Lean and other Six Sigma Certification

I recently began to research Six Sigma Belt Certification Programs on the Internet. I have been thinking that I might like to obtain some credential in additionto my Masters Degree. I became concerned because there appeared to be multiple opportunities with no clear standard. Each one I discovered had a different number of hours of preparation time. Some were available online and others in person through a training company or University. Given the fact that standardization is a critical part of good Value Stream mapping and other Six Sigma tools, including Lean Six Sigma, I wondered if there was a standard certification process or organization in the field. If not there should be. I wondered what the wise bloggers or readers on this blog think about this. Seems this developing profession should have a standard based on actual performance not just time spent in training. What is the thinking of this esteemed group?

Comments 130

  1. Stephen C. Crate


    You make an excellent point. My purpose for raising the question is not to deter from the wonderful work being done by skilled practioners, but rather to prevent watered down versions of the green belt and black certification process from making headway in the corporate training market. Other than my graduate degree, I have two other certifications a Red CRoss Water Safety Instructor (which has timed out since I have not taught swimming since 1978 and my CRC (Certified Rehabilitaiton Counselor) Both required a standardized exam which was monitored and administered by a Authorized Certification Agency.

    The purpose of certification is to guarantee minimum skills not guarantee results. I simply raised the question to see if others have thought about it. Thanks for the dialogue.


  2. Gary Burger

    I agree with your statement but let us examine this idea in more detail. I received my Masters Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova. I then passed the Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt exam from ASQ. I am now told by the Army that I must pass their exam to be recognized as a Black Belt since they do not recognize anybody else.

    When I look at the job description of a Black Belt I feel that it should not matter who certifies you as long as you can demonstrate that you understand the concepts involved. A control chart is a control chart; p-factor is p-factor, etc. The industry will never be able to standardize the certification until the industry selects a governing body to perform the standardization. In an evolving industry where money is the overriding concern, no organization will forfeit the opportunity to control its destiny. Today every organization can proclaim itself to be the top dog and attract its share of the wealth.

    Performance is nebulous and making it the standard bearer could be even more problematic than examination. If a standard says that an applicant must perform a control chart, a Pareto chart, and a DOE to be certified, then applicants will perform these functions regardless of applicability. If we set a dollar threshold for a project to count, then the applicant will adjust the figures accordingly. What we must look at ultimately is the purpose of certification and let the consumer decide what to accept.

  3. Chris Schweighardt

    I strongly agree that there should be a governing body that provides widely-accepted certification; however, I feel this will always be challenged by most companies for three reasons. First, it will always inherently be to the company’s advantage to require new employees to earn their green or black belts from them or their chosen certifying agency because it familiarizes them with the company’s processes/culture by performing a lean/six sigma project. Second, the company clearly benefits by having their employees take part in company-specific process improvement projects; reduces cost/errors, saves times, etc. Third, even though there’s (typically) standardization among the tools used in earning a green/black belt, earning it from one employer/industry may not be applicable to a future employer/industry (i.e. going from Aerospace to Healthcare). However, all that said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get certified by a widely-recognized (and reputable) certifier like ASQ or Villanova.

  4. Scott Moran

    You guys have valid points. I have taken SS courses from Villanova online. I wasn’t enthralled with the quality of the program, however it did augment my SS initiatives at work.

    In my opinion, it all boils down to individual drive and ability. Someone can have all the degrees and credentials in the world and still be useless.


  5. Susan Reynolds


    I worked for a fortune 100 company which introduced a new requirement that each plant have 2 or more Black Belts. Initially they dictated a specific training program. This program, along with travel expenses, would have cost my plant well over $25k per individual. I wrote a proposal to have ASQ certification also accepted and they approved it. I took the test and passed and submitted the required experience documentation. The total cost for my certification was a few hundred dollars, but they would not let me take credit for the $25k savings as a SS Project :)

    I had over 25 years experience in quality engineering and management when I took the test, so I didn’t require any additional training, though I bought a couple of reference books (ASQ exams are open book).

    Small & medium sized companies and the public sector are likely to find ASQ certification to be the most desirable because of ASQ’s independent professional standing.


  6. sarah bergeron

    I would tend to agree that there should be one certifying body, though I don’t think that means that each company couldn’t continue to hire and train their own LSS Black and Green Belts. As many of you have mentioned there are the same basic tools and knowledge that are used in the methodology, how you apply to tools and knowledge depends on what company you work for. Possibly if certification was standardized and there was one certifying body, a SS certified MBB could be given the authority to proctor the certification exams. For example, if the company were to bring on (either by hiring them outright or obtain as a consultant) a SS certified MBB to train and certify, the certification could still happen on the company’s terms, but would also be recognized globally as well.

  7. Sue Kozlowski

    I’m in the process of taking an ASQ-sponsored review course for the ASQ CSSBB certification exam. I did the same search for a certification as Stephen, but chose the ASQ as being the most widely recognized among my peers. Although I’m "certified" by GE who did our initial training, I wanted a more nationally recognized certification (on the theory that you can’t have too many letters after your name).

    Coming from the laboratory profession, in which certification by a national accrediting agency is the norm, this approach made sense to me. The parallel with the laboratory certification is that, as Chris pointed out, the exam only indicates that you have met the minimum requirements of knowledge. Your company will always have to train you in "their way." The labs who hire certified Clinical Laboratory Scientists don’t expect that you can walk in and work; they expect that they’ll have to train you in their SOPs.

    Side note: I’m taking the review course because in healthcare, most of our data is not normally distributed so I’m a little weak in the statistical analysis of normal data, funny as that may sound! (But I can kick but with Chi Square and Mood’s Median!)

    Thanks Stephen for your comments – this is an area that I believe can use further discussion.

    p.s. You can also take a look at Andrew Downard’s blog from June 27, 2006, which raises interesting points about this same topic.

  8. Patrick Algiere

    Hello Stephan,

    I recommend certifying with ASQ CSSBB. As a Master Black Belt in Ford Motor Company’s Global Six Sigma Office, ASQ is recognized as the best within the US. However, ASQ’s popularity in Europe is not as strong. I hope this helps.

    fyi. To prepare I recommend Quality Council of Indiana’s CSSBB Primer

  9. Derril Watts

    This is a great discussion and one that is well overdue! Gary’s story is one that hear all too often, especially in government. After creating and delivering the Dept of Defense’s BPR Certification Training Program for over ten years and our latest Lean Six Sigma for Government Certification Program, I saw, and continue to see, many of the students that participate in our training program being interested in only the certification itself because it was "endorsed" by the DoD. It really surprised me how many were more interested in meeting the requirement for certification than they were in being a great process improvement practitioner.

    As Stephen said, I agree that certification can’t guarantee results, however, the training behind the certification should be designed to motivate and encourage the participant to want to become the best practitioner he/she can be. That motivational focus seems to have gotten lost. The technical skills (which are certainly very important) have remained the sole focus of many training and certification curricula leaving out what I believe is the most important quality of the BB or MBB, and that is the ability to lead organization change.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. Valentina

    I m not working in this field but I did som master in quality.You would recomnd me the training classe from Mc Gill for CSSB and CQE.
    I m not sure if in Europe it is recognized ASQ certification.
    I should risk to take this classes on my own also because I m mechanical engineer.

