Black Belt

Become a Lean Six Sigma expert who drives strategic process improvement!

A contract program for groups and organizations that can be customized and delivered on-site or in a blended online format.  Contact us at for more information and a quote.

CQAS's blended Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification program is designed for working professionals and builds upon Green Belt certification. Attendees become experts in Lean Six Sigma prepared to drive process excellence throughout their organizations. CQAS Certified Black Belts are leaders, change agents, strategic thinkers, trusted coaches, expert resources, and vigilant project managers who lead complex high value projects that improve customer satisfaction and productivity.

CQAS’s Black Belt program is unique

  • Projects are integrated into the training to enable active application of tools and concepts directly to projects. Projects continue beyond formal training and will generate significant benefits, exponentially higher than the cost of the program itself.  Each project is mentored by a Lean Six Sigma expert from RIT, and support continues through project completion.
  • 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 Certified Black Belts live the methods and tools mastered, on a daily basis.
  • Spread out over 16 weeks to facilitate project integration and applied learning. 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 work with students not only during the program but through completion of their projects.  RIT is a major university with expert faculty, Master Black Belts, and other professionals who are teachers, consultants, real-world problem solvers, respected speakers and authors.

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.

Blended Online Program

Our blended online instructor-led delivery model is designed to provide participants with flexibility to meet their other commitments while keeping them actively engaged with our expert instructors and other participants.  Learning materials include pre-recorded lectures, articles and videos, exercises, and quizzes each week; online “discussion boards”; three “live” project review sessions scheduled in advance to offer direct feedback on all projects; and conference calls or web-conferences as needed.

Participants 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 their projects, holding team meetings, and preparing for tollgates.

Key Topics

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


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

  • Successful completion of online training 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 the project sponsor or other senior leader, within 2 years of training.  Final review and approval is done by the CQAS instructor.  (Credit is not given for projects that were initiated before the start of training).


Black Belt enrollment requires Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from a reputable provider (as determined by CQAS), including completion of a Green Belt project. 

Applicants who have been Green Belt certified but did not a complete a viable Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project (as determined by CQAS), may still be accepted into our Black Belt program but must complete a Green Belt level project in addition to a Black Belt project in order to be certified by CQAS as a Black Belt. A fee of $950 will be charged for CQAS to mentor this additional project, which includes access to our online Green Belt training modules to help the student fill any gaps that may exist as they prepare for Black Belt training.

Contact us at for more information and a quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Green Belt and Black Belt training are two distinct programs which must be completed separately, and Black Belt training builds upon the content within the Green Belt program. However, after finishing Green Belt training, a candidate may start our Black Belt program if their Green Belt project has not yet been completed. In this case, a Green Belt project must be completed in addition to a separate Black Belt project in order to be certified as a Black Belt, but it may be more convenient to complete both training programs as quickly as possible. It may also be convenient to define a Black Belt project that builds upon a Green Belt project.

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.

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 Certified Black Belts expect graduates to be immediately capable of driving complex, high-value, cross-organizational projects.

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

Our online format is designed to provide the flexibility for participants to meet their other commitments and from wherever they may be located, while insuring active engagement with our expert instructors and other program participants. Elements include: (1) pre-recorded lectures, articles, videos, and quizzes that are completed each week; (2) online “discussion boards” each week; (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.

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

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. Direct managers should also provide assurance that they understand time demands and is committed to participants' success in the program.

Before starting our Black Belt program, an appropriate project “opportunity” must be identified with the support of a sponsor. CQAS will provide information to assist in selecting appropriate projects but Green Belts already have experience with project selection and should be able to accomplish this task.  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 specific situations. Projects should be completed (with sign-off from sponsor and finance) within two years of training. CQAS instructors are the final reviewers and approvers of projects.

No, credit is not given for projects that are either in-process or were completed prior to the start of training.

After the formal training ends, participants have 1 year to complete the project in order to earn Black Belt certification. Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances but they must be approved by CQAS and the project sponsor.

Minitab isn’t required but is highly recommended.  All statistical tools and associated lectures, problems, and examples utilize Minitab, so it is 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.

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

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

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