Six Sigma Online Training, often referred to as Six Sigma e-Learning, is a great alternative to in-person, classroom training for many people. The question often asked iSixSigma.com is how to separate out the reputable Six Sigma e-Learning providers and select a provider that will provide Six Sigma training and/or Six Sigma certification that has value to both you and potential employers?
This article, which will be appended from time to time, will provide questions that you should consider asking of providers when evaluating your Six Sigma e-Learning options. They are numbered for your reference, but are not presented in an order of importance.
- Is contact information available on the provider’s website?
Don’t be tricked by companies that have no physical address, telephone number and email address listed on their website. Why would you spend money with a company that doesn’t list these items prominently? You should be able to call a Six Sigma e-Learning provider to ask questions at any time, even if they are an online training provider. Email the provider and ask if they are a registered with the Better Business Bureau, if providing services to the United States. If they are, look them up to see if there are any complaints filed by other customers.
- Is the provider’s Six Sigma e-Learning curriculum worthwhile, or worthless?
Face it: you’re taking this course online so you can complete the training on your own time, save money on travel, reduce time away from the office, and minimize the cost. What you don’t need to sacrifice is what you’re going to learn. iSixSigma has published an article in the past on what should be included in a Six Sigma Body of Knowledge. It’s not exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start when evaluating a provider’s offering:
- How long has the provider been offering Six Sigma e-Learning courses?
New companies can often stumble on their first few attempts at Six Sigma e-Learning. It’s useful to know how many students they’ve trained and when they first started offering training.
- Do they provide any references, or “real” quotes from students?
References are always a tough topic. Many people thinking about Six Sigma e-Learning go to the iSixSigma Discussion Forum and ask others what they think about this provider or that provider. It’s a pointless exercise since most people have only been through one training program. If you’re trained, why go through another course for added time and expense? And if you’re only trained by one company, then you’re definitely not qualified to talk about all the various Six Sigma e-Learning options on the market. Quotes from “real” students at “real” companies are useful. If someone liked the course delivery and interaction, that’s useful information. Just be sure to scrutinize if the quotes look and sound real. Ask if you can contact the person to ask a few questions.
- What are the technical requirements of the course?
Be sure to see if the Six Sigma e-Learning provider lists any technical requirements of using their learning system. If not, that could be a flag to watch out. Also make sure that they have listed hours of it’s technical support team just in case you can’t get their system working on your computer.
- Is the Six Sigma training program accredited?
Does it provide training units called CEUs (Continuing Education Units) – which typically represents ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible, qualified direction and instruction – by a reputable association?
- What is the Six Sigma training provider’s reputation?
If you’re brand-new to the Six Sigma-space, you may find it difficult to assess reputation. Often providers who have been in the marketplace will have developed consulting practices. Do they advertise on iSixSigma.com or in iSixSigma Magazine? What are the Six Sigma deployments that the founders of the company have contributed to? How long is their clientele list? If you’re evaluating e-Learning for your organization, you might want to consider the unbiased iSixSigma Research report “Report IR-2006-11-1: Six Sigma eLearning Marketplace Study.” (None of these questions are exhaustive, but may provide insights into a provider’s reputation.)