During Your Programme

These web pages aim to provide a handy access point for information that you will need during your Systems Thinking Practitioner apprenticeship programme.

On this page:

Resources to help you complete the course are often available within OneFile. Other resources may be available from your tutor/coach. Learners from the health and care professions have access to academic journals via Open Athens. Please check with your own employer to see whether you too can already access subscription publications. 

The programme has core text books which you or your employer are expected to purchase. These can be shared, bought second hand or may be accessible from Amazon’s Kindle library and similar online/download services. 

Your Tutors & Coaches

Prof. Martin Parr
Tutor & Coach

Carolina Cullington

Headshot of Geoff Elliott

Geoff Elliot

Julian Starkey

Julian Starkey
Skills Coach

Image of Sidra

Sidra Chaudhry
Skills Coach

Helen Sanson

Helen Sanson
Skills Coach

Bee Dalrymple
Skills Coach & Progress Adviser

Angela Denise
Skills Coach & Progress Adviser

Explaining the Roles

There are three key roles in the team which will support your apprenticeship. Some members of staff cover more than one of these.

Your tutor will lead you through your workshops or seminars and deliver a large proportion of the knowledge elements of your apprenticeship with you.

Your coach will meet with you each month to help develop and evidence your skills and behaviours within the workplace. Your line manager will attend part of this session. They will help you gather evidence to demonstrate your overall competency.

Your learner progress adviser will help provide additional support where needed and monitor your progress. You will meet with them, and your line manager, every three months.

Your E-Portfolio: OneFile

We use OneFile as our e-portfolio system. This is where your assignments will be set, you will submit your work and you will log your off-the-job training.

Your regular reviews will be stored on here as will some resources for your course. You will complete a learning journal, be able to monitor your progress towards your Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours and refer to your workplace training plan.

Our training video covers all the key features of OneFile you need to know. Visit the Support and FAQs page if you have questions or issues.

Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

During your System Thinking Practitioner apprenticeship you will learn to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and behaviours.

  • K1: Systems thinking • Understands core systems concepts and laws that underpin and inform the practical methodologies and methods. • Aware of the inter-relationships between Systems Thinking approaches (including methods and methodologies), enabling comparisons of paradigms and underpinning philosophies. • Understands provenance of Systems Thinking methodologies and approaches in context of ‘schools’ of systems thinking and own ontology and epistemology. • Understands essential concepts of systems: complexity, emergence, boundaries, inter-relationships, multiple-perspectives, randomness, non-linear relationships, feedback loops, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and unpredictability.

  • K2: Systems approaches • Has a sound working knowledge of at least three modelling approaches, as defined in the Systems and Complexity in Organisations (SCiO) professional standard framework, including at least two of the widely-used systems methodologies or approaches: Critical Systems Heuristics, Soft Systems Methodology, System Dynamics, Viable Systems Model. • Understands the applicability, benefits and limits of each systems approach for each situation, and how to integrate them into a broader methodological design. • Understands relevance of, and knows methods for, determining appropriate scope, scale and systemic levels, for understanding, diagnosing and modelling situations, or for system design.

  • K3: Intervention and engagement • Knows a range of approaches for delivering systems interventions with differing levels of complexity and ambiguity, including double-loop learning, change methods, and learning cycles. • Has a working knowledge of at least two methods or methodologies for: intervention planning, information gathering, engagement and change implementation. • Understands strengths and limitations of each approach; knows when and how to use each approach to gain insight to the organisational/ societal/ political context. • Understands the principles of effective relationship building and stakeholder management and their application in a system intervention.

  • K4: Ethics • Working knowledge of ethics as applied to systems interventions generally, and as applied specifically to sector where practitioner is working. • Appreciates the regulatory environment, and the legal, health and safety and compliance requirements of the sector the practitioner is working in.

  • K5: Assessment and evaluation • Understands a range of quantitative and qualitative assessment and evaluation methods for determining the outcomes and impact of interventions, and for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of intervention decisions and processes.

