I’ve been looking at the requirements for six sigma certification and wanted to know if there is a way to get certified even though the company you work for has no black belts on board.
I just recently (3 months ago) transferred within a manufacturing firm to become a process improvement analyst. We are small – medium sized ~250 people.
If I do receive the certification, I wouldn’t be working beneath any black belt certified managers. Any suggestions, solutions?
Thanks in advance,
Short answer is no but don’t fret. You need someone with actual experience to guide you through proper use of the tools but there are external options. If you check here or at asq.org you will find a list of 3rd party Lean Six Sigma trainers and many of them will provide access to a mentor (phone, web conference, etc.) and their own certification standard for a fee.
The good news is your company values the skill set since they put you in the role of a process improvement analyst so now you just need to help them understand the cost to complete your certification. Since your company doesn’t have a program you might want to consider something like the ASQ Black Belt certification standard.
I recommend looking at the course work offered by Villanova University on line. They have a very comprehensive course from Green Belt, Lean, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. Instructors are all CSSBB.
Don’t get me wrong – a good provider for training is essential but to me it’s just table stakes. Beyond the basic training I think the mentoring work of how to apply the tools/concepts you learned in class is MORE important than the class alone. There’s many people who have gone out and obtained a certificate from completing a class and passing an exam but they have no ability to apply what they’ve learned in a practical manner because they didn’t get the services of a LSS mentor.
The mentoring component is crucial in making a true practitioner and doubly so in this case when someone is going to be the sole certified person in the organization in which case they need deployment lead mentoring which is an even tougher skill to obtain.
I recommend not going through Villanova online. I have met and had to work with several people who went through the online programs, Villanova just being one. I have never found any of those individuals to be knowledgeable enough to warrant certification as a Black Belt. My company has a policy whereby Black Belts not certified through our standards but who work for us now must pass our exam and work a project and attain the required dollars savings in order to be considered certified to our standards. Not a single person who claimed to be a Black Belt prior has yet to become certified with us – none has been capable.
Diego, I agree that having a mentor is helpful. Take a look at Six Sigma Online. Here is their link. The black belt course requires that you will have to submit one project.
Actually if you are interested in the field, I do recommend going through Villanova’s belt classes. They are very compressive and I found the mentor/prof to be very attentive. However, I compare it to a 20 something getting an MBA, you wouldn’t expect that person to come out and run a company, or to do it very well. There is no governing body for certification, so those hiring need to make sure that someone with a “certification” from anywhere, have the experience to go along with it, it takes some good interviewing skills to find out what projects that person has run and how experience they are. As for certifications from companies they work fpr….I have found a good many of those really don’t have the level of knowledge expected either. At least Villanova has enough comprehensive material to give someone a really good foundation…again like a degree would.