Black Belt Certification

In addition to the training classes, APR offers Black Belt Certification tailored specifically for candidates who have shown an interest and aptitude for process improvement and are in a position to utilize the training in their daily work on the UW-Madison campus. A variety of learning strategies are used including classroom instruction, coaching, self-paced reading and team experience. The full curriculum and experiential training can take up to two years of steady and focused work to complete.

Why such commitment? Our philosophy on certification includes the following elements:

  • Building vested partners across the institution
  • Building capacity and stronger partners for collaboration
  • Setting the standard for quality and rigor
  • Customizing certification to meet candidates where they are while maintaining rigor

Read the full APR Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Philosophy Statement.


A typical path to certification would include the following:

  • Gauge interest and aptitude by taking Lean Six Sigma and performance measurement classes
  • Contact APR staff to discuss interest in certification
  • Work with leadership from unit/division to gain sponsorship
  • Meet with APR staff for program orientation
  • Complete Competency Self-Assessment
  • APR staff, candidate and sponsor sign-off on Development Plan
  • Engage in learning experiences, meet regularly with APR coach to review progress
  • When requirements are completed, APR staff, candidate and sponsor sign-off on transcript completion
  • APR Black Belt certification is awarded to candidate

For more information, please submit a Training Request Form.


APR undertook a review and update of our Black Belt Certification program in 2014-2015. Read the final project report for a complete overview.