Making good people great
Leadership & Personal Development, Strategic Management, Lean Six Sigma & Quality Tools
We’re delighted to announce that Capella have been shortlisted in the LEARNING IMPACT AWARD category for the Learning Awards 2023.
The Learning Impact Award is aimed at Training Providers who can demonstrate that they produced a learning programme, that included an evaluation and measurement strategy, with quantified positive outcomes demonstrated by
The next stage of the Awards is on the 24th of November, when Capella will present their Award entry to the panel of judges. Capella are one of eight finalists which includes Astra Zeneca, Capita and Network Rail.
Capella will then have to wait until next year for the winner to be announced at the Award Ceremony in London on the 16th of February 2023.
Capella believe that receiving external recognition is really important to growing our business. Over the years we’ve received some great recognition for our training and achieved several Awards which are featured on our Awards and Recognition page here
Apprentice of the Month Award Winners Quarter 3 – 2022
Last year Capella introduced an ‘Apprentice of the Month Award’ where we ask our Capella Trainers to nominate a learner who they feel has gone ‘above and beyond’. This could be a learner who has overcome challenges, worked particularly hard, or someone who has made a real difference to the cohort, or their own business whilst on the programme. For Quarter 3 our Capella Apprentice of the Month Award winners were…
July 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Joanne Hill from Autoliv on the L5 Improvement Specialist apprenticeship.
Joanne’s tutor Niall Coney said:
“Joanne has completed some great portfolio work, including examples of more complex Lean Six Sigma evidence, and is driving fantastic improvement and change within her own organisation. She’s also set up revision and practice sessions with the rest of the cohort, as well as coaching and guiding her own organisation’s Level 4 delegates.
She’s a great example of an apprentice who’s gone above and beyond in supporting those around her, whilst always having a ‘can-do’ and happy attitude that lifts everyone else in the room. All of this deserves recognition, and it was an easy choice to nominate Joanne as Capella’s apprentice of the month.”
August 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Neila Rudzite from Brose on the L4 Quality Practitioner apprenticeship.
Steve Fannon (Capella Trainer) told us:
“Neila has produced work of an extremely high standard and continues to deliver quality evidence to demonstrate her knowledge, skills, and behaviours, ready for her Final Review. Neila has also challenged, where appropriate, in a constructive and positive way.
She has shown personal resilience in the last few months, with role changes, and some recent challenges with her project selection, but has continued to show determination to progress a high quality and impactful project for her organisation which is testimony to her own drive and personal integrity. Well done, Neila.”
And the final winner of Apprentice of the Month for Quarter 3 – 2022 for September was Celina Lay at Travelodge on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Martyn Jupp (Capella Trainer) said: “Celina has brought enthusiasm and a passion for learning to the Improvement Practitioner programme from the start and is making great progress on her learning journey whilst leading a very important and valued improvement project for Travelodge.
It is clear from teaching and coaching sessions that Celina is embracing this learning opportunity and relating it directly to her own project, workplace, and the wider organisation, whilst working closely with her line manager to ensure that the journey is truly a 3-way partnership between learner, employer, and Capella. Celina is a pleasure to teach and coach, always engaging in group discussions and activities, and asking questions for the benefit of all. In coaching and progress review sessions, Celina takes the lead, making sure that maximum value is extracted from these sessions, and it’s fantastic to see that key learning points and concepts are translated into high quality project progress that is already benefitting Travelodge, even though we are just at the end of the Measure phase.
In recognition of an outstanding Mid Review presentation showcasing her project and highlighting her new knowledge and understanding of Continuous Improvement wedded to her technical skills in data analysis, Celina is my nomination for Apprentice of the month. We look forward to supporting Celina to successful completion of this programme, and in ongoing personal development through further Capella Apprenticeship programmes in the future.”
On behalf of the Capella team, we’d just like to say congratulations to all our Apprentice of the Month Award Winners for Quarter 3 – 2022 well done everyone!
