ASQ Certification Program Gains Wider Recognition

Article

Moran, John W.; La Londe, Patricia C.   (2000, ASQ)  

Quality Progress    Vol. 33    No. 4
QICID: 13932    April 2000    pp. 29-41
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Article Abstract

Certification represents peer recognition of the proficiency and comprehension an individual has shown in regard to a particular quality area at a specific time. Certification through the American Society for Quality is offered to individuals who demonstrate that they have a specified level of education and/or experience, provide proof of professionalism, and pass a standardized examination. While the first certification examination was given in 1968, and while more than 85,000 individuals have received certification through the ASQ, the process of becoming certified remains somewhat mysterious. Questions often arise about how the certification exams are structured, how they are scored, and how to prepare for the tests. The ASQ Certification Board does not endorse any particular method of preparation, but it is dedicated to ensuring the integrity of the examination process. Therefore, all those involved with exam development must not help others to prepare for the test either formally or informally for a period of two years. The exam development process begins with a job analysis survey, which is conducted every five years to identify the skills and knowledge areas used in the field. This analysis is structured with appropriate items selected by an advisory board appointed by the sponsoring ASQ division. Upon approval by the advisory board, it is sent to a sample of ASQ members who recommend changes if necessary and give their approval. A committee of subject matter experts then translates the job analysis results into categories that can be tested. The actual writing of exam questions is accomplished by a group of 25 certified volunteers who have attended a workshop to train them in various exam-development functions. The raw questions are then entered into a database and reviewed by 12 subject matter experts who verify there is only one correct answer. A draft test is assembled and sent to another 12 volunteers who take the test and provide feedback. Problems with the test are identified through statistical analysis after each test administration. The same care taken in developing the test is applied to the grading process to ensure that it gives an accurate assessment of candidate proficiency. All existing certifications are reviewed regularly to ensure their relevancy, and new kinds of certifications are developed to reflect changes in how quality tools are used in industry and society. The article provides an overview of the Body of Knowledge (BOK) for each of the ASQ certifications.

Keywords

American Society for Quality (ASQ),Body of Knowledge (BOK),Certification,Certified Mechanical Inspector (CMI),Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE),Certified Quality Engineer (CQE),Certified Quality Manager,Certified Quality Technician (CQT),Certifie


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