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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Please select from the categories below to read FAQs relating to each of our qualification schemes.

Lean Six Sigma FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Lean Six Sigma?

    The application of Lean Six Sigma allows quality and efficiency improvements to be effectively realised. Lean Six Sigma combines Lean Manufacturing (originally developed by Toyota) and Six Sigma (originally developed by Motorola). Both management strategies are among the most used worldwide and have experienced proven success in a wide variety of industries.

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  • How can I train for the Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    Training for Lean Six Sigma is available from the network of Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) who are assessed and certified by APMG-International. Details of all Lean Six Sigma ATOs can be found via the accredited organization search function at: www.apmg-international.com/en/search/ao-search-en.aspx Only these organizations and registered partners/affiliates are authorized to deliver Lean Six Sigma training.

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  • Do I have to receive training to sit the exam?

    No, however this is recommended. In addition to receiving accredited training, individuals also have the option of self-study to prepare for the examinations. APMG-International administer public exam sessions around the world to accommodate those who self-study.

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  • How do I sit the exams?

    The vast majority of Lean Six Sigma accredited training organizations include the examinations as part of the associated training course. Alternatively, and for individuals that have self-studied, APMG-International administer public exam sessions around the world. Sessions are run at certain APMG-International offices. There are seven dedicated centres in the UK for public examinations, and in the United States we utilize the public library network to facilitate sessions.

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  • Are there any pre-requisites for the Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    There are no pre-requisites for the Theory examinations. Candidates looking to take the Practical Assessments for the Green/Black Belts will need to ensure they have passed the Theory examinations. Candidates will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions prior to sitting their examination. Please click here to see a copy of these.

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  • What are the main publications for Lean Six Sigma and where can I purchase them?

    APMG-International's Lean Six Sigma qualifications are based on the "Climbing the Mountain: mind set, skill set and tool set" publications and exercise books. These can be purchased from APMG Business Books

    Most Lean Six Sigma accredited training organizations include these publications with the course materials.

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  • How long will it take to learn the Lean Six Sigma material?

    For individuals self-studying it is almost impossible to say. As all candidates have different experience and amount of time available for study, it varies from person to person. We suggest you buy the manual and have a look through for yourself before deciding how long you need to spend learning.

    For those studying with an accredited training organization, Yellow Belt courses are generally delivered over 2 days, Orange Belt courses are generally delivered over 4 days, Green Belt courses are delivered over 8 days and Black Belt courses are usually 16 days. It is well worth investigating with individual providers, as many will offer tailored and blended learning solutions.

    Each Lean Six Sigma Belt certification can be achieved independently. There are no pre-requisites for any of the Belt certifications and therefore they do not require any prior completion of any other Belt(s).

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  • What is the structure of the Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    Summaries of the structure of the Lean Six Sigma examinations can be found at: http://www.apmg-international.com/en/qualifications/lean-six-sigma/lean-six-sigma.aspx

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  • When can I expect the results of my Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Orange Belt examinations can be marked on location after the exam, but this is down to the discretion of the invigilator at the time. Green and Black Belt Theory exams are marked at APMG-International offices and results released soon after. Your result will be sent to your ATO approximately 7-10 days after your exam date. Your ATO should notify you of your results so please contact them for further details. Please allow an additional 14 days for the result of your Practical Assessment.

    If you did not take your exam through an ATO, your results will be sent directly to you via the relevant APMG-International office approximately 7-10 days after the date of your exam.

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  • What are the pass marks for the Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    Pass marks for the Lean Six Sigma examinations are as follows:

    • Yellow Belt: You will need to score 25/50 to pass the exam.
    • Orange Belt: You will need to score 32/50 to pass the exam.
    • Green Belt: You will need to score 38/60 to pass the Theory exam.
    • Black Belt: You will need to score 38/60 to pass the Theory exam.

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  • What pass mark is required to be eligible to become a Lean Six Sigma trainer?