    Please advice,


  11. Rahul

    I am currently enrolled in a SSBB at Drexel University. Drexel is an accredited university so I assume this program is also accredited in some way. Now if ASQ is more recognized, do you suggest I should re-take the certification exam from ASQ? I don’t see the point. If the material is the same and what matters is how well I apply it, the certification should be okay from anywhere. I agree maybe the certification exam should come from maybe one agency alone, but that is not the case right now.

  12. Stephen C. Crate

    Hi Rahul:
    I think most all of the SSBB training programs have much of the same basic information. ASQ was the training most recognized as a standard but it is not official as far as I know. Villanova has a program and Sig Sigma itself networks with some training organizations that sponsor SSBB training. So I agree with your conclusion.

    The proof will how effective you are in the organization you work for. The fact that you have passed a SSBB course and test demonstrates a certain level of cognitive knowledge of lean thinking, Value Stream Mapping and process analysis facilitation. But, as I am sure you know, clearly identifying the process, the non value added activities which will result in a more efficient process is the key.
    Good luck in your achievement.

    Steve Crate

  13. Matthew Nanno

    I obtained my greenbelt certification from the univeristy of michigan and I just finished my lean certification from villanova. My blackbelt certification course begins november 1, 2007.

    I plan on finishing this course to obtain my certification, but also plan on being certified through ASQ.

    My thought would be if you are certified by either one you can still state that you are a blackbelt, corret?

  14. Stephen C. Crate

    I would say you are correct. But… in the world of HR competencies are the important thing. I am suggesting that as an industry we get together and have a certifying agency that is recognized with standardized competencies. Then all certificates would be transferrable to other cites.

  15. Sal

    I’m confused.

    I paid for the Lean SS from Villanova On-Line to increase my knowledge of quality and to get the cert.

    I start on 2 FEB 2008.

    I also paid for the Lean Sensei cert. test for $200 from Villanova.

    My questions are simple.

    "What are the requirements for getting a SS Lean Sensei Cert.?

    "What does it take to keep a SS Lean Sensei Cert.?"

    Here in South Florida, any SS cert. (with a PMP cert.) goes a long way! I’m trying to “keep-it-on-the-Lean-side”.

  16. vaibhav


    My name is vaibhav, I am presently working in a Software company as Software Testing Engineer ,I have complated my MCA degree before,Now I would like to go for some further studies which can give me some professional growth & Some more technical strenth to my present Job Role thts why I am planning to go for six sigma green belt certification conducted by Motorola University…..I request you to all please share your thoughts on this idea Or please guide on this path…..thnks a lot

  17. Baller1620

    One of the gentlemen that I work with claims to be a Six Sigma Black Belt: How can one be sure of such a claim? What steps has Six Sigma taken to ensure the integrity of their certification?

  18. Stephen C. Crate

    The last two comments warrant a brief response. The Black Belt Six Sigma certifications indicate an understanding of the technology of process analysis. They do not guarantee successful project implementation. This is similar to reviewing the credentials of someone who has a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. These indicate a level of cognitive and academic understanding but do not assure performance. Performance can only be measured by specific evidence. The results are the key, not the label.

    If you want to determine what level of competence someone may have in Six Sigma or any other lean process project management, simply ask them to describe a project or two they have been responsible for. How much muda did they discover? What was the dollar savings? What was the product or service being offered? These are quick and easy references that a skilled SSBB should be able to provide. Again the certification is only a starting point. The proof is in the pudding.

  19. Gary724

    I am seeking a definitive answer to the following questions: What Six Sigma certification must a trainer possess to provide training and certification on SS Yellow Belt; SS Green Belt? In the absence of a group or organization to review some type of "Standardized " assessment that can be administered upon completion of the instruction, who actually certifies the "skill achievement"?

  20. SteveB

    Very interesting topic line as I am looking to gain SSBB certification from an approved trainer/training organisation. However, it would appear:
    a. There is no central certification body that awards certificates for grades, sets examinations and conducts standards tests on the quality of delivery of training to a prescribed standard.
    b. Motorola don’t appear to give a *$&% about who uses their product name in vane.

    I am proposing to set up the following. NB I’ve purchased a book, read a bit, and found its all within my intellectual capability.

    a. On completing the book, appoint myself a Master Black Belt.
    b. Establish a dohjo (sp) for the training of 6-Sigma. I’m thinking of calling my dohjo, the Mickey Mouse 6-Sigma University, or the Bart Simpson School of 6-Sigma. There are probably copyright/legal issues with the names!
    c. Develop my own course material
    d. Set my own really easy exams, or even just have course work, which would lead to extensive cheating and plagiarism and further degrade the purpose and standing of the qualification. (At this point remember not to confuse qualification with competence. Qualifications are gained from passing exams – competency is demonstrated with the correct application of skills and knowledge)

    My point, probably as the is the case with the original poster, is that every training organisation should be training to a prescribed standard syllabus so that there is parity amongst training providers and holders of certificates.

    As with martial arts and academia, grading and exams are about qualification, they do not necessarily reflect competence. Hence, my concerns continue over choosing an appropriate provider. Is there even a central register somewhere of MBBs?

    It concerns me that I can do an on-line course for approximately $1000, or do a residential course for $6000. Is there really parity in the certificate that is awarded at the end of these?

  21. Robyn

    This Blog has really helped after weeks of researching online courses for Six Sigma. For those of you who have used ASQ and Villanova – I find Villanova’s price excessive in comparison to some of the other programs – was ASQ of the same quality? Does it make a difference from where you receive the certification? I had been researching Villanova and a company called AVeta. Aveta is $495.00 for Green Belt and $1095.00 for Black but if you choose to do Green then Black they only charge you the difference. Villanova on the other hand $3K and $5K. HUGE difference. Does it really matter that much or from experience for those of you who did it through ASQ was that just as good (they are actually cheaper than Aveta).

    I would REALLY appreciate any feedback.


  22. Robyn

    ASQ is actually in between Aveta and Villanova in price – sorry about that confusion. See I really need the course! :-)

  23. Claudia

    Everyone’s comments have been really helpful as I explore whether to do a Six Sigma certification.

    I’ve been an independent consultant in health care for a while and would like to enter the corporate arena in project management.

    Would you all recommend Six Sigma certification as a way to ease entry into this field?

  24. Manoj

    Could anyone tell me if the online course at Villanova is better than Aveta or if i should look into any other online program?

  25. Manoj

    Robyn, did you decide on Aveta or Villanova for SS certification?

  26. Michelle

    I just looked at Aveta then found this blog. I will look at the other two on line coarses mentioned. It seems the information provided by Aveta is very detailed. By the way on there Q&A , they say Six Segma has no accreadiation for the coarse and if a Unv applies that there is one they are misleading you. I hold my Health, Life and Accident lic with the state of GA (certifying body) and the CE is required every year. It has it’s good and bad. Who really wants to recertify every year? Standards are good, price can still be low and high depending on the coarse as long as the test is by one governing body. That is the way my current licence is held and it works.

  27. Dr. Ujjwal Rao

    A new wave of change is occuring in Healthcare. Standardization and Accreditation (NABH, JCAHO – JCI, ISO) is fast becoming a necessity for managing processes under an efficient Quality Management System. This requires a team leader who can drive this change and break age-old shackles of person-based processes in Hospitals.