Apprentice of the Month Award Winners Quarter 2 – 2022
Last year Capella introduced an ‘Apprentice of the Month Award’ where we ask our Capella Trainers to nominate a learner who they feel has gone ‘above and beyond’. This could be a learner who has overcome challenges, worked particularly hard, or someone who has made a real difference to the cohort, or their own business whilst on the programme. For Quarter 2 our Capella Apprentice of the Month Award winners were…
April 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Aurora Horeanu from Brose on the L4 Quality Practitioner apprenticeship.
Aurora’s tutor Steve Fannon said:
“Aurora has been enthusiastic and diligent from the start and is making great progress in developing a very professional evidence portfolio.
She is embracing this learning opportunity and relating it directly to her own organisation and immediate workplace, whilst also working closely with her manager. It’s fantastic to hear that key learning points and concepts are becoming live discussion points in the workplace too!
She is certainly putting into practice knowledge, skills, and behaviours that will contribute to her becoming a strong asset as a Quality Professional within her own team and the wider organization.”
May 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Callum Hughes from Balfour Beatty Vinci on the L4 Quality Practitioner apprenticeship.
Mat Ellwood (Capella Trainer) said
“From the onset of the programme, it became clear that Callum was an enthusiastic individual who could quickly build trust in his working relationships.
Callum is always keen to engage in sessions, asks insightful questions and challenges and motivates the group to excel in any given task.
This aspect is what impresses me most about Callum, the energy he brings to the classroom. He continually plays an active role in coaching and sharing best practice with fellow delegates.
He sets the standard for engagement which has a positive impact for all the learners. His attitude to Quality is exceptional.”
And the final winner of Apprentice of the Month for Quarter 2 – 2022 for June was Jane Gourlay at Orcha on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Sven Boulton (Capella Trainer) said: “Jane had an excellent Final Review, having delivered an outstanding quality project that has a direct effect on software tools used in the health sector.
She also conducted a very comprehensive and detailed analysis phase, incorporating an extensive range of tools that complimented each other to provide a very robust root cause confirmation. Well Done!”
On behalf of the Capella team, we’d just like to say congratulations to all our Apprentice of the Month Award Winners for Quarter 2 – 2022 well done everyone!
Apprentice of the Month Award Winners Quarter 1 – 2022
Last year Capella introduced an ‘Apprentice of the Month Award’ where we ask our Capella Trainers to nominate a learner who they feel has gone ‘above and beyond’. This could be a learner who has overcome challenges, worked particularly hard, or someone who has made a real difference to the cohort, or their own business whilst on the programme. For Quarter 1 our Capella Apprentice of the Month Award winners were…
January 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Katy MacDonald from GSK on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Katy’s tutor Niall Coney said:
“Throughout the entire course Katy has been self-driven, inquisitive, and never hesitated to ask for support. Katy has also applied and completed a full DMAIC methodology improvement project in an area which is not part of her regular working role. She’s done this to a very high standard with fantastic application of data analysis and Gemba based learning which has become a benchmark project.
Above and beyond this, Katy has made a huge active effort to support other delegates and help them complete their improvement projects. Katy has not only applied the course in a fantastic way to achieve great results but has given back to others and remained a positive energy throughout the training.”
February 2022 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Helen Greenhalgh from Fittleworth Medical on the L5 Improvement Specialist apprenticeship.
Mick Dickenson (Capella Trainer) said ” Helen has fully engaged with her apprenticeship programme from the beginning and is working very closely with her trainer and employer to get maximum benefit.
She is making excellent progress and routinely applies new knowledge, skills, and behaviours in the workplace – leading, chairing, coordinating, motivating others, and taking on new challenges.”
And the final winner of Apprentice of the Month for Quarter 1 – 2022 for March was Jean Giambalvo at ABP Foods on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Robert Siejka (ABP Regional Lean Manager) said: “I nominated Jean for his “Can do” and “Never give up” attitude, resulting in a great progress towards completing his apprenticeship.
