to solve complex problems, improve profitability, reduce cost, and deliver sustainable results.


Ocado Group is a British business based in Hatfield, England, which licenses grocery technology. It also owns a 50% share in the UK retail business, The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


Liberis is a leading global embedded finance platform with a mission to provide small businesses with accessible and responsible finance


SYNLAB is a basic provider in many national healthcare systems, and a leading provider of laboratory diagnostic services in Europe for practising doctors, clinics and patients.


Moorhouse is a rapidly growing, award-winning transformational consultancy. They are passionate about designing and delivering successful transformation at the highest levels, for the FTSE 100 and in the public sector. The offer the best of both worlds: challenging and complex client engagements that rival the global consulting firms and the nurturing, agile and transparent culture of a small firm. A dynamic business; it divested from BT ownership in 2014 and is now jointly owned by the Partnership team of Hinesh Patel, James Easterbrook, Jason Byrne, Joe McGarry, Jon Russell, Leo Koshutova, Richard Brackstone, Samantha Knollys and Sandra di Vito.

March to May

AWE Consulting

AWE Consulting provides training and coaching on all aspects of implementing Lean tools and techniques in order to create a Lean Enterprise. Awe also provides operational excellence training and coaching.

Create Lean

Create Lean is a consultancy based on Lean Principles, providing Lean interim management, training, programme management, coaching on projects, behaviour and leadership.

Moorhouse Consulting

A dynamic consulting firm, focused on delivering change. Moorhouse Consulting make sure clients succeed in their long-term goals by helping them turn their strategy into action through exceptional delivery and a commitment to establishing a culture of change.


Established in 1966, Nuaire is a UK based ventilation solutions provider designing and manufacturing products for the domestic, commercial and industrial construction sectors.

Aldermore Group

The Group consists of two operating companies, Aldermore Bank and MotoNovo Finance. Aldermore provides finance and savings to businesses owners, while MotoNovo Finance helps people buy their vehicle. It operates exclusively online.


Implenia is Switzerland’s leading construction and real estate service provider. It develops and builds homes, workplaces and infrastructure for future generations in Switzerland and Germany. It also offers tunnelling and related infrastructure projects in further markets

Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for everything that goes into running the UK’s criminal and civil justice systems, creating the foundations for a safe, fair and prosperous society. It has more than 70,000 staff based across England and Wales, responsible for 500 courts and tribunals, 121 prisons and the policies underpinning the system.


Ingeus is a  provider of employment and health programmes, services for young people, training and skills support, labour hire and probation services.

January to March


AmerisourceBergen Corporation is an American drug wholesale company that was formed by the merger of Bergen Brunswig and AmeriSource in 2001. It provides drug distribution and consulting related to medical business operations and patient services.


Enexis Netbeheer provides utility services – installing, maintaining, and managing the transportation and distribution of lines for gas and electricity in the Netherlands.


Hilti Corporation is a Liechtenstein multinational company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for the construction, building maintenance, energy and manufacturing industries, mainly to the professional end-user


IMIG is an international consultancy supporting clients in improving their operations. Lean Training is one of of its core offerings and it combines its expertise in strategy and innovation management with advanced implementation skills, optimising processes and empowering its customers to consistently develop their own potential.

Zorg en Zekerheld

Zorg en Zekerheid is a healthcare insurer based in Leiden, South Holland. It focuses on creating a culture of continuous improvement across its company by empowering employees, facilitating with training and guidance in lean and agile working methods.

Land Registry​

Her Majesty’s Land Registry registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales, as a non-ministerial department. It safeguards land and property ownership valued at £7 trillion, enabling over £1 trillion worth of personal and commercial lending to be secured against property across England and Wales


Kelvion is a global manufacturer of industrial heat exchangers for a highly diversified range of market segments. Since 1920, the company has manufactured and marketed its products throughout many and various markets – since November of 2015, under the new Kelvion brand.

