Competitive Systems and Practices

A business that has adopted competitive systems and practices has a more productive workforce focused on continuous improvement.

What is Competitive Systems and Practices?

Competitive Systems and Practices (CSP) qualifications give workers the skills and knowledge they need to embed Lean principles into their organisation’s basic daily operations.

CSP targets improvements in efficiency, waste reduction, customer service, employee morale and costs. The skills that trainees develop throughout the qualification process apply across all internal departments and to all areas of a service or production chain, including administration, logistics and service support.

Lean business methods work in any organisation, of any size, in any sector. Any business that commits to eliminating waste and achieving continuous improvement can benefit. Actively putting competitive systems and practises in place produces results. Supporting staff to achieve these qualifications develops their abilities to sustain efficiency, while complementing and maintaining core job skills.

How we work with you

Competenz works closely with industry and training partners. By reviewing existing qualifications and developing new ones, this effective partnership ensures that training and qualifications always stay relevant to New Zealand businesses.

Our account managers work with you to understand your business, the skills you need, and your timeframes for implementation. They work through the delivery options with you, and find a solution for your organisation, wherever you are on your transformation journey. If an external training provider is the most appropriate solution for your needs, then our Provider team works with you in a three-way partnership. 

How we support your industry

Over the last two years Competenz has significantly increased its engagement with the manufacturing industry, including establishing a Strategic Advisory Group made up of key industry stakeholders. This group has been partnering with Competenz over this time to ensure the Certificates in Competitive Systems and Practices qualifications for New Zealand are fit for purpose.

Enterprise Wide – designing learning pathways

Competenz works alongside industry, taking an 'enterprise-wide' approach to understand how we can support the commercial training needs beyond the technical training footprint.

We start by understanding your business and partner with you to design 'enterprise-wide' learning pathways.

Our learning programmes cater for all aspects in business including Occupational Health and Safety, Sales, Distribution, Quality, Business Management and Administration.

Our training plans are tailored to your company’s needs, focusing on the broader business goals, workforce development planning, and increasingly supporting on-the-job career development for every level.

The Competitive Systems and Practices model is a systematic process with a wide range of tools. Used in combination, a business can target all the key issues affecting their particular operation.


  • Kaizen roughly translates as “continual improvement”. It breaks down a process into parts to identify the places where improvements can be made. It includes:
  • observing the process
  • identifying where value can be added
  • identifying areas of wastage
  • collecting ideas and improvements from the people who do the work by tapping into their knowledge common sense and intuition
  • identifying many small, continuous improvements that collectively achieve large gains
  • carrying out kaizen blitzes – which target specific processes to deliver quick returns and a great sense of achievement
  • These unit standards specify what learners need to know and be able to do in a range of activities (e.g. prepare and monitor chemical additives).


The 5S tool sets out five steps that lead to an orderly and standardised way of working. They help eliminate inefficiencies like waiting time, looking for resources and poorly used space.

The steps are:

  1. Sort – identify what’s needed, when it’s needed, and how often.
  2. Set in order – make things available where and when they’re needed – and remove things that aren’t needed.
  3. Shine – make sure everything is in good working order and ready to use.
  4. Standardise – put systems in place that make the first three steps part of everyday, routine practice.
  5. Sustain – make sure practices are maintained and the improvements in productivity are ongoing.

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping uses a system and series of symbols to observe and record all aspects of a particular process. This includes the activities involved, resources, locations, information flow and decision points. The resulting map is then used to:

  • identify which aspects add value and which ones are ‘wastes’
  • identify the things that a customer will reasonably pay for
  • support the Kaizen process (above)
  • identify areas where added value can be maximised and where new products/services can be developed.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma applies a structured statistical approach to improving a process through identifying and removing the cause of defects and minimising variations in processes. It follows five steps - Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (DMAIC). The roles and expertise defined by Six Sigma range from white belt to yellow belt, to green belt to black belt.

New Zealand Certificates


CSP handbook iconThe programme handbook summarises the New Zealand Certificates and how to work towards them.

download handbook

Graduates will be able to:

  • Identify waste within a process and take action to minimise it
  • Identify cost factors within their control and take action to improve cost efficiency
  • Apply competitive systems and practices concepts to implement workplace improvements in their own work
  • Understand and address the impact of change resulting from the implementation of improvements in their work
  • Sustain the implemented workplace improvements

Graduates will be able to:

  • Document a value chain to identify opportunities for improvements in the workplace
  • Apply the appropriate competitive systems and practices to improve processes in the workplace
  • Implement and monitor processes to ensure workplace improvements are sustained
  • Facilitate the change in culture associated with implementing the competitive systems and practices strategy in the workplace

Graduates will be able to:

  • Analyse the value chain in a business unit or smaller organisation and determine areas that would benefit from a competitive systems and practices strategy
  • Drive holistic cultural change as part of implementing competitive systems and practices in a business unit or smaller organisation
  • Develop and implement competitive systems and practices in a business unit or smaller organisation
  • Measure the success of the competitive systems and practices strategy post implementation
  • Plan and lead the implementation of a competitive systems and practices strategy in a business unit or smaller organisation

Contact our team for more information

Mathew Vandy

Mathew Vandy

Industry Manager - wood manufacturing, food and beverage, cellar operations, competitive systems and practices

021 815 044