  • S1: Applying systems knowledge • Applies systems laws, concepts and systems thinking approaches in real world situations, either applied directly, or to support systems methodologies.
  • S2: Approach designs • Recognises the nature of complexity most relevant to the situation of interest, and selects one or more appropriate approaches from the range of systems methods or methodologies. Undertakes these across a variety of domains or sectors. • Defines the system of interest, its boundaries, stakeholders and context. Recognises the benefits or limitations of an approach; combines or adapts approaches where needed.
  • S3: Systems modelling • Develops conceptual models of a variety of systems, real world situations and scenarios to provide insights into current or future challenges. • Uses a range of systems models to: explore boundaries and cause and effect, map interconnections and feedback loops, distinguish between differing worldviews or perspectives, and identify patterns, anomalies and emergent properties. Switches between these skills to achieve insight. • Uses models to explore, develop and test a range of possible interventions relevant to the situation of interest, to establish both short and long-term consequences of potential actions, and to reduce unintended consequences.
  • S4: Interpretation • Presents systems models, insights and intervention contributions in a way that is understandable in the real world.
  • S5: Engagement and collaboration • Applies techniques to identify stakeholders and to build and sustain effective relationships with them. Seeks out and engages with marginalised viewpoints; counters the dynamics of marginalisation. • Collaborates with and influences diverse stakeholders, colleagues and clients, identifying and adapting engagement and communication styles. • Works effectively as part of multi-disciplinary groups which have divergent or conflicting world views. • Designs, builds and manages groups to define the desired outcomes and achieve them. Uses tools and techniques to: maximise effective dialogue, to develop a shared understanding of the problem situation and to make decisions.
  • S6: Inquiry, information gathering and analysis • Applies a range of inquiry techniques to gather quantitative and qualitative information, including inputs, transformations, outputs and outcomes. Defines and designs hard and soft measures. • Applies a range of questioning and listening techniques to enquire with stakeholders, and to adapt approaches in real time. • Uncovers hidden or unstated assumptions, to evaluate stated assumptions, and to constructively challenge these where appropriate. • Selects, elicits, manages and interprets appropriate types of data, information and statistics for model building, making the trade-off between value, cost and timeliness. • Weighs balance of evidence; identifies gaps, contradictions, uncertainties and anomalies in data, information and any other evidence.
  • S7: Intervention design • Designs an appropriate intervention strategy for the system of interest, recognising relevant issues.
  • S8: Change implementation • Plans, designs and leads interventions to achieve benefits and learning, based on sound understanding of a range of change methodologies and techniques. • Uses facilitative processes empathetically to engage stakeholders in change processes and decision-making. • Adapts plans in response to new data and insights, perspectives and learning.
  • S9: Developing self • Applies techniques for structured personal reflexive practice, to monitor and develop knowledge, skills and self-awareness.
  • S10: Leading, communicating and influencing • Educates and influences stakeholders to participate effectively in challenging and ambiguous situations, including managing confrontation and conflict constructively. • Creates effective teams. Orients intervention teams to the organisational / social / political and cultural context. Leverages strengths and develops alliances. • Translates systems models and representations into comprehensible language for stakeholders; adapt communication method to audience. • Explains the benefits, principles and skills of systems approaches to stakeholders and participants in an intervention in order to guide them through a systems intervention.
  • S11: Assessment and evaluation • Develops and implements suitable monitoring and evaluation criteria and mechanisms, aware of the influence that different system methods can have in situations.
  • B1: Develops self and practice • Engages in structured reflection, monitoring and regulating own thought processes and understanding. Aware of the effect of own and others’ biases and of the mirroring effect of clients’ problems.
  • B2: Courage and constructive challenge • Prepared to identify and challenge formal and informal centres of power and authority. Willing to constructively challenge assumptions, norms, claims and arguments. • Adjusts the degree of challenge against political considerations, to achieve maximum achievable effect with minimum levels of damage. Balances confidence, challenge and humility during interventions. Fosters reflection in others.
  • B3: Curious and innovative • Interested in creative solutions; explores areas of ambiguity and complexity. Seeks innovative solutions and approaches. Develops and tests multiple hypotheses.
  • B4: Professional • Seeks to balance the needs of different stakeholders irrespective of personal bias. Regularly assesses ethical issues in interventions. Adheres to professional standards.
  • B5: Adaptable and cognitively flexible • Enjoys working on ill-defined and/or unbounded problem situations. Is comfortable with high degrees of uncertainty and with working on a variety of situations of interest. • Accepts change and innovation; actively considers new approaches to solving problems. • Takes an adaptable approach to inquiring, intervening and stakeholder engagement. • Aware of possible unintended consequences resulting from acting in complex environments. Avoids over-attachment to particular, pre-determined or expected outcomes.
  • B6: Practical • Takes a ‘real-world’ approach to the application of system models and to the design of interventions. Appreciative of constraints affecting the situation of interest.
  • B7: Resilient • Remains motivated to make a difference when facing conflict between client and stakeholders, or a lack of will to engage with the initiative, or the client’s lack of willingness to take a systems approach. • Accepts that “goal posts move”, and that unstable conditions are normal.
  • B8: Collaborative • Is participative and inclusive of others; sensitive to relational dynamics; encourages dialogue and co-operation across diverse people and groups; seeks positive win/win outcomes.
  • B9: Open-minded • Embraces and seeks out diversity; enjoys exploration of multiple perspectives.