    I’m currently subserving this function in my Hospital in India. Will Black Belt training and certification be a welcome value addition for the kind of activities I’m involved with (Documentation, Quality Indicator reporting & analysis, CQI, training etc.)?

    I’ve gone through many sites and found the course offered by Aveta Business Solutions the most suitable in view of my time and job constraints. Could you please tell me what the implications of getting the Aveta course are? Is this recognized world-wide? Is it valued in Business circles?

    Would appreciate your inputs.
    Thanks and Regards!

  28. JIgnesh

    Hi, i am profesional accountant from india. i have heard lot about six sigma. i m incl;ined towards this. but i do not understand how do i proceed.

    my job profile is process review, i think six sigma will be added advantage for me in my job. my basic knowledge for six sigma is:2 levels, green belt & black belt, no recogined university, one has to learn privetly, but just one thing i wud like to certification done after project submission??how to get project?? can i opt for distance learning SS program?? is nay practical training on job involved in this??

    guys, pls show me some direction.


  29. Richard Kruszynski

    I just signed up for the Villanova Lean SS program. Has anyone taken the certification test? If so can you tell what the format of the test is, i.e. multiple choice, essays, statistics, etc.



  30. John Asher

    It is our opinion that ASQ certification is the best certification. However, not everyone has the time or initiative for self study.

    Many online courses, such as , , and enable a large amount of material to be learned with a self-paced course.

    Live courses are good, but most people find a few weeks simply insufficient to learn a complicated subject.

  31. Ashu

    Hi All.

    I found this blog quite relevant and useful.
    I have 5 years of production experience in aerospace industry.

    I am interested in black belt certification. I am from India, but will be working in Europe, more in Spain, France etc.

    Which certification is best recognised in Europe? BSI (British Standard Institution) or ASQ or any other.

    Please advice. Later I dont wish to jump from one certification body to another just for recognition. I want to understand the SS process and apply.

  32. Stephen C. Crate


    I would suggest that you read the comments above if you havn’t yet. Then I would consider the context of the site you will be working in. The ASQ organization is recognized world wide and if companies in Europe are represented in their membership that might be a good place to start. I think the most important factor is what is the practical experience you need to facilitate a successful project. What will the Champion and Sponsor want for a result when the project is completed? Also I would read Andrew Downard’s article from June 2006 Wither Certification This will give you another perspective. Good luck with your career development.

  33. Ashu

    Thanx Stephen

    As I said, I want to apply my SS knowledge and work on SS projects. Getting certification is not very difficult. There are many offering them and in many cases, all I have to do is to give an exam.
    My present company does not implement SS. I am looking for to work on SS projects in other companies in India right now.
    Ultimately, I too feel to go ahead with ASQ certification, but before that I have to work on project and furnish an affidavit.

  34. d

    What is the difficulty of the ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt? I have studied Operations Management and taken various statistics courses. Learned about TQM. I am 23 years old. I want to know if pursuing the Six Sigma Green Belt is as difficult as I imagine. Of course I will be doing this "self-taught" buying the study books and references and what not.

    Has anyone taken the Six Sigma Green Belt?
    I’ve been reading comments and you guys are well adverse in your education credentials. But if anyone has taken it, what does it consist of, the test that is. Mainly pure statistical calculations or more theorhetical questions?

  35. d

    to add to the comment above, I’ve taken the quiz on the ASQ site to see where I stand. I’ve gotten a 75% just for the kicks of doing it. My information is not as fresh as it use to but still there. So I just wonder my chances are. I’ve never dealt with using SPC methods at any company. Just a student trying to get all his credentials before anything.

  36. Mehek

    I’m currently working in a financial services firm as quality control associate. I want to pursue my career in Quality and plan to do do the six sigma green belt to begin with. what i wanted to know was how do i go about doing my project, if there’s no chance of me doing it through my company at least in the near future.

  37. VR

    I’ve recently obtained my SSBB from AVETA Business Solutions. Honestly, any credential earned within the six sigma world is only as strong as the competencies and abilities of the person in question. The designation will "get your foot in the door" if you can find a position that is seeking either an intern or an entry level change agent. But it is then up to you to create value for your organization through the DMAIC or by creating a process through DFSS – DMADV. If you are able to learn well without the need to be within a classroom environment, then I recommend AVETA. The Macromedia enabled applets used really do allow for most everyone to see how a regression analysis, hypothesis testing, etc. can be practical in nature, easily inputted and solved for in Minitab, excel, and how to interpret/explain results to executive management. The recommended book for the black belt course is written by Thomas Pyzdek, a renowned leader in the field of six sigma. The certificates that you earn after completion of the black belt course are pretty cool looking. Similar to something earned within a undergraduate program, like a certificate of achievement received along with your degree. I have no regrets, as I feel that I can easily address any process redesign, etc. issue within health care, or government entities.

  38. Ashutosh

    Need some advice. Which is the best and recognised online six sigma course apart form ASQ & Villanova.
    I want to give the six sigma green belt exam online. I can do either self study or study online. That is not the problem.
    Requesting you valuable opinions.

  39. Chris

    I just passed the Villanova SSBB cert exam. Villanova has a great program but it does not teach you how to pass the cert exam. What it does teach you is how to apply the most widely used principles in SS.

    I actually failed my first attempt at the cert exam. I thought the exam would just be over the SSBB Book of Knowledge. This was not the case; it is over a bunch of reference books.

    It is over the BOK, videos in the cource, live lectures, as well as other popular books on SS.

    The Villanova cource is great because they have a bunch of knowledable instructors who are excellent at teach all aspects of SS.

    I took the GB, Lean, and BB course. The exam was very hard and I was glad it was that hard. It give Villanova more credability. I had 30 people in my class to take the cert exam and the class average was only 68%. Most of the people who passed the exam the first time has 10+ years in the career and still only pass in the mid to lower 70%.

    If you have any more questions, just ask. I am just retiring from the Air Force after 20 years of service and too was looking for something to complement my Masters degree.

  40. Ashutosh

    Thank you Chris. Unfortunately I cant devote time for Villanova online program. How is Aveta. Previous posts say, its good learning. But is it recognised too?
    Which are other recognised programs, in & outside USA.

  41. Chris

    I have never heard of Aveta. Sorry.

  42. abhijeet

    I found some courses in
    they provide some cheap courses and also the content is preety much the same as the others. wonder if it will be alright to do a course from them??

  43. FG

    I am currently enrolled in the Villanova Green Belt online course. Will that course certify me as a SSGB or will I have to take a test? If not, what does the Villanova course offer me, the background knowledge to help pass the GB exam?

    How do employer’s look at a Villanova GB certification? Any comments will be appeciated

  44. Craig

    I am a Black Belt, fully-trained at my Fortune 100 company. They have their own "certifcation" reqirements which are extremely onerous. I am looking at outside positions and am wondering what is the easiest an cheapeat way to get "certified?"

    OR- What’s to prevent me from claiming I am already "certified?" Since there is no official standard and places all have their own standards, why can’t I simply say I’m certified by my own standards?

