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Black Belt Program

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CQAS’s new online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification program builds upon the tools learned and experience gained in our Green Belt program.  You will become an expert in Lean Six Sigma prepared to drive process excellence throughout your organization.  CQAS Black Belts are leaders, change agents, strategic thinkers, trusted coaches, expert resources, and vigilant project managers who lead complex high value projects.  CQAS Black Belts are expected to:

  • Lead projects of significant value across multiple disciplines and organizations
  • Drive multiple high-value projects simultaneously
  • Lead organizational change within a maturing culture of quality
  • Develop strategic direction with senior leadership and align projects with strategy
  • Mentor Lean Six Sigma teams and coach Green and Yellow Belts
  • Teach Lean Six Sigma topics as the in-house expert

CQAS’s Black Belt program is unique:

  • Projects are integrated into the training so that participants actively apply tools and concepts directly to their own projects.  Each participant is required to complete a Black Belt project that will continue beyond the training and generate significant benefit to their organization. Project value is exponentially higher than the cost of the program. Each project is mentored by a Lean Six Sigma expert from CQAS, and support continues through project completion.
  • The program is designed to meet the needs of all business sectors. Emphasis is placed on tailoring learning to each student’s needs, while participant diversity provides opportunities to learn from one another through online discussions and project reviews.
  • Emphasis goes beyond in-depth coverage of Lean Six Sigma tools to leadership and change management essential to driving a culture of performance excellence. Deep immersion and practice ensures that CQAS Black Belts live the methods and tools mastered, on a daily basis.
  • The program is spread out over 16 weeks to facilitate project integration and applied learning. Plan to spend 6-8 hours per week for training plus another 6-8 hours on your project.  Online lectures and discussions afford flexibility to busy schedules, and periodic “live” (web-conferenced) project reviews offer direct feedback on each project.
  • Instructors have deep expertise in their fields and are available throughout the program to support learning and project mentoring. CQAS is part of a major university and leverages expert and experienced faculty, Master Black Belts and other professionals who are teachers, consultants, real-world problem solvers, respected speakers, authors, and active members of professional societies.

The program follows the DMAIC process and includes the following key topics:

  • Leadership and change management
  • Communication and conflict resolution
  • Strategic planning
  • Problem identification & project selection, project monetization
  • Effective teams
  • Project management, risk management, and root cause analysis
  • Systems thinking, Voice-of-the-Customer, and benchmarking
  • Creative thinking and concept generation (Pugh analysis)
  • Advanced statistical methods using Minitab:
    • Inferential statistics
    • Components of variance and multiple regression
    • Design of experiments and robust design
    • Process capability and statistical process control
    • Non-parametric methods
    • Simulation and Monte Carlo analysis
    • Transaction analysis
    • Response surface methods
    • Survey design
  • A3 problem solving
  • Piloting a solution
  • Management-by-fact
  • Lessons learned and implications for new project identification

Our online delivery model is designed to provide you with flexibility to meet your other commitments wherever you are while insuring that you are actively engaged with our expert instructors and other program participants.  Program elements include: pre-recorded lectures, articles and videos, and quizzes that you complete each week at your convenience; online “discussion boards” that you participate in each week with other students at your convenience; three “live” project review sessions scheduled in advance to offer direct feedback on all projects; and conference calls or web-conferences as needed.

You should plan to spend 6-8 hours each week on course materials, homework, discussions, and occasional project review sessions, and an additional 6-8 hours each week working on your project, holding team meetings, and preparing for tollgates.

CQAS’s Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification program helps participants generate superior data driven solutions, improved customer satisfaction, enhanced productivity, and significantly improved bottom-line results for their organizations.



Certification by CQAS as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt requires the following:

  • Successful completion of the online training program including all course materials and deliverables, participation in discussions and project reviews;
  • Passing score (70) on the final exam;
  • Completion of a Black Belt project including submission of a final report signed-off by your sponsor or other senior leader, within 2 years of training.

Contract Black Belt Program

Our Black Belt certification program is also available as a customized contract program, which can be delivered to your organization in a “blended” format with both onsite elements and online components or offered fully online.  Contact us for more information.


You must have completed RIT’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification program or an equivalent Green Belt certification program from a reputable provider which included the completion of a Green Belt level project. This will ensure you have the necessary preparation for our Black Belt program.

  • If you have not completed a Green Belt certification program, please register for our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program. This program is offered on-campus so if you do not live in the Rochester, NY area, please contact us at to discuss other options.
  • If you have completed CQAS’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program and achieved certification with a completed project, please email us at with the approximate date of certification.
  • If you have completed a Green Belt certification program (with project) from another provider, please forward the following information to
  • Certificate or other evidence of completion (copy)
  • Green Belt curriculum (copy)
  • Provider name, delivery method (classroom, online, etc.), and dates of training
  • Lean Six Sigma Project: brief summary, tools used, benefits achieved, sponsor approval and title, and sponsor contact information.

We will review this information to ensure that you have the background to be successful in our Black Belt program. Please email questions to

Online Black Belt Pricing

Pricing Information*

  • 1 Person: $6,250

Multiple participants from the same organization receive discounted rates (no other discounts may be applied)

  • 2-3 people: $5,625 per person (10% discount)
  • 4 + people: $5,000 per person (20% discount)

*Includes 12-month Minitab license, if needed

Discounts (for individual registrations)
Only one discount per person.

