ROKS KPI Black Belt

Seal your reputation as a KPI pro

Next 13 week programme:
16th August 2023

23 hours self-paced elearning
Assignments and weekly live tutorials

Location: Online

Price: £2350 GBP + tax per delegate

Kevin Engelen - JUGO

Kevin Engelen

JUGO - KPI Masterclass

Bernie is an enthusiastic motivator who can guide you through the KPI forest.

Sabrina Sebens - Jedox

Sabrina Sebens

Jedox AG - KPI Masterclass

Fantastic workshop that was easy to follow despite challenging topics with lots of practical exercises built in. Thank you!

David Norton - HighCoordination

David Norton - KPI Masterclass

HighCoordination GmbH

This is the best new methodology I've seen in years. Can't wait to apply it.

Loes Reijinders - Trespa

Loes Reijnders - KPI Masterclass

Trespa International

A really interesting masterclass that creates a lot of new ideas.

Paul Boekhoorn - JUGO

Paul Boekhoorn - KPI Masterclass



Bart Roelofs - Trespa

Bart Roelofs

Trespa International - KPI Masterclass

If you are looking for some awesome, knowledgeable people to work with, these are the guys I highly recommend. Their friendliness and result-driven approach is what I love about them.

Paul Bijleveld - delaware Netherlands

Paul Bijleveld

delaware, Netherlands - KPI Masterclass

This will really help improve the quality of consulting services that my team offers our clients.

Eduard Berteler - Axians

Eduard Berteler

Axians - KPI Masterclass

Great workshop to give insight in the road to a meaningful KPI set.

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Who is the Online ROKS KPI Black Belt Programme designed for?

The ROKS KPI Black Belt programme is designed to develop deep technical and management skills in the field of performance measurement design, implementation and problem-solving.

It is for professionals who would like to

  • Develop and implement robust KPIs for their (or their clients) organisation
  • Lead clients, or colleagues, through the development of performance measurement techniques
  • Deploy advanced KPI methods such as Index KPIs, control charts, KPIs for LSS programmes and OKR Trees
  • Demonstrate their capability through Black Belt certification

Typically participants will be corporate performance management specialists or consultants operating in strategy, performance improvement, management information, business intelligence, data or systems.

KPI Tree Masterclass in Den Bosch

Programme Objectives

The Black Belt aims to develop robust KPI design and selection skills in students. The programme will:

Help you master a complete toolkit to develop powerful, relevant KPIs for any situation

Introduce students to a broad selection of unique, advanced and powerful performance measurement techniques only available through and Delivered by method creator, industry leader and course tutor, Bernie Smith

Allow students to practise their skills through multiple case studies, supported through regular small-group tutorials with an expert coach

winners cup being awarded


When you complete your course and pass the unit tests, you will be sent a personalised 'ROKS KPI Black Belt' digital badge and certificate.

KPI Black Belt Badge

How does certification work?


  • Completion of all of the online-learning modules
  • Completion of all the assignments to the required standard
  • Passing course module knowledge quizzes (70% or greater, five attempts)
  • Attendance of the agreed tutorials (timing will be by mutual agreement and will be as flexible as possible)


Certification and the first year fees are included in the course fees. Maintenance of certification requires a €150 annual subscription (year two onwards) and offering the benefits of listing and verification on, full access to the latest Black Belt tools, templates and training materials (even those created after you qualify).

Three certification benefits

Achieving certification will allow graduates to:

1. Use the title ‘ROKS KPI Black Belt’ and personalised certification badge

Ideal for your...

  • LinkedIn profile
  • Email footer

2. Feature on ‘Trusted ROKS Professionals’ page

  • Recognition of your skills
  • Quick and simple verification of your qualification

3. Access the latest Black Belt materials

  • Latest materials
  • Access latest Black Belt tools and materials with release notes
KPI Black Belt

The KPI Black Belt programme curriculum

Wave 1: KPI Selection

ROKS Enterprise KPI Definition Method Logo

The core of Wave 1 is the first five steps of the 'Results Orientated KPI System' in-depth - covering KPI selection and definition. The ROKS method is a flexible and powerful method for selecting the best performance measures for any organisation, used by many brand names organisations on a daily basis.


