There are so many ways to learn, it can be a minefield for individuals and training managers to identify the best approach. What works for someone in one situation may be inappropriate for someone else. The situation is further complicated by the advent of eLearning and, with it, the introduction of blended learning courses.

And that’s just the format of the course, not the delivery. So today, let’s explore one element of training in order to clear up some confusion and help you find the best Lean Six Sigma course for your needs.

Why are some courses standalone and others staged?

One of the regular questions we get asked by people enquiring about our training courses is why our Yellow, Green and Black Belt courses can all be taken by absolute beginners, while other companies require you to work through the Belts in stages.

So, while you’d only have to buy and complete one course in order to train as a Black Belt with 100% Effective, with some other providers you’d have to first complete the Yellow Belt and Green Belt courses in order to begin your Black Belt training.

For those initially wishing to complete Green Belt, but with a plan for further study, we have a course called the Black Belt upgrade, which allows those to take only the additional training they need without having to start from scratch again.

The reason we work this way, is because we have found that most people who complete a course have an idea of what level they want to train to, and that is usually Green or Black Belt. We think asking most of our customers to take extra training adds an unnecessary step and could mean that by the time they complete their first course they’ve taken too much time away from work to complete the next phase.

Standalone versus staged

However, offering staged courses is not without its merits, which is why many of our competitors offer courses split in this way.

What are the pros and cons of both approaches?

Staged courses are often offered because they allow delegates to use their new skills and properly understand them before they move onto the next stage. Those trained to Yellow Belt level will be able to apply their learning at work before moving on to train as Green Belt. That’s the theory anyway, but it often depends on how receptive the organisation is to using Lean Six Sigma and can be put under threat if plans or budgets change between training courses.

100% Effective’s standalone courses get around this concern for applying the training by coming with coaching support as standard. All delegates are provided with one to one coaching to use following the training, as well as unlimited support via phone, email or social media.

time and changeStandalone courses also limit the time people have to take away from the office, which can mean they have more time and support to complete their project work when they return. Indeed, we have found that limiting time away from the office is such a big incentive for businesses and individuals that our Intensive Black Belt course regularly outsells our standard Black Belt course, despite a large difference in price. The intensive learning environment, when supported with online materials and coaching as standard, has no impact on the success rate. In fact, more people complete and certify through the intense root as they tend to have more time and support when they return to work.

A great example of this is Rushmi Laidlaw who completed our Intensive Black Belt training in five days, before going on to certify. Last year she and her improvement team won the British Quality Foundation’s 2014 Lean Six Sigma Award at the UK Excellence Awards.

What are the signs of a great training course?

Whichever approach is right for you, you must ensure that you’ll get the level of support you need to embed your learning and use your new skills. Many of our delegates find that the pre and post course online work allows them to develop at their own rate, and the coaching provides an invaluable tool for project completion.

However, many prefer the flexibility of staged courses.

Always look out for customer service staff who will help you make a decision based on your own circumstances. When buying a course, ensure you will get the long-term support you need to use your training and develop personally, rather than just support through the buying process. Read reviews and testimonials, and ask if it is possible to speak to past customers.

If you’re interested in training to become a Black Belt in 2016 click here or call 0800 066 3749 to speak to one of our experienced team members.

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