Level 4 – Process Leader

Course Overview

Process Leaders are found in organisations with high volume manufacturing or advanced manufacturing processes in which large volumes of products are made in assembly, moulding, metal processing, chemical processing, pharmaceutical, textiles, food and drink, or similar processes.

They are also found in organisations with engineering operations or low volume manufacturing processes in which lower volumes of products are made in a bespoke or workshop type environment. The core knowledge, skills and behaviours of this apprenticeship will be developed and demonstrated in a specific manufacturing context and are broadly transferable to other manufacturing sectors.

The broad purpose of this occupation is to undertake and direct production activities and operations and deliver against core production Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Process Leaders effectively lead and manage large teams as well as providing technical/specialist input and direction to their own team and to others. Process Leader are responsible for determining and managing budgets and resources. They use core production KPIs as the basis of the continuous improvement cycle and undertake and manage quality resolutions. Process leaders manage health, safety and environment within their area of responsibility, ensuring staff are compliant with all requirements and driving improvements and use project management tools to plan, organise and manage resources, monitor progress, identify risks and mitigation. They develop, build and motivate team members as well as manage performance and industrial relations.  As well as providing clear direction and leadership to their own team and others, Process Leaders build and maintain strong relationships across different disciplines, to ensure that the activities of functions such as HR, Purchasing, Planning, Finance focus on core production KPIs. Effective communication is a core responsibility of the Process Leader role, whether this be communication corporate vision and strategy or using data and information to create compelling presentations and drive management decisions

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with:

  • Team leaders and their wider team
  • Quality Managers
  • Health and Safety Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Finance Managers
  • Quality Improvement Manager
  • Operational Directors
  • Directors
  • Managing Director/CEO

Process Leaders act autonomously as part of a wider production team and are responsible for the delivery of core production KPIs, people, budgets, equipment, materials, supplies, health, safety, environment and risk.


24 months (this does not include EPA period)

Classroom, On the job, Off the job

Interview, Project Presentation

Levy & Non-Levy

- Fully Funded (free if eligible)

16 Years +, Live in England, Not in Full time education

What Will I learn?


  • Principles of production/manufacturing techniques including material handling systems, maintenance, production planning/scheduling, ergonomics, workplace study, plant organisation, decommissioning, Statistical Process Control, process types such as flow and batch, product/raw material principles
  • How to identify and procure sufficient, suitable resources (e.g. finance, staff, equipment, supplies) including use of management tools such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0
  • Budgeting, forecasting and control of direct and indirect costs, fixed and variable costs including actual, accrued and committed costs
  • Lean operational and quality improvement practices such as workplace organisation, visual management, waste reduction and shop floor problem solving
  • Delivery of quality management and assurance systems
  • Problem definition: Cost of Poor Quality, problem analysis models such as Is/Is Not
  • Safe and professional working practices including health, safety, environment and legislative requirements relevant to the sector, the organisation and own role
  • Production procedures and regulations to meet legislative/organisational requirements
  • Planning and project management principles, problem solving, relationship building and leading through KPIs
  • Employment law, employee rights and responsibilities, organisation staff management policies/procedures for e.g. recruitment, performance, development, discipline, grievance, equality/diversity, industrial relations
  • Theories of performance management and their use and organisations tools and policies for managing teams
  • The theory of managing, motivating and developing people
  • The purpose of organisational vision and goals and how these apply to teams
  • Awareness of the differing strengths team members have and how these can be effectively applied in the workplace
  • Approaches to colleague, stakeholder/ supplier relationship management including collaboration, negotiation, influencing, managing conflict, and networking
  • How to communicate and cascade information effectively at all levels and to a diverse audience
  • How to identify the information required for decision making, how it should be gathered and reported
  • How to develop and present a case to management when requesting change including single page reporting


  • Undertake and direct production activities and operations
  • Propose, undertake, manage and coordinate changes to the product, production operations, processes and equipment, to improve productivity, efficiency and quality
  • Solve problems – predict and prevent failures through the analysis of data and information
  • Manage resources effectively to ensure their availability and the efficient running of department in line with organisational procedures
  • Deliver cost achievements against budget targets
  • Plan resources to support variations in production schedules
  • Use KPIs as the basis of the continuous improvement cycle for quality, cost and volume achievement using lean operational and product improvement techniques
  • Undertake and manage quality resolutions as well as volume problem resolution
  • Manage health, safety and the environment within area of responsibility, ensuring staff are compliant with all requirements and driving improvements
  • Conduct workplace risk assessments, manage near-miss or similar processes, conduct investigations as necessary
  • Use project management tools to plan, organise and manage resources, to monitor progress, identify risks and mitigation
  • Recruit the right people into the right job
  • Develop, build and motivate teams by identifying strengths and enabling training and development within the workplace
  • Recognise excellence, effectively manage performance, discipline, attendance, grievance
  • Manage industrial relations and equality and diversity
  • Support development through coaching and mentoring
  • Leading and communicating the management of change
  • Provide clear direction and leadership, giving open and honest feedback. Apply and adapt own leadership style to different production situations and people
  • Delegate and enable delivery though others
  • Build and maintain strong relationships across different disciplines. Negotiate and influence. Manages conflict
  • Identify and share good practice, work collaboratively
  • Utilise specialist advice and support to deliver plans
  • Communicate effectively (verbal, non-verbal, written, digital) in manner relevant to the target audience
  • Chair meetings and present (formally and informally) using a range of media. Listen actively, challenge, give feedback
  • Analyse data/information to compellingly and succinctly present information to drive management decisions


  • Actively champion the CR&S agenda/ethos.
  • Committed to developing self and others in ways that support CR&S engagement.
  • Works within own level of authority, seeking support when needed.
  • Takes the lead in helping others to achieve CR&S results. (within limits of own role).
  • Seeks innovative ways to add value to CR&S issues while remaining objective.
  • Stand by difficult CR&S decisions and hold your team/organisation to account.
  • Ethical and non-judgmental

Job Progression

  • Decision Making: Makes decisions based on personal initiative, technical knowledge, analysis and understanding of the different interests of stakeholders. Accepts responsibility for decisions and recognises limit to own authority
  • Agile: Flexible and adaptable to the needs of the organisation. Is creative, innovative and enterprising when seeking solutions to business needs. Positive and open to new ways of working, responds well to feedback and change
  • Inclusive: Open, approachable, authentic, and able to build trust with others. Promotes a respectful culture embracing diversity and inclusion. Seeks and provides feedback to manage continuous development of self, team and processes
  • Responsibility, Accountability and Resilience: Drive to achieve in all aspects of work. Demonstrates resilience and accountability. Determination when managing difficult situations. Seeks new opportunities
  • Professionalism: Sets an example, and is fair, consistent and impartial. Open and honest. Operates within organisational values. Promote and instil the values of the organisation to all colleagues
  • Problem solver: Identifies issues quickly, enjoys solving complex problems and applies appropriate solutions. Has a strong desire to push to ensure the root cause of any problem is found and solutions identified which prevent recurrence

For further details:

Level 4 – Process Leader

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