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Identifying a Good Practitioner: Introduction to Due Diligence

It’s no doubt that obtaining any level of Six Sigma certification will further advance your career. A truly unique skill in of itself, Six Sigma is the ideal business process improvement method more employers have come to expect their employees to know. While your employer may offer training courses to advance your levels of certification, a general understanding of the methodology has become an expectation. However, finding the right Six Sigma practitioner on your own can be tricky. Too often do illegitimate training course scam prospective students out of the hours and money they invest in certification. In the end, you may end up wasting time and effort only to obtain a fake certificate or poor experience. Today, we will introduce three due diligence tips to help make the search for a reputable practitioner a bit easier!

Certificate, Certification, and Training

The first, and simplest form of due diligence to practice is clarifying what exactly you need. When searching for a practitioner, it can be easy to click on the first few links that show up. However, keep in mind that programs’ orders correlate to their amount of paid advertising. Furthermore, multiple practitioners will attempt to blur the lines of what their programs offer. This is where due diligence comes into play!

If you have years of experience practicing the Six Sigma methodology, a practitioner who provides a formal certificate after passing an online course is the best option for you. Likewise, if you’re new to Six Sigma and need a basic understanding of the process, a training practitioner is the better option. Lastly, a certification program is ideal for those who want to combine the training and certification test process under one practitioner. While this is usually the most expensive option, it does provide the most experience and formal understanding of Six Sigma. 

Where Does the Accreditation Come From?

While it’s important to understand what type of program your practitioner offers, it’s even more so to recognize where accreditation will come from. Is your practitioner offering a training course through a university or an online program? Does the Better Business Bureau support the program’s accreditation? Have industry leading corporations used a particular certificate exam to test their employees? These questions and more are an easy way to not only assess the legitimacy of your course but to also clarify where your accreditation comes from. A Six Sigma certification is only worth as much as the provider!

Quality vs. Quantity of Content

Lastly, finding a reputable practitioner can be done by assessing the quality and quantity of the course’s content. For example, most classroom Black Belt certification courses take between four to six weeks to complete. If you find a practitioner online who offers a similar course, does their curriculum take the same amount of time? Likewise, the quality of the course work provided should help you determine whether your practitioner is the right fit or not. Most legitimate certification courses require you to complete a Six Sigma project to receive feedback on your process improvement skills. If you practitioner offers no hands-on experience, they may be lacking in content quality. Additionally, another due diligence tip is to analyze the platforms on which these courses run. Is a practitioner using an up-to-date software for their projects? Is your practitioner providing the correct examples for you to practice; i.e. service industry versus manufacturing?

Slightly questioning and researching Six Sigma practitioners can easily determine if they are the right fit for your needs. Remember, Six Sigma is a business process improvement method that requires discipline, structure, and most importantly, due diligence!

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