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About ASQ

The ASQ Timeline

The American Society for Quality Control is formed on February 16 by 253 members of 17 quality-related societies. George Edwards, director of quality assurance at Bell Telephone Labs, is elected president. Industrial Quality Control becomes ASQ's first flagship publication. The first Section outside the U.S., the Toronto Section, received its ASQ charter December 15, 1946.

Nearly 2,000 attend ASQC's first Annual Technical Conference and the Second Midwest Quality Control Conference in Chicago. Walter Shewhart, the father of quality control, is named ASQC's first honorary member.

ASQC's Code of Ethics establishes responsibilities and standards by which members should conduct their activities and business.

First Shewhart Medal is awarded to Leslie Simon, director of the Ballistics Research Laboratory in Maryland.

The Fifth Annual Technical Conference, the first one fully sponsored by ASQC, is held.

The Textile Technical Committee is created to hold national and regional meetings and further the science of statistical quality control in the textile industry.

Headquarters operations are consolidated in Milwaukee; a full-time administrative secretary is employed to handle expanding operations. The International Chapter is formed to provide services to members abroad.

ASQC and the American Statistical Association jointly create Technometrics, a journal covering the physical, chemical and engineering sciences.


The Education and Training Institute Board is formed, with a national program focusing on management seminars and quality-control engineering courses.


ASQC co-sponsors the first International Congress in Quality Control, hosted by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers in Tokyo.

Industrial Quality Control is replaced by two new publications, Quality Progress magazine and The Journal of Quality Technology. The first certification examinations are held for quality engineers.

A sustaining corporate membership program is introduced to help pay for increased efforts in standards development.

October is designated National Quality Month by Congress to emphasize to business leaders that quality is essential to U.S. preeminence in products and services.

The NASA Excellence Award is established, with ASQC as its administrator. Renamed the George M. Low Trophy in 1990, the award is suspended in 1993.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is established, with ASQC as a co-administrator.


The Registrar Accreditation Board is founded as an independent organization to accredit third-party ISO 9000 registrars.

ASQC celebrates its 45th anniversary and membership exceeds 100,000. ASQC becomes the sole administrator of the Baldrige Award.

The Public Sector Network Technical Committee (now the Government Division) established. Quality Management Journal debuts.

The First American Customer Satisfaction Index is released, measuring consumer satisfaction with the quality of goods and services. Eleven elementary schools participate in the Koalaty Kid training initiative. The first efforts are made to establish a two-way flow of information about quality between ASQC and Washington, D.C.

The Certified Quality Manager program is developed.

ASQC celebrates its 50th anniversary, and collaborates with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on a project to prevent automobile injuries.


ASQC drops "Control" from its name, becomes ASQ and formally adopts a new mission to promote performance excellence in a broad range of organizations and activities worldwide.

ASQ is named administrator of the QuEST Forum, which develops the TL 9000 telecommunications standards. The journal Software Quality Professional debuts. ASQ rolls out Six Sigma black belt training for individuals and organizations. The American Customer Satisfaction Index expands to include 32 high-impact federal agencies.

ASQ and its members help bring about expansion of the Baldrige Award to include awards for education and healthcare. Ralph Wareham, ASQ’s second president, receives ASQ's first lifetime achievement award. "Quality 101," a computer-based training program, is developed to provide training on the basics of quality to a wider audience.

A "Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point" (HACCP) add-on is developed for the Certified Quality Auditor program. ASQ’s WorldPartner Program is founded. The Professional Argentine Institute for Quality and Excellence, Instituto Profesional Argentino para la Calidad y la Excelencia (IPACE), becomes ASQ’s first WorldPartner. The Singapore Quality Institute (SQI), and the Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) also become WorldPartners.


The Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) program is introduced. ASQ relocates to the ASQ Center, its current world headquarters, in the landmark Gimbel’s building in downtown Milwaukee. ASQ's Six Sigma Forum is launched. Six Sigma Forum Magazine debuts. Three educational institutions receive the Baldrige Award, the first time the award has been given in the education category. ASQ membership extends to 122 countries. International Six Sigma program is launched in Europe. Gazeta Global, an international newsletter, is founded. The Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE), Excellence Ireland, the Israel Society for Quality (ISQ), and Brazil’s Regional Program of Quality and Productivity, Programa Gaúcho da Qualidade e Produtividade (PGQP), become WorldPartners.


Calibration Technician Certification is introduced. The Spanish Association for Quality, Asociación Española para la Calidad (AEC), and Excellence Finland become WorldPartners. A healthcare institution earns the Baldrige Award for the first time. ASQ's Koalaty Kids conducts landmark research, gauging the state of the quality approach to education nationwide.

For the first time, recipients are named in all five Baldrige Award categories. Canada’s National Quality Institute (NQI) and the German Society for Quality, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität e.V. (DGQ), become WorldPartners. ASQ adds "webinars" – web and phone based interactive learning programs – to its growing list of learning options. ASQ adopts a new logo and unified "brand" look. The Association for Quality and Participation (AQP) merges with ASQ.

The ASQ tagline Make Good Great® debuts. ASQ launches a "Living Community Model" by introducing several new membership options, communities and networks for both members and non-members. ASQ China is launched. Also launched is a campaign specifically directed at senior management with ads in high profile media, including The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Industry Week, and a sponsorship of National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program. ASQ leads the charge that culminates with President Bush signing into law the bill to create a nonprofit category of the Baldrige Award. ASQ’s board of directors voted to change the name of Region 4, which represented all 15 Canadian Sections, to ASQ Canada. The Korean Standards Association (KSA) becomes a WorldPartner. ASQ’s International Six Sigma Program expands into Latin America with Spanish-language Six Sigma courses offered through local training partners. ASQ Costa Rica becomes the first International Member Unit (equivalent to a Section) outside of North America.

ASQ China subsidiary is established. ASQ Quarterly Quality Report debuts. Boeing becomes first ASQ Organizational Member. Annual Quality Congress changes name to World Conference on Quality and Improvement. First certification for quality process analysts is offered. Online presence expands with the launch of ASQ’s first online blogs. ASQ’s board of directors approves the Brazil International Member Unit (IMU).

ASQ launches initiative to promote the Economic Case for Quality. ASQ is named secretariat for the US TAG to the ISO Committee on Social Responsibility. ASQ successfully campaigns to have the Baldrige Award expanded to cover the nonprofit sector. ASQ forms 11 new networks and communities of practice to expand networking opportunities for individuals with a wide range of interests. ASQ hosts expert panel discussion on quality and healthcare for members of Congress.


Ron Atkinson is the first Canadian to serve as ASQ president. ASQ receives Wisconsin Forward Award recognition at the Mastery level. Community Good Works grants are awarded to the Boys and Girls Club of MetroWest, Massachusetts, and to the City of Porto Alegre, Brazil. New Advocacy Room on the ASQ Web site serves as focal point for public affairs and issues activity. Spanish-language services expand with offering of Spanish Webinar on Six Sigma and Spanish-language ASQ blog.

Quality Progress magazine introduces a new design and launches its own separate and fully featured Web site.

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