Targets and incentives are a critical part of bringing KPIs to life and delivering results. All too often targets and incentives are chosen on an arbitrary basis, using guesswork and 'gut feel'. Worse still, these poorly designed targets and incentives can lead to totally unintended consequences from gaming. The ROKET-DS brings a logical structured approach that can be used in any situation to develop effective targets, key results and incentives.

Wave 1: Syllabus Summary

Duration: 45 minute live Zoom session

We start the programme with an informal onboarding, covering introductions, the mechanics of the course and any specific objectives individuals may have for the course.

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

How to simplify and streamline existing strategy documents into a suitable form for effective KPI selection. Learn about the most common strategy pitfalls and how to avoid them. We also cover the 'Big 6', an effective tool for organisations that are struggling with their strategy definition.

Duration: 30 minute e-learning module (on demand)

Team engagement is the biggest single factor affecting KPI success. We review the three essential elements of engagement and the most common and effective tools for managing engagement.

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins e-learning module (on demand)

The heart of the ROKS method is the KPI Tree methodology. KPI Trees are powerful, easy to understand and visual. They are also a learned skill.

This session introduces the 4C method, which makes KPI Tree creation a structured and repeatable process. Software tools and practical design tips are covered as well. Learn how KPI Tree workshops can build engagement, agreement and highlight hidden KPI risks. Feedback shows that people derive huge insight from the KPI trees they build.


Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

KPI Trees focus entirely on measuring strategic outcomes. OKRs are a powerful management tool for structuring objectives and key results. OKRs require strategic objectives be aligned throughout the organisation, yet none of the available materials show thre reader how to do this. This module shows you how to combine both methods for a hugely powerful hybrid approach - develop meaningful KPIs and integrate that approach with clear, structured objectives, milestones and actions.

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

The biggest practical issue organisations face with their KPIs is too many KPIs. The shortlisting step introduces a structured, repeatable and visual method for selecting only the most appropriate KPIs. This step also enables the organisation to identify high-value KPIs that are not yet practical but might be business-changing if implemented.

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

A crucial step for success, but one that is often skipped over. In this section, some of the risks are highlighted using hair-raising true stories and we introduce the ROKS KPI Canvas tool.

Duration: 3 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Targets and incentives are critical components of performance management that are often glossed over. They can drive breathtakingly positive results: the moon landings, the eradication of smallpox, or the repair of the ozone layer, for example. They can also have a dark side that can put executives in prison, bring global businesses to their knees, and even cause wholesale loss of life.

Using practical examples and case studies, we will walk through the essential steps of designing robust, effective, and credible targets and incentives for your organisation. The approach is also perfect for selecting meaningful Key Results for OKRs.

Wave 2: Report and Dashboard Design

Brilliant Dashboards Method

In Wave 2 we dig into what makes reports and dashboards clear, simple and informative. Starting from the first principles of perception, we build a simple, practical set of rules that will allow you to quickly, and objectively, analyse new or existing report designs then identify and fix the issues you identify.

Both the prototyping and build stages of dashboard and report design are covered in detail using the Brilliant Dashboards process flow...

The Brilliant Dashboard 'Prototyping' method

Prototype Method - Horizontal - no title- black text @4x

The Brilliant Dashboard 'Build' method

Build Method - Horizontal - White text - no title- black text @4x

For Excel users, we also include a complete code-free Excel toolkit to implement the Brilliant Dashboards approach, complete with examples, templates and over two hours of [optional] demonstration videos.

brilliant excel dashboard full kit, showing all four packages
  • The Brilliant Excel Dashboard Manual

    A non-nonsense 88 page guide the theory and practice of designing and building easy-to-understand dashboards and reports.