    To be eligible to apply to become a Lean Six Sigma trainer, individuals must achieve a pass in the Belt level above that Belt level which they intend to train. For instance, to be eligible to become a Yellow Belt trainer you will need to pass the Orange Belt exam at the standard pass mark. Black Belt trainers will need to pass the Black Belt exam and also demonstrate at least 5 years’ experience working in a Lean Six Sigma environment.

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  • How can I advertise myself as Lean Six Sigma qualified on my business card?

    Candidates who have passed the Lean Six Sigma examinations can put the following statements on their business cards/CVs.

    • Yellow Belt: Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
    • Orange Belt: Lean Six Sigma Orange Belt
    • Green Belt Theory: Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
    • Green Belt Practical Assessment: Lean Six Sigma Certified Green Belt
    • Black Belt Theory: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
    • Black Belt Practical Assessment: Lean Six Sigma Certified Black Belt

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  • Can I use the Lean Six Sigma logo?

    Only accredited training organizations and their registered partners are allowed to use the Lean Six Sigma logo.

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  • How long are the Lean Six Sigma certifications valid for?

    The Yellow, Orange, Green and Black Belt Theory certifications are not valid for a defined period and will not expire.

    Candidates who pass the Practical Assessments are recognized as 'Lean Six Sigma Certified Green/Black Belts'. Individuals will remain certified for a period of 5 years. To maintain the certified status, candidates must complete and pass a Lean Six Sigma re-assessment examination 5 years following their initial/previous certified Green/Black Belt certification.

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  • When will I receive my certificate?

    Candidates will automatically be sent an electronic certificate within two business days of their exam results being released. If you have not received your certificate within this timeframe please contact our Customer Interaction Team - servicedesk@apmg-international.com

    Electronic certificates are environmentally friendly, but can be printed if required. It is also very easy to share them with employers and other third parties. APMG will send you a link to your registered email address. This link will take you to your Candidate Portal where you will find your electronic certificate(s). You can always access all your electronic certificates using the APMG candidate portal.

    Sometimes, if you have taken your examination(s) via a Training Organisation, certificates will be issued based on the preferences that the Training Organisation selected when booking the exam. The Training Organisation can select either an electronic certificate or both paper and electronic certificates are provided to the candidate. The Training Organisation can also choose if certificates are sent to the candidates directly or via the Training Organisation. If you have been awarded an electronic certificate but also require a hard copy certificate, you can always order a hard copy certificate for GBP 12.00. This is also the case if you re-order your hard copy certificate.

    If you would like to purchase a hard copy certificate in addition to your electronic certificate please contact our Customer Interaction Team - servicedesk@apmg-international.com

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  • How much does it cost to sit the Lean Six Sigma examinations?

    If you are sitting the examinations through an accredited training organization, the costs of the exams are generally included in the course fee. APMG-International use a global pricing structure, so for those sitting exams at a public exam centre, the cost is dependent on where the exams are being sat. To find out the costs in your region, please contact the APMG-International Service Desk on +44 (0)1494 452450 or at: servicedesk@apmg-international.com

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  • Which languages are Lean Six Sigma examinations available in?

    Lean Six Sigma examinations are available in English only. Translations will be progressed subject to market demand.

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  • How does my organization become a Lean Six Sigma Accredited Training Organization (ATO)?

    An organization wishing to become a Lean Six Sigma ATO must first submit an application form to either the APMG-International service desk or a regional APMG-International office. The organization will then be subject to APMG-International's ATO assessment process.

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  • How do I become a Lean Six Sigma approved trainer?

    All Lean Six Sigma trainers must be ‘sponsored’ by a Lean Six Sigma Accredited Training Organization (ATO). Details of all Lean Six Sigma ATOs can be found via the APMG-International accredited organization search function at: www.apmg-international.com/en/search/ao-search-en.aspx

    A trainer application must be submitted by the sponsoring ATO to their relevant APMG-International office.

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  • Can I use a calculator for the exam?

    • Yellow Belt - No
    • Orange Belt - Yes
    • Green Belt - Yes
    • Black Belt - Yes

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