Six Sigma Certification Instructions

To obtain your Six Sigma Certification, please follow the steps outlined in this guide.  This information is provided to help you make an informed decision about which process improvement certification is most appropriate for your unique, individual situation.

Which Six Sigma Certification Should I Obtain?

You should think of the Six Sigma Belts as project roles, not as “levels” of education.  Each Six Sigma belt plays a specific role and completes specific tasks when working on a project.  Here is a breakdown of each belt and when you should consider adding this belt to your list of achievements.

Lean Six Sigma White Belt

This belt is considered an entry-level belt.  Individuals will learn what Six Sigma is, and what a Six Sigma project will accomplish for their organization.

Who should be certified as a Lean Six Sigma White Belt:

MSI encourages anyone interested in learning about Six Sigma to obtain their Lean Six Sigma White Belt.  Anyone within your organization who may be affected by a Six Sigma project should be certified at this level.  The Management and Strategy Institute offers this belt-level for free.

Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Yellow Belts serve as subject matter experts on a Six Sigma project.  They are not experts in Six Sigma, but rather they are experts in their day-to-day job functions.  Example – You’re initiating a Six Sigma project to reduce waste on a manufacturing line.  You have five employees who work this line regularly and are very knowledgeable about the processes used.  These employees would be an excellent example of someone who should be certified at the Yellow Belt level.  They will assist Gree Belts during the measure and analysis phases of the DMAIC process.

Who should be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt:

You should obtain your Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt if your company is initiating a Six Sigma project and your department may be affected.  If you are knowledgeable in your current work environment, you may be selected as a subject matter expert for the Six Sigma project.  If you are an individual looking to get certified on your own, independent of your organization, we recommend you skip the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and consider taking a higher-level belt.

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Green Belts are key members of a Six Sigma project.  Green Belts perform critical analysis of existing processes using key metrics obtained during the measure, analyze and improve stages of a DMAIC process.  Green belts have a much deeper understanding of the methods used on a Six Sigma project.  The will have a general understanding of statistics, including Standard Deviation and Variance.  Mathematical aspects of a Six Sigma project are often completed by statistical software, so a strong mathematical background is generally not required.

Who should be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt:

You should obtain your Lean Six Sigma Green Belt if you will be working directly on a Six Sigma project for your organization.  The Green Belt level works under the direction of a Black Belt.  If you are looking to get certified independently of an organization, then the Green Belt level is an excellent option for someone looking to gain a solid understanding of Six Sigma principles.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Lean Black Belts are the project managers of a Six Sigma project.  They are responsible for the planning of the project – from the creation of the project charter through all stages of the DMAIC process.  Black Belts should have a strong understanding of the entire Six Sigma process and generally have a good understanding of statistics.  Contrary to popular belief, Black Belts do not “memorize” all aspects of Six Sigma.  Since the methodology is complex, most project leaders reference a methodology concept guide while leading projects.  These guides include all of the statistical formulas and information you’ll need for a successful project.  Most project managers have worked on several Six Sigma projects at the Green Belt level before attempting to lead a project as a Black Belt, even if they hold a Black Belt certification.

Who should be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt:

If you are a project manager, or if you’ll be leading a Six Sigma project for your organization you should obtain your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.  If you are looking to get certified independently of an organization, then the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is an excellent option for anyone who has a leadership position within their organization.  It is also the preferred option if you are seeking management-level positions, work in project management, or hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a university.

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

The Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt level is generally reserved for people who already hold a Black Belt certification and have many years of experience leading Six Sigma Projects.  People often think that a Master Black Belt is a higher-level than a Black Belt, but this is not really true.  The Master Black Belt typically performs a few different functions than the Black belt, but that is primarily due to experience.  Master Black Belts provide training and support to Black Belts and Green Belts.  They may also lead multiple projects simultaneously.  They typically have strong analytical and statistical skills and have many years of experience leading projects at the Black Belt level.  You should not attempt the Master Black Belt certification unless you meet the following two criteria:

  • You are a certified Black Belt from MSI or another organization.
  • You have at least three years of experience leading process improvement projects, specifically a minimum of 3 Six Sigma projects at the Black Belt level.

Who should be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt:

If you have successfully worked on Six Sigma projects as a Lean Black Belt and would like to take your training to the next level, the Master Black Belt may be appropriate.  This level is also appropriate if you’ll be training Black Belts and Green Belts in the Six Sigma methodology.

Six Sigma Champion

Six Sigma Champions are the Six Sigma project owners.  The success or failure of the Six Sigma project ultimately falls on the shoulders of the project champion.  Champions are typically someone within the organization who holds a leadership position in the company.  This is typically a Senior Director, VP, or even the company president.  The Champion’s main role is to set the scope and mission for the project, as well as remove roadblocks to its success.  These roadblocks can include personnel issues, production issues, and financial issues, so the Champion must have a lot of authority within the organization.  The Champion should have direct contact with the CEO/president of the company.

Who should be certified as a Six Sigma Champion:

If you’ve been tasked to launch a process improvement effort within your organization and are in a senior leadership position, then the Six Sigma Champion certification is appropriate.  If you are looking to get certified independently of an organization, then the Champion is a great option for those in leadership positions and business owners.

How To Register

Once you’ve determined the Six Sigma Certification that best matches your goals, follow these instructions to register for your Six Sigma Certification.

  1. Visit MSI and select the Six Sigma Certification that you’d like to register for.
  2. Click “Enroll Now,” and then create a username and password.
  3. Complete the registration process and pay for your certification.
  4. From your student dashboard, select “Launch” to begin going through the study material.
  5. Once you’ve completed the included study material, you’ll have access to the link to launch your certification exam. You can take the exam as soon as you’re ready, it does not need to be scheduled in advance.