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Lean Certification

Gold Level

Take your lean training to a strategic level.

Lean Gold Certification recognizes your education and training in all aspects of lean transformation across an entire enterprise. It represents career progression to a point of influence and authority over assets, processes, and people.

Are you a candidate for Lean Gold?

Read about the experience and background of candidates who are qualified for Lean Gold Certification.

Michelle Nathan Bill

Lean Gold Certificate Candidate - Michelle

Michelle is a new Vice President of Operations and has been tasked to create an aggressive strategic plan for the next five years. There is great market taking shape, but she has concerns about the clarity her team has in recognizing this opportunity. She is new to her role but has deep experience in her industry. She is looking for a way to raise the raise the focus of her team while challenging them to deepen and broaden the high-performance culture. She is an ideal candidate for Gold Certification.

Lean Gold Certificate Candidate - Nathan

Nathan has profit & loss responsibility for a segment of his company. Through his career he has led a transformation of parts of the operation and is, in his current leadership position, addressing a complete business transformation. Nathan’s leadership has consistently created improved organizational results and several associates from his organizations have achieved increased leadership responsibility. Nathan’s system wide perspective and ability to develop people makes him a candidate for Gold certification.

Lean Gold Certificate Candidate - Bill

Bill is a business consultant who has guided senior leaders in organizations in their efforts to transform. Bill’s approach can be characterized as developing business leaders and systems to support organizational excellence, facilitating improvement efforts at all levels of an organization, and helping leaders identify and develop business associates. Bill’s efforts have tended to develop organizations that are no longer dependent on outside support. With this consulting approach and results, Bill would be a candidate for Gold certification.


Certification Pricing

The fees below include the exam and accomplishment record fee.

Nonmember $799
SME Member and Partners (AME, Shingo Institute) $639
  Apply Now


Nonmember $829
SME Member and Partners (AME, Shingo Institute) $669
  Apply Now


Process to Earn Your Certification

1: Assess your knowledge and experience
The Lean Body of Knowledge (BOK) is an outline of lean topics covered on the certification exam.

The Lean Gold Essential Body of Work describes the baseline knowledge, skills, and abilities required by lean professionals and lays the groundwork for understanding and evaluating the Lean Bronze Certification requirements. It will help you better envision your role and evaluate your readiness for certification.

The Lean Gold Blueprint provides additional information beyond the Lean Certification Body of Knowledge by going a step further and specifying relevant segments of the Body of Knowledge and providing additional details on the proficiency expected for Lean Bronze Certification.

The Lean Certification Competency and Behavior Model is intended to help identify the minimum competencies and behavior expectations in your pursuit of a specific level of Lean Certification.

2: Read the Core Reference Material
Exam questions are based on specific Core Reference Material selected by knowledgeable and experienced individuals. You can save 10% by purchasing the Lean Gold Certification book package, which includes:

3: Apply for the exam, schedule and take the exam

Apply Here

The Lean Gold Certification exam is offered in online and paper/pencil formats. You have six months to take the exam from the date you apply.

To apply for Lean Gold Certification, candidates should have five or more years of professional experience that includes overseeing various improvement teams, driving changes that span multiple value streams, leading and coaching other leaders in the transformation process, and a demonstrated success in driving both lean organizational and human development efforts.

The Lean Gold Certification exam is a three hour, open book and open notes exam. It consists of approximately 150 multiple-choice questions mapped to the Body of Knowledge. Exam questions are taken from the Core Reference Materials.

You must submit your Proctor Form and Agreement to SME at least two weeks before your scheduled exam date.

To pass the exam, you need to score 75% or higher. After your exam is scored, you will receive official results by mail, which includes an Examination Analysis Report that provides a breakdown of your results by knowledge area.


4: Mentoring
Lean Gold Certification candidates are expected to seek out others in their lean journey to help them grow and develop. This activity must be demonstrated, and measurable outcomes must be included, in your Lean Gold Certification Accomplishment Record.

Look to find a mentor within your own company, through the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) leaders in your area, or, if you are an SME member, your local chapter may be a good resource.


5: Submit your Lean Gold Certification Accomplishment Record
After passing your exam, to receive your Lean Gold Certification you must complete an Accomplishment Record. The Accomplishment Record examines how candidates have applied their lean knowledge and skills to actual real-world situations.

Your Lean Gold Certification Accomplishment Record will ask you to provide a narrative of your accomplishments for each competency needed by a Lean Gold Certification candidate. You will emphasize the quality of your accomplishments and the results you achieved rather than the jobs you have held or the tasks you have completed.

In addition to completing your Accomplishment Record, you will need:

  • 240 hours of education and training requirements. If you have previously obtained the Lean Bronze and/or Lean Silver Certification, you can apply the education and training hours you earned toward this requirement.
  • Mentoring and/or Coaching activities.


6: Lean Gold Certification Interview

The final step in earning your Lean Gold Certification is an interview with a team of Lean Certified professionals and/or the Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee. Upon passing your Accomplishment Record review and interview, you will earn your Lean Gold Certification (LGC).


7: Plan your next step

Your Lean Gold Certification (LGC) is valid for three years. To maintain your Lean Gold Certification status, you will need to recertify every three years and participate in ongoing education, training, and development activities related to the Body of Knowledge.


Have questions or need additional information?

Certification FAQs
Online Inquiry Form

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