Every five to seven years, ASQ Certification works with subject-matter experts (SMEs) in the field of quality to develop and maintain its certification programs. The exam development cycle comprises of six workshops that are held at ASQ Headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over this 12 to 18-month cycle, up to 76 volunteers take part in workshop activities to ensure the validity of ASQ exams.
1. Job Analysis
SMEs identify knowledge and tasks required to perform a job-delineated role. The result of this workshop is a survey that asks respondents to rate each statement in terms of importance and frequency.
2. Test Specifications
SMEs review the results of the survey developed at the job analysis workshop to identify content to be included in the new Body of Knowledge (BoK).
3. Item Writing
After extensive training on how to compose test questions, SMEs write and review questions aligned with the new BoK.
4. Item Review
Test questions written at the item writing workshop are further reviewed and revised by SMEs to verify references, BoK classifications, and confirm one correct answer.
5. Exam Review
SMEs review test questions on a pilot exam form. In addition to verifying each question, the exam is reviewed overall to determine if there is any overlap in content or if there are any necessary revisions.
6. Cut Score
SMEs set the performance standard of the exam known as the "minimum qualifications" that are used as a guide to recommend the passing score for the pilot exam.