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Master Black Belt

A Master Black Belt is an individual who has been certified to train other black belts. Black belts are the trainers and continuous improvement team coaches for a company.

Having a Master Black Belt is a credential. It is not a job title. Most who attain that level have committed to a career in continuous improvement. They often end up in senior roles where they support the Lean or Six Sigma strategy for an organization. You might see a Master Black Belt as a Lean Manager, Director of Continuous Improvement, or Vice President of Operational Excellence.

Master Black Belt Responsibilities

Master Black Belts have a wide range of responsibilities. These include:

  1. MBBs perform a “train the trainer” function, and get black belts up to speed.
  2. MBBs manage the Lean training materials in the organization.
  3. MBBs act as mentors to the senior leadership team to help them develop the continuous improvement strategy.
  4. MBBs lead the most important or challenging projects in an organization.
  5. MBBs roll out improvement efforts in newly acquired companies.

Belt System Overview

The belt ranks are as follows:

Note that there is no governing body for belt certifications. They are attained through private training companies, professional organizations, or through a company certifying its own employees. Take certifications with a grain of salt, and confirm the reputation of the source.


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