Black Belt Six Sigma: What This Credential Means, and Where You Should Start

Black Belt Six Sigma is the highest level of Six Sigma certified professionals. This is a highly reputable professional credential for process optimization professionals and project managers focusing on quality control and process outcome management projects run according to Six Sigma methodology.

Black Belt Six Sigma is a professional who leads, plans coordinated Six Sigma projects. This person can set goals and outline the process. In addition, Black Belt Six Sigma certification holder is capable of explaining Six Sigma principles and methodology, including supporting systems and tools to his less experienced colleagues. This person is able to guide, motivate and mentor his Six Sigma team, so some of the members eventually aspire to become Black Belt Six Sigma, too.

Black Belt Six Sigma leads process optimization project teams and is able to perform any Six Sigma role every step of the way, step in whenever necessary, and guide all members of his Six Sigma team.

A Black Belt Six Sigma should demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics, and assign team member roles and responsibilities. Black Belts have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma principles. They have basic knowledge of lean enterprise concepts, are able to identify nonvalue-added elements and activities, and are able to use specific tools. Black Belt Six Sigma is confident using the wide set of Six Sigma tools, and can make decisions leading to the best results of a Six Sigma project.

Black Belt Six Sigma Certification Process and Requirements

Black Belt Six Sigma candidates are required to pass a written examination that consists of multiple choice questions measuring the comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. The Black Belt Six Sigma certification examination is a 4 hour exam with 150 multiple-choice questions. There is no centralized body for Six Sigma certifications; therefore, they can be taken in various organizations. Most Six Sigma Black Belts get certified on the job, within their organization. This makes a lot of sense given the fact that a lot of Six Sigma credentials, including Black Belt Six Sigma, aren't transferrable between organizations. So the best way to ensure that your employer will recognize your Black Belt Six Sigma credential is to get certified from your company directly. For more information, it's best to contact your company's HR or other Black Belts or people involved in Six Sigma projects.