Why Choose A Black Belt Qualification?
This is a question that most people considering six sigma black belt certification ask.
Becoming a six sigma black belt requires focus and commitment. It is a challenging qualification that can take several months to achieve.
It makes complete sense that before committing yourself to such an endeavour, you understand the value of black belt training and certification.
In this 3-minute article, we provide answers to important questions potential black belt candidates ask.
Pressed for Time?
If you don’t have time to read this article now, why not download our 16-page PDF Guide to Black Belt?
This guide contains important information, such as: understanding the role, reasons to choose black belt, who becomes a black belt, and past-student testimonials.
In This Article:
- What is a Black Belt?
- What are the benefits of getting Black Belt certified?
- Are you ready to be a Black Belt?
- How can you become a Black Belt?
- Advice and Resources
What is a Black Belt?
Black belts are at the top of the lean six sigma belt hierarchy system.
They possess an advanced level of knowledge and capability in the application of lean six sigma.
They are experienced practitioners, having participated in and led many process improvement initiatives.
Differing from yellow and green belts, who often focus on one area of influence or projects with a narrow scope, black belts often work in a cross-functional position. They take a strategic, often organisation-wide approach to lean six sigma.
“Lean six sigma” or “six sigma” black belts?
You will see this role referred to as both “lean six sigma” and “six sigma”, which can be confusing.
The difference in title refers to the knowledge covered during training.
For example, our black belt programme covers both lean and six sigma knowledge. It is therefore called “Lean Six Sigma Black Belt”.
What are the benefits of getting Black Belt certified?
Black Belt certification brings a wealth of benefits, both to the individual and the organisation they work within. Here are our top 3 benefits for both:
Benefits to Individuals
Opening Up New Opportunities
Possessing such an advanced knowledge of lean and six sigma, along with the ability to devise and implement complex process improvement initiatives opens up new avenues.
You can solve problems previously beyond your grasp, explore creative solutions for improving processes, and achieve harder-to-reach savings and profitability.
It also makes you a more versatile candidate for roles within many different organisations.
Greater Sense of Achievement
Those who gravitate towards lean six sigma usually take enjoyment in the experience of tackling a process improvement initiative.
The level of job satisfaction increases in line with your ability to undertake projects of a more challenging, multi-faceted nature.
Potential for Increased Salary
One of the major benefits of a black belt salary is the ability to command an increased salary.
There is no doubt about it; capable six sigma black belts are in demand.
Right now, every business is striving to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and increase profitability. Black belts are the driving force for achieving these goals at an organisational level.
The available salaries for skilled, qualified black belts are often incentive enough to undertake training and certification.
A Note on Black Belt Salary
It is important to note that the level of salary will vary depending on your industry, geographical location, and level of experience.
It is always recommended to run a salary search on reputable sites like Payscale.com and Glassdoor.ie to find the benchmark for your arena.
Benefits to Organisations
Strategic Process Improvement Focus
If an organisation truly wishes to bring about change through process improvement, it is important that it is implemented at a business-wide level.
Black belts can bring about this level of cultural change. They instil and nurture a continuous improvement culture throughout the business.
They also take a strategic stance on how to implement lean six sigma across all processes within the organisation.
As mentioned above, black belts are capable of bringing about a higher level of positive change than other belt levels.
They are instrumental in achieving the “hard-to-reach” savings and improvements that can really transform a business.
Reaching this level of optimisation can free up resources for business expansion.
Capacity for Mentoring
Black belts can mentor and coach others in process improvement excellence.
This is crucial for any company seeking to introduce a lean six sigma way of operating.
Are you ready to be a Black Belt?
You may have noticed the words “advanced” and “experienced” cropping up throughout this article in relation to lean six sigma black belts.
There are some pre-requisites for completing black belt training and sitting an exam. These requirements can vary from programme to programme (you can read ours in our PDF course brochure), but a substantial level of experience is always required.
Are you new to lean six sigma?
If you are completely new to this area, but want to undertake training that will provide you with significant knowledge and skill, we recommend beginning with our lean six sigma green belt course.
You will come away with confidence and ability to apply lean six sigma techniques at a green belt level. There are no pre-requisites for this course and certification.
Do you have some informal experience with process improvement?
If you have participated in and/or led process improvement in some capacity, you may be ready for black belt.
In order to find the most suitable option for your training and certification, it is best to evaluate your experience on a 1-to-1 basis.
Get in touch with us to arrange a consultation with our Black Belt certified Director of Training.
Use the “Ask a Question” button below to send us a little detail on your background or request a consultation.Ask a Question
How can you become a Black Belt?
If you are ready to become a black belt, let’s take a look at the 3 steps required for training and certification in our ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt programme.
Our programme works towards two respected certifications:
- ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
- Professional Development Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Step 1: Attend Training & Project Work
Our programme is 14 days in total, delivered in short, focused modules over 5 months.
In the gaps between modules, you will work on your black belt project.
This enables you to begin working towards your certification while training and cement the knowledge from each module by applying it to your project.
Step 2: Project Work & Exam Preparation
When training is completed, you will have 8 weeks to finalise your project and submit it for assessment.
During this time, in tandem with working on your project, you will begin preparing to sit your ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt exam.
To support your study, we include an official ASQ exam question bank in your course fee.
Step 3: ASQ Exam & Certification
When you feel ready, schedule and sit your online ASQ exam.
Once you have passed your exam, you will receive your CSSBB certification directly from ASQ.
When your project has been graded, you will receive your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification from Professional Development.
Advice and Resources
Here are some further resources you can utilise in your decision making process:
Download a PDF Guide to Black Belt
This 16-page guide is a useful companion for your research process.
Browse the ASQ CSSBB fact sheet
ASQ’s fact sheet on their CSSBB certification is an excellent companion piece for this article.
Get advice and guidance on becoming a Black Belt
Becoming a black belt is a big step. As such, it deserves some guidance from experts.
Get in touch with us to discuss your own background and goals, and to ask any questions you might have about our programme.