A lot of my conversations recently have centered around certification for lean. Coming from colleagues who started in Six Sigma as a Green Belt or Black Belt, it seems “natural” that when you add lean facilitation to your skills, you could get certified in lean, too.

But, as I understand it, the traditional path for lean practitioners has been based more on experience and expertise than certification. The concept of taking a test and getting certified as a lean leader seems not to fit the philosophy as I have learned it (so far!)

Is there a move to create a lean certification, either for facilitators or senseis, similar to the Green Belt / Black Belt / Master Black Belt model? If so, does it require a project as part of the certification? And, what is the title that you end up with?

I know there are “lean facilitator” certificates offered by a variety of universities and vendors. I’ve even seen an ad for “Lean Six Sigma Sensei” certification. How about “Lean Greenbelt, Lean Blackbelt, and Lean Masterblackbelt?” “Lean Expert?”

I’m also starting to see classified ads for positions that read “Master Black Belt / Lean Sensei certification required.”

So is there a new push for “Sensei certification?” Or is that just wishful thinking on the part of people who like to collect letters after their names?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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