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Body of Knowledge - Quality Technician Certification - CQT

Body of Knowledge

The last administration of this current Quality Technician Body of Knowledge will be March 2, 2012.

Quality Technician Body of Knowledge (PDF, 30 KB)

The topics in this Body of Knowledge include additional detail in the form of subtext explanations and the cognitive level at which the questions will be written. This information will provide useful guidance for both the Exam Development Committee and the candidate preparing to take the exam. The subtext is not intended to limit the subject matter or be all-inclusive of what might be covered in an exam. It is meant to clarify the type of content to be included in the exam. The descriptor in parentheses at the end of each entry refers to the maximum cognitive level at which the topic will be tested. A more complete description of cognitive levels is provided at the end of this document.

  1. QUALITY CONCEPTS AND TOOLS (20 Questions)
    1. Quality Concepts
      1. Customers and suppliers
        Define internal and external customers, identify their expectations, and determine their satisfaction levels; define internal and external suppliers and key elements of relations with them. (Comprehension)
      2. Quality principles for products and processes
        Identify basic quality principles related to products (such as features, fitness-for-use, freedom from defects, etc.) and processes (such as monitoring, measuring, continuous improvement, etc.). (Comprehension)
      3. Quality standards, requirements, and specifications
        Define and distinguish between quality standards, requirements, and specifications. (Comprehension)
      4. Cost of quality (COQ)
        Describe the four classic cost of quality (COQ) categories and their uses. (Comprehension)
        NOTE: Specific distinctions between prevention, appraisal, internal and external failure costs will not be covered.
      5. Six sigma
        Identify key components of six sigma such as belt levels, tools, types of projects, processes used, etc. (Knowledge)
      6. Continuous improvement techniques
        Define and apply the principles of various continuous improvement techniques including the PDCA cycle, lean manufacturing, brainstorming, benchmarking, etc., to solve various quality problems. (Application)
    2. Quality Tools
      Select, construct, apply, and interpret the seven quality tools: cause and effect diagrams, flow charts (process maps), check sheets, Pareto diagrams, scatter diagrams, control charts, and histograms. (Synthesis)
    3. Team Functions
      Select and apply the basic elements of effective team function. (Application)
      1. Meeting management
        Define, describe and apply various meeting management techniques such as creating and following an agenda, recording and distributing minutes, establishing ground rules and protocols, etc. (Application)
      2. Team development
        Define, describe, and train team members in the basic elements of team-building, including the importance of diversity and team member participation, how to use creative-thinking tools like brainstorming, and using various tools to achieve consensus, etc. (Application)
      3. Team stages
        Describe the evolutionary stages of teams: forming, storming, norming, and performing. (Application)
      4. Globalization
        Define and describe the impact globalization has on team-related issues such as developing and participating on virtual teams, using electronic communications to support distant collaboration, etc. (Comprehension)
  2. STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES (21 Questions)
    1. General Concepts
      1. Terminology
        Identify and differentiate between statistical terms such as population, sample, parameter, statistic, statistical process control, statistical quality control, etc. (Comprehension)
      2. Frequency distributions
        Define and compute normal, Poisson, and binomial frequency distributions. (Application)
      3. Design of experiments (DOE)
        Define and recognize the basic elements of DOE, including terms such as blocking, randomization, etc. (Knowledge)
      4. Reliability
        Define concepts such as mean time to failure (MTTF), mean time between failures (MTBF), and mean time between maintenance actions (MTBMA), and recognize failure models such as bathtub curve, prediction, growth, etc. (Knowledge)
    2. Calculations
      1. Measures of central tendency
        Define, compute, and interpret mean, median, and mode. (Application)
      2. Measures of dispersion
        Define, compute, and interpret standard deviation, range, and variance. (Application)
      3. Statistical inference
        Determine, calculate, and apply confidence levels in various situations. (Analysis)
      4. Confidence limits
        Determine, calculate, and apply confidence limits in various situations. (Application)
      5. Probability
        Calculate probability using the basic concepts of combinations, permutations, and area under the normal curve. (Application)
      6. Student's t
        Describe how and why t tests are used. (Comprehension)
      7. Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
        Define and determine the applicability of ANOVAs. (Comprehension)
    3. Control Charts
      1. Techniques and applications
        Select control charts that are appropriate for monitoring or analyzing a process and explain their construction and use. (Application)
      2. Control limits vs. specification limits
        Identify and describe the different uses of control limits and specification limits. (Comprehension)
      3. Variables charts
        Identify, select, construct, and interpret variables charts such as - R , - s, etc. (Analysis)
      4. Attributes charts
        Identify, select, construct, and interpret attributes charts such as p, np, c, u, etc. (Analysis)
      5. Rational subgroups
        Define and describe the principles of rational subgroups. (Comprehension)
      6. Process capability measures
        Define the prerequisites for capability, and calculate and interpret Cp, Cpk, and capability ratio (CR) in various situations. (Analysis)
      7. Machine capability measures
        Determine machine capability in various situations, and describe its contribution to process capability. (Application)
      8. PRE-control chart
        Describe the concept of PRE-control and construct and interpret PRE-control charts. (Application)
      9. Common and special cause variation
        Interpret various control chart patterns (runs, hugging, trends, etc.) and use rules for determining statistical control to distinguish between common cause and special cause variation. (Analysis)
      10. Data plotting
        Identify the advantages and limitations of using this method to analyze data visually instead of numerically. (Comprehension)

