A question was recently posed regarding certification for Lean Six Sigma. There is no governing body and no standard test. Many companies, including my own, offer certification. How can that be? How can someone be certified to do something when there is no standard against which to measure that person’s competence?
The irony here is that Lean Six Sigma is all about measurements, standards, and processes. As a professional in the field for more than two decades, I know the importance of operational definitions, standard processes, and calibrated measurements. This is no less important when it comes to certifying experts.
Whether your profession has standards for certification or not, you can – and should – use reliable and valid instruments for measuring competencies and skills. The scales that you use to grade need to be applied consistently. You also need to ensure that what you’re measuring is correlated to competency in that job; i.e.: a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Assuming that you’re training for certification, not just administering tests, a great way to design and validate your certification process is to use Moodle Outcomes.
Outcomes are not simply pass/fail grades. Grades of tests and assignments, along with other demonstrations of competence, are used to determine the outcomes based on a set of evaluation criteria. This set of criteria is known as a rubric.
Outcomes – and rubrics – can become quite complicated and they aren’t something you can apply directly from one curriculum to another. You can, however, follow good examples, such as this one at Moodle.org.
Before you can create your own rubric, you need to:
- Determine the competencies required for the certification or diploma you are awarding.
- Design the training that will teach these required skills.
- Design the testing that will reliably measure the competencies gained by your training.
Once you have defined the set of criteria for each outcome, then you can:
- Deliver the training and testing (tests, written assignments, hands-on assignments…)
- Evaluate each student against those criteria.