What is the difference between “Black Belt” & “Lean Black Belt Certification?

Lean Six Sigma simply means a program that includes “lean” principles in the Six Sigma Curriculum. Many Six Sigma Black Belt programs are actually “Lean” Six Sigma Black Belt Programs (although they do not include “lean” in the name). The easiest way to tell is simply by looking at their course curriculum.

You can actually request that the Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate be printed as “Lean Six Sigma Black Belt” upon course completion.


Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.