  45. Stephen C. Crate

    I would suggest that if you have some certificate from the Fortune 100 company whose rigorous requirements you met, you can and should represent your self as a Black Belt. The reality is what you accomplished in your role. What measurable changes did you facilitate? Can you present them in a measurable fashion demonstrating waste reduction, increased productions or other process improvements. The certificate means nothing if the performance is not demonstratable. Since there is no governing body recognized as a certifying agency then your Master Black Belt is as valid as another.

  46. your pal

    What is the approx sal an MBB would draw can it be in the range of 78000$ per annum in the current recission economy? Curious :

  47. Michael Green

    After hours of investigating, I purchased the Villanova Green Belt online course and completed it in 2007. I then purchased the Villanova Lean Sensei online course, and completed it. Then, the Villanova Black Belt online course, and completed it. Last, I purchased the Villanova final exam to get a "Master Black Belt Certificate in Lean Six Sigma ", and passed it.

    I highly recommend this course. Some say it is costly, I spent over $7,000.00. You get what you pay for. The "live" online classes are excellent and very helpful in understanding new material. The instructors are very knowledgeable, very clear, and very well prepared. This course is for "real students", you had better have your "hat-on", and you better do your homework!! The final exam is “no joke”, and this gives any course credibility. The book instructions are in the course and the real life examples in the homework and in the tests. The “live” online classes help you get answers and direction to get through it all. With what I received from Villanova, I’m not afraid to take anyone’s exam for certification.

    When I purchased the course, I had just lost my job. My Son was finishing his Masters Degree in Engineering at Clemson. He viewed the course several times and was very impressed with the content of the curriculum. I soon got a call from a Fortune 500 company looking for someone with my new skills. I am going on my second year as, Manger of Continuous Improvement, making $87,000 + bonus a year. Last year I received four new job offers and one so far in 2009. I’m also 52 year old.

    P.S. I do not work for Villanova, or know anyone there. (Except my course instructors)

  48. Lucy

    This conversation is timely for me. The company I work for has it’s first SSGB certified through ASQ. The company is looking into using both Villanova and ASQ for training. The main differences are: online vs in person; ASQ requires you to complete a project that is job related and Villanova requires work on generic projects; costs; and time.
    Villanova is slower paced, ASQ is boot camp. Each should produce the same end result which puts you in a position to pass the certification exam.
    Our SSGB wants to note that her certification came from ASQ. Why? If you pass the bar exam do you state on your business cards where you went to law school? Is this free advertising for ASQ? I have nothing but respect for ASQ, but I think it is time that the industry practices what it preaches and come together to standardize training and certification for the sake of the industry itself. Many of us who believe in the principals of Lean and Six Sigma want to see the spread of these practices throughout our society. This will only occur when we embrace a standard.

  49. Michel Lockhart

    This blog is interesting, I thank everyone for their input.

    Does anyone have thoughts on training with a low-cost program such as Aveta and do the certification exam with a more recognized institution such as ASQ?

    I confirmed with ASQ that this can be done.

  50. C

    How do I validate someone’s claim to have six sigma certification?

  51. Ken Adams

    You ask the person about the details of their last 2 projects. If they can’t give you a thorough, passionate description, certification is a moot point.

    If they astound you with their practical application of Six Sigma, certification is again a moot point.

    Certificates and training pale in comparison to actual Six Sigma project experience.

  52. Vinay


    I am working as a Software Test Engineer and am looking forward to do a course in SSGB .. Which institute in India is a Good Option. Is BSI a good choice. Please Suggest.

    Also enlighten me if six sigma is a right choice and what certifications will help me boost my career

  53. Karim B

    Hi Folks,

    dId anyone heard about Acuity institue? they offer an online certification program for a reasonable price

  54. Eric S.

    Just signed up for Lean / Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) online course offered by Aveta Business Solutions. My research revealed that there is no central accreditation org for six sigma certification. Aveta appears to offer great coverage of the material for a great price. ASQ and Villanova have great programs; however, I’m on a limited budget with limited time. At the end of the day, certification does not, in and of itself, guarantee mastery of six sigma knowledge. You’ll need to demonstrate how you’ve used six sigma to improve a company’s processes and profitability. Finally, online courses may not work for everyone. However, I don’t think that a two to four week classroom experience alone would get you to a point where you feel that you have mastered the material.

  55. Paul hager

    This line of thinking is almost laughable. Toyota, which is the foundation for lean, does’t and won’t certify anyone because of standards. Standards are an improvement tool. Once you have a standard you know where to improve. The book "The Machine that Changed the world" coined the word Lean to describe what was going on in Toyota factories. It is not a tool for certification it is a tool for improvement. This whole discussion sounds like the social workers who, many years ago did not even have a standard educational requirement, nowadays they have a governing body that oversees all of the social workers everywhere. Unless and until this happens in "Lean" circles, everybody and his brother will come up with a Lean ceritification program. This thing is almost fraudulant and is open to all kinds of hucksterisms. Can any body really say there is an overseeing body for Lean or Six sigma. Right now it’s all open to interpretation. Your company HR manager is the only one with any discretionary power right now. Buyer Beware.

  56. Abdul


    Yes, I have heard bad things about Acuitiy. Apparently, there virtual project thing is a joke.

    You are probably better off with a company like (aveta) or villanova.

  57. espee

    I found some courses in
    they have some low cost courses and also the content is quite same as the others. Guidance pls.

  58. Stephen C. Crate

    Having a lean or six sigma certificate may get you in the door. But the key to success is to have a documented track record of projects that reduce waste and add value to a manufacturing or administrative process. Certainly taking low cost training and then using it will be the winning combination.

  59. Danny

    Purdue University recently started up a Lean Six SIgma Green Belt Online Certification Program. Has anyone taken it? If so, how was it, was it worth the money and time?

  60. Martin

    I’m in Europe looking for work and to boost my resume w/6 Sigma certification. I was considering either Aveta for Villanova, but am leaning toward Aveta for cost reasons. If anyone can help w/these questions I’d appreciate it:

    -Aveta offers the ability to complete a "hypothetical" project. I have several cost saving projects under my belt for which I applied SS, principles w/out having any certification or formal training, both independently, as a member of someone else’s team, and as a project leader myself. Is it possible to use actual projects as "hypothetical" ones if I retained the data?

    -In the event I can use a past project, is it a problem if I lack data from the assessment phase? I left my last job before well before this phase was complete.

    -Once certified, do you advise putting on your resume whether it’s ASQ, Aveta, Villanova, etc, or do you just wait for an interviewer to ask? I can speak to the results, but want to be ready for critiques of certain programs.

    Thank you.

