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Lean Certification

Lean Certification validates your knowledge of and experience with lean principles. Lean Certification is a global, industry-recognized and respected professional credential.

Lean CertificationWhat makes Lean Certification the gold standard?

The Lean Certification Program offered by the Lean Certification Alliance represents all the best practices of certification. The Lean Certification Alliance is a partnership among three non-profit partners, all recognized as leaders in lean: the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), the Shingo Institute, and SME — and endorsed by Catalysis and GBMP. The certification program helps ensure that you conceptually understand and can effectively apply lean to real world problems. It starts with training, education and development gained through a variety of methods. You prove your understanding of lean by taking a comprehensive exam covering a broad body of knowledge. You work on real projects that benefit your organization while solidifying the concepts and giving you confidence. Once you have enough experience, you submit a written presentation of your skills, which is peer-reviewed by experienced lean professionals. As you continue to build knowledge, skills and experience, you can either recertify or obtain certification at another level.


What makes a good certification program?

A good certification program ensures that you not only have the technical knowledge but also demonstrated skills in lean. Learning should be blended, including universally respected and relevant books, classes, site visits, conferences and other resources. Hands-on skills should be learned through real experiences rather than through simulated projects, complete with the dynamics and challenges as well as actual results and benefits, allowing you to have a higher level of confidence as you continue your lean journey. A good certification program encourages continuous self-improvement and requires recertification to keep the credential active. Recertification ensures that you continue to reflect, study and gain new insights and experiences.


Four Step Process To Getting Certified

Individuals Teams Companies & Organizations


Lean Certification for Individuals

Lean Certification at any of the three levels (Bronze, Silver or Gold) offers individuals important benefits, including:

  • Experiential versus academic learning. Our program requires that you gain knowledge by doing, driving a deeper understanding of the philosophy and methods of lean.
  • A standard backed by four leading organizations with a combined total of over 8,000 members.
  • A wide range of experiences are embraced, not just manufacturing. Understanding lean allows you to apply them in all industries and your private life.
  • A portable certificate. Lean Certification from the Lean Certification Alliance is industry-wide and world-recognized. Certificates from other organizations may only be recognized by that organization. This certification belongs to you and is portable along your lean journey.
 


Justice Diven

"Early in my career, I was exposed to continuous improvement and I immediately saw the value both personally and professionally. I made a commitment to becoming a lean leader and pursuing Lean Bronze Certification through the Lean Certification Alliance. Earning my certification has deepened my learning and my commitment to the lean journey, while validating what I have learned so I can share it others to help build a lean culture at my organization."

—Justice Diven, Technology Project Manager at BPX Energy


Levels of Certification

Lean Certification: Bronze

Bronze Level

Lean Bronze Certification is for practitioners who work on tactical projects such as problem solving or improvements to a specific area of the business.

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Lean Certification: Silver

Silver Level

Lean Silver Certification is suited for individuals who have responsibilities for improvements to an entire value stream, from order to delivery, that involve more than a single process. This is often, but not always, supervisors, managers or directors.

Learn More

Lean Certification: Gold

Gold Level

Lean Gold Certification is aimed at leaders at the enterprise level, who have oversight of improving the entire business and who have the ability to affect organizational structure and culture.

Learn More

 

Bronze, Silver or Gold — which is right for you?

Take this short assessment to test your readiness for Lean Certification and help determine where you should start your journey.

Take Readiness Assessment

 


Additional Resources & Tools

How Do I Recertify?

How Do I Recertify?

Whether you recertify at Lean Bronze, Lean Silver, or Lean Gold, you will need to document a minimum of 60 recertification credits over a three-year period from receiving your certification or last recertification.

Learn More

Certification Resources

Certification Resources

Learn more about SME certifications, find answers to frequently asked questions, utilize our exam preparation materials and tips, get in touch with us, and more.

Learn More

Online Lean Community

Online Lean Community

The Lean Community is an online forum where lean practitioners and those interested in lean can network and collaborate on all topics related to lean and continuous improvement.

Learn More

 


Lean Certification for Teams

You are leading a team of people charged with making improvements throughout the organization. You’re wondering if a good Lean Certification program would be worth the investment. There are several advantages to your team pursuing Lean Certification:

  • Consistent approach to projects helps ensure all of the players are on the same page.
  • Project-based certification means that as your team learns and matures in lean methodology, they will be working on projects that come from the business, creating real value for you, for them and for the organization.
  • Mentoring relationships are important. By asking for advice from other certified practitioners through the Lean Certification Alliance, you can get help in making sure you are moving in the right direction. And, by mentoring others, team members help instill the culture of lean and help in the development of themselves and others.
  • Multiple certification levels are available. By the nature of your team, it may be that the team lead should be challenging the Lean Silver or Lean Gold Certification while other team members should be working on Lean Bronze Certification.


