Program Overview

The requirements for earning a CRL Black Belt are to submit a minimum of five (5) approved CRL Mastery Belt project applications along with their fully executed affidavit and verification forms. A minimum of one (1) from each of the Uptime Elements knowledge domains listed below is required. The Mastery Belt Checklist can be found HERE.

CRL Domain Mastery Belt project applications and affidavit and verification forms must be submitted by an active Certified Reliability Leader for each knowledge domain attesting to the successful outcomes generated by the project. CRL Domain Mastery Belt project affidavit and verification forms must be signed by the following people in the applicant’s organization:

  • The Applicant who led the project
  • The Applicant’s Executive Sponsor
  • The Applicant’s Financial Verification Agent

CRL Domain Mastery Belt project affidavit and verification forms must also be signed by the following people independent of the applicant’s organization:

  • A designated AMP Subject Matter Expert (SME) will be assigned.

Upon acceptance and approval, an appropriately embroidered Uptime Elements knowledge domain colored belt will be issued to recognize the completion of the project and continued progress made on the journey toward the CRL Domain Mastery Belt.

  • AM Yellow Belt – Asset Management
  • REM Orange Belt – Reliability Engineering for Maintenance
  • ACM Green Belt – Asset Condition Management
  • WEM Blue Belt – Work Execution Management
  • LER Red Belt – Leadership for Reliability

Once 5 Uptime Elements Knowledge Domain Mastery Belts have been earned and confirmed, the Certified Reliability Leader Black Belt will be issued at prescheduled ceremonies held at various locations and dates throughout the year. There is no additional cost for the CRL Black Belt once the 5 Uptime Element Knowledge Domain Mastery Belts have been earned and issued.

There is NO limit on the number of Uptime Element knowledge domain belts earned by an individual or organization.


What is the Mastery Belt Program?

Uptime Elements is a reliability framework for generating improved asset performance while amplifying a sustainable reliability culture based on integrity and leadership. The Certified Reliability Leader designation offered by the Association of Asset Management Professionals (AMP) demonstrates that you are confident and competent in expressing Uptime Elements - A Reliability Framework and Asset Management System.

CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects enable triple bottom-line outcomes of improving reliability and asset performance. You can earn an Uptime Elements Domain Mastery Belt by generating “significant” outcomes. Significant outcomes differ from organization to organization. Not every significant outcome translates to purely economic factors. Almost any project that generates change that supports people in a verified performance improvement trend toward reliability is “significant” in our opinion. Our suggestion is to discuss your CRL Domain Mastery Belt project with a subject matter expert (SME) assigned through AMP. For guidance and clarification, contact

Whether in mining, manufacturing, information technology (data warehousing), processing, utility, infrastructure or service industries, such projects quantify the positive effects of changes. The goal of each successful CRL Domain Mastery Belt Program is to generate significant improvements in reliability and asset performance. For example, over 3 years, multiple CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects with a defect elimination focus eliminated 54% of defects and 73% of defects over 6 years.

A CRL Domain Mastery Belt project is one that uses appropriate strategies and tactics from the Uptime Elements Reliability Framework approach to generate breakthrough performance created by a sustainable reliability culture and delivers a real triple bottom-line benefit aligned to organizational objectives.

Reliability tools tend to be generic and rarely generate sustainable business success on their own. It is the ability to engage and empower cross-functional teams of reliability leaders who work aligned to the AIM of the organization that distinguish a CRL Domain Mastery Belt Project from other improvement projects.

Economic impact, environmental impact and social/cultural impact as outcomes are also a requirement within a CRL Domain Mastery Belt project when compared to other “improvement” projects that focus solely on economic return on investment.

Who are the Association of Asset Management Professionals Subject Matter Experts?

The Association of Asset Management Professionals (AMP) supports a vibrant Community of Practice (CoP) for people and organizations that use Uptime Elements - A Reliability Framework and Asset Management System as a basis for reliability transformation.

AMP designated CRL Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are specially trained to advise, coach and mentor in support of CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects. During the course of project development, SME Coaching is available and can be requested by contacting Upon completion, CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects require a private, post-project validation meeting (can be telephone, web meeting or in-person). The SME will sign-off on CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects that meet the requirements. This meeting can be covered with a standard non-disclosure agreement, if required. AMP SMEs DO NOT charge a fee for this 30-60 minute advisory meeting.

What is an acceptable Mastery Belt Project?

The following examples are not all-inclusive, but will provide examples of acceptable and unacceptable CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects.

Examples of CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects that qualify:

  • Cross-Functional Defect Elimination Program
  • Competency-based Learning Program for Uptime Elements Reliability Framework
  • Ultrasonic Compressed Air and Steam Trap Leak Detection Energy Conservation Program
  • Precision Lubrication Lifecycle Management
  • PM Optimization Program
  • Internet of Things Asset Condition Monitoring Program
  • Drone-based Asset Condition Monitoring Program
  • Any reliability or asset performance project with measured before-and-after benefits

Projects that do not qualify:

  • Projects with no alignment to organizational objectives or AIM
  • Software implementations without detailed reliability improvement outcomes
  • Reliability or asset performance projects without measured before-and-after benefits that align to organizational objectives or AIM

Can I submit a project I completed two years ago?

No,  projects results have to be generated and reportable within the past 12 months.

Where do I send the original signed Mastery Belt Project Affidavit and Verification Form?

You may fax the forms to (239) 533-9898 or email to within one week of submitting your completed application form.

My Executive Sponsor or Financial Verifier is no longer with the company. What do I do?

It is your responsibility to have your Executive Sponsor or Financial Verifier complete and sign the Project Affidavit and Verification Form. Affidavits will not be accepted if they are not signed by an Executive Sponsor and Financial Verifier.