  61. Shawn Guillory

    I have read all of the blogs here and have done much research on these companies providing Six Sigma. There is Aveda, Acuity, ASQ, Villanova, Purdue, Michigan State, and other really cheap stuff for like 99 bucks. I have read Six Sigma for dummies after reading several other six sigma books and it was quite good as well as lean for dummies. I have also read the 36 hours six sigma by mcgraw hill and the six sigma handbook that Aveda uses which was very difficult to say the least. My credentials cover a mechanical engineering degree, solidworks certifications, finance, business, marketing, economics, small business development, champion six sigma, project management, gibbscam, etc. certifications. I have 8 yrs experience in the field, have transformed a company for sale to changing their mind and then expanding 3 times the size, have developed 2 products with 2 patents – one for FSU Magnetic Field Lab which migrated from MIT, a software program copyrighted, have my own consulting firm, and am currently working on other company developments. The reason I state all of this to show some credibility of my capabilities and I have to say that Six Sigma in a nutshell is quite easy but can get to extremely difficult to understand when one gets into all of the details as per Avedas "book" that they use. Also, every book I have read doesn’t know how to explain Six Sigma properly, hence the difficulty that it can be. I have applied Six Sigma with a handfull of tools to see dramatic results on a few projects which is what Jay Arthur discusses in Lean Six Sigma but it not enough to get certified…but is enough to create breakthrough improvements in time, quality, and cost. And after reading about 8 books on Six Sigma and Lean and even applying some of the tools I still do not understand it thoroughly and it remains a mystery because tools overlaps phases, and it appears to be a mixture of art and science rolled into one in which the art of it will only come from actually doing it. I have been trained with BMG materials as well over a 1 week deal. I will continue below…

  62. dt

    I am SG from above…Furthermore, I think all of the programs are not going to get one up to what they need to be. If one understand the cone of learning, you will see that the worst case, which is only 10% retention, is by reading in which all of these courses do. The best which is 90% retention is by doing and right under is simulation in which Acuity offers simulation and I have heard mixed reviews about it. If one is looking to obatin certification to get a job or to enhance their resume, etc. I think that is good but all it takes is a couple of questions in an interview to determine how much one really doesn’t understand and with Six Sigma it really sticks out because its not easy. If I were someone like many of you looking to obtain a cheap cert. then take one for 99 bucks….they have them because there is not much different value from any of them as they all are just reading or viewing slides and taking easy test. ASQ had a sample exam on their site that mimmicks there real exam and it is a joke. Its quite easy and I gaurantee you that if you pass it, that it does not mean you can do Six Sigma in a real world setting. Moresteam has created some simulated game which may do better as it simulates and that is right under actual experience but its costly…3-4 grand. I checked out Villanova and it seems pretty good as it covers the BOK well…but then again its all the same BOKs for a high price tag. I say save your money, buy Six Sigma for Dummies and their workbook, try to apply this knowledge to some home or business projects and document it. Pay some 100 bucks to get a certification so you have it on your resume and be able to talk about your improvements in an interview. You can even sign up and go take the ASQ exam for 300 to 400 bucks but you need a signed affadavit on a project so get a project under you belt. Six Sigma cert without any application is close to useless. So learn the DMAIC and DMADV methods cheaply and get out there and do it referring to books for statistical help. To spend a fortune on this is ludicrous and is a complete rip off

  63. mkl

    Has anyone heard of the Six Sigma certification program from Kaplan University? It’s an online course for 12 month which includes green belt and black belt. It has some Lean but it is not advertised as Lean Six Sigma. You can find this SS offering very easily in google but I’m surprised that no one here talks about it and a lot of people were talking about Villanova’s program instead. Any comments about Kaplan’s SS program? Thanks.

  64. Das Madhavan

    I started in my "quality journey" in 1987 through TQM, BPR, Six Sigma and then lean Six Sigma. There were barely more than five companies marketing Six Sigma. In 1999, I had the longest debate with an ASQ rep who argued against SS touting the organization’s CQE certification and emphatically brushed aside all comments on SS. Years later, ASQ jumped on the SS bandwagon (anyone remember their $50k SS course offering?). They took heavy criticism for ignoring SS from industry and are still trying to live that down. That is ASQ’s history with regards to SS. If they had instituted standards and controls (similar to CQE) it might have gained some more credibility.
    More to the point on how to tell a good BB, MBB etc. from the "also ran", you need to ask the right questions. There is no substitute for experience in this trade – you can have all the certificates on LSS and still be a flop. Then there is the categorization of the BBs – some you can deploy on strategic projects (senior- facing ones), others you want to relegate to tactical ones, yet others require considerable mentoring. To other’s point – it is dependent on the individual’s drive, knowledge, ability to make peace (bring warring factions together), translate data to meaningful information with the least amount of jargon, presentation of the information, confidence (comes largely from experience working hands-on), flexibility and ability to spin-on-a-dime (change directions at short notice). Having said all that though, a large number of organizations (lately) hire on the basis of "cost-first" (the "need a LSS expert for $80k type" ) as opposed to finding the best qualified individual. In fact, several of the ones I have interviewed with over the last five years had very little understanding of how to hire in this field. A lot to say here & am probably preaching to the converted but I am disappointed with outfits prostituting LSS for $!

  65. TQM

    Very good discussions on this forum. I was wondering if someone could give me some ideas to solve this "chicken or the egg" problem. I have vast TQM experience including going through a full implementation and doing process improvement projects since 1997. I’m unemployed now and thought it would be a good oportunity to use the time to get ASQ training and get BB ASQ certification. However, I can’t sit for the exam because I don’t have the project to prove I have the experience (the last company I used to work for, didn’t have a six sigma program but I used the tools to make process improvement suggestions and analyze data).

    At the same time I can’t get a six sigma related job because I don’t have the certification? So how did some of you get out of this loop?

    I’m thinking about doing the Villanova BB course because you do the projects based on industry case studies. Once I get certified I can get a SS related job and then do the ASQ certification exam. Would this work? Is Villanova well recognized or are there better entities out there that will let you get certified by doing a project on data that they provide?

    Thanks in advance for any insight!

  66. Victoria & David

    Thanks Shawn Guillory, Your blog answered all the questions my husband and I had about aquiring our six sigma cert’s. I mainly wanted to get my SSGB to assist in attaining a new career. Not seriously concerned if I ever use my SS knowledge or not. I just wanted a food in the door. I currently work for the Dep. of Homeland Security and accidently ran across four SSGB courses on their online learning center (completely free to employees) I have now taken these courses and I must say they were quite surprisingly easy. Although the courses stated at the beginning that they were aliened with ASQ certified exams. So upon finishing these I now plan to acquire of my boss some allowed time to put my new knowledge to work. I will document my small project as you advised, so that I can have a real world discussion during a possible interview. Now my husband on the other hand wants to acquire his SSBB not only for his automation business, but to go along with his degree in engineering to help all his clients understand his full potential. For him I believe your advice on paying the 300 to 400 for an ASQ certification would be a necessity. Now getting an affidavit would be a cinch due to the fact that he already uses the bulk of the SS methods. We just didn’t realize it till I started the courses. Again, your blog was very helpful and appreciated.

  67. Lucio

    Hi Guys,
    I want to get the six sigma certification and I need to do it as soon as possible.
    Can someone explain me what I have to do??
    Thank u

  68. Amit Choudhary

    This is the most relevant blog on six sigma that I could find on www!

  69. Stephen C. Crate

    24 February 2010 by Stephen C. Crate
    Certification Web Cast

    On March 10, 2010 a free webcast was held to discuss a standard for Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

    The webcaste is available for download including a powerpoint presentation. Seems somebody has taken the bull by the horns and set a standard. My work is done here ! LOL now on to the next project.



    I am a software consultant and want to pursue SSBB. Can any one please tell me the quality of
    Asian institute of quality management.


  71. DHIll

    ASQ is the only pratical certification in Industry, unless company has their own standards. (Like Motorolla)

    Training is another question. Villanova has an excellent training course, I would stick to the most well known, Alumni matter.

