If a person wants to get a Six Sigma certification is it necessary to get it through a particular organization?

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In principle, I am rationally opposed to Black Belt certifications, as are many other business executives.  However, I do believe that it is important to document the scope and depth of one’s knowledge in a given field of study.  But to the counter of this, we must concede that the position of a Black Belt (or Green Belt for that matter) is a transient role.  Such roles are not intended to be “career positions.”  Therefore, the idea of “certification” carries little weight in the larger scheme of things, especially in a “results oriented” business environment.  It must always be remembered that “you are only as good as your last success” – as this is the nature of capitalism.

On the flip side, the idea of “certification” can be a very strong personal motivator.  If someone needs to pursue a certification for the sake of self-gratification, then so be it.  If the quest for a certificate compels one to higher levels of learning, so be it.  There are many personal reasons for seeking certification (such as job mobility and promotion).  However, from the corporation’s perspective, they serve little purpose.  I would suspect that most corporations would much rather see the time and effort applied to projects and not toward “examinations.”  Thus, the idea of “certification” is a relative double-edged sword.

If you are really gung-ho on getting certified (as a Black Belt or Green Belt), then I would currently recommend that you pursue this activity through the American Society of Quality (ASQ).  They are an excellent institution for such pursuits; however, they are not as adept as a training organization.  My suspicion is they are much too motivated in the direction of “teaching to the test.”  It would appear they have little motivation for “meeting the specific needs of a corporation.”  Remember, they are a certifying body, so don’t be surprised if your management has little interest in their standardized activities.

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Of interest, several of the other questions submitted to this forum are related to your inquiry.  I would strongly suggest that you look through these questions (and answers) for more insight.  Also, look on the Internet as well as journal articles on the topic.