IASSC Vs ASQ: How To Choose Best Six Sigma Certification?


Hi there, are you a Lean Six Sigma enthusiast? Want to become a Globally certified Lean Six Sigma professional? But confused between IASSC Vs ASQ.

Well, this is one of the popular questions people ask, they face difficulty in choosing the right Six Sigma certification body which can add more value to them. Choosing the right certification is a tough task, you need to validate the certification bodies on different parameters.

After helping more than 2000 people in passing the Lean Six Sigma green belt and yellow belt exam, I know as a beginner how one can select the right Six Sigma certification body. 

Let me tell you one thing very clearly, both IASSC and ASQ six sigma certification bodies are well-recognized across the world. But depending upon your need how you can select between IASSC Vs ASQ that I am going to discuss in this article.

We will validate both these certification bodies on different factors throughout the article so that in the end you will be in a position to select the right certification body for you. So let’s Start… 


Importance of Global Six Sigma certification –

World economic forum published a skill report in 2020,  in which they highlighted the top 10 skills for the future job, and as per that report, Problem-solving is one of the most important skills for the future.

Right now every organization wants their employee to have problem-solving skills so that company can earn more profit and become a market leader.

Six Sigma is one the best problem-solving methodology used across all industries to solve complex problems. This Six Sigma problem-solving has been adopted by a growing majority of fortune 500 companies as well as many small and mid-sized organizations.

Its application in both for-profit and non-profit organizations is a reflection of its broad objectives in improving processes at the core of an organization’s mission and till now it helped so many organizations in the long-term growth.

Because of its positive results organization considers Six Sigma-certified professionals as a valuable asset for the company. So it’s definitely worth it for you to become a globally certified six sigma professional.

Six Sigma certification

For that, you can consider global Six Sigma certifications like IASSC, ASQ, CSS, Villanova, etc. (We will talk about IASSC vs ASQ certifications in this article and other certification bodies we will cover in another article.) See these Global certifications will give you more opportunities and recognition across industries.

These global certifications test your application knowledge of Lean Six Sigma concepts like how you can apply the learning in real-life problem solving or how you solve problems using the right six sigma tool etc.

through the official certification exam and then provide you certificates that’s why companies prefer globally certified six sigma professionals. Because you do not get these global certifications easily, to earn them you have to study for 2 to 3 months and then appear for the official exam.

These exams are very difficult you have to give your 100% effort in understanding the Lean Six Sigma concepts then only you can pass these exams and become a Globally certified professional. These certifications skyrocket your career and make you a perfect problem solver.

Benefits of six sigma certifications like IASSC/ASQ-

Global Six Sigma certification will give you career benefits like –

  • Career advancement.
  • Nurture your leadership ability.
  • Excellent salary.
  • Recognition across different industries as a problem solver.
  • Become a valuable asset for the company.
  • Gain hands-on experience in problem-solving. 

So now you got that how global six sigma certifications like IASSC/ASQ can help you in your career. One thing you should keep in mind is that along with these global certifications if you performed an actual six sigma project then this will be added advantage to your profile.

Accreditated six sigma certifications + Project completion has more value across industries than just training completion certification. There are lots of six sigma training providers available in the market through them you can complete training and get certificates.

But when you become globally certified like IASSC and ASQ and along with that if you completed at least one project then companies will consider you as a ready problem solver and they trust your skillset. Because global certification bodies are respected across industries.

You are reading this article that means you know about Lean Six Sigma but you are confused between (IASSC Vs ASQ) and these two certification bodies, Right? Don’t worry I will clear up your confusion.

Let’s understand these certification bodies one by one and then we will compare both so that you can easily choose the best between them.

Register now – Lean Six Sigma With Minitab Live training program and certification.


What is IASSC certification?

IASSC (International Standard for Six Sigma Certifications) is an independent third-party certification body established in 2009. It does not provide Six Sigma training, coaching, or any consultancy services. It facilitates and delivers centralized universal six sigma certification standards testing and six sigma accreditation.  

IASSC is an official member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) and the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), which shows the credibility of IASSC Lean Six Sigma certifications.

