Setting the standard for lean certification

Manufacturers may have an industry standard for lean certification as early as this fall.

Manufacturers may have an industry standard for lean certification as early as this fall. Currently, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing are collaborating with industry and academia to develop the standard.

The certification is for manufacturing professionals seeking recognition and credentials to illustrate their knowledge and application of lean principles. Three key aspects of the certification include: "Mentoring" by and of certification candidates; "Portfolio" to illustrate how lean principles are applied within an organization as well as documenting the lessons learned; and the "Examination" that assesses knowledge of lean principles.

The certification is currently comprised of four levels. The first level measures knowledge of lean principles. Candidates at the second level should be capable of applying lean principles and tools to drive improvements and show measurable results.

At the third level, lean practitioners are expected to be senior employees/team leaders who apply lean principles and tools to drive improvements and show measurable results. They also have to orchestrate the transformation of a complete value stream.

At the highest level, the practitioner is at a point of influence and authority over assets, processes and people. They should demonstrate a solid understanding of all aspects of lean transformation across the entire enterprise.

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