  72. rosalyn

    New to Six Sigma stuff….do you really need to attend training/seminar for Six Sigma Green Belt Certification….can you do self-study? What would be a good book to use and study guide for certification?

  73. Shawn Guillory

    Your very welcome Victoria and David. I wish you both well on your future endeavors toward your career aspirations as well as in all areas of life.

    Take care.

  74. Mike Johnson

    Hi Guys:

    Thanks for this wonderful blog on SS! Keep it up!

    Came across for SS Greenbelt certification for $99.00

    Looks like a good deal, but not sure if its a genuine site and credential is of any use..

    Anyone has heard about them? Would like to know.

    I understand SS certifications providers are not bound by any single authentic agency. So many institutes are giving away certification based on their own tests with no single standard.

    Please advise, thanks in advance for your inputs!

  75. Swati Karmakar

    All the comments in this blog are very helpful in understanding what’s involved in six-sigma training and certification. Based on what I understand, Villanova seems like the only choice for someone who is currently UNEMPLOYED. Is that correct? The data set necessary for completing a project (Green Belt) is not available to someone who is unemployed. Since Villanova uses data from various industries for projects, the trainee doesn’t have to have access to data to complete the project. Any suggestion or recommendation from all of you experienced people on how possibly to do a project if unemployed? I did a lot of data monitoring and analysis in my previous job, but don’t have access to any of that data now!

  76. Sherry Hu

    Hi, I am looking for a good online training class for lean six sigma green belt in preparation for a projct coming up. I have been recommended the following: ASQ, BMG University, and MoreStream. Any comment on these providers? And any comments on other good online courses? Thank you.

  77. Deepak

    hi guys, very good points raised.

    However, I think the discussion is getting side tracked sometime. The important question is this

    Which is the best six sigma certification in the world. This should be answered considering what the industry considers as the most respected certification. In short which is the certifcation that get you the job and keep you ahead of the queue of six sigma certified.

    Is it ASQ or Motorolla ? Aveta and Villanova are not so recognised as ASQ or motorolla. May be in US ASQ is more popular and in ASIA Motorolla is more popular.

    However, Motorolla is the founder and also gives you the certificates. I believe GE certificate is as much valid. ASQ is most recognised. But, you all have to comment on this so it is open to discussion.

    Many thanks

  78. Charles J

    This Blog is awesome. This is a conversation between professionals that has lasted for nearly 4 years. Honestly, it is the best source of information about SS courses on the internet…

    I am looking at graduating with a Masters degree after serving 8 years in the Air Force and I wanted to boost my resume my having a SSBB Cert. To discover which institute to use, I did a search on Monster, CarreerBuilder, and Hotjobs with the keyword "Six Sigma." My idea was to discover how many jobs were asking for this certification, the base pay, and what SSB institution (if any) is the most highly sought after. This is what I discovered:

    For my zip code (San Antonio) I found an average of 15 jobs from each of these three sites requiring an SS cert.
    The Average salary was $93,000 USD/Yr (give or take based on pay ranges)
    Not one job specified a particular institution for granting the SSB cert.
    A majority of the job postings were more interested in a person’s experience/ability to lead SS projects, and again were not interested in how the cert was obtained.

    I think I am going to use Aveta. They seem to be one of the cheapest and most schedule friendly courses available. I hope this helps.

  79. Charles J

    Also, I checked and ran a "six sigma" search on their site. Only 12 jobs appeared for the entire country and not one of them were interested in where the certification was obtained. A majority of those jobs were for engineers and people with industrial backgrounds. I hope this helps.

  80. Shawn Guillory

    I have read the recent post, and Charles J post are interesting to me. I would suppose he may be someone in connection with Aveda. Good job Ramiro, I think you get the idea. One can more easily understand Lean and Six Sigma from the Dummies books and workbooks vs. the other books that get to be very clouded and very difficult to read. Then one can get some real experience under their belts by using these books and applying this material and documenting. If they want a cert just to get ASAP such as a green belt, then just get a very cheap one because its just as good as any expensive one. Once you have a couple of projects going through the meat of six sigma documented and approved by someone higher up in the organization and enroll to take the ASQ exam that only cost a few hundred dollars and is the most recognized. All one has to do is to think if they were hiring someone for Six Sigma what would they be more interested in. First, experience and second what organization would they be most familiar with for quality certs…ASQ no doubt. The other institutions like Villanova I am sure get around but its just not worth the high price tag. And Aveda…all it is is buying a book and reading it…a very boring and difficult book to understand and taking a test over and over again if you get it wrong. Its an easy cert for about 1 grand and you just as well take the 99 buck one at expert rating because you will gain just as much from either…pretty much not much at all. The real key is in the experience and Aveda just requires a dreamed up project…this will not make you a black belt and will make one into an embarrassment in an interview. You gotta do it is the best way to tell everyone. Getting these certs thinking that you can get a job in six sigma is not going to work now more than ever bc employers need results and they need them fast in an economy like this. They dont have time to train people so they need you to hit the floor running. A certification is not going to do this for you…only experience will so if you dont have it now, you might reconsider!

  81. Ramiro

    Wanted to stop in and say thanks to all who’ve commented on this blog. After reading your inputs’ I have come to the conclusion that gaining practical experience is what really counts here, were I agree, that for the time being there is no central accreditation agency – and though there should be. My next step is to do the $99. course, read Lean For Dummies and most importantly get in on working projects – as often as possible. Lastly, get certified through the ASQ (the most recognized source). Lean thinking to all ;o)

  82. Taru


    I have all your comments but my doubt is still not cleared. Even if the individual working on the Project is Six Sigma certified, how can the project be authorized as Sig Sigma?


  83. M Lamb

    Personally I think most of the training programs are on in the same. The idea is the fact that name recognition is a dirty game that you must play to get your resume noticed. I know Villanova has a wonderful reputation. As a matter of fact I have a friend that works there. He mentioned that he would be able to work with students that I referred. If you are looking for certification from a credible source give him a call. 800-571-4938 x4565. Mention the posting and he will work with you.

  84. DickieT

    I have read this blog from start to finish and agree with those that says its the best source of real information about Six Sigma and Lean Certification.

    In summary ALL CERTIFICATION IS A JOKE AND A RIP OFF. There are NO STANDARDS. There are no OFFICIAL BODIES. Anyone who pays for certication or any of these courses is an idiot.

    No one checks certifcation – how can they? I could create a certification body tomorrow throw together a convincing web page. Just look at as an example of a total rip off site for project management certification.

    The issue however is that the Six Sigma Certification myth perpetuates throughout the recruitment industry and people think that they need a piece of paper to get an interview (and sadly this is true – which says more about incompetent recruiters and HR departments than anything else).

    So is Six Sigma / lean valuable. of course it is. Buy the books, convince your management to follow the methodology, stick it on your CV

    Good luck and good night.

  85. Stephen C. Crate

    There is a great change management powerpoint available training coordinator and others. While not six sigma per se this web site has a very good group of training packages to prepare managers for the significant work of six sigma. Kind of prework to build ownership into the continuous improvement culture. Their products are very reasonalbe and easily transferable to a lot of corporate environments. This does not specifically speak to certification but rather effective ways to facilitate change.

