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SME Certification

Lean Certification


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Lean Silver Certification

Earning the Lean Silver Certification recognizes your experience as a lean project leader on value stream transformations.

It represents your career progression in knowledge and responsibility as you have become a senior employee and team leader.

You'll study and learn Lean from an integrative viewpoint within these key modules as identified in the Lean Body of Knowledge.

  • Cultural Enablers (20%)
  • Continuous Process Improvements (30%)
  • Consistent Lean Enterprise Culture (20%)
  • Business Results (30%)


Steps to Lean Silver Certification     Click here to apply

You must complete requirements that include education, knowledge, experience and mentoring.


1. Earn LBC

You must have also completed the requirements for the Lean Bronze Certification. After you apply for the Lean Silver Certification, you will receive a comprehensive kit to help you prepare.


2. Body of Knowledge

To earn this certification, you should demonstrate your understanding of the Lean Certification Body of Knowledge (PDF).

 You should also understand the basics of lean, including:

Autonomation (jidoka)
Cells, one-piece flow
Continuous improvement (kaizen)
Cost, productivity results
Customer demand pace (takt time)
Customer requirements, satisfaction
Distribution, logistics, delivery
Identifying value added/non-value added work
Identifying waste
Lean product design
  Load leveling (heijunka)
Mistake proofing (poka-yoke)
Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (PDCA)
Problem solving (5 whys)
Pull systems (kanban)
Quality methods
Quick changeover, setup reduction
Root cause, corrective action
Standard work
Total productive maintenance (TPM)
Value stream mapping
Visual factory


3. Read the Core Reference Material

Exam questions are based on specific core reference material (PDF) selected by knowledgeable and experienced individuals:


4. Apply

After you apply for the Lean Silver Certification Program, you will receive a e-notification that will provide you details on your next steps. If you do not receive this email please contact

5. Exam

The open-book 150-question exam takes three hours.


6. Experiencelink Portfolio

You must provide documentation that you have led a lean transformation of a complete value stream. You must also show that you have led or participated in 5 lean events, projects or activities that applied and integrated lean principles, along with their results.

It should document:

  • Completion of 160 hours (80 hours from Bronze + 80 additional hours) minimum education/training requirements.
  • Three (3) tactical projects and Two (2) Integrative (Value Stream) projects: events, projects and/or activities to which specific lean principles and tools were applied
  • Mentoring/Coaching*
  • Integrative Portfolio reflection: results of the events, projects and/or activities.

*Projects should demonstrate continuing practice in lean. For example, if you are applying for certification in 2006, and you started your lean practice in 2001, you may choose to include projects from 2002, 2004 and 2006 in your portfolio to demonstrate that you are still practicing lean.

For portfolio forms and guidelines, see the Preparing for Certification page.

7. Work with a mentor (Optional)

Silver candidates are expected to mentor and/or coach others in the principles of Lean. While it is every Lean practitioner's responsibility to apply Lean tools and techniques, Silver candidates are expected to seek out others on the lean journey and help them develop and grow — to apply Lean knowledge, share that knowledge with others, and develop the community of professional Lean practitioners. Silver candidates are in essence sensei's — ones who have gone before. Their role is to both teach others and continue their own learning. Additionally, it is through mentoring/coaching that future Silver candidates will be born.

Mentoring and/or coaching should be demonstrated as a planned activity, with measurable outcomes, and reported as such in the portfolio.

8. Plan your next step

Your Lean Silver Certification is valid for 3 years. You may then choose to pursue recertification or the Lean Gold Certification.

Contact us about Certification