  3. METROLOGY AND CALIBRATION (19 Questions)
    1. Measurement and Test Equipment (M&TE)
      Describe, select, and use the following types of tools, and evaluate their measurement results to determine conformance to specifications. (Evaluation)
      1. Hand tools (e.g., calipers, micrometers, linear scales)
      2. Gages (e.g., pins, thread, custom gages)
      3. Optical tools (e.g., comparators, profiles, microscopes)
      4. Coordinate measuring machines (CMM)
      5. Electronic measuring equipment (e.g., digital displays, output)
      6. Weights, balances and scales
      7. Hardness testing equipment (e.g., Brinell, Rockwell)
      8. Surface plate methods and equipment
      9. Surface analyzers (e.g., optical flats, roughness testers)
      10. Force measurement tools (e.g., torque wrenches, tensiometers)
      11. Angle measurement tools (e.g., protractors, sine bars, angle blocks)
      12. Color measurement tools (e.g., spectrophotometer, color guides, light boxes)
      13. Gage maintenance, handling, and storage
    2. Calibration
      1. Measurement and test equipment (M&TE) identification and inventory
        Describe methodologies for M&TE identification, control, and traceability to specific standards. (Application)
      2. Gage repeatability and reproducibility (R&R) studies
        Describe the purpose and use of gage R&R studies. (Application)
        NOTE: The components of gage R&R are covered in area IV.B.3.
      3. Calibration intervals
        Use M&TE usage history and gage R&R data to establish calibration intervals. (Application)
      4. Calibration error
        Identify the causes of calibration error (i.e., environmental influences) and its effect on processes and products. (Comprehension)
      5. Customer-supplied M&TE
        Describe and apply requirements for validation and control of customer-supplied equipment. (Application)
  4. INSPECTION AND TEST (21 Questions)
    1. Blueprint Reading and Interpretation
      1. Blueprint symbols and components
        Interpret drawings and apply requirements in various test and inspection activities. (Analysis)
      2. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) terminology
        Define and use GD&T terms covered in the ASME Y14.5M standard. (Application)
      3. Classification of product or component characteristics
        Define and distinguish between product defect characteristics and their classifications in terms of critical, major, minor, etc. (Analysis)
    2. Inspection Concepts
      1. Types of measurements
        Define and distinguish between direct, differential, and transfer measurements. (Comprehension)
      2. Gage selection
        Determine which measurement instrument to use in various situations based on considerations such as the characteristic to be measured, the 10:1 rule, the required accuracy level, uncertainty, etc. (Analysis)
      3. Gage R&R
        Define and distinguish between accuracy, precision, repeatability, reproducibility, etc., as used in measurement. (Analysis)
        NOTE: Gage R&R studies are covered in area III.B.2.
      4. Rounding rules
        Determine when truncation and rounding rules apply to both positive and negative numbers. (Application)
      5. Conversion of measurements
        Convert between metric and English units. (Application)
      6. Inspection points
        Define, distinguish between, and determine which inspection point functions (such as receiving, in-process, final, source, first-article, etc.) should be used at different stages of inspection and test. (Analysis)
      7. Inspection error
        Identify various types of inspection error including parallax, fatigue, flinching, distraction, etc. (Comprehension)
      8. Measurement scales
        Read and interpret measurements obtained from analog, digital, and vernier scales. (Application)
      9. Product traceability
        Describe the requirements for preserving the identity of a product and its origins. (Comprehension)
      10. Certificates of compliance (COC) and analysis (COA)
        Define and distinguish between these two types of certificates. (Comprehension)
    3. Inspection Techniques and Processes
      1. Nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques
        Identify various NDT techniques ( X-ray, eddy current, ultrasonic, dye penetrant, electromagnetic, magnetic particle) for specific applications. (Comprehension)
      2. Destructive testing techniques