The Manufacturers Network


The Manufacturers Network helps manufacturers implement the change that transforms their organisations, identifying opportunities and developing the skills and abilities to enable them to grow successfully and sustainably. It brings people together, develops organisations, builds capabilities and shares knowledge.


Reson8 is a consultancy that works with water companies, utilities, infrastructure owners and operators to get the best performance from their assets and people by transforming performance..


Quint is an international consultancy, training and technology company that supports organisations in designing and implementing their digital transformations. It aims to embed transformations by connecting people, processes, technology and leadership to one another. Its focus areas include Digital Strategy,​ Data Activation, Lean​ ​Agile Enterprise, Sourcing Advisory, ​IT Governance, Enterprise Cloud, Enterprise DevOps & Enterprise Automation.


The Electricity Supply Board is a state-owned electricity company operating in Ireland. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a “liberalised” and competitive market. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Government of Ireland.

University Hospitals Sussex

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust is an NHS foundation trust which provides clinical services to people in Brighton and Hove, parts of East Sussex and West Sussex

Jubels Business Consultancy & Training

The Tilburg-based consultancy focuses on continuous improvement for Small & Medium Businesses, emphasising a ‘Total Concept of Education and Coaching on the job’.


Medtronic plc is an American-Irish registered medical device company that primarily operates in the United States. Medtronic has an operational and executive headquarters in Fridley, Minnesota in the US.

NECS – North of England Commissioning Support Unit

North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) is one of the leading commissioning support organisations in the country. We are part of the National Health Service (NHS) and work across the United Kingdom (UK) to support health and social care customers in meeting strategic and operational challenges, to improve outcomes and increase efficiency.


Schroders plc is a British multinational asset management company, founded in 1804. The company employs over 5,000 people worldwide in 32 locations around Europe, America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Allied Irish Bank

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is one of the so-called Big Four commercial banks in Ireland. AIB offers a full range of personal, business and corporate banking services. The bank also offers a range of general insurance products such as home, travel and car.


ASOS plc is a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer. Founded in 2000 in London, the company is primarily aimed at young adults. The website sells over 850 brands as well as its own range of clothing and accessories, and ships to all 196 countries from fulfilment centres in the UK, USA and Europe.

National Australia Bank

National Australia Bank is one of the four largest financial institutions in Australia. NAB was ranked 21st largest bank in the world measured by market capitalisation and 52nd largest bank in the world as measured by total assets in 2019.

XCL International Group

XCL has created LEAP, a unique and internationally proven methodology, to transform manufacturing businesses on operational excellence programmes.


Voluyt has been improving companies since 2006. Voluyt supplies suitable capacities for every unique challenge. Voluyt managers are driven by education, pragmatism, experience and entrepreneurship.

First Central

First Central Insurance & Technology Group is an innovative organisation, delivering market-leading motor insurance, underwriting, distribution, finance, etc…

UK Civil Aviation Authority

The Civil Aviation Authority is the statutory corporation that oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. Its areas of responsibility include supervising the issuing of pilots’ licences, testing of equipment, calibrating of navaids, and many other inspections.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is an NHS Foundation Trust created on 1 October 2014 by the acquisition of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This was the first-ever take over of one NHS Foundation Trust by another.


Prowareness is a consultancy company that specialises in working Agile. This can vary from individual Scrum Masters to guiding large Agile transformations.

Perfact Group

The Perfact Group is a management & consultancy organisation focusing on the optimisation of processes and employees at companies and institutions.

LS Lean Consulting

Lean is a continuous improvement methodology that has two key principles: Continuous Improvement and Respect for People LS Lean Consulting is an accredited Lean training provider and was formed to provide training and support to small businesses who want to ensure that they continue to be efficient and effective.

Legal & General

Legal & General Group plc is a British multinational financial services and asset management company headquartered in London. Its products and services include investment management, lifetime mortgages, pensions, annuities, and life assurance.