If you are unable to locate your Executive Sponsor or Financial Verifier, a member of upper management at your organization may sign the affidavit in your Executive Sponsor’s or Financial Verifier's place, provided the individual is able to verify the contents of the Application Form are correct.

I am no longer working where I completed my Mastery Belt Project. What should I do?

You may fax or e-mail a copy of the CRL Domain Mastery Belt project affidavit and verification form, signed by you and the independent AMP CRL SME, to your past Executive Sponsor and/or your past Financial Verifier.

Please then have them send the signed affidavit form directly to AMP:

Mail: 8991 Daniels Center Drive, Attn: Domain Mastery Belt Project, Suite 105, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Fax: (239) 533-9898 or E-mail:

Where can I find support for implementing Uptime Elements Reliability Framework?

The Association of Asset Management Professionals encourages organizations that are seriously committed to reliability transformation to consider joining the Reliability Leadership Institute® (RLI) Community of Practice (CoP). This action-oriented community includes at least 5 active participants from each member company for the roles of:

  1. Board of Advisor Leader
  2. Implementation Champion
  3. Competency Champion
  4. Assessment/Benchmarking/Performance Champion
  5. Online Administrator/Internal Technical Support Champion

RLI Members - Contributing, Sustaining and Site - also receive a 25% discount on the $200 Domain Mastery Belt application fee.

Each participant is expected to engage in high quality CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects per year and share progress, challenges and results in secure, private monthly web-based meetings.

This concentrates lessons learned and reduces the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle time immensely.

As previously mentioned, the Association of Asset Management Professionals network of Certified Reliability Leaders includes top-notch talent in almost every topic covered by Uptime Elements Reliability Framework who are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the five knowledge domains

For assistance in the CRL Domain Mastery Belt program or other reliability-related coaching needs, contact AMP at

What are the benefits of being a Black Belt?

There are few personnel that can be devoted to reliability leadership full-time. However, with enough Certified Reliability Leaders in an organization, a reliability culture will develop through natural selfexpression. A minimum of 3 CRL Black Belts per 1,000 employees is recommended.

CRL Black Belts are highly prized employees and are often recruited for key management positions elsewhere in the company. After a CRL Black Belt has been in place for three or more years, former CRL Black Belts and Certified Reliability Leaders populate a sufficient number of key positions in the organization to change the organization’s DNA. In other words, a reliability leadership culture starts to dominate.

Estimated savings per project varies from organization to organization. Reported results average about US$150,000 to US$250,000. Our estimate is that the average CRL Domain Mastery Belt Program will produce a net benefit of around US$200,000 in mature programs, but we have seen a single project in a new CRL Domain Mastery Belt Program net as much as US$2.5 million.

Think small when it comes to CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects. We are not suggesting huge mega-projects, because such large projects tend to have a high failure rate. Most CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects involve significant environmental, cultural and social benefits, as well.

For a company with 1,000 employees, the numbers would look something like this:

  1. Certified Reliability Leader Black Belts: 3
  2. Certified Reliability Leaders: 30
  3. Certified Reliability Leader Domain Mastery Belt Projects: 30 (minimum) with US$50,000-US$100,00 per project benefits
  4. Conservative estimated saving: US$2,100,000-US$4,200,000 (US$21,000-US$42,000 per employee)
  5. Calculation does not include cultural benefit, safety benefit, environmental benefit, social benefit or employee retention benefit.

How do I obtain Executive Sponsorship?

Successful reliability improvement works better and faster when it begins with top management. Start by providing senior leadership with an executive focused Uptime Elements - A Reliability Framework and Asset Management System training in the principles and tools they need to prepare their organization for success. Using their newly acquired knowledge, top management directs the creation of a management infrastructure to support Uptime Elements. Simultaneously, steps are taken to “soft-wire” the organization and to cultivate an environment for innovation and creativity. This involves reducing levels of organizational hierarchy, removing procedural barriers to experimentation and change, and a variety of other changes designed to make it easier to try new things without fear of reprisal for failure.

Note: If Executive Sponsorship is NOT possible or forthcoming, you do not have to wait for permission or sponsorship. People who take a stand and act with integrity make the reliability leadership journey. Begin today, even if you lack executive sponsorship.

  1. Systems are developed for establishing close communication with cross-functional stakeholders who can enable (or disable) reliability and asset performance including maintenance, operations, purchasing, HR, IT, engineering, customers, employees, and suppliers.
  2. Competency needs are rigorously assessed in partnership between HR, training department and Certified Reliability Leaders. Basic reliability leadership courses including interactive exercises are provided to ensure that all employees possess adequate levels of understanding of Uptime Elements Reliability Framework awareness. Top-to-bottom training is conducted in systems improvement tools, techniques, and philosophies.
  3. A framework for continuous reliability improvement is developed, along with a system of indicators for monitoring progress and success. Uptime Elements metrics focus on the organization’s objectives, drivers, and alignment to the AIM.
  4. Business processes to be improved are chosen in collaboration with management, and by people with intimate reliability knowledge at all levels of the organization. CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects are conducted to improve business performance linked to measurable outcomes. This requires knowledge of the organization’s constraints.
  5. CRL Domain Mastery Belt projects are conducted by individual employees and teams lead by CRL Domain Mastery Belts (or Certified Reliability Leaders who are seeking the CRL Black Belt) and assisted by Certified Reliability Leaders; however, CRL Domain Mastery Belts are only issued to one individual per application per project.

How difficult is it to obtain a CRL Black Belt?

Reads Simple – Does Hard! Although the approach is simple, it is by no means easy. But the results justify the effort expended.