  86. Ramsha

    Concept of six sigma certified is to attest that the person is a "Change Agent through Data Driven approach". Change agent needs lots of skills – systems thinking, influencing, coaching etc..Data Driven is the stastical part. A lot of us are change agents – but does every one know what types of changes can we handle – this requires hands on experience, and types of changes vary with comapny – my guess is this is one reason why there are no standards. As for the data driven approach, a course in statistics is good enough, we were to say, use control chart…however will this bring "customer orientation" in data driven philosophy? SS integrates a lot of soft skills, business acumen and data driven leadership. Why Change, What to change, and How to sustain change are key.

  87. Joe Cimbak

    I need to hire a Performance Improvement Clinical Specialist. This person MUST HAVE a performance improvement background and they MUST HAVE clinical hospital setting experience. Can you help me "tap into" that genre of candidates? I need a full time employee, not a consultant. We are located in a wonderful part of Vermont and our pay is quite attractive. Please let me know if you can help. Joe Cimbak, Manager of Workforce Planning and Development ([email protected])

  88. Brian

    I am considering going for my Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from Villanova U after taking their normal LSSBB course. The MBB course is about 7 mo long (3mo MBB + 2, 2mo electives).

    Does anyone know how this will be viewed in the industry?
    Will I have any problem stepping down to do Black Belt projects and then doing Master Black Belt projects as well? (are they interchangeable)
    I have the "soft skills" and have been on some good projects.

    Is it only helpful in Gov’t? or in private industry? Thanks!

  89. Haytham

    I am currently studying green belt six sigma outside of the US with a certified black belt. I am just asking from which UNI should i be certified from in the States ?
    My instructor is suggesting Calfornia State University.
    Would that be alright ?
    When i searched i found various universities with the name of calfornia.
    Appreciate the help.

  90. Warwick Hawkey

    Because lean manufacture is a tailor made solution for each company, there can be no real fixed standards, and also, part of the culture has to be implemented and accepted company wide else it fails. There can be no come back on any individual who consults on lean manufature, hence the need for a governing body not really required. On the flip side, A lean manufacturing specialist can gain Engineering Chartership, and this should be the set requirements for individual Lean Manufacturing Specialist

  91. SA


    I came across SSBB program at Kaplan. Does anyone have any information about this program in comparison to Villanova’s?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  92. RDudley


    Not all cert bodies are ripoffs. Take PMI for example I can actually view someones credential to validate if they have true credentials and if they are active. Also I would point out that if all accreditation or certification (you choose which language) bodies were ripoffs then my degree along with others would be worth nothing since colleges and universities are also accredited and/or certified. Wise individuals will do there home work.


  93. Jay

    Excellent Discussions everyone. All a lot of this is based on opinion as it is experience. Was wondering if anyone has or knows someone who has received their SS training and certification through MOTOROLA University? I would imagine they must have a solid program since six sigma was developed by Motorola???

    Any thoughts or advice?

  94. D Ceber

    [color =black] [/color]
    I have been research SSBB for a while now and have decided on the Aveta coarse due to the price and flaxibility it offers me. I presented my proposal to my HR Manager and they have quiried the validity of the coarse due to the low price. I have explained the issues around no standards body for this certification, but I suspect that they would prefer if I did the certification through one of the well known Universities in Australia ie Melbourne University, that has connected its SSBB program with Motorola. The price difference is immence $1k USD vs $14k AUD but who am I to argue if they want to pay for it and I get the certification / recognition on my CV plus come out with some high level skills? At least if the accreditation is via a University that is well known, you can expect that the quality of the education will be high as they would not want to muddy their reputation by putting on a second rate course.

  95. DOD Greenbelt

    Great Blog and Great discussions! good luck to all CPI practitioners.In my experience-forcing change into the bureaucracys is very challenging!

  96. Ahmed

    NEED HELP!!!

    I am a student studying master degree in Management of Technology.
    I am about seeking to take six sigma. I am confused between expertrating and Villanova and which one can be good for me.

    I need an advice. Please.

  97. J.Powell

    I too am in Melbourne, Australia looking at undertaking the SSGB and have reviewed the Aveta Solutions website for online learning. I’m curious to the outcome of your discussions w/HR.
    I’m looking to get into the US market in the coming months and have noticed for Lead Project Managers and above; some companies are asking for SSGB as a minimum.

    I too agree that experience means alot. And experience and a ’certification’ will always assist over, just experience or just certification.

  98. Me

    hahaha, i really laugh everytime i found people so excited and fascinated about six sigma.

    you know what folks…if six sigma’s methodology is DMAIC let me simplify it two words….COMMON SENSE that is Six Sigma.

    in the first place, why will i hire leaders for my biz who doesn’t not possess IQ and COMMON SENSE. all biz in the worlds objective is simple to earn money, nothing more, nothing less.

    and this DMAIC, SHOULD and MUST be on the core system of every organization, so why will i spend money and time to learn or hire someone to improve my process.

    no way!

  99. haroldawiley3rd

    I am very interested in the aveta program ..Is there any one registering for the Yellow Belt (YB) or is it suggested to go straight iinto Green/BB?

  100. Aman

    I am to appear for a lean Green belt six sigma certification from Motorola University. Are there any mock test sites available?

  101. ahmed

    "all biz in the worlds objective is simple to earn money, nothing more, nothing less"
    If your statement is right, there in no need for studying management methodology.
    Your statement was USA organizations’ thought in 1950’s when Edwards Deming tried to improve their productivity,
    however, he worked in Japan then developed their productivity.
    Later on, he worked in USA organizations to help them after rising Japan economy.

    so, why USA organizations did not use their "COMMON SENSE"?

    In brief, COMMON SENSE is nothing without knowledge.

  102. Me


    Knowledge on what? You’re entering on something without knowledge then you definitely need to have COMMON SENSE.

    Why will I believe in Six Sigma if the creator of this methodology is not even ranking well in the industry.

    Where is Motorolla vs Nokia vs IPhone etc…

    Ahmed, the bottomline is simple. If you’re not making good money then no matter what methodology you have or even you keep dreaming to have zero defects that’s nothing because the truth of the matter, your country and your people will only believe in you if you delivery a tangible contribution.

    Now and whether you like it or not COMMON SENSE rules!

  103. AlanH


    I was tasked to consolidate and personally mange a railcar ( trains ) program at a Corporate Level.

    The process of when sales orders were entered, railcars were ordered, railcars arrived, railcars loaded, and railcars delivered to customer was being performed 8 different way by 8 different warehouse/plants.

    It has been 1 year since I have managed this on a daily basis. I have any piece of data necessary to build some sort of analysis of how we are doing better than before.

    Since I do not have ANY data from before hand, how can I quantify this change?

    Alot of process controls were put into place ( by me ), and the entire process is streamlined now.

    Any ideas??

  104. sachin

    I am from India_Pune city. I have done MBA Marketing_BE ENTC. last 2yr ,working in sales area . I want to go for six sigma certification in India with proper classroom training. So Please suggest me the best institute for it. I want to do it at reasonable rate but also wants to do it from the well known institute which is recognized and has standards.

    Does that certification would help me to get better job in Indian market?

    Does that certification would have some standard in indian market ?

  105. Virginia Gennis

    I am considering the Villanova SSBB Health Care online program. Even though it’s expensive, the interaction with instructors and other students might be worth the cost.

