Home FAQs Course Questions Will Six Sigma Online's training enable me to take a third-party certification test?

Will Six Sigma Online's training enable me to take a third-party certification test?

At this time there is no consensus on what a Black or Green Belt should know, and as a result there is high variability in the skills people possess who say they are Black Belts. A couple of organizations have recently put forward certification tests and seek to become recognized as de facto third-party certification bodies. Neither certification is required in addition to the ROI Black Belt certification, nor is either certification considered a professional license, but they do offer some degree of standardization. ROI's Black Belt training will prepare you for either one. In both exams there are some topics in each that we do not cover, since our experience is that Black Belts do not perform those functions, or in the case of ASQ's certification, that the technique is invalid. So if you do want to proceed with third-party certification, we do recommend to reduce your stress by discussing these topics with your instructor and/or by purchasing a study guide from the respective organization. A comparison is in the table below.

Comparison of ASQ and IQF Third-Party Black Belt Registration

Number of Previous Projects Body of Knowledge Test Information Cost
(1 with three years work experience)
Some invalid procedures Offered twice per year, open book, no computers $180 members
$225 non-members
IQF 2 Better than ASQ CD-based test, open book, computers allowed $199

The most well-known of these is the American Society for Quality, or ASQ. ASQ also offers Black Belt training. (We urge you to compare their Body of Knowledge with ours.) ASQ's Body of Knowledge is based on Six Sigma Academy training, and as such contains tools advocated by Dorian Shainin that have been known for many years to be invalid. Additionally, the ASQ test is less technically rigorous than the IQF exam, probably due to the fact that since you can't use a computer in the exam they can only test you on concepts for most statistics tests. Click here to learn more about ASQ's Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

The International Quality Federation (IQF) was created in response to ASQ becoming a competitor to its own members through offering one Six Sigma provider's training and Body of Knowledge as its standard. In our opinion, IQF has a better body of knowledge than ASQ and is more technically rigorous. Since you use a computer during the exam to analyze data, it is also a more realistic test of your skills. It does test on a couple of areas that most Black Belts usually do not perform (financial analysis in particular), and as such are not part of our training. It offers the added bonus of CD-based tests which can be taken on the Black Belt's schedule and potential or current employers can easily verify certification status. However, IQF is not very well known. Click here to learn more about IQF's Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

Random Heresy

Constraining your improvement activities to manufacturing processes


News Flash

Six Sigma's lead instructor Steven Ouellette wrote an article with Dr. Jeffrey Luftig on "The Decline of Ethical Behavior in Business."



Six Sigma Online's lead instructor Steven Ouellette was profiled in the June 2008 issue of Quality Digest magazine. If you want to learn more about Steve's peculiar view of the world, as well as what he studied for a year in Europe, read the profile online.




Home FAQs Course Questions Will Six Sigma Online's training enable me to take a third-party certification test?