Six Sigma Certification: What’s it Worth?

Six sigma is an innovative way of operating that incorporates a set of strategies that aim to improve the processes conducted within a business. It was originally developed in the early 1980’s and has been a well-received tactic to help save businesses valuable time and money as well as improve processes and overall production tremendously. Many businesses actually seek out employees who have been trained in the six sigma methodology believing that those people will be able to incorporate the six sigma mindset in their business quickly and efficiently. However, all six sigma certifications are not necessarily equal. Just because a person holds a certain certification does not mean that their training is equal to another individual’s training, some of it actually depends upon where the individual received training and whether the company in current in its six sigma tactics. In this article, we will review what factors are essential for six sigma program to be effective and worthwhile and also the four belts of six sigma.  


Six Sigma Certification

Is six sigma worth it?

This is a hard concept to deliver, however not all six sigma training is the same. An effective training program will provide high quality training and carry a well-known and relied upon name within the six sigma training market. Some things to take into consideration when looking for a reliable six sigma training program include how long the program has been in existence, how often the training material is updated, and also how participates and certificate holders are checked and re-evaluated. If a six sigma training program uses outdated or inefficient training methods the overall training will not be nearly as effective as a company who stays current with the new trends and tactics.

The Different “Belts” of Certification for Six Sigma

There are four different belts within six sigma and they function basically in a hierarchical order. The colors are yellow, green, black, and the master black belt. In order to understand the hierarchy, first you must understand what each color signifies. The first and most basic belt is yellow, most people try to exceed beyond this belt since it does not mean much more than that person having an understanding of the six sigma style. The next step is the green belt, this belt ranks a little higher than the yellow in that people who obtain this belt also have an understanding of the six sigma style but are able to implement their understanding into small projects. The green belt certification has also been commonly referred to as “a worker belt” since these are the people who will conduct many of the experiments and tests needed within a specific project. After the green belt is the black belt. The black belt holds quite a bit more responsibility than the green belt in that black belts are often utilized full-time during a six sigma project and are often leaders and the most involved on each project. Black belt certified employees usually work on large projects that aim to save a business at least $100,000 so their position and dedication is integral to the six sigma process. Lastly, there is the master black belt which is the highest ranking in the six sigma hierarchy. The master black belt certification is usually at such an upper level that these individuals merely oversee the actions of the six sigma group and provide training within the company.


Updated Image : Dec 27 2013 – By Ben Geck