This is a very common question, and the simple answer is no, there is no governing body that oversees Lean Six Sigma Certification. This creates a wide array of Six Sigma certification programs and means that you have to do your homework to ensure you are getting your Six Sigma certification from a credible organization.
There are several types of certification methods and your next steps will depend on the method you choose:
- First-party certification, which is self-imposed. “I have completed projects in my organization and my experience meets the criteria that I have defined and so I consider myself a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.”
- Second-party certification, which is when someone completes the criteria of a Six Sigma training program developed either by their company or a training provider. The criteria and standards for the program are defined by the company or training provider. “I have completed the Six Sigma training program and met the criteria defined by my organization or the training provider that I selected and so I am a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.”
- Third-party certification verifies that a Six Sigma certification meets defined, industry-independent criteria or standards as reviewed by an impartial party. “I am a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt because I meet the criteria defined by the association’s determined industries standard.”
Second-Party Certification is the norm in the Lean Six Sigma Industry. It is important to select the right training program for you and be sure that the Six Sigma certification is credible and well-recognized in the business process improvement industry.
If you decide that Third-Party certification is the method for you, there are several associations to choose from. Keep in mind that each one has its own Body of Knowledge and you will have to further decide which association best fits your needs and is best recognized in your industry.
There are a few associations that are well-recognized across the Process Improvement Industry. These certifications often require that you have completed your actual training from a training provider prior to taking the association’s certification exam. So you will still need to identify a training provider. And lastly, keep in mind that each will have their own requirements so you will need to do your research.