    I understand that the program is marketed and administered through a company called University Alliance. I filled out a request for information on their website (there was no way to find out anything from the site itself). UA’s representative (read ’salesman’) called back to push the program. He was pleasant but used hard sell tactics and tried to get me to sign up for the $7,000 program then and there.

    University Alliance is the subject of numerous complaints on the web for misrepresentation, failure to give refunds, etc. One student complained that in his course there was little or no faculty contact, little human interaction, just covering material and taking tests. The complaints mostly related to programs from a school in Florida, but are still disturbing. The company comes across as shady and untrustworthy.

    I would be interested to hear comments from anyone who has recently completed one of the Villanova SSBB online programs. Did it allow interaction with faculty and students? Were there any problems with University Alliance?


  106. Eliane

    Hey guys! I loved the blog! Very helpful! I wanna ask for advice!

    I am 29 years old and changing career. My bachelor is in Business administration and international business and now I am making a master in Business Informatics. I was thinking also as a complement to take the black belt sigma, green and project management course at Expert Rating. I am current leaving in Germany and I haven’t been working for 4 years. I have a part time job in data-mining. I don’t know if just the green it would be enough for me to start applying for jobs or the black belt would give me chances to get into the market. Any advice? its more than welcome! Thank you!

  107. Lynn

    Get an ASQ book and study it. Take a stats course if you need it. Don’t spend a lot of money on these prep coursee. They are good but not necessary. If you like this kind of work, you will do fine.

    The courses are icing and don’t really add anything but a bunch of problems.

  108. zazo412

    Hi All,
    Am planning to take a Master certificate in SS with Villanova university but i would really appreciate if you give me some advice regarding the following inquires
    • Is this program offered from Villanova a good one
    • Is Villanova recognized as a well know university
    • I will be able after finishing this Master to at least have the knowledge to implement SS somewhere hopefully!!
    • If the program is not that much , where else can find a good one
    Appreciate your quick response

  109. hbsnyder

    I am like most who have posted here. Looking for the best way to get LSSBB. I have read this entire post. I agree that the lowest cost and most sensible approach would be to purchase the books from amazon or used book store, read them and get with your company’s management to set up a project to be validated. Do the project learn and document. Go take ASQ’s exam.

    On the other hand if you are not disciplined enough for self study, sign up for one of the lower cost courses such as Aveta or BMGU.

    A commonly mentioned quandry most of you have stated is the lake of a governing body. I found this from following an earlier post link.

    Follow the link above to see Fisher College of Business. They have written a standard and are standing back and hoping that industry will apply it.

    I believe ultimately I will go for the lowest cost method even though my company has agreed to pay for the cost. I see no need to waste their money or my time.

    Good luck to you all.

  110. zazo412

    @ Micheal Green,
    kindly can you please advice on my above inquires

  111. Sharvik

    I m working for a bank in Mumbai, India. i m planning to apply for six sigma black belt certification. which institute in Mumbai offers best SSBB certification which has good value in banking industry.

  112. Phillip Marksberry

    Good Morning!

    I hear that the Univeristy of Kentucky’s Lean Certificate Program is pretty good. It is a Toyota-Univeristy Partnered program that is reserach based; which validates activities and concepts in the lean feild. The content standard is based on Toyota’s systems, and the delivery standard is based on inquiry learning ( a form of guided discovery learning – learning by doing but with some guidance). It utilizes research faculty and Toyota employees. Very interesting dynamic…

    Dr. Phil

  113. Mel

    I want to break into the HR field. I was thinking about getting my green belt at Villanovia University. What are peoples thoughts on this and would the green belt be beneficial for human resources?

  114. naiTao

    Nice blog with six sigma that make me understand. How to work with them.

  115. rick

    Looked up Acuity Institute’s address for "US Headquarters" and it is a house – not impressed by that. I am considering Aveta.

  116. kevn.hudson

    An earlier post had noted … the most important point is not necessary where the certification came from … several folks make the certification paper as a guarantee of employement and forget about the full qualifications, skills and talents of the candidate. While the certifcation is a definite enhancement, it’s not an end all guarantee.

    I’m in the AVETA course now. It’s a good, through course – covering all SS and Lean principles. As noted it’s recognized by several as "credible" (as is Villanova). I’ll be combining the Aveta BBSS program in conjunction with post-course testing through ASQ. I think the combination covers as many bases as possible with potential future employers.

    If you’re looking at the ASQ testing, there are definitely a few courses out there (i.e. that are simply "certification mills" … Doing a just bit of homework (excuse the pun) can help you avoid those companies.

  117. naddy

    Hi am an engineering student and would like to know what career opportunities there are after completing my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering or can I do any of the above mentioned Six Sigma courses during my Engineering. Am very much interested in quality control. Please give me any valuable information on this topic.

  118. M

    I read this entire post top to bottom.

    I would like to know what method would work for someone who is UNEMPLOYED.

    I don’t have access to perform a project but still interested in getting a Green Belt certification.

    How do I go about doing this?

    I hope the certification will help me land a job. I’ve worked in Manufacturing for 10 years and have a degree in Mechanical Engineering but was laid off. I have used SS principles but never as a SS project. How would I get the ASQ certification without a project?

  119. Malcolm

    I have a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems. I have worked with SS and other TQM methodologies in the past, both in manufacturing and service industries. I never cared for the certification but now more than in previous years HR managers want a "certification" that a person at least has the fundamentals of the methodology. ASQ is no more credible (when it comes to SS) than a university program. The projects under your belt is what count and cement your credibility,

  120. IT Pro

    Hopefully ovetime SS programs will be standardized and streamlined. A lot of companies are seeking candidates with these specialized certifications. It is the way for their ROI. I will be pursuing the LSS Green Belt. The only questions is the difference in pricings. Why is the same level from some institutes so much higher than others.

  121. brainmearure

    Six sigma are certification are best in management all management persons know

  122. S K

    There is an accreditation committee known as The Council for Six Sigma Certification: Several well-known programmes including those of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), Aveta Business Institute, and Villanova University are listed there.

    There is also an accreditation committee known as the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC): A number of programmes including those by Aveta Business Institute are listed here.

  123. Bob Johnson

    Since there is no official governing body you can “self certify”. Just print your own certification- the only catch is that you may not profit or sell certificates to others.

  124. Manoj

    Getting six sigma done from certified company is very important. International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) is authorized provider of six sigma training.

  125. Scott Shubin

    I agree. A quality standard for all quality improvement certification courses should be established.
    I am a welding engineer and my professional existence is within a paradigm governed by specifications. Some of the programs I have explored have appeared spartan in content (bargain bin) or exorbanent (in as much) at the other end of the scale. I lean to the latter when I believe I will get all that I pay for. That aside, where’s the standards? The variation is out of control. (Pun intended) The ASQ should, like other standards organizations, standardize curriculum criteria for all institutions. Mail order and (knock offs) bare minimum Six Sigma Cert programs are out there but they shouldn’t be. The knock offs are useless for professional application. Like the AWS or SME there should be standard format, uncompromising exams and courses available. VOC should demand process repeatability from any and all accredited/approved vendors and institutions. The cert slingers should be shut down.
    Disclaimer- my grammar may be draconian but I do not qualify myself as a communications professional. Just an engineer that thinks standards are essential to all efforts to achieve quality.

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