SME Lean Bronze Certification

The SME Lean Bronze Certification program is a powerful entry-level certification intended for manufacturing professionals and lean practitioners. It is a world renowned certification program that aims to provide a standard benchmark fpr Lean certification.

With Lean Bronze Certification, professionals and practitioners alike will have the opportunity to showcase a tactical Lean approach. Tactical Lean focuses on the deployment and application of Lean concepts, principles and methods in many different work areas.

Obtaining a Lean Bronze Certification may be challenging for some, but with enough knowledge about the requirements and processes, becoming certified is a great career investment. Here are the requirements needed to take the Lean Bronze Certification exam:

Lean Bronze Certification Requirements

Personal Assessment

One of the primary requirements in becoming  certified is the demonstration of basic Lean knowledge. This level of certification covers an overview of the entire Lean body of knowledge.

Among the Lean basics are:

• Autonomation (Jidoka)
• Cells, One-Piece Flow
• Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
• Cost, Productivity Results
• Customer Demand Pace (Takt Time)
• Customer Requirements, Satisfaction
• Distribution Logistics, Delivery
• Flow
• Identifying Value Added and Non-Value Added
• Work
• Identifying Waste
• Lean Product Design
• Load Leveling (Heijunka)
• Mistake Proofing (Poke-Yoke)
• Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle (PDCA)
• Problem Solving (5 Whys)
• Pull Systems (Kanban)
• Quality Methods
• Quick Changeover, Setup Reduction
• Root Cause, Corrective Action
• Standard Work
• Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
• Value Stream Mapping
• Visual Factory

Familiarization with the Core Reference Materials

The knowledge needed to pass the Lean Bronze Certification exam is based on the core reference material. Exam questions are based on basic Lean fundamentals which are covered in the following Lean publications. Practitioners and professionals are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the reference material if they aren’t already.

Lean Production Simplified by Pascal Dennis
Learning To See: Value Stream Mapping to Create Value and Eliminate Muda by Mike Rother and John Shook
Lean Thinking by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
Gemba Kaizen by Masaaki Imai

Review Centers (optional), Applications and Examinations

It is highly advised that individuals who are having difficulties learning about the basic Lean tools and principles should sign up for a review course. Professionals and practitioners may opt to find a nearby review classroom in their location to become familiar and knowledgeable with Lean or they can join the Lean Online Review Program (LORP) for an easy and intuitive learning experience straight from home.

After gaining sufficient knowledge, practitioners and professionals are advised to apply for the certification examination in order to become fully certified. Applicants may apply for the Lean Bronze Certification Program online by visiting the SME website.

The examination part of the Lean Bronze Certification is precisely 3 hours long. The test is an open-book 170-question examination where examinees are encouraged to bring their resources for maximum efficiency and positive results.

Professionals and practitioners who have passed the Lean Bronze Certification exam will receive a Lean Knowledge Certificate which will last for 3 years. Within the three-year period, professionals who earned this certificate must create and submit an experience portfolio to provide evidence of ongoing Lean work.

Portfolio Requirements:

• Minimum of 80 hours under training and education requirements.
• Facilitating 5 tactical projects from events to projects and activities where Lean tools and principles are used.
• Portfolio Reflection: Familiarization and implementation of Lean basics and its results in projects, events and/or activities.

Successful professionals and practitioners may have the option to upgrade to Lean Silver Certification or opt for re-certification after attaining the Lean Bronze Certification.

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