All MSI Six Sigma Certification training and exams are done 100% online, allowing you to study and take the exam when it is convenient for you.
Six Sigma is an improvement methodology which uses the following phases to make changes to any process: Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling. This is also referred to as DMAIC. The goal is improved process performance and increased customer satisfaction.
Certification is designed to prove your proficiency in understanding the fundamentals of this process improvement technique. Certification courses include all learning material and access to the certification exam at the end of the training. Our online training material is designed specifically to help prepare you for the certification exam. Follow these instructions for selecting the most appropriate option.
In the world of business, staying ahead of the norm means always learning and improving your knowledge and skills. Professional certifications are an important benchmark that employers use to gauge the quality of a candidate. Most businesses are looking for the very best talent, striving to secure the best positions and job security. Make sure YOUR resumé rises to the top by getting your Certification online today.
Curious about what an exam might be like? Give this free practice quiz a try. You can take it as many times as you’d like. If you score over 70%, we’ll even email you a FREE certificate!
Practice exams like this one are designed to give you a feel of the subject matter. It can be scary taking an exam, especially if you haven’t taken one in awhile. Practicing your test taking skills before you attempt an actual certification exam is a good way to prepare.
If you find this practice test challenging, don’t worry. The study material included with each MSI certification program is designed to prepare you for that specific certification exam. MSI prides itself on the value we bring to our members. The price on our website includes everything you need to prepare and pass the certification exam.
Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology. It is a disciplined, data-driven approach for eliminating defects and waste from a process. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. When we say the word defect, we’re talking about anything that falls outside of a customer’s specification.
Six Sigma uses a process called the DMAIC method. This stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Each stage of this process is designed to help you identify, measure and improve an existing process.
In the Define stage, you clearly define the business problem. You’ll also be defining the goal of the project, and potential resources that may be needed, and setting a high-level timeline.
The Measure stage is about establishing the current process baseline. In this step you’ll be collecting data on the process being improved. Accurate data is at the heart of the DMAIC process and a properly established Six Sigma project.
In the Analyze stage, your analyzing the data you’ve collected and looking for the root cause of problems that need to be eliminated. Detailed process maps can be created to help pin-point where in the process the root causes reside, and what might be contributing to the occurrence.
The purpose of the Improve stage is to identify, test and implement a solution to the problems identified in the Analyze stage. You’ll identify solutions to eliminate the key root causes in order to fix and prevent the process problems.
Finally, in the Control stage you’ll work to sustain the gains you’ve achieved. The changes are monitored to ensure continued and sustained success using a control plan.
When it comes to getting certified in Six Sigma, there are different levels, or belts, that are usually discussed. A Six Sigma belt level is defined by the role that someone functions at within a Six Sigma project. The three most common belts are Yellow, Green, and Black Belts. Each belt level plays an important role within the Six Sigma project.
The Six Sigma Yellow Belt is considered an expert in a particular aspect of a process being improved. They generally review current and new processes that support the project. Yellow belts have a very narrow focus within the project and can fall anywhere within the organizations hierarchy.
The Six Sigma Green Belt works within a project collecting data and assisting with the analysis of that data. Green belts may also lead smaller Six Sigma projects from time to time if they have experience.
The Six Sigma Black Belt is the leader of a Six Sigma project. They are the project managers responsible for the overall project execution. They also give instruction and training to Green belts and yellow belts.
In Six Sigma, you do not need to get certified in all of the belt levels. Most people only get certified in the belt level that they’ll be working in. When you register for a Six Sigma certification through the Management and Strategy Institute there are no prerequisites. The higher-level belts include all of the lower-level training material. For example, if you register for our Six Sigma Black Belt Professional certification, it includes all of the Yellow and Green belt training material and you will learn that material first, before moving on to the Black Belt material.
Having a certification on your resume shows employers that you have a strong understanding of quality and process improvement methods. In today’s corporate environment, employers are looking for employees who can fill multiple roles and do so with precision. Six Sigma methodologies are in direct alignment with these goals, which is why quality improvement-based certifications are among some of the most sought-after certifications in business today.