        Identify various destructive tests (tensile, fatigue, flammability) for specific applications. (Comprehension)
      3. Other testing techniques
        Identify characteristics of testing techniques such as those used for electrical measurement (DC, AC, resistance, capacitance, etc.), chemical analysis (pH, conductivity, chromatography, etc.), physical/mechanical measurement (pressure tests, vacuum, flow, etc.), and software testing/verification (safeguarding, functional checks, comparison of test results, identification of attributes and parameters, etc.). (Knowledge)
    4. Sampling
      1. Characteristics
        Identify and define sampling characteristics such as operating characteristic (OC) curve, lot size, sample size, acceptance number, switching rules, etc. (Comprehension)
      2. Sampling types
        Define and distinguish between fixed sampling, 100% inspection, attributes and variables sampling, etc. (Comprehension)
      3. Selecting samples from lots
        Determine sample size (e.g., AQL), selection method, and accept/reject criteria (e.g., zero-defect sampling) in various situations. (Application)
  5. QUALITY AUDITS (9 Questions)
    1. Audit types
      Define basic audit types such as internal, external, system, product, process, etc. (Comprehension)
    2. Audit Components
      Describe and apply various elements of the audit process, including audit preparation, performance, record keeping, closure, and verification. (Application)
    3. Tools and techniques
      Define and apply various auditing tools such as checklists, record/document review, forward- and backward-tracing, etc., and identify and use interview techniques appropriate to various situations. (Application)
  6. PREVENTIVE AND CORRECTIVE ACTION (10 Questions)
    1. Preventive action
      Identify and apply various preventive methods including both design and process failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA and PFEMA), mistake-proofing, etc., for products and processes. (Application)
    2. Corrective action
      1. Elements of corrective action
        Describe various steps to ensure corrective action, including interim action, permanent action, verification, etc. (Comprehension)
      2. Failure analysis and root cause analysis
        Describe how and when these analyses are conducted. (Comprehension)
    3. Nonconforming material
      1. Identifying and segregating
        Determine whether products or material meet conformance requirements, and use various methods to label and segregate nonconforming materials. (Application)
      2. Material review process
        Describe various elements of this process, including the function of the material review board (MRB), the steps in determining fitness-for-use and product disposition, etc. (Comprehension)

Math Note: Approximately 20% of the questions in each CQT exam will require calculation.

Six Levels of Cognition based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956)

In addition to content specifics, the subtext detail also indicates the intended complexity level of the test questions for that topic. These levels are based on “Levels of Cognition” (from Bloom’s Taxonomy, 1956) and are presented below in rank order, from least complex to most complex.

Knowledge Level
(Also commonly referred to as recognition, recall, or rote knowledge.) Able to remember or recognize terminology, definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, sequences, methodologies, principles, etc.

Comprehension Level
Being able to read and understand descriptions, communications, reports, tables, diagrams, directions, regulations, etc.

Application Level
Being able to apply ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, principles, theories, etc. in job-related situations.

Analysis
Being able to break down information into its constituent parts, and recognize the parts’ relationship to one another and how they are organized; identify sublevel factors or salient data from a complex scenario.

Synthesis
Being able to put parts or elements together in such a way as to show a pattern or structure not clearly seen before; identify which data or information from a complex set is appropriate to examine further or from which supported conclusions can be drawn.

Evaluation
Being able to make judgments regarding the value of proposed ideas, solutions, methodologies, etc., by using appropriate criteria or standards to estimate accuracy, effectiveness, economic benefits, etc.

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