  • Expertly designed Prototyping & Build Templates

    • Prototyping Guide and Toolkit (PowerPoint)
    • Prototyping A4 Canvas (PowerPoint)
    • Prototyping A3 Canvas (PowerPoint)
    • Prototyping Letter Canvas (PowerPoint)
    • Prototyping Tabloid/Ledger Canvas (PowerPoint)


    Six high-quality Excel dashboard template kits (as .XLSX files*)

    • Monthly Dashboard Template Foundation pack - UK date format
    • Weekly Dashboard Template Foundation pack - UK date format
    • Daily Dashboard Template Foundation pack - UK date format
    • Monthly Dashboard Template Foundation pack - US date format
    • Weekly Dashboard Template Foundation pack - US date format
    • Daily Dashboard Template Foundation pack - US date format

    *All templates require Microsoft Office 2016 or later

    Includes full user guide in workbook.

  • Visual Report and Dashboard Design Checklist

    A simple Excel-based checklist to make sure you have covered the major design considerations on your dashboard and report designs

  • Brilliant Excel Dashboards 'Build' Cheatsheet

    A visual cheat-sheet covering the 'Brilliant Excel Dashboards' Build process using simple steps and easy to read instructions.

  • Brilliant Excel Dashboards 'Prototype' Cheatsheet

    A visual cheat-sheet covering the 'Brilliant Excel Dashboards' Prototype process using simple steps and easy to read instructions.

Wave 2: Syllabus Summary

Duration: 2 hour e-learning module (on demand)

KPIs communicate through dashboards and reports. This module introduces the visual design principles developed by the likes of Edward Tufte and Stephen Few and shows how to apply them to your reporting documents. We also cover strategies for minimising the number of design revisions and changes to report designs.

Duration: 2 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Learn how to rapidly create simple, clear and easy-to-understand dashboards using just Excel (no plugins, Visual Basic, macros or subscriptions).

In this two-hour module, we cover the simple rules of clear, understandable report design, introduce you to the powerful 'Brilliant Excel Dashboards Kit' and show you a full dashboard design and build, using the full included kit. With a little practise you will find that you can create robust, good-looking and easy to maintain dashboards five time faster than starting with a blank sheet.

Duration: 4-8 hour home assignment

The best way to consolidate your understanding of the ROKS method is to apply it. Each student will have the opportunity apply the first six steps of the ROKS method. You will have the options of applying the method to your own organisation, a client business or a ready-baked case study that we provide - we will agree on the details of the assignment during the preceding live tutorial session.

You will have access to remote support, as and when needed, to successfully apply the ROKS approach for the first time.

Wave 3: KPI Implementation

KPI Tree Introduction workshop 03

When it comes to implementing performance measures, there are a lot of ways in which things can go wrong, both technically and culturally. Fortunately, many of these issues are common and predictable.

Using carefully designed case studies, and [optionally] the student's real-world challenges, we explore tools and methods to mitigate or eliminate many of the common implementation challenges.

Wave 3: Syllabus Summary

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Wave 4: Advanced Performance Measurement Methods

In Wave 4 we cover a series of powerful techniques that will flag your credentials a true performance management expert, including...

Peformance Index Design

EPIK design system logo
Graphic showing the 7 steps of the EPIK Index Design System

Managers often find it difficult to read and digest multiple related KPIs. This can paralyse decisions making or lead to reliance on a restricted number of KPIs. The solution is to use well-designed Index KPIs, rolling multiple related KPIs into a single 'headline' KPIs.

In Wave 4 we introduce you to powerful structured approach - the 'EPIK' index design system and toolkit, developed by Bernie Smith.

XmR Smart Charts

Smart Charts Logo

Real world data is 'noisy'. Many of the 'tried and tested' methods for reducing that noise can end up giving us a completely misleading picture of the true underlying trends. XmR charts offer a statistically valid method for seeing through that noise and making the right fact-based decisions.

OKR Techniques

OKRs KPIs and Target logo

OKRs are a powerful management approach, leveraging the many benefits of effective target and goal setting. In Wave 4 we will look at how we can use KPI Trees and the ROKET-DS method to develop killer OKRs.

Measuring the 'Impossible'

Holmes method for apparently impossible measures logo

It is easy to dismiss certain metrics as 'impossible to measure'. Yet these 'impossible' KPIs are often the key to massive competitive advantage. Using three simple, but powerful techniques, you can unlock the power of the 'impossible'.

