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Quality Auditor Certification - CQA - Is it right for you?

Step 1. Is this the right certification for you?

Here are the minimum expectations, requirements, experience and exam specifics for a Quality Auditor Certification. If you already know that this is the certification you want to pursue, move on to exam preparation.

Education and/or Experience

Work experience must be in a full time, paid role. Paid intern, co-op or any other course work cannot be applied towards the work experience requirement.

You must have eight years of on-the-job experience in one or more of the areas of the Certified Quality Auditor Body of Knowledge. A minimum of three years of this experience must be in a decision-making position. “Decision-making” is defined as the authority to define, execute, or control projects/processes and to be responsible for the outcome. This may or may not include management or supervisory positions.

If you were ever certified by ASQ as a Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Software Quality Engineer or Quality Manager, experience used to qualify for certification in these fields applies to certification as a Quality Auditor.

If you have completed a degree* from a college, university or technical school with accreditation accepted by ASQ, part of the eight-year experience requirement will be waived as follows (only one of these waivers may be claimed):

  • Diploma from a technical or trade school—one year will be waived.
  • Associate degree—two years waived.
  • Bachelor’s degree—four years waived.
  • Master’s or doctorate—five years waived.

*Degrees/diplomas from educational institutions outside the United States must be equivalent to degrees from U.S. educational institutions.

Minimum Expectations for a Certified Quality Auditor:

  • Must possess the knowledge and ability to effectively conduct different types of audits as appropriate for the method, relationship, or purpose of the audit, and must recognize the effect those audit types will have on the audit scope and outcomes.
  • Must be able to audit in a professional, ethical, and objective manner using and interpreting applicable standards or requirements, with an awareness of potential legal and financial ramifications.
  • Must be able to effectively plan, communicate, and execute an audit within its defined scope, including scheduling resources, conducting necessary meetings in performance of the audit, and using appropriate techniques to gather, identify, and classify objective evidence.
  • Must be able to verify, document, and communicate audit results, develop an audit report, and evaluate the effectiveness of corrective action and follow up.
  • Must possess interpersonal skills to resolve conflict, conduct interviews, and make presentations while participating as an audit team member, and must possess knowledge of the unique responsibilities of the lead auditor and team facilitator.
  • Must be able to select appropriate quality and auditing tools and techniques and use them effectively in a variety of in practical applications.

Examination

Each certification candidate is required to pass a written examination that consists of multiple choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. Compare the old and new BOKs. The Quality Auditor examination is a one-part, 150-question, five-hour exam and is offered in English.

Examinations are conducted twice a year, in June and December, by local ASQ sections and international organizations. All examinations are open-book. Each participant must bring his or her own reference materials. Use of reference materials and calculators is explained in the seating letter provided to applicants.

Please Note: The Body of Knowledge for certification is affected by new technologies, policies, and the changing dynamics of manufacturing and service industries. Changed versions of the examination based on the current Body of Knowledge are used at each offering.

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