Pauline’s 3 Top Tips for System Thinkers

In this video, an experienced systems thinking practitioner, Pauline Roberts advises on key strategies. Addressing the challenge of feeling invisible, she encourages practitioners to focus on effective coping strategies. She emphasises the power of demonstrating, not just telling, to influence others and stresses the need to manage expectations, given the delayed impact in systems thinking.

Off-the-Job Training

You will need to dedicate around 20% of your working hours to your learning and development, which equates to around one day a week.

How Can I Evidence My Learning?

Your coach and tutor will work with you to best gather evidence of your training. This can take various forms.

Functional Skills

Each Apprenticeship standard requires you to hold a certificate to at least a Level 2 in Math and English. If you do not have copies of your certificates, or if they are not held on the learner record service, then you will need to undertake the Functional Skills course.

Helpful Tips, Tricks & Techniques

We’ve compiled resources to supercharge your apprenticeship journey. Delve into our “Helpful Tips, Tricks & Techniques” guide, covering everything from polished business documents to expert minute-taking. Level up your skills for ensure your success.

Completing Your Apprenticeship

End Point Assessment (EPA) is the process at the end of your programme for you to demonstrate to a third party assessor that you have acquired the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standard. This will only happen once yourself, your line manager and Skills Coach have agreed that you are ready.

Safeguarding, Prevent, Welfare & British Values

Paula Wakelin
Paula WakelinSafeguarding & Prevent Officer
There is nothing more important than keeping you safe. If you or someone you know is at risk, click on the button below to raise your concerns.
We are strongly committed to practices that protect you from the risk of abuse, neglect or significant harm. Our staff recognise and accept their responsibility to develop an awareness of the risks and issues involved in safeguarding. All staff and learners should have zero tolerance for abuse, bullying, neglect and violence.

Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. At the heart of Prevent is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

We provide expert support to help you on your apprenticeship journey. This includes mental health and neurodiversity, careers guidance and academic and financial challenges.

We want to help you achieve your full potential. We offer careers consultancy to ensure you have impartial and constructive information and guidance to help you decide and then to action your career decisions.

We aim to create an equal, diverse, inclusive and respectful culture. All of us contribute towards this culture through our actions and words. JGA aims to address any barriers to equality in our systems, policies and decision making as well as in our behaviour and ways of working.

The Fundamental British Values underpin what it is to be a citizen in a modern and diverse United Kingdom, valuing our community and celebrating diversity.

There is a code of conduct which applies to you and all learners on our programmes. This lays out the expectations for your behaviour whilst on the apprenticeship.