His Green belt project was delivered in a timely manner and to a very high standard during challenging times, on top of other business objectives.
Jean is a great asset not only to sites, but to our business and it is great to see him, his confidence and influence growing. Well done!”
On behalf of the Capella team congratulations to all our Apprentice of the Month Award Winners for Quarter 1 – 2022 well done everyone!
Capella and the NHS Leadership Academy
The NHS Leadership Academy collaboration with Capella will mean that the Edward Jenner and Mary Seacole NHS Leadership Awards can now be delivered alongside the Improvement apprenticeships. Helping the NHS Leadership Academy to meet the aims of the NHS People Plan.
The Edward Jenner and Mary Seacole Programme will give those who work in Health and Care the opportunity to complete an Improvement apprenticeship, whilst developing themselves as a leader at the same time.
“As continuous improvement experts Capella are always looking at ways to improve, so we believe this is a great opportunity to work together with the NHS Leadership Academy to reduce the time it would take for learners to complete these qualifications separately. The overlap of leadership and management content, covered in the improvement standards and the NHS Leadership Awards, enables us to do this”
Kate Smith, Capella MD and Founder
It’s also the first time the NHS Leadership Academy have been able to offer a full suite of apprenticeships from Level 3 to Level 6 with the option to complete the NHS Leadership Awards alongside.
You can find out more about the NHS Leadership Academy by visiting
Edward Jenner Award
The Edward Jenner content has been recently refreshed and is designed for those who are new to health and care or aspiring leaders at the start of their leadership journey. Helping to build a strong foundation of leadership skills. The programme is delivered with a suite of online short courses.
Mary Seacole Award
The Mary Seacole content has also been refreshed recently and is aimed at first time leaders in healthcare. It includes 12 modules covering leadership fundamentals, leading for improvement and management skills.
Our tutors are qualified Lean Six Sigma experts with practical experience of working with learners within healthcare and the NHS. Learners will have regular 1 to 1 coaching sessions throughout their Edward Jenner or Mary Seacole programme, where the tutor will provide support and regular progress updates.
Apprentice of the Month Award Winners Quarter 4 – 2021
In 2021 Capella introduced an ‘Apprentice of the Month Award’ where we ask our Capella Trainers to nominate a learner who they feel has gone ‘above and beyond’. This could be a learner who has overcome challenges, worked particularly hard, or someone who has made a real difference to the cohort, or their own business whilst on the programme. For Quarter 4 our Capella Apprentice of the Month Award winners were…
October 2021 – Apprentice of the Month Award Winner was Caroline Hand from Thames Water on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Capella’s Apprentice of the Month for October was Caroline Hand at Thames Water on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Caroline’s tutor Sven Boulton said:
“Caroline presented her project for Final Gateway, with an exceptional level of detail combined with clarity and an excellent summary.
Throughout the programme, she has shown her determination to deliver the highest standard possible. Demonstrating that she not only wants to complete the project but wants to fully understand all the Lean Six Sigma tools and their inter-relationships with other tools.
An amazing presentation!”
November 2021 – For the first time ever we had 2 winners for Capella’s Apprentice of the Month!
Operations Director Amrik Gill felt that both learners deserved recognition for going ‘above and beyond’ during their apprenticeship and so for the first time ever we have 2 learners who will be joint winners.
The first to be announced was Rebecca Greenwood at ReedSmith on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Niall Coney (Capella Trainer) said “Rebecca has just completed her project and presentation. The quality of work was exceptional with a clear understanding of the various concepts throughout, despite a very turbulent year”.
