How do you become a Six Sigma Black Belt?
There are several different routes to achieving a six sigma black belt certification. How you get certified will depend upon the training programme and qualification you choose.
We have created this article as your introductory guide to becoming a six sigma black belt. You can get further advice and guidance by contacting our team directly with your questions or downloading a PDF Guide to Six Sigma Black Belt.Download Guide Ask a Question
First Step: Is it right for you?
Before you begin planning your route to certification, reflect on whether you’re ready to become a six sigma black belt.
If you’re new to lean six sigma, it’s likely that a yellow belt or green belt qualification will be a better place to begin.
If you have plenty of experience with lean six sigma or process improvement, then black belt could be your natural next step.
Most training courses will have a clear guide to the eligibility requirements and / or an option to speak with an experienced consultant.
These resources will help you decide whether you’re ready for a six sigma black belt certification and role.Ask us Anything
Finding the Right Route
Once you begin researching, you will come across different styles of learning.
Options range from online, self-led courses, to practical, multi-module courses spanning several months. There are also third level certificates that can take up to a year to complete.
All options are good and suitable for different types of black belt candidate.
If you have extensive senior experience leading process improvement initiatives, you may feel comfortable with the DIY approach of a self-led online course.
This option is only really suitable for those who are already very close to the level of knowledge and skill needed by a six sigma black belt.
If you have experience but are seeking to develop and grow your abilities with lean six sigma, then choosing a multi-module or third level programme is best.
Most of these programmes will incorporate practical work and provide you with access to a black belt certified trainer for advice and guidance.
As mentioned in the last section, the training format can vary from course to course. There is no right or wrong – there is only what sits right with your goals and schedule.
With six sigma black belt, moreso than with any other course, we recommend really taking your time to research and review what’s on offer from your preferred provider.
Read course outlines, ask questions about the delivery style, look into the certification, and envision how it all fits in with your aims.
Some providers self-certify, and others deliver programmes that lead to an independently awarded six sigma black belt certification.Some – like us – do both!
Globally, the best-known of the independently certified Black Belt qualifications are:
- ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
- IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (ICBBTM)
Many of the more active learning style programmes will incorporate application of your learning to a project.
This is a fantastic way to develop your confidence as a black belt practitioner.
You can learn more about how that works in our Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Guide.
Study and Exam Preparation
Nearly every lean six sigma black belt programme you research will include a sit-down exam as part of the certification process.
As every black belt syllabus is also jam-packed with advanced six sigma tools and information, you will need to allow time to study following training before you’re ready to sit your exam.
For some certifications (ASQ is a good example here), you can access an online exam question banks to aid in your study efforts and help you develop the right mindset for your exam.
Good to Know: We include a 365-day access to official ASQ question banks as part of our six sigma black belt course fee.
Most six sigma black belt exams can be taken online. Both the ASQ and IASSC exams are between 4 and 4.5 hours in duration.
Once you pass your exam, you will be a certified six sigma black belt!
Get Advice on Your Certification
It’s wise to both consult with someone who has been through the process of achieving a black belt and ask potential training providers any questions you may have about their programme.
We can offer support for both.
Get in touch with us to organise a consultation with our Director of Training, who is a qualified black belt practitioner.
She can talk you through the training and certification journey and answer anything you need to know about our course.
Contact us online using the Ask a Question button below or by calling us directly during office hours on Freephone 1800 910 810 or Dublin 01 861 0700.