In today’s competitive job market finding a way to get your resumé to stand out is critical. Getting a certification through the Management and Strategy Institute is one way that people are enhancing their resumés and increasing their earning potential.
So why do employers find a quality improvement certification so valuable in today’s business environment? It’s because employers know that Six Sigma trained employees have a strong understanding of how to best utilize resources and cut down on waste. This means a more productive workforce and a stronger bottom line.
Increasing efficiency and profitability within an organization is considered one of the most sought after skills for career advancement in today’s competitive environment.
Another reason these certifications are popular is that they can increase customer satisfaction. When Six Sigma is combined with the “voice of the customer” approach, it allows a company to achieve huge increases in productivity and customer satisfaction. Customers get better products and services, and become more loyal to the company and its brands.
The Management and Strategy Institute offers Six Sigma training at the Yellow belt, Green belt, and Black belt level. All of our certification exams are conducted online and include free study material to help you prepare for the exam.
Once you’ve passed the exam, MSI will ship you a professional certificate and official transcripts. MSI is one of the only certification bodies to ship these high-quality certificates to our members. MSI provides more value for your money than any other provider! (Select Countries Only)
The Six Sigma Black Belt certification generally takes between 1 to 3 months to study for and complete, depending on the organization you get your certification through. The average completion time for the Six Sigma Black Belt through the Management and Strategy Institute is 30 days.
The Study material included with the Black Belt certification is specifically designed to prepare you for the certification exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be certified directly through the Institute.
Unlike some certifying bodies, the Management and Strategy Institute does not require a completed project for certification. Our certifications are designed to test someone’s fundamental knowledge of Six Sigma procedures, not the practical application of Six Sigma within a project.
The program is completely self-paced so you can move at whatever speed is comfortable for you. If you have some Six Sigma experience, you may be able to complete the program faster. You have a full year to complete it.
The study material included with the Six Sigma Black Belt certification is specifically designed to help prepare you for the exam. It covers all of the key topics you need to understand. Some of those topics include:
Process Capability Studies are used to determine whether a process is capable of consistently achieving specifications using system design, parameter design, and tolerances. Have a basic understanding of process capability. System design, Parameter design, and tolerances.
Have a basic understanding of statistical theories which involve inference.
Use hypothesis testing to see if a potential solution will work. Have a basic understanding of Hypothesis Testing.
Simple Linear and Multiple Regression Analysis
Have a basic understanding of regression analysis.
Using design of experiments and factorial experiments to determine the x and y variables that affect a response. Have a basic understanding of design of experiments and factorial experiments.
The Management and Strategy Institute offers two Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. The Regular and Lean versions. Both Black Belt programs take approximately the same time to complete. We also offer several specialty-level Black Belt certifications. These include Healthcare, Human Resources (HR), and Information Technology (IT). On average, these programs take slightly longer (2 to 3 days longer).
One question that we often hear is ‘What is the “best” Six Sigma certification?’ This question is usually broken down into two topics. Topic one is who you get your certification through. Topic two is what belt level you should get.
The answer generally comes down to how you plan on using your new certification. Lets take a moment to discuss both topics.
Because Six Sigma doesn’t have a single accrediting body for certification purposes, there are many organizations that offer Six Sigma certification. This is a good thing, since competition in the market place forces companies to provide both quality training and competitive pricing. There are many options for you to pick from, both in-class options as well as online options.
You should start your search by asking yourself this question, “Why do I want a Six Sigma certification?” The answers below should help guide you in determining where to get your certification.
Working Within Six Sigma Full Time:
For someone looking to work with Six Sigma methodology on a full-time basis, having an extensive skillset will be critical. It takes many years of working within quality improvement projects to become proficient in using all of the tools of the trade. Because of this, it is usually better to focus on the training aspect, rather than the certification aspect. Taking an in-depth training course will help prepare you to use the tools and understand the complex methodologies required to work in Six Sigma full time.
