Certificate in Lean & OpEx (Yellow Belt)

  • NFQ Level 7
  • Credits 5*
  • Course Code SG_EYELL_E07
  • Award Certificate
  • Duration 0.5 years

Course Summary

Start Date: 

18th September 2023 Duration: 

1 Semester (14 weeks)


(no campus attendance needed)
  • 100% Online Assessment
  • Includes Continuous Assessment & Final Online Exam


Certificate in Lean Sigma Quality 
5 ECTS credits  at Level 7  
 Hours study:

Lectures: 1 hour per week 
Self-study: 3 – 5 hours per week

Application Closing Date: August 1st, 2023

Enrol in Ireland's largest accredited online Lean & Operational Excellence (OpEx) course. This programme is being utilised by several of Ireland's leading employers to upskill their workforce using ATU Sligo's award-winning 'anytime - anywhere' online learning system. The course includes weekly live interactive sessions with your lecturer(s). All lectures are also recorded for later viewing and revision purposes. Note: If you are an employer planning to enrol a group of your employees on this programme, please get in contact with us (admissions@itsligo.ie) so that we can offer you more personalised options.

The Lean & OpEx Yellow Belt’ certificate course is primarily aimed at those working in a modern manufacturing or service environment who wish to expand their knowledge in the principles of Lean methodologies and Operational Excellence tools. Participants on this course are also given free access to Minitab Workspace during their course of study at ATU Sligo.  Minitab Workspace contains powerful visual tools, process maps, brainstorming diagrams and forms in one intuitive interface that will be utilised throughout the course. The Lean tools are a key component and enabler of Operational Excellence where problem-solving, teamwork and leadership result in continuous improvement in the workplace. Although originating in manufacturing, the Lean Tools and Techniques are also being used in healthcare, finance and service sectors where benefits have been achieved in productivity, efficiency, and cost reduction.

The course is aimed at all levels within the organisation including operators, administrators, technicians, engineers, supervisors and managers. The course is offered over 1 semester (14 weeks). All of the course material and assessments are taken online with one lecture per week. The lectures are also recorded so you can watch them anytime at your own convenience.

Key Course Information
During this course, the learner will study the application of Lean and Operational Excellence (OpEx) principles, including the Shingo model for operational excellence.

Topics will include:

  • Principles of Lean and Operational Excellence
  • Lean transformation and the culture of continuous improvement.
  • Shingo prize and the Toyota Production System
  • What is a (business) process and how to optimise it?
  • Identifying the Waste in your process – the 7 deadly Wastes
  • Visual Workplace & 5S
  • The Kanban method for Agile project management 
  • Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing)
  • Flowcharting your process
  • Value Stream Mapping™ (using Minitab Workspace software)
  • Lean Metrics & Key Performance Indicator's (KPI'S)
    • Calculating Lead time, Cycle time, Takt time and Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE)
  • Pull & Flow, JIT, Kanban and the Theory of Constraints (TOC)
  • Problem Solving Tools & Techniques -  / DMAIC, PDCA & Kaizen events
    • Five Whys, A3 (8-step) process, Fishbone diagrams,
  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  • Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) - 'winning the shift'
  • SMED (Quick Changeover Techniques)
  • Daily Meetings, Leader Standard Work & Gemba walks

Download the brochure for LeanOpEx Yellow Belt Course 

Key Course Information

Application Closing Date : 18th August 2023

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have two years relevant work experience and are expected to have passed the Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) or equivalent in maths due to the statistics covered in the course syllabus. 

If you are concerned about your Maths ability, ATU Sligo now provide access to a free Mathematics Support Centre to all students. Here you can book online tutorials with our Maths tutors to review any queries you may have with the maths in your programme of study. Further details Maths & Engineering Support Centre

A good understanding of English language, literacy, numeracy and computer skills are required to be successful on this course.

Minimum PC requirements to use the Minitab Workspace software on this programme.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • RAM*: 64-bit systems: 4 GB of memory or more recommended
  • Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ Dual Core, with SSE2 technology
  • Hard Disk Space:  2 GB (minimum) free space available
  • Note: Minitab do not provide a version of this software for the Apple Mac.

Career Opportunities

A growing number of organisations in manufacturing, medical device, pharmaceutical, food, healthcare, finance and the service sectors are looking to fill a wide variety of positions with candidates who are adept at applying the principles of Lean, Operational Excellence (OpEx) and Six Sigma.

Obtaining your Lean OpEx Yellow Belt is the first step on your journey.  After completing the Yellow Belt,  you can progress onto a Six Sigma Green Belt award. There are a number of career paths available, as the Lean, OpEx and Six Sigma tools can be very effective in improving business processes in a variety of different industries and sectors.


Further Study

By completing the Lean & OpEx Yellow Belt, you may wish to progress to a ‘Certificate in Lean Sigma Green Belt’ award from ATU Sligo by completing an additional two modules - one of which is a work-based project. The Green Belt course includes the Lean & OpEx module from the Yellow Belt course so you can apply for an exemption from the Lean & OpEx module.  Once the exemption is granted, you would then need to complete the Six Sigma 1 module and a Project to obtain your Green Belt.  

  1. Lean & OpEx - you will complete this as part of this Yellow Belt course
  2. Six Sigma 1 - Introduction to Lean Sigma Quality (runs from September - December each year)
  3. Six Sigma  3 - Project (runs from October - May each year)

ATU Sligo also offers a ‘Certificate in Advanced Lean Six Sigma Black Belt’ award. Both of these courses are offered in an online mode.


“We selected ATU Sligo as they are the leading provider of accredited online learning programmes in Ireland. Their online learning systems allow our employees to access the course material anytime, anywhere. It provides us with the unique ability to train over 2,000 of our employees in a cost-effective way across 10 sites working on multiple shifts. This online course is a key part of the progression path for Glanbia employees who wish to continue to upskill and earn additional qualifications such as Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belt certification.” Michael Phelan, Glanbia Ireland’s Head of Operations and Supply Chain Excellence

Read the full story here 

Programme Fees

Course Fee: €500

Special Offer: €250* 

*Normally priced at €500, as a special offer ATU Sligo have discounted the fee to €250. Places are limited on this programme.

Course Format

Semester 1

Lean & Operational Excellence (OpEx)05