Posted on August 7, 2019 by Brad Hadin
Six Sigma is an approach to quality management. It is aimed to reduce or remove errors or defects in business services or products. It was originally created to enhance manufacturing processes. However, the techniques and tools utilized in Six Sigma have become very effective across industries and are now regarded as industry-agnostic. This means they have been used successfully in other sectors, including aeronautics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and retail, among others. The organizations have continued to adopt the processes and standard of Six Sigma, especially with the goal of improving customer service, better compliance with the regulations and standardization of business development, and shorter cycle times. It is essential to mention that the rigors involved in the processes of Prepaway Six Sigma Certifications make its implementation quite difficult. Usually, it takes months and sometimes years before an organization can get all the relevant team members on board to follow the processes meticulously and constantly enough to achieve the desired value and benefits.
Highlights of Six Sigma Certifications
Unlike many IT-related credentials, the Six Sigma certifications are offered by many different organizations, including the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), and American Society for Quality (ASQ). The implication of this is that the prospective candidates for any of Six Sigma certificates must first research and compare the different programs before making a commitment to any particular one. Each certification body provides similar but not identical Six Sigma levels. There are some standard programs. They are highlighted below.
- Yellow Belt: Theindividual pursuing this credential is a project team member. He/she supports and follows up on project improvements.
- Green Belt: The candidate for this certification also supports project improvements. In addition to this, he/she also helps with the statistical analysis of projects and may also take a leadership role in a project on a part-time capacity.
- Black Belt: The professional with this certificate leads projects, mostly on full-time basis, and usually coaches, trains, and manages project members.
- Master Black Belt: The applicants for this credential develops the project strategy and metrics. He/she also serves as the go-to Six Sigma professional in an organization. He/she coaches and trains the specialists with Green Belt and Black Belt.
Unlike many IT credentials, the Six Sigma certificates don’t follow a specific certification ladder. In other words, the Yellow Belt credential is not a requirement for Green Belt, and it is not obligatory to have the Green Belt certification in order to earn Black Belt, and so on.
How to Earn Six Sigma Certification?
To earn a Six Sigma credential, the students are required to pass a written exam, exhibit hands-on competence, and meet the experience prerequisites. Many different certification bodies provide training as part of a package for a cost. The cost usually includes the written exam and the relevant study materials. The written tests are often with multiple-choice questions. The difficulty level and time duration of the examdiffer with each level. For instance, the Yellow Belt written test is usually allotted less time than the Black Belt onethat can take up to four hours. There is also the hands-on part of the certification exam, which requires that the candidates complete one or more quality projects backed by signed affidavits. For instance, the Green Belt credential may have to require one project and Black Belt – two projects. A Master Black Belt might have to complete ten or more projects.
Six Sigma Certification Bodies
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of organizations (certification bodies) awarding the Six Sigma credentials. In this certification guide, we will explore two of them.
International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC)
The IASSC offers Lean Six Sigma, which is a combination of the principles within the Six Sigma structure and the Lean manufacturing processes. The exams offered by this association are focused on topics under the IBoK, also known as the IASSC Lean Six Sigma Body of Knowledge. The Lean Six Sigma certification program offered through the IASSC has only three certificates. These are Yellow Belt, Green Belt, and Black Belt. It is important to mention that the IASSC is highly distinguished in the field of Six Sigma because the body doesn’t offer training, and the individuals are not required to have any experience or work on a hands-on project to earn the credential. The students only have to pass the written exam associated with their certificate.
American Society for Quality (ASQ)
The ASQ offers 18 credentials under its certification program, including Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt. In addition to these, there are other 14 certificates that are role-based. These include Calibration Technician and Biomedical Auditor. The individuals pursuing the Six Sigma certification with the ASQ can make great savings by signing up to become a member. The specific amount you pay is dependent on whether you register at the Student, the Associate, or the Full level.
For instance, the Yellow Belt exam fee is $244 for the members and $394 – for the non-members. If you don’t pass the exam, you will be required to pay the retake fee, which is the same for both members and non-members. In addition to the fee, a Master Black Belt is also required to pay for a portfolio review.
The Six Sigma technologies are now popular around the globe. More and more companies need the professionals to make a working team.Then, for those who are interested, there is a chance to choose how to attain a certification in Six Sigma. There are different ways of preparing for the exams. One top platform you might want to consider for an effective exam preparation is PrepAway. The site offers numerous resources to help the candidates pass their tests on the first try.