Working Within Six Sigma Part Time or Enhancing your Resumé:
If you’re looking to improve your skillset or enhance your CV with a new certification, then going through an advanced training program may not be the most cost-effective option. An online certification program, like the one offered by MSI, may meet your needs. MSI provides all of the study material you’ll need to prepare for the certification exam. The material is self-paced, so you can move at whatever speed is comfortable for you. You can take the exam as soon as you feel you have a solid understanding of the Six Sigma fundamentals.
When selecting a company to get your certification through, you should review the company in detail. Are they recognized by any professional organizations? The Management and Strategy Institute has a great article that you can read which gives more information on this subject.
The second topic is which belt-level you should acquire. This depends partially on what you are trying to achieve with your certification. A Six Sigma Black Belt is the “project manager” or leader of a Six Sigma team. If you are looking to work in a leadership role, or have responsibilities for “quality control” then the Black belt is usually the appropriate level. In Six Sigma, you do not need to progress through the belts, you can start at whichever level you’re most interested in. It is very common to only hold one belt-level in Six Sigma since most people only certify at the level they intend to work at.
If you’re not looking for a leadership role, then the Yellow or Green Belt is a great certification to have. These certification levels prepare you to work under the direction of a Six Sigma Black belt and add valuable process improvement skills to your personal skillset and resumé.
In the world of Six Sigma, there is no singular certification body or “accrediting” body. This means that any certification company that sets standards within the industry can issue a Six Sigma certification. MSI sets standards through the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge standards for our certifications.
There are some organizations that have self-proclaimed themselves to be Six Sigma accrediting bodies, however they are in no way an “official” accrediting body. In fact, most of these companies have a clear conflict of interest. They either issue their own certifications, or are owned by a company that does. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this as long as the companies are honest about it. The important thing to remember is that they do not officially represent the Six Sigma community and no company is required to be accredited by them to issue a six sigma certification.
What makes a Six Sigma certification respectable?
The Management and Strategy Institute is a certifying body for all the certifications we issue. All of our certifications are exclusive, and we are the only company that can issue them. If you do a search for Six Sigma certification online, you’ll find many companies. Some offer respected certifications, and some do not. It’s important that you do your research to find the certification body that best fits your needs. That will depend on many factors, some of those factors include: Your level of college education, industry you work in, experience, job position, your budget, etc. You can get training and certification through private organizations like MSI or through colleges and universities, both online and in-person. Which certification you should get depends completely on your needs and personal preference. There are far more important aspects that you should consider when selecting a company to get your certification from. Here are a few things you should look for:
Is the company respected? – Management and Strategy Institute has 200k+ members around the world. We have quickly grown to be one of the largest process improvement trade associations in the world. MSI has worked with the White House, been recognized by the US Senate, offers training through our dislocated workers program, and runs an expansive charity program. What do our competitors do?
What is their reputation? – We have THOUSANDS of independent reviews online. We don’t hide reviews, we’re proud of the organization we’ve built. How many reviews do our competitors have?
Are they BBB accredited? – MSI is A+ rated by BBB
Where are they located? Use a certification company that is based in the US. MSI is located in Pennsylvania.
Are they veteran owned? MSI is veteran owned and a registered US Government contractor!
Are they recognized, do they belong to trade groups? Look on the companies “about us” page and see what groups and organizations they belong to. Here are a few examples of the organizations that the Management and Strategy Institute is affiliated with and why:
CPD Accreditation – MSI has many of our certifications accredited through the CPD. This means we can issue CPD credits, which are particularly helpful with international recognition. This benefits our certification holders if they work overseas or if they have overseas clients. It is also a strong indication of quality within the US.
Human Resources Recognition – Many of the MSI certifications are pre-approved to issue HR credits. This makes our certifications more valuable to Human Resource professionals and also helps with name recognition of our certifications to HR professionals.
Some organizations base certification respect on how difficult the certification is to obtain. In some instances this makes sense, especially if you’re hiring for a highly complicated position. Most organizations however judge a certification based on the perceived reputation of the certifying body and on whether the certification meets the needs of the company or job being filled.
