QUESTION:How long does it take to become a certified Green Belt and what are the steps involved?
There are typically 4 steps to certification:
- Complete the curriculum/training
- Pass the exam
- Complete a project using the DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma methodology
- Verify the results with the business and the Green Belt/Black Belt coach.
While there are some variations to this path, most companies follow these 4 steps. What are some of the variations? Some companies may not require an exam while others require completion of 2-3 projects before certification. Using 1 project for certification criteria, the completion of the curriculum is dependent upon the pace of the individual. Completion of the material/training may take 4-8 weeks. A completed project typically assumes a 8-16 week time frame. The project duration is dependent on the scope and complexity of the project and it is recommended to keep the project manageable to this time frame by controlling the complexity of the project. An experienced coach is critical in this aspect of the certification process. If the project is not well managed you will experience a longer duration in the ‘time to complete’ the project. At the end of the project, a storyboard must be completed.
The Green Belt candidate is expected to summarize and discuss the project demonstrating knowledge of the DMAIC methodology and the concepts of process management in the Lean Six Sigma discipline. The exam can be taken at any time and typically is 3-4 hours in duration.
With these time lines in mind, a 4 month time period would be an aggressive schedule for certification. 6-8 months to attain the certification is more the norm. As you can see, the timeline is very dependent on the ambition of the Green Belt candidate and the project selected for the certification process.