# Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma is one of the leading methodologies used by businesses for improving performance and reducing failure rates in just about any business-related process. Six Sigma is data-driven and relies on statistics. The name comes from the mathematical use of sigma in statistics as a standard deviation. The system is based upon improving business processes by understanding and controlling variation. Motorola was one of the first companies to implement Six Sigma and its success led to other manufacturing companies adopting its procedures. Since then the principles of the system have been applied to other areas of business such as customer service, retail, transactions, and the service industries.

Six Sigma’s popularity is steadily growing and in the process, more training is needed to make sure employees implement Six Sigma’s methods properly. There are several levels within the Six Sigma system and each one requires certification. There are many ways to obtain 6 Sigma Certifications and more and more companies are requiring them. Here is a little more info on Six Sigma Certification.

## What Is A Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma is divided into levels comprised of Champions and Belts. Champions are the highest level of supervisor and operate between upper management and the Belts, which is the next level beneath them. There are three main certification levels for Belts: Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts. To become a Belt or to advance to a different color, one must undergo training in Six Sigma techniques and methods and then pass a test in order to get certified. To receive a 6 Sigma Certification, you have to undergo both training and involvement in projects to make sure that you are implementing the system’s method correctly. Training is usually one to two weeks and each week of training is separated by one month which gives the employee time to set up project progress along with their training.

Why should employees get certified for Six Sigma? Because some studies have shown that employees trained as Six Sigma Black Belts are able to do up to six projects a year and can save a company an average of \$200,000 to \$300,000 per project. While Six Sigma Certification does not guarantee that an individual is capable of performing a wide variety of tasks but rather that they have at least been trained to perform their current level of Belt.

## Lean Six Sigma Certification

Lean Six Sigma is a variation of the standard Six Sigma system. It combines lean manufacturing with the principles and methods used in Six Sigma.

What makes it different from the standard Six Sigma? Well, lean manufacturing is a proven method designed to reduce waste and streamline a company’s operations. The whole idea is to steadily increase the value of a company through continued waste elimination. Since today’s markets demand quick service and delivery of produced goods, lean focuses on the customer.  The goal of Lean Six Sigma is to improve customer satisfaction by increasing response to customer problems while eliminating wastes which will decrease cost. Lean Six Sigma offers the same levels of training for Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt.

## How Do You Get A Six Sigma Certification

To become certified in Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma, you have to go through an extensive training period. This involves learning the appropriate skills and methods from an instructor, taking and passing a written exam, and then applying everything that you learned on an active company project. Although some large companies conduct their own in-house training, there are numerous consulting firms that offer Six Sigma training. The training usually comes in the form of a package which includes both the classroom time and study materials for the test.

Classroom training can take anywhere from one to several weeks. It is designed like any classic classroom setting where an instructor goes over the material with you. At the end of the training course, you are required to take a written proficiency test. The organization responsible for giving employees their test varies. Sometimes the consulting firm will be in charge of administering the written test while at other times it will be the company the employee works for who gives it. Companies who recently started using Six Sigma and are still new to it will often have the consulting firm administer the test.

After taking and passing the written test, the employee must then complete one or two projects in order to display the new skills they have learned in the classroom. They must properly use these skills and methods in a competent manner while working on live projects. There is really no standard set up for how many projects an employee must complete to earn their belt. Most companies differ in their requirements and what works for one company may not work for another.

Training employees in the methods used in Six Sigma can be costly in the short run. Depending on where the training session is located, such as online or at a training conference, costs for said training can run as high as \$30,000 per year for a company. However, the theory is that even with the cost of training employees, the implementation of Six Sigma will save a company money in the long run. Once an employee has received their Six Sigma Certification, the organization has a much higher chance of obtaining higher profits, lower waste, and higher customer satisfaction.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under Six Sigma. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.