Wave 4: Syllabus Summary

Duration: 3 hour e-learning module (on demand)

A regular management request is to represent complex reporting situations as simply as possible. Easy-to-understand 'Fitbit'-type measures, called Index KPIs, can be a useful solution to this problem. 'Index KPIs' can be a fantastic solution, but they also come with severe hidden risks.

This module introduces the seven-step EPIK methodology for building reliable Index KPIs. Each step is illustrated with a worked example and a case study exercise for the delegates. Practical strategies are covered for identifying and minimising the risks inherent with Index KPIs.

Duration: 2 hour e-learning module (on demand)

All processes vary naturally. This is called 'process noise'. How do you know that a chart that increases is really showing improvement and isn't just showing natural variation? In this module we carefully dissect one shocking example - Using the six most common trending methods we show that the choice of trending tool has a greater impact on the conclusion drawn that the data itself! Control charts, specifically XMR charts, offer a mathematically valid solution to this problem. We cover both the theory of XMR/IMR charts and hands-on physical simulation.

OKRs are powerful, but can be difficult to align throughout an organisation. It can also be difficult to ensure that the Key Results are a stretch, realistic and robust.

In this module we cover the use of KPI Trees to align OKRs from top-to-bottom in any organisation and the ROKET-DS method to test and refine Key Results.

Duration: 1 hour e-learning module (on demand)

Many of the most exciting potential KPIs may seem to be hard, or even impossible to measure. Using two effective strategies, almost anything becomes measurable. Learn the techniques that allowed a pension firm to predict when a customer was intending to leave, how much a Blue Whale eats and how a supermarket figured out if a family shops at more than one supermarket.

Duration: Up to 1 hour 

The quiz covers the core factual content of the online modules and is taken as an online test. 70% or greater is required for certification, with up to five attempts allowed. Feedback will be offered before any retakes.

Duration: 1 hour live Zoom session

Duration: 8-16 hour home assignment

The advanced assignment will allow you to demonstrate a sound understanding of one, or more, of the advanced techniques you have learned in Phase 4 of the course.

You will have the options of applying the method to your own organisation, a client business or a ready-baked case study that we provide - we will agree on the details of the assignment during the preceding live tutorial session.

You will have access to remote support, as and when needed, to successfully complete the assignment.

How do I enrol on the Black Belt programme?

Register on our sister site,

Starts August 16th 2023, 13 weeks
Weekly tutorial sessions on Wednesdays (with some flexibility)

Pay by purchase order? Email us at with your name, organisation (if appropriate), address and tax number (VAT/UTR etc.) as you would like it to appear on the invoice.

Webinar computer and head shot - black and white - web

About your tutor

Bernie is a highly experienced performance measurement consultant, trainer, speaker and best-selling KPI author. Convinced that there are many lifetimes of terrible KPIs that need fixing, his mission is to share sensible, easy to understand methods with as many people as possible to improve the quality of management information being used around the world.

His ideas have shaped the world of performance measurement and can often be seen referenced, reused and rebadged by others in the field.

Bernie Smith



Bernie travels the world delivering public and bespoke in-house training on performance measurement. All of his material is highly interactive and practical. He can also deliver hybrid, online, training: a mixture of elearning, live training and coaching. Get in touch for a free conversation to explore if this is something you (or your organisation) might benefit from.



Bernie has written nineteen (and counting) books on KPIs and report design. On any given day his books will usually be in the top three for a 'KPI' search on Amazon. Each book is written to be practical, conversational and no-nonsense. Head over to to get more details on his books.


Bernie Smith running a workshop in Riyadh

Every method, checklist and tip in this online training has been derived from Bernie's 25 years of consulting experience. Nothing beats custom advice when the stakes are high and you are under pressure to deliver. Every consulting role is different, so get in touch for a free initial exploratory conversation.

What are the enrollment requirements?

There are no formal enrolment requirements. You are welcome to set up a Zoom discussion to talk through the required commitment and expectation using this link Participating in the programme is a major commitment for both parties so a call is a good idea if you have questions or reservations.

KPI workshop - mentimeter stills

What is the delivery approach?

The course makes full use of a range of online tools to make the experience as full as possible.

