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Six Sigma Certification

Aug 17, 2007
Many questions arise in the minds of six sigma certification candidates. These questions range from the most strange to the most genuine concerns. There is a compelling need to explain things regarding the exam for the benefit of those who have questions but don't know where to find the answers. Here is brief outline of a few fundamental questions that are frequently asked about Six Sigma Certification.

What Is Six Sigma Certification?

Six Sigma Certification is documented proof that a person has acquired certain standardized capabilities with regard to the quality management technique that, when applied, works towards error/defect elimination and prevention. However, the certificate does not guarantee that a candidate has implementation skills, but only certifies competency in the subject matter. One can attain certification in any of the key roles (Master Black Belt, Champion, etc.).

Basis For Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma Certification typically involves studying the related subject matter and passing an exam. Training institutes or companies provide certification tests and six sigma training courses. It is not unusual for new companies to have their employees test on a training institutes' tests. This completes the first part of the written test in the candidate's proficiency in the subject matter. Now comes the real test! Once having passed the written test, The candidate must work hands on a project or two in a practical environment. In this situation, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she is competent enough to implement the knowledge acquired in classroom six sigma training.

During the practical part of the exam, there is no benchmark for what passes or not. Not just this, but some companies may accept just one project and some others may not. This means that out of the three critical aspects of six sigma certification training, the written exam and the practical competency demonstration, a crucial third one may be said to be lacking seriously or non-existent, unless it becomes standardized. To complicate matters, there is no one single body to regulate or standardize all the critical aspects of six sigma certification.

Do I Need A Six Sigma Certification?

This is any individual's professional decision. Anyone wanting to get six sigma certification will need to think seriously about it. Sometimes candidates are chosen (or compelled) by their employer to take six sigma training and thereby attain six sigma certification. But many times, it is the other way around. Someone may decide to pursue six sigma certification for reasons such as attainment of a raise or promotion. Another may be prompted by the fact that six sigma certification will enhance their marketability. While each reason is an individual one, candidates must be result oriented, highly motivated in order to be successful.

What Will It Cost Me?

Again, this is a highly subjective question. It could cost you anywhere from $0 to $30,000 per person, depending on where you receive six sigma training. Again, the decision as to the trainer, location, and online or offline six sigma training method are other considerations as to cost.

What worked for one person may not work for another. When contemplating six sigma certification, there really are no generalizations that can be made. It all depends on who individual capabilities, location, and to some extent, your position in the corporation (or lack thereof).
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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