Mater Lean Academy

Join over 3,500 healthcare staff and learn how to make lasting change with tangible outcomes through one of our practical and accredited Lean Six Sigma in healthcare programmes

White Belt

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Green Belt

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Black Belt

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Why train with us?

Lean and Six Sigma are process improvement methodologies that have a proven record of successful application in healthcare.  

These approaches provide a framework to break down complex system problems into their component parts, identify value and align service solutions to the users’ needs, improving flow and quality.

Since it was established in 2013, the Mater Lean Academy has trained, educated and supported healthcare staff  to introduce impactful, lasting solutions within the health system with patients and staff at their core using a Lean Six Sigma Person-centred approach.

Over this time, 430 graduates from 58 healthcare organisations have delivered long-standing improvements in the healthcare system by generating time and cost savings, improving quality of care and enhancing the experiences of both patients and staff.

In addition, over 3,500 healthcare staff nationally have undertaken the Mater Lean Academy’s one day Fundamentals of Process Improvement White Belt Programme and now form part of our Lean community of practice.

Our Programmes

  • University accredited programmes

    Our accredited UCD programmes  offer participants a suite of options in process and service improvement. Whether you are a novice learner or want to advance your learning as part of an MSc in Leadership, Innovation and Management in Healthcare we have options for every learner.

  • Delivered by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals

    As well as class lectures, students avail of  mentor sessions with leading change professionals.   Our teaching methods have recently been recognised in college and university level awards.

  • Accessible to all

    These practical academic programmes which focus on learning through action are available to all staff in healthcare, regardless of profession or grade.   We have found that the interdisciplinary learning environment provides a richer experience for our learners.

  • Person centred cultures of care

    Echoing the original Lean tenet of respect for people, our programmes are underpinned by the principles of Person-centred care (collaboration, inclusion, participation) promoting holistic solutions with patients, staff and carers at the heart of change.

Whether you are new to process improvement or are looking to advance your skills our accredited programmes are deeply rooted in practice and will meet your needs, wherever you are on your improvement journey.

White Belt

1 day programme

Programme outcome

We will introduce you to Lean and Person-centred improvement sciences with practical exercises, tools and examples of healthcare projects.


White Belt Certificate



CORU - 6 Hours

RCPI  - 6 Points

Programme fee

Individuals €250

Online programme

Group bookings  €2,500

Online or onsite programmes

Upcoming Courses

Programmes run throughout the year.

Please email for more information on programme dates and to apply

Green Belt

6 month - Part Time

(5 class days over two trimesters)

Programme outcome

Through successful completion of this academic programme and your team project, you will be able to:

  • Understand the principles, philosophy, and be proficient in Lean Six Sigma, the model for improvement and Person-centred tools and practices
  • Appreciate the role of cross functional teams and work effectively as a project team member or leader of a problem-solving team
  • Identify and complete well defined projects that solve challenging problems and generate sustainable process improvement


Professional Certificate

Process Improvement in Health Systems

QQI Level 8: 10 ECT credits

Graduates can then choose to progress onto the following programmes:

Black Belt Graduate Certificate Process Improvement in Health Systems (40 ECTS Credits)

MSc Leadership, Innovation and Management for Healthcare (90 ECTS Credits)

Programme fee

EU €1,674 (167.40 per credit x 10 ECTS)

Non EU €3,233.30 (323.33 per credit x 10 ECTS)


Black Belt

1 Year - Part Time

(9 class days over three trimesters)

Programme outcome

Through successful completion of this academic programme and system level  project, you will be able to:

  • Lead on process and quality improvement initiatives
  • Demonstrate and teach process improvement principles, methods and tools
  • Carry out healthcare research to support and underpin organisational process and quality improvement projects
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyse and draw conclusions from data
  • Demonstrate the ability to overcome resistance to change in an organisation


Graduate Certificate

Process Improvement in Health Systems

QQI Level 9

QQI Level 9: 40 ECT credits

Graduates can then choose to progress  to the MSc Leadership, Innovation and Management for Healthcare (90 ECTS Credits)

Programme fee

EU €6,696 (167.40 per credit x 40 ECTS)

Non EU €12,933 (323.33 per credit x 40 ECTS)


Graduates of these programmes have applied their learning successfully to improve experiences and outcomes for staff and patients in areas as diverse as stroke thrombolysis, patient scheduling, procurement, data coding, ward and unit design, rehabilitation, hip fracture pathways, pharmacy, pathology, radiology, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, oncology and community health.

"The programme has been a great experience. I started out the programme with a basic understanding of improvement terminology and concepts and finished with a good knowledge of how to adopt process improvement practices in every day working. The mix of academic and project based learning is an excellent approach and provides an immediate opportunity to take what you learn in the classroom directly to the shop-floor."

Paudy O’Gorman,
Laboratory Manager, Mater Hospital

"A very rewarding and enjoyable programme that has provided a definite structure to critically analyse processes within the healthcare setting. The programme creates a supportive base to explore Lean Six Sigma tools to use at each stage of the improvement process. Excellent guidance on stakeholder engagement with lots of transferable skills developed along the way."

Anthony Pierce,
Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Beacon Hospital

"I gained a real understanding of how process improvement theory and principles can be applied to health care and how these approaches can bring real benefits to my organisation. The programme was highly motivating and energetic and I have the ability to apply process improvement methodologies to clinical scenarios."

Ciara Dowling,
Director of Nursing, Clontarf Hospital

"The programme is an outstanding opportunity to learn Lean Six Sigma and apply it to a clinical problem in your own institution. Using the DMAIC framework the lecturers will facilitate you learning key strategies to reduce variation and waste. The course includes lectures, site visits and written assignments. I would encourage teams to apply to this very instructive course if you wish to learn about emergent change in healthcare. It proved very effective in improving patient care in our outpatient department."

Professor Colin McMahon,
Consultant Cardiologist, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin

"The programme empowers you as an individual to know you are helping generate and manage sustainable person-centred improvements that make a difference in the quality of care for patients. This is a great engine for both personal and professional development-I can’t recommend it highly enough!"

Anna Purcell,
Senior Medical Scientist, Mater Hospital

Our Approach

We believe that successful  improvement initiatives directly correlate with, and are sustained by, the skills and knowledge possessed by all levels of healthcare professionals. The Academy draws on the experience of its participants, along with our lecturers and adjunct faculty. We apply innovative approaches to process improvement learning and leadership, and we provide our programme participants with the support to pursue their improvement projects from pilot to implementation phase.

“Lean improvements gives us as clinicians time back to spend with our patients”

Karen Connolly
Mater Lean Academy Tutor and Improvement Facilitator Mater Transformation
full bio

“We use a proven methodological approach that is synergistic with developing person-centered cultures, encompassing everyone who is involved in the journey of care”

Sean Paul Teeling
Mater Lean Academy Programme Director and Assistant Professor UCD Health Systems
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“Lean gives you the structure to tackle complex healthcare problems, work through the inevitable ups and downs and deliver lasting user focused solutions”

Michelle McGuirk
Mater Lean Academy Tutor and Improvement Facilitator Mater Transformation
full bio

“Our programmes create the opportunity for all involved in delivery of care to see how their job fits within the entire health system and be involved in positive change”

Vanessa Kelly
Mater Lean Academy Administrator
full bio

“Lean provides a powerful way for teams to collaborate across traditional silos, generating whole system improvements, aligned with patient journeys”

Aileen Igoe
Mater Lean Academy Tutor and Lean and Systems Redesign Lead, Mater Transformation
full bio