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Accredit your continuous improvement training programme

An independent endorsement of your training

A consultancy with a CI training capability can become an Accredited Certifier of Lean Competency enabling it to issue LCS Certificates of Lean Competency to learners who progress through its training. It’s a valuable addition to the consultant’s service, as building its client’s staff CI capability is critical in the journey to developing a sustainable CI culture

“We still see at least a 5:1 return on investment for our certification only clients and when linked with value stream or transformational improvement will exceed 10:1”

Accreditation manager, global consultant, 2021

Benefits of being accredited

Here are some of the benefits of LCS accreditation.

  • Added value to your core training offering that can improve margins and create competitive advantage.
  • A solution to the growing need from companies and practitioners for accredited training and qualifications with strong market presence and high perceived value.
  • Independent endorsement of your CI training credentials.
  • A framework around which training courses can be developed.
  • A clear link with implementation that improves training effectiveness and can lead to additional business opportunities.
  • Career progression and professional development for practitioners.
  • A flexible framework that can be adapted to the differing needs of clients.
  • A route to engagement with client senior management that can enhance the overall business relationship.
  • Linkage to networks for collaboration and Lean Enterprise Research Centre research –Read more
  • Association with a global CI qualification – Read more

The seven levels of the LCS Framework

The LCS framework has seven competency levels, which range from 1a to 3b. They are grouped into three categories: 1) Fundamental, 2) Technical and 3) Strategic. The levels cover a broad range of competency, from awareness of core principles of lean, right up to strategic lean leadership. A consultant can initially accredit to one or several levels and can add levels to its accreditation at any point.


1a: Awareness
On the underlying principles of lean, its development and antecedents.

1b: Diagnosis & Analysis
On the tools and techniques required to understand and analyse the current state and solve problems.

1c: Implementation & Improvement
On the tools and techniques required to apply and sustain lean in the workplace.


2a: Implementation & Design
On the advanced lean knowledge and leadership competencies required for lean management. Ability to design and implement programmes, play a leading role in managing departmental or cross functional teams, with some support and guidance.

2b: Implementation & Leadership
On the advanced lean knowledge and leadership competencies required for
lean management. Ability to design and implement programmes, play a leading role in managing inter-business, departmental or cross functional teams, with high levels of responsibility and requiring minimal support and guidance.


3a: Strategic Enterprise
On advanced lean knowledge and the strategic and leadership competencies required for lean leadership at a senior level. Those with LCS 3a should be able to design lean strategies for an organisation (or a significant business
unit) and demonstrate appropriate lean leadership qualities and practices.

3b: Strategic Supply Chain
On advanced lean knowledge and the strategic and leadership competencies required for lean leadership at the highest level. Those with LCS 3b should be able to design and lead lean strategies for an organisation and demonstrate mature lean leadership qualities and practices.

Who can become accredited?

Any consultant that has its own CI training programme for its staff, or its clients’ staff, can be accredited. The programme can be at any scale, from a small team delivering occasional training at one LCS Level, to an academy delivering courses at several LCS Levels to many learners. There are no geographic restrictions to becoming accredited.

The consultant should have in place:

  • A CI methodology and defined approach to improvement
  • A CI training programme in place that can be aligned to the LCS framework
  • Delivery resources and training support mechanisms

How to become LCS accredited

There are two types of accreditation for consultancies – SME and Standard. The first is for small consultancy firms or start-ups and the latter for larger firms.

To become LCS accredited for the first time, you can start the process by completing an online Registration Form. A Submission Form is then completed, which describes all the elements of your training programme, contains evidence of capability and examples of training materials and instruments.

The submission is reviewed to ensure that it contains the required components and has the capability to deliver effective learning and practical capability, whilst maintaining LCS standards over the two-year licence period. The accrediting process typically takes between one and three months to complete and the accreditation licence is valid for two years, after which time the organisation can opt to re-accredit.

Certify entire workforces

Once your lean training programme has become LCS Accredited, you have the ability to issue LCS Certificates to entire workforces of client organisations, thus providing employees with reward, recognition and professional development opportunities, as well as laying the platform for the development of a sustainable CI culture.

Already an LCS accredited consultancy?

If you’re already an LCS accredited consultant, we have a section of useful resources to help you manage and promote your accreditation, including information on re-accrediting, purchasing additional L1a certificates, downloading digital badges, adding levels to your accreditation and setting up tests.

Developed by LERC, Cardiff University

The LCS is the only university linked lean qualification framework for the workplace. Created in 2005 by the Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff Business School, it is managed by Lean Competency Services Ltd under licence from Cardiff University.

“LCS accreditation allows us to reward and recognise all our leaders, managers and associates for their continuous improvement knowledge and practical application, ensures our training, facilitation and coaching methods, materials and activities are robust and meet a universal standard and provides a legacy system that will help ensure our desired future state”.

Business Excellence Manager - UK food manufacturer

Calculate your accreditation costs

Our fees vary depending on several factors, including the accreditation type required, number of certificates to be issued and sector. You can calculate the cost using our online fees calculator.

Discuss accreditation

If you want to discuss accreditation options, get in touch using our Contact Form.