Six Sigma Belt Levels – Striving for Perfection

Martial arts experts achieve their expertise with dedication, training and lots of discipline. Its outcome is a result of hard work by these experts. Similarly, when you find people who have earned the Six Sigma Black Belt level, it would not be wrong to affirm the hard work and efforts that they have put in to achieve that level.

Similarities with the Martial Arts Experts

Black Belts have not become Black Belts by osmosis. The different levels that can be achieved by such persons by training and experience are Green Belts, Black Belts, Master Black Belts.

These are the certification levels achieved by the employees of the organization who want to achieve the Six Sigma level. Through continual learning and improvement of projects, these members attain expertise in their areas. Six Sigma is not about any specific set of knowledge base that can be learned by just anyone.

It is an understanding of a methodology to implement the various tools and techniques in highly unique situations.

Every project for improvement has its own unique features. Six Sigma is about adapting the knowledge and the tools to the benefit of these development opportunities. This is something that cannot be learned from a book. It comes from experience.

With the initial training of the different levels of expertise to be achieved, each Six Sigma Belt will be able to undertake projects of varying degrees. By applying the knowledge achieved through the trainings and the experience, they can handle projects successfully and bring about improvements in the systems for the benefit of the organization.

Achieving Six Sigma Belt levels is all about hard work, dedication, intensity, learning and discovery. Every level achieved is a responsibility that has to be handled with due care and expertise.

The belt titles are awarded in recognition of the levels achieved by these people.

Six Sigma Belt Levels:

Green Belt

The Six Sigma Green Belt is the first level that is achieved after a training of two weeks generally. The training includes the study of the basics of Six Sigma and the essential elements of Six Sigma statistical tools.

These members will be working on smaller project in their areas, under the guidance of the Six Sigma Black Belts.

Black Belt

Six Sigma Black Belts have to finish a four-week long training program. Their training involves everything that the Green Belts are trained in. However, their training also includes an in-depth study of different statistical tools and methodologies, which are highly complex in nature.

They would normally lead the Six Sigma team in a particular area. The most important part of their training is the successful completion of a Six Sigma project.

Master Black Belt

This level is even higher than the Six Sigma Black Belt level. They are highly trained individuals who have achieved a Black Belt level, but are even more trained and experienced in the Six Sigma field.

Master Black Belts (MBBs) are generally in charge of the Six Sigma project at the organizational level. Black Belts provide whatever guidance is required.

The process to achieve the Six Sigma level is highly complex and difficult. The proper utilization of these members is necessary. The perfect handling of some of the most difficult situations in the organization and disciplined improvements efforts is an important responsibility.


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.