Six Sigma advancement levels and training

Black Belt

The term black belt, taken from the concepts of martial arts, describes an expertise level pertaining to Six Sigma. A black belt at Virtua is a person who has received extensive training in applying the Six Sigma methodology in the form of define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) to improve processes across the system. This is a full-time position. A vice president or chief operating officer may work with a candidate, or individuals may apply to enter the pool of black belts. The black belt internship is meant to develop high-performing individuals and, after two years, when they have gained experience and a much greater skill set, absorb them back into the organization.

Green Belt

A green belt is a person who remains in his or her existing position with the organization but has the opportunity to learn how to use the tools of Six Sigma to improve the operation of that department or area.


The training, which is broken down into the steps of the DMAIC process, takes about 15 days and occurs over the course of a couple of months. It is done in phases that last two or three days. Black belts and green belts are trained on laptop computers, using programs such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Minitab.

Source: Virtua Health, Marlton, NJ.