How do I know if employers will accept my certification?
There is no way to ever fully ensure that an employer will recognize a certification. This is because employers are free to set whatever requirements for a job they want. They may also have requirements beyond just a certification, such as experience or a college degree. The important thing is that you select the most respected certification company you can find within your personal budget.
One of the benefits to getting your certification through the Management and Strategy Institute are the professional certificate and transcripts we issue. If you purchase your certification directly from the MSIcertified.com website we include your certificate & transcripts at no extra cost*. The transcripts are designed to be given out to employers looking to verify your certification. They are professionally printed and help present your certification in a positive and respected manner.
*Specific countries only
There is no singular governing body for Six Sigma, so each certification body you encounter will have a different policy on the requirements to receive a Six Sigma certification. For MSI certification, the following definition applies.
The passing of a timed skill assessment exam to determine competency of a specific subject. Certification knowledge level for exams is demonstrated to the Bloom’s Taxonomy level of Apply, unless otherwise noted in the Six Sigma Quality Standards (SSQS) or Process Improvement Credentialing Standards (PICS) requirement for specific skills regarding that credential. Upon passing of the MSI exam, the credential is issued as a certification for a period of 3-years.
Renewal of your Six Sigma certification through the Management and Strategy Institute is free. You can register for free renewal here. MSI also offers a low-cost paid renewal option for those who would like updated paperwork. You can register for the paid option here. If the credential is not renewed, the certification becomes a lifetime certificate. At that point, the credential holder may no longer use the associated post-nominals after their name. Certifications can be renewed at any time after they have expired by completing the required renewal packet. The Management and Strategy Institute does not require an external project for certification. The Six Sigma Black Belt and Six Sigma Green Belt certifications include a project simulation (GBsim™ or BBsim™) that you will go through before accessing the certification exam.
Six Sigma Certification Levels
The Management and Strategy Institute offers all certification levels, from White Belt through Master Black Belt. We offer standard and LSS (Lean Six Sigma) options. MSI also offers specialty industry-specific certifications as well as 5S, TPM, TQM, and Continuous Improvement.
Many Management and Strategy Institute members request to complete a Six Sigma project with their certification. While this isn’t necessary to achieve certification, it is a great way to show a potential employer that you have both a Six Sigma certification and some practical experience in working on a project. MSI’s Six Sigma Black Belt Professional and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt Professional certifications include our BBsim Six Sigma project simulation walk-through at no cost. If you’d like to go further however, we offer our Six Sigma project simulators which are a great add-on to the Six Sigma certification.
MSI has three options to select from. The project simulation in logistics, healthcare, or IT. These programs are designed to be very flexible. You are given a setup scenario about a company that is experiencing several problems. Your task is to write a case study on how a Six Sigma project can solve these problems.
Don’t be concerned if you’ve never written a case study. We include detailed instructions and tips on exactly what you’ll need to do to complete the program. One of our favorite aspects of the Six Sigma simulators is that they are not pass-fair. Rather, they are designed to help you learn. You’ll write and complete your case study. If it doesn’t meet the standard, it is simply returned to you for revision. You can then resubmit until you’ve successfully completed it.
Is completing a Six Sigma Certification Project Simulation the same as working on a real-world project?
Not really, but there are still many benefits. A simulation is designed to make you think about the practical application of Six Sigma methods. Instead of merely learning about Six Sigma formulas and graphs, you’re applying them in a case study. You’ll have the opportunity to complete your first project charter, as well as review a simulated company and come up with ideas to help fix the companies process-flow. In this regard, it is similar to working on a real project.
With a simulation, there are no real-world consequences. While your case study may be technically accurate, there is no way to really “test” the theory. Simulations revolve around hypothetical situations; therefore, the benefits of the project are theoretical. These types of simulations are great learning experiences. Over the years, MSI members have turned in some impressively detailed case studies. These Six Sigma Project Simulations are a great add-on to a curriculum vitae or work portfolio.
You can find our Six Sigma Project Simulators here: