Benchmarking results consistently identify examples of Six Sigma success. Even so, getting “naysayers” on board is a continuous challenge. What do you tell them?

Nayism 12: Are Black Belt and Green Belt exams really necessary? It’s not like we’re getting a college degree.

This is a common question, especially from those who may have attended various professional training classes that did not require successfully passing an exam after completion. Exams are a vital element in any credible Black Belt or Green Belt certification process. So, here’s what I say . . .

Exams confirm that an individual understands and can apply the basic principles of DMAIC and statistics to solve business problems. It can be a risky situation if someone misapplies concepts and draws wrong conclusions which results in making an incorrect business decision, especially if that decision has a major negative impact on employees or the company.

It is the responsibility of the training and certifying organization to assure that individuals who obtain ‘belt’ certification understand concepts and tools and apply them appropriately. This is usually accomplished by several items including completion of training, passing an exam to ensure understanding of concepts, and passing a technical proficiency review of completed projects to substantiate proper application of concepts.

So yes, exams are necessary if you want to make sure your belts know what they are doing. If they do, then passing an exam should not be a big deal.

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