(DEARBORN, Mich., March 31, 2015) – Continuing to set the standard for operational excellence and an improved workforce, the Lean Certification Alliance has introduced customer-driven improvements to its Lean Certification program, a globally recognized standard for lean principles and practices.

Lean Certification candidates will now encounter an improved program and more streamlined process in achieving certification. The hierarchical requirements — Bronze, then Silver, then Gold — have been eliminated. This allows candidates to obtain certification at the rank that is most appropriate to their career, knowledge, and experience. 

“Technology is changing so rapidly these days and the manufacturing industry continues to evolve and develop at high speed which means the workforce needs to keep up,” said Jeannine Kunz, Managing Director, Workforce and Education, SME. “Many of those looking to invest in Lean Certification for career development have strong on-the-job experience and we want to recognize this expertise as candidates learn to apply innovative thinking to solve real-world challenges.”

The industry-leading Lean Certification program is the result of a partnership among four leading non-profit organizations: the American Society for Quality (ASQ), Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), Shingo Institute, and SME. The changes were introduced after an extensive market study utilizing the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and listening to customer feedback. The Lean Certification program provides individuals, companies, and educators with a benchmark for achievements and a common roadmap for continuous improvement and workforce development.

“Now even more individuals will have the opportunity to receive validation to facilitate the continuous improvement journey,” said Brian LeHouillier, Managing Director, ASQ. “Many of those going through the Lean Certification program are the ones driving productivity, quality and profitability within their organizations, which is a direct benefit to manufacturers and the industry overall.”

Enhancements include:

  • Lean Bronze. The importance of demonstrating one’s lean knowledge and skills to real-world situations will continue to be exhibited through a portfolio for Lean Bronze candidates; however, the tactical project requirement has been decreased from five projects to three.
  • Lean Silver and Lean Gold. These candidates will now exhibit their knowledge and skills through an Accomplishment Record versus a portfolio. Candidates will find the amount of time and effort required to complete the Accomplishment Record more manageable. Candidates are still required to pass an exam as part of the overall certification process and Lean Gold candidates must also pass an interview with a team of Lean Certified professional.
  • New Lean Certification Blueprints provide additional useful information beyond the Body of Knowledge. Blueprints provide greater depth of the Body of Knowledge required at the various levels of Lean Certification.
  • An Essential Body of Work has been developed for each Lean Certification that describes tasks conducted by lean practitioners.

To learn more about Lean Certification, please visit http://www.sme.org/leancert.

About The Lean Certification Alliance
The Lean Certification Alliance is comprised of four leading non-profit partners that collectively set the standard for operational excellence and an improved workforce. Together, American Society for Quality (ASQ), Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), Shingo Institute, and SME are building an expansive community of continuous improvement practitioners. This community leverages relevant resources, such as its Lean Certification Program, to build a workforce that has the skills and know-how to deliver real-world results.

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for the industry. Follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.

If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at communications@sme.org.


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