Spotlight on quality apprenticeships

Shining the spotlight on quality apprenticeships
For National Apprenticeship Week 2023, Kate Smith, Managing Director at Capella Associates, shines a spotlight on quality apprenticeships, including how the Level 4 Quality Practitioner was developed, and what it’s like to take part.

The CQI were part of the development group that first created this standard, which aligns with their competency framework and includes content on governance, assurance and improvement. The development group also won the award for “Outstanding Contribution to Quality Management Systems” in 2020.

Who is the Quality Practitioner apprenticeship for?
Suitable for employers from all sectors, the Quality Practitioner apprenticeship is designed for people at the beginning of their career, as well as those who find themselves in quality roles without any formal training.

Capella Associates are on the Register of Approved Training Providers to deliver the Quality Practitioner apprenticeship. We’ve seen a wide range of sectors utilising this apprenticeship as a development opportunity, including construction, financial and customer services, manufacturing and defence.

What does this apprenticeship entail?
The apprenticeship combines taught content, tutorials, and 1:1 coaching to support application of learning into the workplace. There are modules on quality planning, assurance, control and continuous improvement. Learners build competence and confidence to improve quality performance and solve problems through use of best-in-class tools.

The first apprentices to enrol as quality practitioners are now coming to the end of their programme and the impact reported by learners and employers has been positive. Two of these learners have won Apprentice of the Month at Capella, so good results are expected from the final assessments which are taking place this week.

Neila Rudzite was one of the apprentices who won the award because she produced work of an extremely high standard. Her trainer said “she also challenged, where appropriate, in a constructive and positive way. She has shown personal resilience through role changes, and challenges with her project selection, but has continued to show determination to complete a high quality and impactful project for her organisation, which is testimony to her own drive and personal integrity.”

Aurora Horeanu also won Apprentice of the Month. She first joined Brose over six years ago as a Production Operator. After two years she moved into the quality function, eventually applying for the role of Quality Engineer in April 2021. Although she enjoyed working as a Quality Auditor, she said “I wished I could have the opportunity to correct the non-conformities by myself and not only to give advice. So, I decided to apply for a role which would give me the chance to take immediate actions and make improvements. Not only that, but it would also help to achieve my goals, gain the necessary qualification in Quality, and become a successful Quality Engineer”. Her trainer said, “Aurora has been enthusiastic and diligent from the start. She certainly puts into practice the knowledge, skills and behaviours that contribute to her becoming a strong Quality Professional.”

Further information about the Quality Practitioner Apprenticeship can be found here (opens a new window)


  • 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