Levels of Certification

Lean Certification: Bronze

Bronze Level

Lean Bronze Certification is for practitioners who work on tactical projects such as problem solving or improvements to a specific area of the business.

Learn More

Lean Certification: Silver

Silver Level

Lean Silver Certification is suited for individuals who have responsibilities for improvements to an entire value stream, from order to delivery, that involve more than a single process. This is often, but not always, supervisors, managers or directors.

Learn More

Lean Certification: Gold

Gold Level

Lean Gold Certification is aimed at leaders at the enterprise level, who have oversight of improving the entire business and who have the ability to affect organizational structure and culture.

Learn More

 


Additional Resources & Tools

How Do I Recertify?

How Do I Recertify?

Whether you recertify at Lean Bronze, Lean Silver, or Lean Gold, you will need to document a minimum of 60 recertification credits over a three-year period from receiving your certification or last recertification.

Learn More

Certification Resources

Certification Resources

Learn more about SME certifications, find answers to frequently asked questions, utilize our exam preparation materials and tips, get in touch with us, and more.

Learn More

Online Lean Community

Online Lean Community

The Lean Community is an online forum where lean practitioners and those interested in lean can network and collaborate on all topics related to lean and continuous improvement.

Learn More

 


Lean Certification for Companies & Organizations

If you are wondering if your business should invest in creating, enriching or expanding your process improvement program, you should consider requiring Lean Certification from the Lean Certification Alliance. Getting your team members certified and requiring Lean Certification from the Lean Certification Alliance when you hire has several advantages:

  • Guaranteed depth of knowledge. The process of getting certified requires that individuals have a solid understanding of lean tools, techniques and methodology. It also means that they have a well-rounded developmental background that might include site visits, participation, mentoring, and more. Certification represents real-world knowledge and experience, validated through peer-reviewed presentations demonstrating a solid background in lean.
  • Understanding of the process of process improvement. By having a more diverse background and certification process, team members understand how to do process improvement that allows them to help regardless of specific technical knowledge.
  • Reduced training time. Certified practitioners have already demonstrated their skills, reducing or eliminating the need to invest in an in-house training program. Aligning your in-house training program with the requirements for Lean Certification may help your company reduce the amount of time it takes to get certified.
  • Reduces cost. Certified lean practitioners have the ability to find and eliminate waste, saving your organization time and money.
  • Ability to mentor others for growth and development. Lean practitioners have the responsibility to help others understand and practice lean, ensuring that lean knowledge and processes are practiced throughout the organization.
  • Multiple levels of lean certification mean that you have a development path built into your lean program. Watch your employees progress to new levels of understanding.
    • Lean Bronze Certified practitioners focus on solving problems in a specific area of the business. They are adept at leading a team through the right steps to find effective cost-saving solutions.
    • Lean Silver Certified practitioners can concentrate on entire value streams and have a wider perspective on what to work on as well as helping others learn.
    • Lean Gold Certified practitioners have the ability to help shape cultures and optimize the organization from a strategic perspective.


Levels of Certification

Lean Certification: Bronze

Bronze Level

Lean Bronze Certification is for practitioners who work on tactical projects such as problem solving or improvements to a specific area of the business.

Learn More

Lean Certification: Silver

Silver Level

Lean Silver Certification is suited for individuals who have responsibilities for improvements to an entire value stream, from order to delivery, that involve more than a single process. This is often, but not always, supervisors, managers or directors.

Learn More

Lean Certification: Gold

Gold Level

Lean Gold Certification is aimed at leaders at the enterprise level, who have oversight of improving the entire business and who have the ability to affect organizational structure and culture.

Learn More

 


Additional Resources & Tools

How Do I Recertify?

How Do I Recertify?

Whether you recertify at Lean Bronze, Lean Silver, or Lean Gold, you will need to document a minimum of 60 recertification credits over a three-year period from receiving your certification or last recertification.

Learn More

Certification Resources

Certification Resources

Learn more about SME certifications, find answers to frequently asked questions, utilize our exam preparation materials and tips, get in touch with us, and more.

Learn More

Online Lean Community

Online Lean Community

The Lean Community is an online forum where lean practitioners and those interested in lean can network and collaborate on all topics related to lean and continuous improvement.

Learn More

 

Still Have Questions?

If you didn't find what you were looking for or still have unanswered questions about Lean Certification, click below to access our online certification inquiry request form or you can simply email us at certification@sme.org.