SME Lean Silver Certification

Most professionals and practitioners who have finished the Lean Bronze Certification program will more than likely take the next step – Lean Silver Certification. The Silver certification program is intended for Lean Bronze practitioners who are ready to become accredited Lean team leaders and/or senior employees.

The purpose of the Lean Silver Certification certification is not just an upgrade of the Bronze level, but also to provide an integrative approach to the standard Lean body of knowledge.

Compared to the Lean Bronze Certification program, the Lean Silver Certification program aims to focus more on Lean leadership skills. With the help of this certification program, practitioners and professionals will add to their knowledge of Lean fundamental concepts, as well as discipline and structure of a lean leadership program.

Accredited Lean Bronze professionals are eligible to take the Lean Silver Certification program as long as their Bronze certification is not expired. While the Silver certification program may prove to be more challenging than the entry level Bronze program, most professional serious about lean will want to continue down the advanced path.


SME Lean Silver Certification Requirements:

Lean Bronze Certification

Among the primary requirements for Lean Silver Certification is the Lean Bronze Certification. Once a professional has finished his/her Bronze portfolio and has been fully accredited, he/she may opt to take the Lean Silver Certification program to further advance his/her awareness of Lean.

Familiarization with the Lean Body of Knowledge

Similar to Lean Bronze Certification but with a more in depth knowledge of the following:

  • 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

Prior to taking the Lean Silver Certification, one must be familiar with the different reference materials used in the certification exams. Professionals and practitioners are encouraged to read the following publications to learn about the core lean fundamentals, paying particular attention to the material on lean management:

Applications and Examinations

Since most of the information is a review of the Lean Bronze Certification program, with more detail, most professionals find it unnecessary to join review centers. Application for the Lean Silver Certification program is similar to the Bronze Certification process. An e-notification will be sent to an individual once an application has been sent.

Compared to the Lean Bronze Certification exam, the Lean Silver Certification exam consists of 150 questions that must be taken within 3 hours and is also open-book policy. Examinees are highly encouraged to bring reference materials to aid them.

Practitioners and professionals who have passed the Lean Silver Certification exam are to receive a Lean Knowledge Certificate that lasts for up to 3 years or until the additional requirements have been passed such as the portfolio. Within the 3-year timeframe, professionals are expected to have completed the following portfolio requirements.


Lean Silver Certification Portfolio Requirements:

  • Minimum of 160 Hours under training and education requirements
  • Facilitating 3 tactical projects and 2 integrative (Value Stream) projects, events and activities provided that the Lean principles were applied.
  • Mentoring and coaching with effective application of various Lean principles.
  • Debriefing of integrative portfolio requirements based on projects, activities and events covered.


Is Lean Silver Certification worth it?

Check out the following comments from lean professionals on

“Lean is a buzzword, but what inspired that buzzword (and past buzzwords like WCM and JIT) i.e. the Toyota Production System is easily something that any Industrial Engineer or Operations Management MBA ought to internalize. The way Toyota thinks about designs and operates their factories, and their enterprise (right down to who they hire, how they train, how they motivate, etc. etc.) is real. I am an IE academic. I had no clue that what I was teaching and doing research about was baloney, until Lean Thinking (the book) showed me HOW and WHAT I should teach and research. From there on, it has been a cakewalk; I feel that I have rediscovered my profession of Industrial Engineering! It has far more to offer than the low-level problem-solving that the legions of Lean experts are offering to industry today. THAT is the reason that results will never be significant. What we know about Toyota Production System is way beyond what Lean has to teach or can do!”

–          Shakrukh – Lean Silver Certified

 “Toyota probably is the only company to have successfully implemented lean in its entirety. Unfortunately lean is an evolutionary process where the longer it’s used the better it gets, so Toyota will probably always be the only company to be completely successful at lean because they are the only company that started as early as they did.

–          Kris – Lean Silver Certified


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