So, let’s talk about how someone can get six sigma certifications. There are several routes you could take. They range from studying for an online course, attending training conferences or workshops in your area, reading materials about six sigma, enrolling in an actual six sigma course at a local university or college or downloading e-books on six sigma. Each of these methods has their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at them in turn.
For a lot of people, the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to get six sigma certification is by downloading e-books and attending online training conferences. The problem with this is that often the materials are disorganized, incomplete and often unsuitable for real life situations. They lack the in-depth, specialized training provided by a local course. The other problem is that most of the material is already outdated. For example, there’s very little discussion about the latest benchmarking results and if you’re studying six sigma for job purposes, you’ll probably need to read materials from the past two or three years.
Attendance at conferences and training sessions is also impractical. A lot of Six Sigma Black Belt courses do not allow you to leave the room until you’ve completed the entire program, which is a shame because it lacks real-life experience. The other problem is that it’s expensive – six sigma white belt certification in the United States can run to more than $1000. Not only is this expensive but you need to have a sponsor to cover these expenses. sponsor is another term for someone who will foot the bill for you.
Attending online training conferences is another option, but you have to be careful. While there’s usually an instructor to mentor you, six sigma white belt certification is not taught face-to-face. You still need a sponsor and you won’t see the instructor in person unless you subscribe to the six sigma white belt course. That said, the online learning materials are more comprehensive, have videos and screen shots and you’ll have the opportunity to download case studies and complete assignments.
Six Sigma Black Belt Certification as offered by the American Society of Quality Assessors (ASQA) is also a good alternative. The main difference is that they send certified candidates from the field of operations to conferences and training rather than online or classroom education. It also requires that the candidate successfully pass a written proficiency test, which is a bit harder than taking an online course. As with Online Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, candidates will need to demonstrate they understand the processes to be taught. They must also pass a proficiency test.
The International Academy of Management Scholars (IAAM) also offers six sigma courses to its students. Unlike most institutes, the IAM focuses on a full range of aspects of Six Sigma practices including statistical analysis, data flow analysis and statistical metrics. In order to be eligible for a six sigma white belt certification from the IAM, candidates need to have taken relevant courses in management, finance, or operational management before. It is a bit more difficult to get into than the other institutes and it can take a few years, but the qualifications and the course work are very comprehensive.
The International Society of Black Belt Professionals (ISBP) also offers six sigma white belt certification. Candidates must be current Six Sigma experts and have at least five years worth of industry experience. This type of six sigma certification does not require any other requisites beyond a working knowledge of statistical analysis and data flow. The main advantage of this certification is that it gives you an extra little edge above the rest.