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Six Sigma certification: overview, prerequisites and validity

Certification Overview

With the demand for quality and efficient production systems comes the demand for quality professionals. Six Sigma certified professionals are gradually making a statement in the job market with a wide range of skills they are exhibiting thanks to the Lean Six Sigma certification. The Six Sigma certification is also known as Lean Six Sigma certification because the lean principles are included in the course study. This professional certificate increases the competencies of the individuals and assists them in developing a successful professional career. The Lean Six Sigma certification comes in varying levels namely: Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification

Who needs this certification?

Business professionals who have a strong desire for success should get a certificate under his belt. The course contents have been designed to give the business professionals an understanding of the core concepts and associated benefits of Six Sigma which would help them in the long run.


Business professionals who will complete their certifications in Yellow, Green, and Black Belt programs see a rise in their salary and increased marketability in the corporate world.

Associated Exam

For each level, there is a single paper consisting of multiple choice questions. Lean Six Sigma certificate requirements show that on passing each level with the minimum marks, the candidates can issue a certificate.


No specific prerequisites are required for appearing in the exam. Normally business professionals take part in this exam after taking adequate preparations before the exam.

Exam Overview

The Six Sigma course content is defined on the basis of 5 steps namely Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. These 5 steps form the foundation and backbone of the Six Sigma assessment model. Other than these 5 steps, there is also an additional step known as Six Sigma leadership which is used in assessing and improving the leadership skills of the individuals.

It is recommended that candidates go through Lean Six Sigma certification online training courses before appearing in the exam so that they can grasp an idea of the question pattern as well as ensuring that all the relevant topics have been covered during the training period.

The Lean Six Sigma certification exam syllabus is based on the same criteria for Yellow, Green and Black Belts. However, significant differences lie in the course content for each of these belts.

The common parameter under which the contents are divided is given below:

  • Lean Six Sigma overview
  • Define phase
  • Measure phase
  • Analyze phase
  • Improve phase
  • Control phase

The first section critically introduces the individuals with the specific course. For instance, a professional studying Green Belt will have to go through Introduction to lean Six Sigma Green Belt and vice versa. The other DMAIC phases are same for all three belts. As mentioned before, differences lie in the depth and knowledge level of the three belts.

The Define phase critically looks to define a specific problem or a situation. Candidates are taught a number of tools to interpret the problem literature, understand the complexity of the situation and develop communication tools related to the specific situation.

The Measure phase looks at all the tools and techniques available to measure the intensity and progress of a specific task and process. Study includes analysis on statistics, process capability and process discovery.

The Analyze phase shows the usage of different analytical tools to be used for interpreting a complex piece of statistical data. The data can then be used to translate and convert into a form which could be easily interpreted by the officials involved in the decision making process of that relative area.

The Improve phase focuses on implementing the response made based on a particular problem and also coming up with efficient solution techniques.

The control phase is the phase which looks forward in sustaining the solution using a number of techniques like Defect controls, lean controls, Statistical process control etc.

Validity of Certification

A certificate will be received under the IASSC (International Association for Six Sigma Certification) or the institute which was used by the candidate to sit for the exam. There is no specification regarding the validity of the certificate which means it can be used for relevant professional purposes without any expiration.

Expert Review

According to Mike Potosky who is the Lean Six Sigma deployment leader in Motorola: about 20% of effort in becoming a Black Belt goes in the training, 5% goes in tools and techniques learned and the rest are all related to what happens in the project.

He showed this figures by drawing a pie chart.

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