IASSC Certification accepted in Industries like BMW, Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, General Electric, ABB, HP, IBM, Nestle, Pepsi, Coco-Cola, Vodafone, etc After 2020 more than 7000 professionals successfully achieved the IASSC certifications.

IASSC Certified Six Sigma professional means the professional successfully demonstrated their competence in the subject matters as determined by professionally developed exams based on the IASSC body of knowledge. 

IASSC offers six types of Lean Six Sigma certifications, they are respected and well-recognized across industries.

To appear for these certification exams you don’t need project experience or any work-ex criteria just you have to apply for the exam and prepare for the exam as per the body of knowledge.

IASSC offers 6 types of global Lean Six Sigma certifications and each certification has a different body of knowledge and exam fees –

Read more – Everything about IASSC Lean Six Sigma Green belt certification.


What is ASQ certification?

ASQ (American Society for Quality) is a global voice of quality and one of the oldest quality certification bodies founded in 1946.

It is a knowledge-based global community of quality professionals with nearly 80000 members dedicated to promoting and advancing quality tools, principles, and practices in their workplace and communities.

ASQ provides training, coaching, and consultancy services globally across 130 countries. They have the reputation and reach to bring together diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s corporations, organizations, and communities to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

ASQ facilitates performance improvement and capability development for many international organizations in the healthcare sector, pharma sector, chemical, and process industries, automotive industries, etc.

Their certification is accepted in all types of organizations like TATA group, Infosys, HCL, Genpact, and many more.

ASQ Certified Six Sigma professional means the professional successfully demonstrated their competence in the subject matters as determined by professionally developed exams based on the ASQ body of knowledge. 

ASQ offers a total of 18 types of quality certifications, they are respected and well-recognized across industries. To appear for these certification exams you need to meet the requirements given by ASQ it could be a work-ex requirement or training requirement.

All the certifications have different requirements so I would suggest you check this on the official site of ASQ. For this article, we will focus only on six sigma certification. So when you meet those requirements then you are eligible for the official certification exam.

Then just you have to apply for the exam and prepare for the exam as per the body of knowledge. ASQ offers 4 types of highly reputed Six Sigma certifications and each certification has a different body of knowledge and exam fees –

( Every Six Sigma belt has certain responsibilities while working on the Six Sigma project check out the below article to understand that.)

Read more – Six Sigma Roles and responsibilites.


IASSC Vs ASQ: comparison –

Well from the above discussion one thing I would like to say is that both IASSC and ASQ certifications are well-recognized and respected across the world. Now let’s compare IASSC Vs ASQ on the basis of certain factors to get more clarity.


Compare IASSC Vs ASQ on the basis of Body of knowledge 

1. Yellow belt body of knowledge –

ASQ’s Yellow belt body of knowledge includes the 6 sections like Six Sigma foundations, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control phase.

On the other hand, the IASSC Yellow Belt Body of Knowledge includes only 3 sections Define, Measure, and Control phase. So here you can prepare for the IASSC Yellow belt exam easily within a short period of time because the syllabus is small.

Just decide your requirements whether you want to prepare for a big syllabus or for a small syllabus because, at the beginner level, it is sometimes difficult and time-consuming to prepare for the ASQ YB exam. ( Use these practice tests for IASSC/ASQ YB exam)

2. Green belt body of knowledge –

ASQ Green Belt Body of Knowledge includes the 8 sections like Lean principles in the organization, Design for Six Sigma, Six Sigma organization goals, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control phase.

On the other hand, the IASSC Green Belt Body of Knowledge includes 5 sections like Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control phase.

But overall IASSC GB exam syllabus is 95% similar to the ASQ GB exam syllabus, some topics like Design for Six Sigma and Design of Experiments are not included in the IASSC GB syllabus.

You will learn these in the IASSC BB exam. So this is the only minor difference. You can decide whether to go for the IASSC or ASQ green belt exam because BOK is almost the same.

You need the same preparation time for both exams also the difficulty level of the exam is nearly equal, only in the case of the ASQ GB exam you need to put a little extra effort into learning topics like Design for Six Sigma and the Design of Experiments. 

Read more – What is Green belt Six Sigma certification?

Check out –  Best seller Practice test courses for IASSC/ASQ Green belt exam.


