• What is Six Sigma Certification? +

    Six Sigma certification is a confirmation by a training vendor, of an individual's capabilities in a portion of the Six Sigma body of knowledge. Certification does not indicate that an individual is an expert, just that they have completed the demonstrated a certain mastery of the subject from the company granting the certification.

    Like a drivers license, professional certification alone does not warrant the worth of a professional in this field.I’m sure you know both good and bad drivers, all of whom have their driver’s license.

  • Are There Industry Standards for Six Sigma Certification? +

    Unfortunately, there is not.There is no single organization that oversees the establishment of a standard body of knowledge or standardized tests or certification requirements.The closest thing there is to a nationally recognized certification is the ASQ Black Belt.That’s because ASQ will let anyone take the exam without requiring them to first buy their course so it can be fairly applied to all prospective Black Belts.It’s ironic that the most popular quality methodology right now, at least in the USA, has no quality control on itself, but that’s the situation.

  • What Does It Take To Obtain a Value-Train Six Sigma Certification? +

    Our Green Belt certification is obtained by taking our class and passing a written exam.The exam consists of a multiple-choice portion to test the student’s knowledge of the subjects covered, and a problem, or “virtual project”.The problem tests the student’s ability to come to a conclusion about a business process based on data.This is a fundamental requirement of all Six Sigma practitioners since much of the methodology is based on the analysis of data.Our Black Belt exam is obtained by taking our class and passing a written exam and by completing a project.The project must be approved in advance by Value-Train and the instructor team determines completion.We do not certify by examination only.

  • If There Are No Standards, How Can I Compare Six Sigma Courses? +

    Look at the syllabus that should be provided with each course.Look at a number of them to see what is typical.Decide what your reasons are for seeking the certification, talk to graduates of the various courses and decide.Evaluate your preparedness for the material.Do you remember any statistics?Do you remember your basic algebra?Are you always the one to answer math problems you encounter when problem solving in a group?Can you plot data?The more NO’s you have to those questions, the more you should stay away from longer courses.You are unlikely to find anyone who has taken more than one of course, so you have to do some homework and make your decision based on their reputation.

  • Why is the Value-Train Green Belt Course Only 3 Days When Some Others Are Two Weeks? +

    Funny you should ask.First, I should point out that there are many other highly respected groups that also have three-day Green Belt programs so we are not alone.Some are virtually identical to ours.Consider who the majority of our customers are.They are professionals who are in-transition, consultants, and those who are employed but who buy their own training.Sure we have many corporate customers too and love them just as much, but we don’t really market to them, they hear about us from their friends or from our graduates.Value-Train was formed as a community-service training group, primarily to help those who can’t afford corporate-priced training.We chose the three-day Green Belt format because it works and serves the needs of our customers well.It covers the basics and our graduates understand what Six Sigma is all about.They also know the basic tools and understand how to tell a few things about process stability from process data.

  • What Sorts of Things Are in the Longer Green Belt Courses That You Might Miss in our Course? +

    Advanced topics in statistics are one.We feel this is unnecessary for an entry-level course.Students who want to know more are encouraged to self-study advanced topics or take the Black Belt program.How to use a statistical software package is another.Why would we spend your time and money teaching you how to use one of the dozens of such packages which are available when if you are in our course, you are most likely out of work and don’t know who your next employer will be?The chances that they will use whatever package we choose would be slim.Besides, you can download almost all of them as 30-day demos and self-study them if you really want to do that.

  • Do I Have to Have a Green Belt to Take the Black Belt Course? +

    If you have a Green Belt from anyone, we will allow you to enroll in our Black Belt course.We will want you to review our own Green Belt material to be sure you have had those topics, and most of all, still remember it!Very occasionally, students come to us with very strong knowledge of this material but for whatever reason have never been certified, and want to start at the Black Belt level.We will personally interview them and if they convince us they are ready, let them enroll in the Black Belt course.

  • Will Everyone Recognize my Six Sigma Certification? +

    Most will but with no standards, some companies will not recognize any but their own programs.Others will recognize all certifications without question.Some will call the training company to verify attendance and passing like they would with a degree.We do get those calls.Still others will acknowledge that you have it and make their judgments as to your competency by discussion or testing.However, for a job seeker, all companies will recognize the effort that you took to learn a critical business skill that they need.Don’t underestimate the importance of that.The fact that there are no standards, actually works in favor of the in-transition professional who is looking for an edge.The lack of standards means you don’t have to take the most expensive, ‘industry leading’ program to have it help you.Since ASQ will certify by exam, we always recommend that our students who take our Black Belt program, and who feel it is necessary to have a big name behind their certification, take the ASQ Black Belt exam after completing our program, while it is still fresh in their minds.I promise you, we won’t be offended!

  • Should I Get Six Sigma Certified? +

    The reasons for certification are the same for any other certification:

    • Be a more attractive hire candidate to potential employers.
    • Be more a attractive promotion candidate to your boss.
    • Display proficiency in the subject matter.

    Ultimately, certification is a professional decision that can only be made by you. In some cases, it will be required for you to advance within an organization.Six Sigma certification will display your energy and intent to be a leader within the quality profession.If you are a job seeker, we advise that you look at job descriptions that interest you.If you regularly see references to Six Sigma or the Belts that are associated with it, or even ‘quality methods’ or other such terminology, then displaying proficiency in this topic may help you.Talk with others who have taken it for that reason and see what they say.Be sure to talk with more than one.I often get calls from people asking me to advise them on this.I’m always happy to have the conversation but I’ll always send them back into their own hearts.We don’t want to ‘sell’ people on taking our courses.We do want to be the most attractive alternative for them once they have made the decision.

  • How Can Value-Train Offer Their Courses at Those Prices? +

    A frequent question I get from a brand new prospect is “How can you be any good at that price?”Of course, they don’t always put it that way but the message is clear.It’s really not rocket science.Again, consider who our customers are and why we are doing this.Our courses HAVE to be affordable to meet the need.As much as we love our occasional corporate customers (really!), we can’t really afford to market to them.They make themselves hard to reach and that translates into expensive to reach.They also almost always want it their way, on their terms, etc. etc.They don’t make quick decisions and they almost never pay on time.They always want us to mail them 100 copies of the glossy brochure we don’t have.Their ‘sales cycle’ is measured in months, sometimes years.

    You won’t find expensive ads from Value-Train.You will rarely find any ads.Ads cost money, lots of money.Even your local professional chapter volunteer newsletter is probably out of reach of our ad budget.If we can’t trade an ad for a cup of coffee, we usually don’t place it.Even getting found on search engines costs lots of money.Marketing can easily be 75% of the cost of a seminar.Eliminate the marketing and you eliminate all that cost.

    We use word of mouth.If you want a three-dollar word for it, the marketers call it “Viral Marketing”.It’s not suitable for most businesses because it’s slow and unreliable.But for what we do, it’s fine.We are patient and will allow our business to “grow with the flow”.We aren’t going to push it hard because that would raise the price, and our intended audience would be out in the cold.We want to help bring them in from the cold instead.

    This doesn’t just happen all by itself of course.We do use instructors, material and space providers, sales associates who we have to pay something to help us get the word out in each city that we train.We have to license or develop the material, fly there, rent rooms, pay instructors, etc. etc.Oh yes, someone has to do what I’m doing now and someone has to teach the course.Got it all covered.We aren’t a dot com explosion, nobody is going to get rich from Value-Train options.If you want an option, I’ll send you one for free.The internet and telephone has allowed our neighborhood to be very large.

    Drop by and visit and tell all your friends about us. We’ll keep a light on for you.

    Bill Bentley

    Value-Train

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