Benefits of Lean Certification
Supply chain professionals that are working with lean processes and want to formalize their experience should consider some form of certification. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) offers Lean Certification that has been designed by three relevant organizations; Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. In 2010 the American Society for Quality (ASQ) started offering the SME’s Lean Certification.
The advantages of having formal certification is that it can benefits both the employee and the employer. The professional who gains this certification is able to use it to enhance their career prospects. Employers who have employees with lean certification are able to have those employees be mentors for others who are new to lean principles. These certified employees are important to help companies to develop lean standards and help their employer to reap the benefits of lean.
Lean Bronze Certification (LBC)
For those supply chain professionals with some lean experience the bronze certification is where they should start if they want to begin a path of certification.
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The lean bronze certification if for professionals that have a solid understanding of basic lean principles and tools, and show that they have an ability in tactical implementation that drives improvement and shows measurable results.
The bronze certification test assesses the candidate’s knowledge of the following; autonomation (jidoka), continuous improvement (kaizen), customer demand pace (takt time),customer satisfaction, load leveling (heijunka), mistake proofing (poka-yoke), plan-do-check-act cycle (PDCA), problem solving, pull systems (kanban ), quality methods, and total productive maintenance (TPM).
The bronze certification also recommends a number of books, such as Lean Production Simplified by Pascal Dennis, and Lean Thinking, James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones.
Lean Silver Certification (LSC)
The silver certification is for supply chain professionals who have already obtained the lean bronze certification and now want to recognize their experience as a lean project leader on value stream transformations. To attain the silver certification a candidate must provide documentation that they have led a lean transformation of a complete value stream. They must also show that they have led or participated in five lean events, projects or activities that applied and integrated lean principles, along with the results.
The candidate for silver certification must have completed 160 hours of education or training, which can include the eighty hours they completed for the bronze certification. Candidates must also show they are involved in mentoring or coaching and still participating in lean projects.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers recommend a number of books for silver certification candidates, including the following; Practical Lean Accounting by Brian Maskell and Bruce Baggaley, Office Kaizen by William Lareau, and The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker.
Lean Gold Certification (LGC)
The gold certification is the highest level of lean certification for supply chain professionals. Candidates must have already obtained the lean bronze certification and lean silver certifications. The gold certification recognizes a candidates understanding of all aspects of lean transformation across an entire enterprise.
Candidates for gold certification must complete 200 hours of or training, which can include the eighty hours they completed for the bronze certification and eighty hours for the silver certification. Candidates must provide evidence of completing one tactical project, two integrative (value stream) projects, and two strategic projects.
Candidates for the gold certification are expected to interview with a team of Lean Certified professionals who will evaluate the candidates applied knowledge related to the evidence presented by the candidate.