3. Black belt body of knowledge –

ASQ’s Black belt Body of knowledge includes the 9 sections like Organization-Wide Planning and Deployment, Organizational Process Management and Measures, Team Management, Design for Six Sigma, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control phase.

On the other hand, the IASSC Black belt body of knowledge includes 5 sections like Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control phase also included the Design of experiments. Both the Body of knowledge is nearly the same, I would say 95% same. 

The difficulty of the exam is high and the time required for preparation is also high because you are preparing for the Black belt exam, black belt is the leader of the Six Sigma project so definitely he needs to learn some extra things to manage the project successfully.

For the Master black belt, you should definitely go for ASQ certification, as IASSC does not provide the master black belt certification. This is the highest level of certification and it is a very difficult exam, to achieve this you need years of experience as well as you have to do high-level study. 

Let me conclude this point, overall ASQ exams are more difficult than the IASSC exams, ASQ exams are mostly application-based while IASSC exams are theoretical as well as application-based. I hope you got this point. Let’s see the next factor.



Compare IASSC Vs ASQ on the basis of Exam format

1. Yellow belt exam –

IASSC Yellow belt exam format –

IASSC yellow belt

ASQ Yellow Belt exam format –

ASQ yellow belt

IASSC Green Belt exam format –

IASSC green belt

ASQ Green belt exam format –

ASQ Green belt

IASSC Black Belt exam format –

IASSC Black belt

ASQ Black belt exam –

ASQ Black belt

An important observation from the above discussion –

  • IASSC offers Lean Six Sigma certifications while ASQ offers only Six Sigma certification. You can decide whether you want to become Lean Six Sigma certified or Six Sigma certified as per your requirement.
  • All the IASSC certification exams are closed book (that means you have to memorize BOK and one reference document is given to you that includes formulas) and exams are conducted on computers only (online mode).
  • While ASQ certification exams are open book (you can use reference material during the exam) and conducted using the computer as well as pencil-paper (offline mode).
  • For all the IASSC certifications you have to recertify after the validity period ends and again appear for the exam to earn certification. On the other hand, ASQ green and yellow belt certifications are lifetime certifications but for ASQ Black belt certification you have to recertify after every 3 years.
  • Overall ASQ exams are lengthy and need a huge amount of preparation as compared to IASSC certification. These observations will help you to make the right decision between IASSC Vs ASQ.


Compare IASSC Vs ASQ on the basis of Certification cost 

Certification cost is the most important aspect between IASSC Vs ASQ selection because if you are fresher it is very difficult for you to go for these certifications because of financial problems exceptions are always there, on the other hand, if you are a work-ex guy then you can easily afford these certifications.

If you look at the above pictures of the exam format you will find that all the IASSC certifications are cheaper as compared to ASQ.

Even if you are an ASQ member the certification cost is still high as compared to IASSC, for example, IASSC YB cost is $250 while ASQ YB cost is $322 ( for ASQ members) so there is a difference of $72. 

I think freshers can’t afford this much amount of money at the start of their careers so on the basis of certification cost when you are new to this field and want to earn recognized certification to start your career then IASSC YB/GB certification is the best option.

After taking some years of experience as well as you are ready to afford the price of ASQ certification then you can apply for the ASQ certification for different belt levels.

IASSC Vs ASQ certification cost

Read more – Cost of IASSC and TUV Lean Six Sigma certification.

Read More – Cost of ASQ and CSSC Six Sigma certification.


Compare IASSC Vs ASQ on the basis of Exam requirements –

This is another important factor because for ASQ certification you have to meet certain requirements and this is not the case with IASSC certification.

For IASSC yellow belt, green belt, and black belt certification, things like work experience or project application experience are helpful in cracking the exams but are not mandatory.

You need to be aware of body knowledge, and for that, you can do self-study or you can attend the Lean Six Sigma training to understand the IASSC BOK for respective certification.

Similarly, for ASQ Yellow belt certification, you don’t need work experience or project experience because ASQ considers the yellow belt as an entry-level certification that builds foundational knowledge among the employees.

On the other hand for ASQ green belt certification you need 3 years of work experience in one of the areas of ASQ GB body of knowledge. Work-ex must be full-time and paid roles, internship or part-time roles are not considered as experience.

