Q: What is the difference between continuous and continual improvement?

The two terms are frequently used interchangeably and can often be interpreted to mean the same thing. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Continual improvement means that the approach is repeated and has pauses in between repetitions. A continual approach will have a phased system, whereby improvements will be made then there will be a brake to measure and analyse the success, after this further improvements can be made.

Whereas a continuous improvement approach does not stop, it is an uninterrupted flow. A continuous approach is one that will constantly look to make improvements, it is a sustained process of development.

One of the most common approaches of continuous improvement is Lean. This approach aims to embed a culture of continuous improvement (Kaizen culture) which uses a set of tools and techniques to reduce waste and maximise customer value.

Q: Can employees undertake training courses while on furlough?

Yes, employees can undertake training whilst furloughed. Government guidelines in a sense encourage this by stating that employees ‘must be able to undertake any training [their company] require while on furlough’ and therefore many businesses will see it as an opportunity to upskill their workforce and ensure certificates are up to date prior to them returning to work.

Government guidance also explains that training for employees whilst furloughed is allowed on the basis that they are not making money for their employer (or a company linked or associated to their employer), or providing services to their employer.  Note also that employees undertaking training whilst on furlough must be paid the minimum wage, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

Providing staff with training whilst on furlough is a great way to enhance their skills without the pressure of their usual workload distracting from their studies. Bywater now offers online ISO auditing & business improvement training courses that allow your staff to undertake training at home, in line with government COVID-19 recommendations.

Further details of the government regulations regarding training whilst furloughed can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Q: What is Lean theory?

Lean is a continuous improvement approach that incorporates a number of tools and techniques to create a Kaizen culture (a culture of continuous improvement). Lean allows businesses to redefine the output of departments and functions by focusing on what value is from a customer perspective at every stage of a product or service creation. Actions that do not add value to the customer are considered waste, or Muda which can be removed.

Q: What is Lean or Six Sigma Certification UK?

Certification is approval from a third party. In the UK Lean and Six Sigma certification is undertaken by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Certification adds creditability by demonstrating that the individual or company is competent with ISO 18404 (the international standard for Lean and Six Sigma implementation).

Q: Why Chose the RSS as a Lean and Six Sigma Certification Body?

There are a number of certification bodies out there and choosing one can be confusing. That’s why in 2015 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released the standards of Lean and Six Sigma; this included the certification process for individuals and businesses. Currently in the UK the only method to be officially certified is through the Sector Scheme RSS 18404. The RSS is responsible for both monitoring the participant bodies that certify organisations and certifying individuals through their assessment centres.

Q: What is the difference between Lean and Six Sigma?

Although the two are often paired together seamlessly in conversation and can be combined in some introductory training courses, there are some substantial differences between Lean and Six Sigma. Lean is a set of tools and techniques that are used under a culture of continuous improvement aimed at eliminating waste. Whereas Six Sigma focuses on the reduction of process variation with use of data and statistical analysis tools.

Q: What are the Benefits of an Individual Becoming Certified in Lean and Six Sigma UK?

Benefits of becoming certified include:

•Certification is the step to define your expertise. It demonstrates that an individual has been assessed to hold a high level of competence to ISO 18404 the international standard for Lean and Six Sigma.

•Access to the RSS’ extensive resources and their certification database.

•You will be given a unique certification number from the RSS that will be on the certification database, displaying your approval.

•RSS certification can be publicised, allowing you to authenticate your reputability.

•Top manufacturing employers such as Jaguar Land Rover actively hire certified Green Belt and Lean Practitioners

Q: What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a set of statistical analysis tools used to measure and eliminate process variation, in other words, it improves quality by reducing the likelihood something is done wrong or differently to the way the customer is expecting. The Six Sigma process is based upon the DMAIC methodology of Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control.

Q: What is the goal of Lean thinking?

The goal of Lean thinking is to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction by implementing a culture of continuous improvement (Kaizen culture). This culture is supported with the use of Lean tools and techniques such as value stream mapping, which is used to identify waste by mapping the flow of information and materials.

Q: What is Kaizen?

Kaizen simply means ‘improvement’ in Japanese. The word Kaizen has been used within Lean as an expression of a philosophy of small scale incremental and continual improvement changes.

Rather confusingly a ‘Kaizen event’ means something different, is an improvement event that happens over a very short period of time to make improvements of a pre-determined set of processes.

Q: Can Lean be used in Service based industries?

Yes, Lean has successfully been used in both services and the public sector for a considerable amount of time. Although Lean originates in manufacturing the tools have been developed to suit service-based industries, with certain tools such as 5s becoming service industry orientated.

Q: What is the Assessment Process for Lean and Six Sigma Certification UK?

As an individual you can become certified through your organisation if it is certified by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), or directly through the RSS. This is available to delegates that successfully complete either a Six Sigma Green Belt training course or a full Lean Practitioner Programme. The process will involve submitting a portfolio of evidence demonstrating successful practice. Delegates will also have to attend a half day assessment centre at RSS in London, for groups this can be arranged on site. Bywater does offer a bespoke training package to guide delegates through this process with one to one tutoring from Lean and Six Sigma experts.

A business can be become certified through the RSS 18404 scheme. This will be an assessment of the ‘system the organisation has in place for managing the competence of its Key Personnel under the standard.’  A full description of the process can be found here.

Q: What are the Benefits as a Business Becoming Certified in Lean and Six Sigma UK?

The certification process ensures that the business fully understands the principles of Lean or Six Sigma and how to successfully implement them. By doing so the business will ensure process improvement through waste reduction and defect elimination, resulting in increased efficiencies.

Successful certification of ISO 18404 also increases brand reputability as it demonstrates a commitment to producing quality products whilst adhering to internationally recognised standards.

Q: What is the difference between residential and non-residential options?

We offer residential and non-residential options for training courses. This allows delegates to choose the option that best suits their requirements according to location of the course, evening work required, travel time or cost.

Residential option

This provides the delegate with overnight accommodation each night of the training course (apart from the final day) and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also the option to book an extra night the day before the course starts at an additional cost.

Non-residential option

This allows the delegate to travel into the venue each day, lunch and refreshments are included.

See a list of all the hotel venues

If you have any queries please contact the Training Team on 0333 123 9001.

Q: How can I pay for my public or in-house training course?

Payment for public or in-house training courses can be made in the following ways:

  • BACS payment – our bank details can be found on your invoice, please quote your invoice number as a reference.
  • Debit / Credit card – please contact our training team on 0333 123 9001 to make payment. There is no transaction fee for personal cards and a 1.75% transaction fee for company cards. Payment is taken by telephone.
  • Cheques – should be made payable to Bywater Training Ltd and posted to The Accounts Department, Bywater Training, Couchmore House, Littleworth Road, Esher, Surrey. KT10 9TN.

Payment is required in pounds sterling and should be received no later than 30 days prior to the public course start date.

Read our full terms and conditions for training courses.

If you have any queries regarding payment please contact our training team on  0333 123 9001.

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