What is an ISSSP Six Sigma Accredited Training Organization (ATO)?
A Six Sigma Accredited Training Organization (ATO) is an organization which has been reviewed and found to meet the rigorous guidelines and requirements set forth by the International Society of Six Sigma Professionals (ISSSP). ATOs are front-runners in the Six Sigma world with established rules regarding standards and ethics that are in line with the ISSSP mission statement, which was created in an effort to establish integrity and transparency. It is our goal to aid students and corporations in their effort to find consultants and organizations that deliver accredited programs so that the both businesses and individuals can be sheltered from charlatans and deceptive behavior.
Eligibility Requirements for Accredited Training Organizations
To be eligible for ISSSP Accredited Training Organization (ATO) status, an organization must demonstrate a quality Six Sigma training program, knowledgeable instructors, and good business practices.
The ATO status requires at a minimum that the organization be:
1. Must be an ISSSP Member at the organizational level.
2. Complete an ATO application with all fees paid.
3. Be in business for at least 6 months with proof of prior Six Sigma training experience.
4. Must have a person as a contact for students and ISSSP to contact. This may be more than one person.
5. Be in good standing with the business, consumer, and Six Sigma world
a. Must have at least a B+ rating on BBB, if your organization is listed.
b. Must have an after-training survey in place and provide examples of at least one completed survey.
i. Must evaluate training
ii. Must evaluate training materials
iii. Must evaluate instructor
iv. Must evaluate (training location, system or other methods)
v. Must evaluate usefulness of the course
6. Must have a process in place to deal with customer complaints and provide a copy of the process, including a process for refunds.
7. Must clearly show on website (if one exists), as well as on all marketing materials the time required for training and the requirements for certification.
8. Must have at least one Master Black Belt on staff as a trainer and mentor.
a. Be able to provide Bio for MBB
b. Be able to provide LinkedIn profile for MBB or Resume
c. A contract MBB is allowed, but you must state that the individual is an independent contractor and not an employee
9. Must require a real-world (not simulated) project mentored by an MBB for certification at the GB and BB level in addition to REQUIRED training. Exams will not take the place of a project.
10. Must include contact information, including address, phone number, and email address on website (if one exists), as well as on marketing materials.
11. Must require a minimum amount of training and mentorship, such as project work based on the Day Equivalents (DEs) for training per belt level offered.
12. Must complete a reasonable number of scheduled public training and provide reasons for any cancellations.
13. Must provide the Body of Knowledge (BOK) the organization is using for training. If using your own BOK please provide a copy that includes a detailed list of all elements required in a format like standard BOKs. Provide details regarding the percentage of the BOK used in training materials for all belt levels offered, including a course outline and an example for each program.
14. Must have a system in place to keep student records safe and available for the life of the business? This means keeping copies of training completed by students and certificates earned. Must have a process in place for releasing records to students, potential employers, etc.
16. Must accept and abide by the Intellectual Property Guide.
The following information will be required as part of the application process:
- Provide evidence of your business status. If less than six months in business, provide evidence of Six Sigma Training and Certification experience, as well
- Demonstrate record keeping of certificates issued
- Provide at least 3 references from 3 different programs
- Provide evidence of Six Sigma projects that the organization has managed/mentored
- Provide detailed outlines for each course offered, as well as two modules for review
- Include copies of any certificates you issue (samples are acceptable)
- Include copies of any marketing materials
- Show various links to any website(s) your organization owns that will be associated with your ISSSP status, if available
- Provide evidence for approved provider status that the organization holds through other organizations (i.e. IACET, PMI)
- Employ applicable designations regarding ISSSP Intellectual Property Guide and obey our marketing rules
In addition, the following information will also be required:
- Describe your system for maintaining student records and provide the name and contact information for the individual responsible.
- Describe your policy for handling complaints and provide the name and contact information for the person(s) responsible for addressing them.
- Provide your Code of Conduct for employees, if applicable.
How Many Applications Are Required?
One application is required for most organizations. Organizations must be operating under a single series of rules and regulations. The training firm must have the authority, responsibility and administrative control over all aspects of the organization, including materials, trainers, and student records to file as one application.
The application must clearly define the organizational division seeking ATO accreditation. In the case of larger firms, complex organizations, or organizations with international locations with separate lines of accountability, it may be necessary to complete separate applications. Please contact us to discuss your situation.
An ATO application fee of $750* is required, when you submit your application. This will cover vetting of your organization and your first year of ATO dues. In addition, you must maintain an annual ISSSP Organizational Membership to keep your ATO status. The annual ATO cost for the second and third year is $550. Recertification is required every 4 years at the current ATO application fee rate. *Additional costs, including travel expenses may be required to complete the accreditation process.
Interested in becoming a Six Sigma Accredited Training Organization (ATO)? You may learn more about the Application Process.