Six Sigma Black Belt – Expert Guide 2017
The Black Belt qualification is the highest level of Six Sigma training and is the next step after achieving a Green Belt. The Black Belt training aims to equip delegates with the skills necessary to create and lead Six Sigma projects independently. There is second tier of Black Belt known as Master Black Belt, but this requires several years of training and practical experience to attain.
The Six Sigma process was created by Motorola in the 1980s and is designed to reduce defects in manufacturing processes. However, the methodology has been adopted by many industries outside of manufacturing. In these instances ‘defects’ refer to customer satisfaction and service levels on offer. The end goal of Six Sigma is to improve process standardisation, product or service quality and customer satisfaction..
This article will look at:
- What is expected of a Black Belt holder
- The benefits of Belt Belt training
- The contents of a Black Belt training course
- The top UK Black Belt courses
What role does a Six Sigma Black Belt play?
When you attain a Black Belt it marks you out as an approved and certified leader of Six Sigma projects – whether at your company or elsewhere. You will be reported to, manage and delegate task to a team of Green, Yellow and White belts. Black Belt holders are fluent in the statistical models and analysis required by Six Sigma methodologies, understanding how to identify problems, analyse them and generate efficient solutions.
You will be responsible for running simulations or localised testing to ensure the implementations you make will streamline the way teams work and offer tangible improvements. Consistency is key at Black Belt.
Completing the Black Belt course:
- Ensures the holder can manage a Six Sigma project team
- Equips you with the knowledge to educate others in Six Sigma methodologies
- Trains you to analyse processes using statistical models and deliver efficient solutions
- Helps you to use a wide range of process improvement techniques
Master Black Belt
Once attained, the Black Belt becomes an essential tool for any further progression through the higher levels of Six Sigma, particularly the Master Black Belt.
The prerequisites for Master Black Belt training can be stringent and may take some time to achieve. However, not only will your business benefit from your expert knowledge, but your employability will drastically improve too – especially as Six Sigma methods are becoming more widespread and popular.
The following are required before you start Master Black Belt training:
- Black Belt certification
- At least six months of project management experience
- At least three documented and completed Six Sigma projects
- A log of all coursework completed from each of the previous levels of Six Sigma
Black Belt Training
Black Belt follows on from Green, Yellow and White Belt training. It is the highest level of Six Sigma that can be achieved and heavily focuses on independent projects and coursework.
Benefits of Black Belt training
Undergoing Black Belt training will help you:
- Successfully use DMAIC processes
- Educate and train teams
- Refine processes and eliminate relevant waste
- Complete tasks efficiently and boost profits through increased savings
- Identify team members strengths/weaknesses and use their skills to help the wider business
Black Belt training course contents
You can expect any reputable Six Sigma Black Belt course to contain elements relating to:
- Effective communication of Lean Six Sigma concepts
- Seeing your work as a series of Key Process Input Values and Outputs (KPIV / KPOV)
- Incorporating Six Sigma processes into business objectives
- Using Six Sigma to evaluate processes
- Understanding and using DMAIC processes to improve efficiency
- Using a range of statistical techniques to analyse process efficiency
- Understand what factors define an effective Six Sigma project
At Black Belt level, the focus is very much on independent project and course work. Much of your learning will be completed in one-on-one sessions with your tutor, whilst your day-to-day understanding and comprehension will be derived from practical experience in your place of work.
UK Black Belt Courses
There are numerous training providers who offer Black Belt courses across the UK.
Be aware that prices can vary by supplier, location, type of learning (in house, external or online), and whether the training offers any extras, e.g. incorporates Green Belt learnings or added certification.
We work with and strongly recommend the following providers:
E-Careers specialise in online Six Sigma training and allow delegates up to 12 months to complete each course, which is ideal for Green Belts who are starting to take on more project work and may need extra flexibility when studying.
Cost – from £2,750
Length of course – Online course can be accessed during a 12 month window.
Catalyst’s Six Sigma courses average an 84.5% for customer satisfaction, one of the UK’s highest ratings. They offer detailed and direct courses that make process change accessible and understandable.
Cost – from £4,920
Length of course – 16 days
A British Quality Foundation accredited Six Sigma training provider, Claudius Consulting provide sessions across the UK and offer unrivalled face-to-face coaching.
Cost – from £4,200
Length of course – 15 days
Zenith Lean Training
Zenith offer SCORM accredited Six Sigma training and specialise in Lean Six Sigma. With their intensive weekend courses, Zenith are at the head of Lean training in the UK.
Cost – from £2,600
Length of course – 6+ days (intensive weekends)
To better understand Six Sigma training, we recommend the following pages:
- Six Sigma Belts – 2017 Guide
- Top 5 Cheapest Online Six Sigma Courses
- Lean Six Sigma Training – Best London and UK Providers
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