  • The online modules will be delivered through our eLearning platform: The course is also accessible on iOS using the free teachable app.
  • Live tutorial sessions will be through Zoom sessions and Miro virtual whiteboard (as appropriate)
  • Assignments will be managed through a private group in our online community ( using our dedicated, secure online community tool.

In addition to these core plaforms, your tutor will always be available by email.

Clear, concise course notes

ROKS Notes and Templates Manuals - Render - original

Expertly designed cheat sheets

No one wants to have to trawl through notes to refresh themselves on key method points. That's why we have designed a selection of cheat sheets to help you through your first use of each tool or to jog your memory when needed.

Cheat sheet collage

Are there any software requirements?

All the tools, templates and support required for successful course completion will be provided, though each participant is expected to have a full version of Microsoft Office. 

It would be desirable, though not essential, for each participant to have a full copy of either Visio (Windows) or OminiGraffle (Mac) for building their own KPI Trees.

What if I can't make one of the tutorials?

Diaries are complicated. If you can't make certain tutorials, let us know. We will be as flexible as possible, giving video feedback on submitted assignments, one-to-one sessions or catchup group sessions, wherever practical.

Dedicated private Black Belt group on screen grab

The dedicated social space allows participants to chat, ask questions and submit assignments privately and securely. Membership of the community, and private course space, is included with course enrolment. The community is also accessible through a dedicated iOS app for the iPhone and iPad.

Group size

Each wave will have a maximum group size of 8, a minimum of 1.

How do I enrol on the Black Belt programme?

Register on our sister site,

Starts August 16th 2023, 13 weeks
Weekly tutorial sessions on Wednesdays (with some flexibility)

Pay by purchase order? Email us at with your name, organisation (if appropriate), address and tax number (VAT/UTR etc.) as you would like it to appear on the invoice.

Satisfaction Promise

We do our best to give you a full and honest picture of our courses, but if you decide that, after the first tutorial, this is not the programme for you, just contact us for a full, cheerful and prompt refund.

The only condition on this promise is that you are no more than 20% through the course.

The course material is 'dripped' over the 12 week programme, with new material being made available each week. This ensures that students get full value from each session by completing assignments and tutorials alongside the online learning modules.

To take part in the sessions you will need...

  • A computer (either a PC or Mac is fine)
  • A decent internet connection (good enough for a stable Zoom/Skype/Teams video call)
  • A headset to talk on (avoids feedback and poor sound quality)
  • Zoom (a free download)
  • PDF viewing software (for example Adobe's free Acrobat Reader, Apple's Preview or Window's PDF Reader)
  • Chrome web browser. Others may work, but Chrome definitely works!

No, for copyright protection the videos can only be viewed through your KPI Academy account. Your initial access is valid for 1 year, but renews each year with your Black Belt subscription

Absolutely! Get in touch using to set up a free introductory call to explore the options.

If you decide, by the end of the first workshop session, that the course is not for you then you can contact us for a cheerful full refund of your course fees. All that we ask is that you have not participated in more than 20% of the course.

Recordings will be available for single missed sessions, on request

You can request a full refund at any point up to the end of the first workshop session.

If you want to start developing KPIs for your organisation for a client, then bring along the strategic objectives for that business. This will get you off to a good start and help you make the most of your workshop time. If you don't have a specific application in mind, or are not able to share this kind of thing, there's a 'backup' case study you can use. The choice is yours. You will be sent detailed guidance when you sign up and we are always happy to discuss this before you join the course.

Other than that, all you need to do is to turn up to the session on-time with an open mind.

Each tutorial session can be recorded. If you are not able to make one or two of the sessions, the relevant recording will be shared with you and where possible alternative arrangements will be made. This will normally be a 1:1 catchup session or feedback by email.

How do I enrol on the Black Belt programme?

Register on our sister site,

Starts August 16th 2023, 13 weeks
Weekly tutorial sessions on Wednesdays (with some flexibility)

Pay by purchase order? Email us at with your name, organisation (if appropriate), address and tax number (VAT/UTR etc.) as you would like it to appear on the invoice.

More questions? We'd love to help...

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