“Rebecca has been a great peer in the classroom always bringing great humour and interaction, making the learning process even more enjoyable for everyone. Rebecca has taken every challenge and never hesitated to try a new concept to get a better understanding. All of this reflects in a project that should easily aim for distinction with fantastic work throughout”! Niall Coney
And the second winner of Capella’s Apprentice of the Month for November was Bethany Walker-Smith at Pirelli on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Sven Boulton (Capella Trainer) said Beth presented her project at mid review, to an exceptional standard. The level of depth and the thoroughness with which she has used a range of tools, was similar to a Level 5 standard, underpinned with a clear understanding of these tools.
Exceptionally professional, with high determination to deliver an excellent project, which not only has cost savings, but owing to the nature of the materials being used, has a potential environmental impact as well.
If you want a career in Quality Capella will be launching their third cohort of the Level 4 Quality Practitioner apprenticeship in February 2022. Capella were part of the Employer Development Group for the Quality apprenticeship standard. This Trailblazer group also included BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, Fuji Film, Intertek, The Ministry of Defence, Wincanton, and the Chartered Quality Institute.
Aimed at those who work in Quality. This apprenticeship can be used to develop existing staff or to train a new recruit. This programme is designed to build capability to deploy best-in-class Quality practices. Enabling fulfilment of contractual and regulatory requirements and continuous improvement in customer/stakeholder satisfaction.
Example job roles include:
Project Quality Engineer, Quality Assurance Officer, Quality Engineer, Quality Officer, Quality Engineer.
The content of the programme is delivered over 14 months followed by an end point assessment.
There are 4 main elements to the apprenticeship:
1. Quality Assurance
2. Quality Planning
3. Quality Control
4. Continuous Improvement
The Key Areas include the following Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours:
▪ Support development and deployment of Quality strategy and policy
▪ Support formulation of activities that fully deliver customer/stakeholder requirements
▪ Contribute to Quality risk management as part of new products/services development
▪ Plan and conduct audits and other assurance activities
▪ Develop and deploy Quality control plans
▪ Solve Quality problems and improve Quality performance
▪ Conduct robust data collection and analysis to support governance, assurance and improvement activities
▪ Guide and support others across the organisation to improve end-to-end quality performance
The training is delivered over the equivalent of 16 days, with an additional 8 coaching sessions on a 1 to 1 with the tutor. Training is delivered by the tutor remotely as bite sized learning sessions each week. The learning is interactive with break out sessions and activities, including quizzes and exercises.
Delegates join open cohorts where employers can enrol as few as 1 learner, or many learners. The open cohorts also enable learners to benefit from external networking opportunities and share best practice.
So if you want a career in Quality contact us to find out more, or book on one of our information sessions which are held twice a week.
As a proud supporter Capella will be celebrating World Quality Week 2021, from the 8th-12th November 2021. The focus this year is on sustainability and how Quality plays a part in this.
At Capella we know that it’s important for quality professionals to consider their social responsibilities when it comes to a sustainable future. For World Quality Week 2021, Bal Gill, at Forefront Certification, explains how Sustainability in organisations can be improved using a quality perspective:
“Utilising quality tools, and approaches developed to address organisational challenges, would have an improved alignment between corporate social responsibility and quality functions to drive business performance.”
Bal supports Capella to deliver the Quality modules of the Level 4 Quality Practitioner programme which includes learning about ISO 9001:2015 Quality management. Identifying risks and opportunities in an organisation’s environment to action and address.
She says “Apprentices acquire an understanding of the interaction of a quality system supporting organisations to be effective in areas of economic (profit), social (people) and ecological (planet) environment”.
“The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle is one of the most utilised tools, which has grown towards a natural way of thinking. The principle of quality:
Bal knows that Quality systems have supported organisations to become more capable of the delivery quality, good customer services and minimising mistakes. “Improving becomes a daily practice to maintain quality. This also means that sustainability can be incorporated in the core processes for organisations and connects to a crucial stakeholder: its customer”.
