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ISO18404: Official Launch Has Now Taken Place

GOOD NEWS! The official UK launch event for the ISO18404 international standard providing Lean and Six Sigma certification took place in London on 2nd February. The event was sponsored by BSI and the Royal Statistical Society. The last few weeks have been important for ISO18404, and due to our blog inactivity, we’re aware we haven’t shared any of these new updates with you!

From some of our previous blogs, you may recall that Professor Tony Bendell was chairing a meeting at the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) to discuss a sector scheme for internationally recognised accredited certification of organisations and Six Sigma & Lean practitioners against ISO18404. That sector scheme is now progressing well, with 3 of the largest certification bodies in the world, and a number of smaller ones, participating in developing the accreditation concept. Watch this space for further details.

Meanwhile, here are a few points we think you should be aware of.

The new international standard ISO18404:2015 was developed to help stamp out bad practice within a very lucrative and abused training, certification & consultancy market for Lean and Six Sigma implementation. Numerous organisations have been unilaterally certifying or ‘accrediting’ Six Sigma & Lean practitioners and courses, with no internationally recognised standards or approaches. All that has now changed, and organisations will now be able to have an accredited ISO18404 certificate for their Lean or Six Sigma implementation alongside their other ISO certifications such as ISO9001 or ISO14001. In addition, individuals can be certified under ISO18404 as Six Sigma Green, Black & Master Black Belts and as Lean Practitioners, Leaders or Experts. For the initial version of the standard, Yellow Belts, White Belts and Project Sponsors or Champions have been omitted from the classes of certifiable personnel, but this may change in subsequent revisions.

Organisational Improvement

Professor Tony believes this is a very powerful opportunity to improve practice. So, it is good to see that interest in the standard is already developing rapidly across most markets including Utilities, Manufacturing, Engineering, Healthcare, Finance and the Public Sector. A number have already started their organisational gap analyses against the standard.

Certification of Individuals

Since ISO18404 was introduced to help deliver rather than test knowledge, the old ‘Body of Knowledge’ approaches used by bodies such as BQF & ASQ have been thrown out. Instead, the emphasis is on the Competencies of the individual Six Sigma Green, Black & Master Black Belts and Lean Practitioners, Leaders or Expert; that is, what they can actually DO in terms of implementing improvement, rather than what they KNOW.

So, they will need to demonstrate their competencies in terms of understanding and doing, to their certification body. For the more senior roles, Black & Master Black Belts and Lean Leaders or Experts, they will also need to demonstrate competency in terms of managing and training the relevant competence.

Six Sigma Green Belts and Lean Practitioners will be subject to internal certification, whilst Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Lean Leaders and Lean Experts will require external certification every 3 years.

Want to know more? Please contact us!

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