Why Companies Move Away From Traditional Belt Training

blended learning lean lean six sigma operational excellence opex strategy people development six sigma Jan 31, 2024


The webinar is titled "No More Belts: An Alternative Approach to Skill Development, with Katie Bockwoldt.  Katie Bockwoldt and Justin Kenny are the guest hosts from the state of Vermont.


Transition Away from a "Belt" Program:

  • Vermont previously operated a belt program for skill development.
  • The state is transitioning away from the belt program towards a more flexible approach.
  • The transition is still in its early stages, approximately six months in.


Challenges with Belt Program:

  • The belt program faced challenges in applicability across diverse job roles.
  • It focused more on technical skills than soft skills.
  • The hierarchical certification structure hindered participation in Improvement efforts.


Alternative Approach to Skill Development:

  • Vermont aims to foster a culture of Improvement across the organization.
  • The new approach focuses on developing both technical and soft skills.
  • It seeks to address the limitations of the previous belt program.

Flexible Learning Opportunities:

  • The new program offers various learning paths and badges for skill development.
  • Participants can engage in courses individually or follow recommended learning paths.
  • The program emphasizes practical application through workshops and communities of practice.
  • Vermont aims to maintain accessibility and support for continuous Improvement efforts.

Course Forward:

  • At Belt Course, even though our name could be misleading, we also moved away from the traditional belt training.
  • We made our programs job-specific, spaced out with Blended Learning and time to apply and become an expert at each phase of someone's learning path. 
  • Examples of "badges"

  • Example Simulation-based Blended Learning pathways



Take advantage of our promotion taking place now for our A3 Problem-Solver course shown above!  Learn more about it here:  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7142627086560624640/



  • Katie Bockwoldt serves as the Performance Improvement adviser from the Chief Performance Office in Vermont.
  • Katie manages the state's Continuous Improvement network and directs teams on process Improvement and strategic planning.
  • Justin Kenny is the Chief Performance Officer for Vermont, overseeing organizational Performance Management Systems.
  • Justin drives the adoption of continuous Improvement methods such as Lean and Ghana.



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