Understanding Six Sigma Accreditation

We hear lots of questions about six sigma accreditation.  There is a lot of misinformation about this subject, so hopefully this short article will help clear up many of the misconceptions for you.

In the world of Six Sigma, there is no singular certification body or “accrediting” body.  This means that any certification company that sets standards within the Six Sigma industry can issue a Six Sigma certification.  MSI sets standards through the Six Sigma Quality Standards (SSQS) initiative for our certifications.

There are some organizations that have self-proclaimed themselves to be Six Sigma accrediting bodies, however they are in no way an “official” accrediting body.  In fact, most of these companies have a clear conflict of interest.  They either issue their own certifications, or are owned by a company that does.  There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this as long as the companies are honest about it.  The important thing to remember is that they do not officially represent the Six Sigma community and no company is required to be accredited by them to issue a six sigma certification.

What makes a Six Sigma certification respectable?
The Management and Strategy Institute is a certifying body for all the certifications we issue.  All of our certifications are exclusive, and we are the only company that can issue them.  If you do a search for Six Sigma certification online, you’ll find many companies.  Some offer respected certifications, and some do not.  It’s important that you do your research to find the certification body that best fits your needs.  That will depend on many factors, some of those factors include:  Your level of college education, industry you work in, experience, job position, your budget, etc.  You can get training and certification through private organizations like MSI or through colleges and universities, both online and in-person.  Which certification you should get depends completely on your needs and personal preference.  There are far more important aspects that you should consider when selecting a company to get your certification from.  Here are a few things you should look for:

  • Is the company respected?  – Management and Strategy Institute has 350k+ members around the world.  We have quickly grown to be one of the largest process improvement trade associations in the world.  MSI has worked with the White House, been recognized by the US Senate, offers training through our dislocated workers program, and runs an expansive charity program.  What do our competitors do? 
  • What is their reputation? – We have THOUSANDS of independent reviews online.  We don’t hide reviews, we’re proud of the organization we’ve built.  How many reviews do our competitors have?
  • Are they BBB accredited? – MSI is A+ rated by BBB
  • Where are they located?  Use a certification company that is based in the US.  MSI is located in Pennsylvania.
  • Are they veteran owned?  MSI is veteran owned and a registered US Government contractor!
  • Are they recognized, do they belong to trade groups?  Look on the companies “about us” page and see what groups and organizations they belong to.  Here are a few examples of the organizations that the Management and Strategy Institute is affiliated with and why:
    • CPD Accreditation – MSI has many of our certifications accredited through the CPD.  This means we can issue CPD credits, which are particularly helpful with international recognition.  This benefits our certification holders if they work overseas or if they have overseas clients.  It is also a strong indication of quality within the US.
    • Human Resources Recognition – Many of the MSI certifications are pre-approved to issue HR credits.  This makes our certifications more valuable to Human Resource professionals and also helps with name recognition of our certifications to HR professionals.

Some organizations base certification respect on how difficult the certification is to obtain.  In some instances, this makes sense, especially if you’re hiring for a highly complicated position.  Most organizations however judge a certification based on the perceived reputation of the certifying body and on whether the certification meets the needs of the company or job being filled.

How do I know if employers will accept my certification?
There is no way to ever fully ensure that an employer will recognize a certification.  This is because employers are free to set whatever requirements for a job they want.  They may also have requirements beyond just a certification, such as experience or a college degree.  The important thing is that you select the most respected certification company you can find within your personal budget.

One of the benefits to getting your certification through the Management and Strategy Institute are the professional certificate and transcripts we issue.  If you purchase your certification directly from the MSIcertified.com website we include your certificate & transcripts at no extra cost*.  The transcripts are designed to be given out to employers looking to verify your certification.  They are professionally printed and help present your certification in a positive and respected manner.