She believes that conducting audits drives continual improvements and helps businesses to run better, to meet stakeholder needs and expectations. “The audit module in the Level 4 Quality Practitioner programme, provides apprentices with the understanding of why internal audits are essential. Audits assess conformance or non-conformance of an organisation’s processes and systems to ensure consistent products and services meet customers, as well as applicable statutory and regulatory, requirements”.
For an organisation’s business efficiency and effectiveness, utilising a quality perspective such as identifying the cost impact for:
– waste material,
– customer dissatisfaction,
– product and service performance
can advance on the requirement for controlling sustainability.
Common quality tools for example: check sheets, control charts, histograms, process flow charts and pareto charts applied to social and environmental issues, can explore the issues in organisations to support its corporate social responsibilities with stakeholders.
Integrated management systems of quality, environmental, health and safety, social responsibility, business continuity and many more standards are all a systems approach, encouraging businesses to develop tools to measure and demonstrate improvements to drive business value, demonstrate Return on Investment and create internal alignment. And that is why…
The National Apprenticeship Awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the apprentices, employers and champions who have gone above and beyond in spite of the challenges faced in the last year.
We selected a small number of Capella delegates who we believed had an outstanding story to tell and recommended that they submitted an entry for the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year Award.
So we’re delighted to tell you that one of those delegates has been notified that she’s a Regional Finalist in the National Apprenticeship Awards for the East Midlands region!
Olga, who completed the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship, will now attend the East Midlands Regional Awards being held on the 20th October. Winners from the Regional Finals will then be shortlisted for the national stage. This shortlist will undergo a second tier national judging process where the national finalists will be selected. These Finalists will be announced on the 12th November. Only national finalists will be invited to the National Awards ceremony on the 1st December. For details of the ceremonies please contact info@AppAwardsRegistration.co.uk
Olga was delighted and contacted Capella to tell us her great news and to thank her tutor Mick Dickenson for his support. Mick said “This recognition for your exemplary work throughout the programme is just reward, very, very well done”.
Amrik Gill Operations Director at Capella said “Congratulations Olga,
very well deserved. The work you completed as part of your apprenticeship journey, was benchmark. We will all be wishing you even more success on Final’s day”.
#Goodluck Olga from all of the Capella team!
Apprentice of the Month Award Winners Quarter 3 – 2021
This year Capella introduced an ‘Apprentice of the Month Award’ where we ask our Capella Trainers to nominate a learner who they feel has gone ‘above and beyond’. This could be a learner who has overcome challenges, worked particularly hard, or someone who has made a real difference to the cohort, or their own business whilst on the programme. For Quarter 3 our Capella Apprentice of the Month winners were…
July 2021 – Casey Barron from Sunderland University on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
The first of our award winners for Quarter 3 was Casey Barron.
Casey was nominated in July for Apprentice of the Month as her trainer Mick Dickenson was so impressed with the standard of her work at her Mid-Review.
“Casey was one of a very few delegates that have already completed the Measure Phase at Mid review. The quality and application of DMAIC is benchmark, if not exceptional.
Also completed the mid review exam to “Distinction level”. Is already compiling evidence for CPD therefore is proving to be a delegate that all others should aspire to replicate”
Mick Dickenson (Capella Trainer)
August 2021 – Ruth Ashburner who works in the Finance team at Wilko on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Ruth’s trainer Niall Coney said…
“Ruth’s drive and commitment is fantastic, but most importantly along with that drive is the level of detail in the work she’s completed.
Ruth has taken on board every bit of feedback and has always taken on the challenges given to her. At Ruth’s coaching sessions she has demonstrated how she has acted on the feedback and how robust improvements are being identified.
Ruth has really engaged with and led activities in the training sessions and remained a positive energy throughout the programme”
Niall Coney (Capella Trainer)
September 2021 – Dean Crow at Babcock Marine on the L4 Improvement Practitioner apprenticeship.
Dean’s trainer Mat Ellwood said…
“Dean is an enthusiastic individual that sets the standard for the group, He drives for excellence, and this has been demonstrated multiple times throughout the duration of the programme.
