SME Lean Gold Certification

The Lean Gold Certificate is the highest form of SME certification a Lean professional can get. Ranking at the top of the SME certifications, Gold certification provides a higher level, strategic Lean credential. Compared to the Lean Silver Certification program, Gold certification focuses more on leadership skills.

Because of the higher expectations, the process of becoming Lean Gold certified is much more challenging than the lower certification programs. With its strong emphasis on leading and spreading Lean’s fundamental principles and practices, it’s safe to say that this certification program will benefit every professional and practitioner who is interested in taking Lean to the next level.


Lean Gold Certification Requirements:


Lean Bronze Certification and Lean Silver Certification

Since the Lean Gold Certification program is the highest level of Lean education, proven expertise in Lean principles is a basic requirement. That’s why Bronze and Silver certification is required first, before you can advance to the Gold certification level.


Familiarization with the Lean Body of Knowledge

Unlike Lean Bronze and Silver Certification programs, the body of knowledge that will be tackled in the Gold certification program is much more complex. Here is the body of knowledge needed for Gold certification:

  • Setting Goals, Gap Analysis, Project Management
  • Teamwork, Team Facilitation, Team Selection
  • Tactical Results Measurement such as Initial Goal, Results to Goals, Gaps
  • 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

Applying Lean techniques on a regular basis is just one of the qualities expected of a Lean Gold certified expert. You also need to prove that your Lean knowledge is up to par in order to pass the Lean Gold Certification exam. Professionals are expected to study these lean books prior to getting started with the exam:



Registering for the Lean Gold Certification Exam

After studying the material you can register for the Lean Gold Certification exam online at Once you receive an e-notification, you are now ready to take the certification exam and move one step closer to accreditation.

Lean Silver Certificate holders have 3 years to decide whether to pursue the Gold Certification. During this period, Silver Certificate holders can can continue to work on lean projects to increase their knowledge and skill set.

The examination is a 150-part question exam – similar to the Lean Silver Certification exam – that has to be finished within 3 hours. It’s an open-book type of exam so bringing your own references and resources is highly encouraged.


Lean Gold Portfolio Requirements:

  • Minimum of 200 Hours training and education requirements
  • Facilitating of 1 tactical project, 2 integrative (Value Stream) projects and 2 strategic (Enterprise) projects where Lean principles and tools were used.
  • Mentoring and/or Coaching
  • Integrative Portfolio reflection: recent events, activities and projects where Lean principles and tools were demonstrated.


Collaborative Project with Mentor(s)

Another important requirement for Gold Certification is the ability to coach and teach different professionals in different Lean principles and methods. While this activity was already been done on the Silver Certification process, Gold certification applicants are required to provide evidence of seeking out others to develop and grow.


Final Interview

After providing evidence of lean knowledge and mentorship, each applicant must undergo an interview from other Lean Certified professionals. The interview aims to test and assess each Gold Certification applicant to ensure that their Lean knowledge and values are aligned. It is up to the board’s discretion to certify a professional or not.


SME Lean CertificationTestimonials:

“I would recommend Lean Certification (Bronze, Silver, Gold) offered by AME, SME and Shingo Prize.

Lean Certification is a credential designed by industry for industry. It is a standard against which professional lean competencies are measured. Its core driver is the desire to assess a lean practitioner’s knowledge, skills and abilities. The certification is targeted to companies on lean journeys, and to lean champions, practitioners and consultants charged with facilitating those lean transformations.”

–          Jamal Siddiqi – Lean Gold Certified


“I’d say it is more important to learn about lean by studying and doing it. Also continue asking questions to the forum. By all means, use experts/consultants to learn from if possible/practical but make sure that they have a good verifiable track record. VistaPrint has made many consultants “lean consultants”.”

–          Brian Dreckshage – Lean Gold Certified

More information can be found in this thread on the forums.


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