For ASQ black belt certification you need 3 years of work experience in one of the areas of the ASQ GB body of knowledge. Along with that, you require two completed projects with signed affidavits or one completed project with a signed affidavit.

IASSC Vs ASQ exam requirement

I think for a beginner (not work-ex) IASSC certifications are the best way to start the journey in the Lean Six Sigma field. Then after taking project experience and meeting those requirements, you can go for ASQ certification.

Now decide where you are right now. whether you have required work-ex or not, depending upon that take your decision between IASSC Vs ASQ. Right!


How to make the final decision between IASSC Vs ASQ?

As we discussed earlier global certifications are important for a beginner or entry-level employee who just started a professional career journey. These certifications help people to get a promotion and also help people to get a high-paying job. So definitely getting certified is valuable nowadays.

People will tell you that certification doesn’t have any value, your experience matters. Well, I completely agree with them, this is true when you have years of experience but what if when you are fresher?

In that case, any certification is helpful instead of no certification because certification will tell interviewers that the person is a continuous learner and he has theoretical knowledge in that respective field.

That’s why I think doing global certification will increase your value in the job market. After becoming certified, you can further increase your value by doing real-time Six Sigma projects and solving real-life business problems.

Here I am not going to tell you which Six Sigma certification you should do. I will help you to decide between IASSC Vs ASQ with the help of a list of questions that you should ask yourself.

I already told you that both are recognized and respected across the world. So now it’s your time to answer these questions. List of questions –

IASSC Vs ASQ lean six sigma

Just answer these questions and depending on your answers I have already explained to you what should be the best option for you. Validate that information and make your decision. See the below example and do the same for other questions.

For example – Are you a fresher or a work-ex guy?

If Your answer – Yes I am fresher

then the best option – go for the IASSC certification

If Your answer – Yes I have 3 years of work-ex

then the best option – go for ASQ certification

By using these simple questions you can decide between IASSC vs ASQ. From this entire discussion, you understand that you can go for any of these certifications, no need to be confused about which is best between IASSC vs ASQ.

Because both are recognized, just depending on your requirements you need to select the best option for yourself. Feel free to ask your doubts in the comment section.

If you are preparing for ASQ/IASSC Green belt or Black belt exam then here we have something special for you that can help you crack these exams on 1st attempt see here – the EALSS Lean Six Sigma with Minitab training program and certification.


Frequently asked questions –

Both IASSC and ASQ six sigma certification bodies are well recognized across the world. IASSC and ASQ certifications body of knowledge is approximately same and all over the world industries consider IASSC/ASQ certified professional as a valuable asset for the company.

ASQ provides 18 professional certifications and all the certification will help you to go ahead in your career. It gives personal satisfaction as well as professional career growth. It is worthy to have ASQ certification because it is the oldest quality certification body and respected all over the world.

IASSC provides accreditation to professional trainer as well as training company. IASSC accredited means the professional or training company meets the certain Lean Six Sigma best practice standard and criteria developed by IASSC.


Conclusion –

Selecting between IASSC Vs ASQ is always confusing for people who are new to Lean Six Sigma. But I am sure this article will help them overcome that confusion easily and make a better decision to kickstart their journey in Lean Six Sigma.

One more thing you should keep in mind is, more than certification the most important thing that makes you a real Lean Six Sigma practitioner is the application of learning to the project work. You should also focus on getting a hands-on experience with different six sigma projects.

Alright, here I covered all the important factors that make it easy for you to select between IASSC Vs ASQ six sigma certification. I discussed differences between the Body of knowledge, cost of certification, exam format, and requirements to apply for certifications, etc.

So now I think it is perfectly clear to you how to choose the best Six Sigma certification. Still, if you have any doubts please ask in the comments I would love to help you. (Check out – EALSS Academy)

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9 thoughts on “IASSC Vs ASQ: How To Choose Best Six Sigma Certification?”

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  6. This was a VERY helpful article, as I am Black Belt trained and have done some projects but still want to get “Certified,” without having to do another project to receive certification, and your article has helped me to decide which exam and certification program to choose. Thank you!

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