  • MedTech Association Members: 10%
  • GRQC Members: 10%
  • RIT Alumni: 20%
  • RIT Employees: 20%

Unemployed professionals may enroll in both the Green Belt and Black Belt training program at a 20% discount, for a total cost of $8,000.  Contact for further information.

Cancellation Policy
Refunds will be issued for cancellations received and confirmed at least 15 business days prior to the black belt online program date. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after that date. Please email with any questions.

Online Black Belt Schedule

Schedule for 2018

Dates Registration
January 15 - May 21, 2018 Closed
March 5 - June 18, 2018 Open

The program spans 16 weeks but our online delivery model enables you to determine how to fit training into your weekly schedule.   You should plan to spend 6-8 hours each week on course materials, homework, discussions, and occasional project reviews, and an additional 6-8 hours working on your project, holding team meetings, and preparing for tollgates.

Open Black Belt Registration


Please see the “Prerequisites” section above and send requested documentation to

Frequently Asked Questions

I am in healthcare or services, not manufacturing. Is your program relevant for me?

Yes! Black Belts are process improvement experts with skills that apply across disciplines and industries even though application domains differ. For example, professionals in medical and transactional fields may find lean tools more helpful initially while manufacturing professionals often take a more balanced approach to utilizing lean and six sigma tools. CQAS integrates lean and six sigma because waste and process variability are challenges to all organizations. Examples from different industries and application domains are used in the program to demonstrate the broad applicability of Lean Six Sigma. Black Belts are responsible for deciding which tools and methods will be most effective in specific situations within their own organizations.


Can I enter the program without Green Belt certification? If I’ve completed several “quality” projects, will that suffice?

No. We require Green Belt certification from a reputable provider because our Black Belt program builds on concepts and tools learned and practiced through Green Belt training and applied to at least one Green Belt level project. Training and project work are co-dependent – neither is adequate on its own. Employers of CQAS Black Belts expect graduates to be immediately capable of driving complex, high-value, cross-organizational projects.


Will I be at a disadvantage if my Green Belt was not earned from CQAS?

This depends on the rigor of the program that you completed for your Green Belt and how active you’ve been in applying Lean Six Sigma tools, which is why we request information about your Green Belt provider and the curriculum you followed. We will review this material to ensure that you’ve received adequate preparation. If there are gaps we will point you to Green Belt material for review.


What do you mean by “online”?

Our online format is designed to provide you with flexibility to meet your other commitments from wherever you are, while insuring that you are actively engaged with our expert instructors and other program participants. Elements include: (1) pre-recorded lectures, articles, videos, and quizzes that you complete each week at your convenience; (2) online “discussion boards” that you participate in each week with other participants at your convenience; (3) several “live” project review sessions scheduled in advance to offer direct feedback on all projects; and (4) conference calls or web-conferences as needed.


What if I prefer a classroom setting?

If you’ve never experienced a blended online format, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and will find it a very rich learning experience. Our Black Belt certification program is only offered via this format, although we offer on-site programs on a contract basis for employers with a minimum number of participants. Contact if you are interested in a customized program for your organization.


What is the expected weekly time commitment?

You should plan to spend 6-8 hours each week on course materials, homework, discussions, quizzes, and occasional project reviews. In addition, you should plan 6-8 hours each week for work on your project, holding team meetings, and preparing for tollgates.


What is expected from my sponsor and/or manager?

Every Black Belt project requires a sponsor whose role is: (1) to help identify in advance an opportunity suitable for a Black Belt project; (2) to help remove roadblocks and support project execution; and (3) to participate in tollgate reviews and sign-off on all tollgates. Your direct manager should also provide assurance that he/she understands the demands on your time for and is committed to your success in the program.


Tell me more about the project?

Before starting our Black Belt program, you must have identified an appropriate project “opportunity” with the support of a sponsor. You will receive information from us to assist you and your sponsor in selecting an appropriate project but, as a Green Belt, you already have experience with project selection. A Black Belt project is usually significantly larger in size and scope than a Green Belt project, involving multiple functions across the organization and generating more significant benefits. We suggest that a suitable Black Belt project returns at least $150,000 in estimated benefits, recognizing that other metrics may be more appropriate to your situation. The project should be completed (with sign-off from sponsor and finance) within two years of training.


How much time do I have to complete the project?

After the formal training ends, you will have 2 years to complete your project in order to earn Black Belt certification. Extensions may granted for extenuating circumstances but they must be approved by CQAS and your sponsor.


Is Minitab required?

Minitab isn’t required but it is highly recommended, and a copy (12-month license) will be provided to you if you don’t have one available from your employer. All statistical tools and associated lectures, problems, and examples utilize Minitab so it will be much easier to learn the material with Minitab. Other statistical packages have the capabilities of Minitab but we have elected to use Minitab because it’s a good balance between ease-of-use and features.


What materials are provided with the course?

All readings and slides will be available in our online repository, from which you can print a copy for your own use. Videos are viewable but cannot be downloaded.


Do you issue “continuing education credits” (CEU’s)?

Yes. Upon request, you will be issued 11 CEU’s at the end of the training portion of the program.


How soon should I register, and what is your cancellation policy?

Once we have confirmed that you satisfy our pre-requisites, you will be provided a link to our registration and payment system. Registration is first-come-first-served – to be assured of a seat, you should register and pay as soon as it is feasible for you. RIT accepts credit cards and purchase orders. In the event that you need to cancel, we will refund the full cost of the program until 3 weeks (15 business days) prior to the program start date.