The NHS Leadership Academy

The NHS Leadership Academy collaboration with Capella means 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.

This includes the recent Messenger review which looked at ways of ensuring a consistent approach to leadership development at all levels within the NHS. Meeting the need for a more consistent and substantive career development pathway from recruitment through to mid-career and beyond.

“The best organisations are those which invest in their people to unlock their potential, foster leadership and accountability at every level, with good leadership running through the entire workforce. This must be the goal and I believe our recommendations have the potential to transform health and social care leadership and management to that end”.

General Sir Gordon Messenger

You can read the full Messenger Review here or find out more about Apprenticeships to help you develop as a leader by visiting the NHS Leadership Academy Apprenticeships Homepage here 

The Edward Jenner and Mary Seacole leadership awards 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.

Find out more about the Improvement standards we deliver via the links below:

Level 3 Improvement Technician

Level 4 Improvement Practitioner

Level 5 Improvement Specialist

Level 6 Improvement Leader

The Improvement standards include a blend of Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, Project Management, Change Management, and Leadership. Designed to equip you with essential Continuous Improvement knowledge, skills, and behaviours.

Kay Lee, Head of Continual Improvement Services, at Arden and GEM recently completed her Level 5 Improvement Specialist apprenticeship with Capella. She told us that she’s now gained:

  • an in-depth understanding of the tools used for improvement projects
  • Knowledge around coaching and leading others
  • Practical knowledge and skills on the use of Minitab which she now uses to underpin most of NHS Arden and GEM’s improvement projects

She says this has helped her develop:

  • The creation of a Continual Service Improvement strategy
  • Strategic aligned improvement projects with effective governance
  • Structured approach to problem solving
  • A lean roadmap in line with strategic objectives
  • The creation of a quality and training capability package

Whilst at the same time becoming a qualified Black Belt who is a guide, coach, and a leader to others. Able to make continued improvements to NHS Arden and GEM’s operational processes and provide coaching and mentoring for staff outside of her own department.

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.

Edward Jenner programme – Leadership Academy


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.

Mary Seacole programme – Leadership Academy

Find out more at Leadership Academy – Better Leaders, Better Care, Brighter Future


Learner Support

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.

We deliver online information sessions twice a week where you can find out more about these apprenticeships. To book a place on one of these sessions, or to ask us any questions about our apprenticeships, please email us at:

or Call us on: +44 (0) 1386 793 981


Why Choose Capella

Our NHS Clients

We already work with the NHS and have delegates on programmes from the following NHS Trusts:

  • Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Arden and GEM
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust
  • Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • University of Leicester NHS Hospital
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Worcestershire Acute Hospitals

Procurement Framework

Capella are already on the Salisbury Framework. This means that we have met the stringent supplier requirements and have demonstrated that we are a quality training provider.

"We found Capella’s offer to be outstanding.... we were particularly impressed with your track record, the quality of your input with apprentices, and the fact that you offer the Mary Seacole qualification as part of the program".

Fiona Price, Apprenticeship Lead, Wye Valley NHS Trust

"Capella were completely professional and clearly trailblazers, working with Toyota and other large organisations - these were massive selling factors for us."

Libby Marshall, Apprenticeship and Widening Participation Lead, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

"So far the programme has been brilliant and it's proving to be vital in performing our roles in Service Improvement. I'm already planning to progress to the next level once complete." 

Kay Lee, Head of Continual Service Improvement, NHS Arden and GEM

"In the current cohort there are numerous leads and Capella have always supported them whatever the situation. I have always found their Assessors and Teachers to be more than qualified and very personable. Planning, contact and communication has been really good from various members of the team and they will always keep me informed of learners performance." 

Peter Melia, Learning & Development Department Education, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

  • Client Testimonials

    Examples of Our Clients

  • Testimonials

    • 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