Six Sigma Green vs Yellow Belt: What is the Difference?Published, 24th May 2022
If you are in the market for a lean six sigma certification, the question of whether to choose yellow belt or green belt tends to come up a lot.
This article offers some insights into these roles and certifications, along with tips on choosing the right course and qualification for your goals right now.
Table of Contents
What are “belts”?
If you’re new to lean six sigma, you might not be familiar with concept of different belts. You may well be wondering what these martial arts symbols have to do with improving processes!
You can read a more detailed account in our article, “Lean Six Sigma Belts and Roles”, but here is a quick definition:
Lean six sigma belts refer to different levels of certification. Each belt represents a level of knowledge and capability with the tools and techniques.
They are also a way of defining different process improvement roles within a team or organisation.
Lean Six Sigma Belts: A Quick Overview
- White Belt: general, introductory level understanding
- Yellow Belt: solid, foundational knowledge and skills
- Green Belt: confident understanding and comprehensive skills, little or no experience
- Black Belt: advanced knowledge and capability with plenty of experience
- Master Black Belt: exceptionally advanced skills and extensive experience
Of all belt levels, we see the most demand for yellow and green belt level. There are a couple of reasons for this…
White belts have more of a general, basic understanding of lean, while black belts are those with experience in process improvement.
A Closer Look
Let’s take a closer look at these most popular roles.
As we review them, it’s important to remember that the scope and finer points of each role will vary from organisation to organisation.
However, the overall outline and level of influence remains the same.
What is a yellow belt?
A yellow belt practitioner is typically someone who has a good, introductory knowledge of lean with some awareness of six sigma tools.
They can carry out process improvements within their own area of influence. They are most suited to running smaller projects that affect their role or a process within their team.
Yellow belts are also valuable contributors to larger projects.
What is a green belt?
Green belts have a broader range of lean six sigma tools at their disposal.
They have a more in-depth understanding of these methodologies and how they can be applied to different situations.
Green belts are confident running larger projects, often at a departmental level.
With their more advanced knowledge, they often mentor yellow belts and recruit them to contribute to their green belt level projects.
What is the difference between yellow belt and green belt?
As you might have gathered from the outlines above, the key differences between a yellow belt and green belt are:
- The level of knowledge and skill they have with lean six sigma
- The kind of projects they can run within their role
Is experience a factor?
You will often find green belts who are more experienced than yellow belts. However, this does not mean that you cannot begin your training and development at a green belt level.
While there are some qualifications and programmes that have eligibility requirements at green belt level, ours is suitable for those who are new to process improvement, or those at intermediate level.
Often, green belts are more experienced than yellows as they must complete a significant amount of time participating in process improvement projects before progressing to black belt level.
Which should you choose?
Your choice of yellow or green belt will depend on a number of factors:
If you are looking for a shorter introduction to lean six sigma that leaves you with practical skills, yellow belt is a good choice.
If you’re ready for a more in-depth course that equips you with a broad range of capabilities, green belt is the way to go.
There is a difference in the time required to complete both courses and achieve certification.
If you don’t have a lot of time, yellow belt may be the most suitable option for your schedule right now. Training and certification are both completed within 2 days.
If you’re ready to dedicate a little more time, green belt is the best option. This is a 5-day course, split over two weeks.
You will also need to complete assessment work in the 8 weeks following training to achieve your certification.
If you intend to bring a small amount of lean six sigma into your role, utilising it alongside other skills, a yellow belt may be most appropriate.
If you would like to specialise in this area or carry out extensive improvements within your company, green belt is the right choice.
Still Unsure? We Can Help…
If you would like to speak with an expert about the right choice for your training and development, we would love to hear from you.
Our consultants can offer guidance on the most beneficial option for your career and your role.
You can call us directly at Freephone 1800 910 810 or Dublin 01 861 0700 or get in touch online using the Ask a Question button below.
Here are some important features of each course and certification. You can download a PDF course brochure by clicking on either brochure image.
You can also provisionally hold your place on an upcoming date by clicking the "Reserve" button beside your preferred date.
Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt - 2 Days - €395 – Certification Included
- Suitable for beginners
- Understand Lean and the DMAIC Cycle
- Gain an introduction to six sigma tools
- Versatile skills for all industries
- Open book exam on day 2
Next Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Dates
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt - 5 Days - €950 – Certification Included
- Suitable for beginners and intermediates
- Acquire an in-depth understanding of lean six sigma
- Get a broad range of lean and six sigma tools
- Versatile skills for all industries
- Assessment work completed in 8 weeks following training
Next Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Dates
Further Reading and Resources
Here are some resources for your continued lean six sigma research.
Get a Guide to Lean Six Sigma
Our 16-page PDF Guide to Lean Six Sigma is a great resource to download and keep. It includes useful information, such as:
- What is lean six sigma?
- Understanding lean six sigma belts and roles
- Tips on choosing the right course
- Details on courses available
- How to get certified
Browse our Articles
You will find further reading over at our lean six sigma blog. Here are some articles to begin with:
- What is lean six sigma?
- Is a yellow belt worth it?
- What is a green belt?
- 10 lean six sigma green belt benefits
- How to choose a lean six sigma course
You can also sign up to receive our updates on lean six sigma new articles, upcoming dates, and offers.