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4. Programme Content

Level 3 APLE Certification

“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

Programme Components

The evidence of capability is provided by four components:

  • Application Form
  • Case Studies
  • Assignment
  • Panel Presentation

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 nine to twelve 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.