SME Logo


SME Certification

Lean Certification


Lean Certification header

Lean Silver Certification

Integrate your lean knowledge with leadership experience.

Lean Silver Certification represents your career progression in knowledge and responsibility as you become a senior employee and team leader. At this level, mentoring/coaching is required and confirms your ability to lead and mentor a team in the preparation, design, and execution of value stream transformations.

You’ll study and learn lean from these key modules from the Lean Certification Body of Knowledge (PDF):

  • Module 1: Cultural Enablers (20%)
  • Module 2: Continuous Process Improvement (30%)
  • Module 3: Consistent Lean Enterprise Culture (20%)
  • Module 4: Business Results (30%)

Step 1: Earn your Lean Bronze Certification

You must first complete the requirements and earn your Lean Bronze Certification before advancing to Lean Silver Certification.

Step 2: Assess your knowledge and experience

Start your preparation by reviewing the Body of Knowledge (PDF), Competency and Behavior Model (PDF), and core reference materials. Visit for Exam Preparation Tips and additional information and resources.

Autonomation (Jidoka)
Cells, one piece flow
Continuous improvement (Kaizen)
Cost, productivity results
Customer demand pace (takt time)
Customer requirements, satisfaction
Distribution, logistics, delivery
Identifying value added/non-value added work
Identifying waste
Lean product design
Load leveling/production leveling (Heijunka)
  Mistake proofing (Poka-yoke)
Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (PDCA)
Problem solving (5 Whys)
Pull systems (Kanban)
Quality methods
Quick changeover, setup reduction
Root cause, corrective action
Standard work
Total productive maintenance (TPM)
Value stream mapping
Visual factory

Step 3: Read the core reference material

Exam questions are based on specific core reference material selected by knowledgeable and experienced individuals. You can save 10% by purchasing the Lean Silver Certification book package, which includes:

Step 4: Apply

The Lean Silver Certification exam is offered in online and paper/pencil formats. You have one year in which to take the exam from the date of purchase.

Click here to apply

Step 5: Take the exam

The Lean Silver Certification exam is a three hour, open book and open notes exam. It consists of 150 multiple-choice questions mapped to the Body of Knowledge (PDF). Exam questions are taken from the core reference materials. You must submit your Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF) to SME at least two weeks before your scheduled exam date.

To pass the exam, you need to score 75% or higher. After your exam is scored, you will receive official results by mail, which includes an Examination Analysis Report (PDF) that provides a breakdown of your results by knowledge area.

Step 6: Mentoring

Lean Silver Certification candidates are expected to seek out others in their lean journey to help them grow and develop. This activity must be demonstrated and measurable outcomes must be included in your Lean Silver Certification portfolio.

The Lean Registry is free online networking community and collaboration space to connect with those looking for mentors and other lean practitioners. It also includes upcoming events, blogs, and a growing lean glossary.

Step 7: Submit your Lean Silver Certification portfolio

After passing your exam, to receive your Lean Silver Certification, you must exercise your lean knowledge by participating in activities in which lean principles and tools are applied. This is demonstrated through the development of your Lean Silver Certification portfolio, which must document and include:

  • 160 hours of education and training requirements (PDF) (80 hours earned from Lean Bronze Certification plus 80 additional hours).
  • Three tactical projects and two integrative value stream projects where specific lean principles and tools are applied.
  • Mentoring and/or coaching (PDF)
  • A reflection statement that captures your lean journey and what you have learned through the certification process.

Visit for the portfolio requirements and forms (MS Word), portfolio information and instructions (PDF), portfolio writing tips, and additional resources.

Step 8: Plan your next step

Upon passing your portfolio review you will earn your Lean Silver Certification (LSC) which is valid for three years. During this time you may choose to pursue recertification or pursue the Lean Gold Certification.

If you have questions or need additional information email us, complete an online inquiry form, or call SME Customer Care at 800.733.4763 or 313.425.3000.