Dean has played an active role in coaching and sharing best practice with fellow members of the cohort, enabling him to refine his coaching skills and help others who don’t feel as confident when applying theory into practice.
Dean is a worthy and deserved recipient of the September award”
Mat Ellwood (Capella Trainer)
On behalf of all of the Capella Team we would just like to say well done everyone!
Capella have provided a superbly structured programme, and have proven to be entirely supportive of delegates in completing their apprenticeship with confidence. Key to this has been the instructor’s knowledge of the subject matter, allowing him to apply the theory to a variety of scenarios in the delegates’ work. We have appreciated the instructor being approachable, flexible and understanding of the challenges of extra-curricula activity for people with busy jobs. All staff that we’ve engaged with at Capella have been professional, welcoming and clear in their communication.
Mark Robbins, Retail and Pension Operations Training and Communications, Fidelity International
Capella’s focus on developing long-term relationships and their continual search for innovative approaches to upskilling has enabled Toyota and many other employers to learn and apply best practice Problem Solving tools which deliver great outcomes for all. In our experience, no other training provider has taken such a lead role in the development of sector wide initiatives such as the Automotive Industrial Partnership and development of the ‘improvement suite’ of Apprenticeship standards. Capella constantly seeks innovative opportunities to deliver an excellent service to the learner and to the business.
Paul Fitzpatrick | Senior Manager | Toyota UK
We have found Capella really professional and flexible and their passion for delivering high quality training is a culture we have in common between us and has made working with them highly beneficial. Their knowledge of the automotive sector in particular has also been very useful and has simplified working together to create a really excellent training programme. In addition, they have managed to modify their usual commercial programmes in line with government approved apprenticeship standards, which has enabled us to utilise our Apprenticeship Levy to fund the training.
Chris Bauman | Group Managing Director
Capella are delivering the Business Improvement L4 programme to a cohort of 12 staff at our Barnard Castle site. We chose Capella after a series of meeting with Kate and her team and from day 1 we have been impressed with the professionalism, enthusiasm and knowledge of the team. The staff have really thrived on the learning schedule and through working with the programme tutors and we have had nothing but positive feedback. Internal changes on site have impacted on the programme delivery, which Capella took this in their stride, adapting delivery timelines, providing support and working with those facing change has added another dimension to the relationship that has been developed between the site and Capella. While still in delivery mode GSK already believes that the programme has been a success for all involved and we look forward to its completion and sharing that success within the organisation.
Tim Buchanan | Apprenticeship Vendor Manager | Talent, Leadership and Organisation Development- Centre of Excellence
Capella worked closely with Wilko to deeply understand our needs at a strategic and operational level, helping us to jointly explore a range of options to meet these needs. Capella have an experienced team of Lean Six Sigma experts. Their programme design, management expertise and resources are second to none. Wilko have been allocated a dedicated Account Manager which helps us ensure the learner is always front of mind. Capella’s programmes have developed the knowledge, skills and drive of our Wilko delegates to seek and implement improvements in every process, constantly reducing costs, waste and inefficiencies. Capella also enabled Wilko’s leadership of continuous improvement to be showcased through the publication of an extensive article for the Chartered Quality Institute's Quality World magazine.
Teresa Ward, Wilko Talent Programme Manager, Wilko
I would sincerely like to thank you again and the fabulous team at Capella for the dedication shown in achieving the Black Belt qualification. It is such a pleasure to work so closely with passionate professional people and I hope our partnership continues to grow especially with the role out of the new standards.
Richard Bates, Managing Director, Qualitrain
"Capella are a company that keep to their word, they have supported me fully during and even after my projects have been completed. The coaching team are always on hand to help with any issues and often put themselves out to ensure support is available. Highly recommend anyone looking to progress their career to take a look at Capella."
Chris Woodcock, Jaguar Land Rover