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Quality Auditor Certification CQA

Quality Auditor Certification CQA


Process: Learn > Prepare > Apply > Certify > Recertify

The Certified Quality Auditor is a professional who understands the standards and principles of auditing and the auditing techniques of examining, questioning, evaluating and reporting to determine a quality system's adequacy and deficiencies. The Certified Quality Auditor analyzes all elements of a quality system and judges its degree of adherence to the criteria of industrial management and quality evaluation and control systems.

Download the Quality Auditor Certification Brochure (PDF, 338 KB).

Download the Quality Auditor Certification Fact Sheet (PDF, 56 KB).

ASQ Members $348 (save $150)

Non-members $498
Retakes $298


Download an Application (CBT Delivered Exams) (PDF, 148 KB).

Price includes $70 non-refundable fee.

ASQ Certification Prep Resources

The ASQ Auditing Handbook, Fourth Edition

Certified Quality Auditor — Classroom or Web-Based

Certified Quality Auditor Question Bank

 


Requirements

Here are the requirements, experience and exam specifics for a Certified Quality Auditor.

Work Experience

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

Candidates 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.

For candidates who were certified by ASQ as a quality engineer, reliability engineer, supplier quality professional, software quality engineer or quality manager, the experience used to qualify for certification in these fields applies to certification as a quality auditor.

Education

Candidates who 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.

Expectations

These are the minimum expectations of 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.

Body of Knowledge

The topics in this Body of Knowledge include 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 that material that will be covered in the exam. It is meant to clarify the type of content that will be included on 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 complete description of cognitive levels is provided at the end of this document.

Download the Certified Quality Auditor Body of Knowledge


Prepare for the exam

ASQ designed these resources to help you get ready to take the exam. Have you already reviewed these items? Then choose an exam date below.

Review a list of references that provide the basis for the exam questions. These items give you a better idea of the material covered in the exam.

Take an interactive sample exam to receive additional feedback on the questions that appear in the sample exam. Print out the paper-and-pencil sample exam (PDF, 259 KB) to see the actual test format, including instructions and test questions from past exams.

ASQ offers many books and training opportunities to help you prepare.

Training

Books

Examination

Each certification candidate is required to pass an examination that consists of multiple-choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. 

Computer Delivered - The CQA examination is a one-part, 165- multiple choice question, five-and-a-half-hour exam and is offered in English only. 150 multiple choice questions are scored and 15 are unscored.

Paper and Pencil - The CQA examination is a one-part, 150- multiple choice question, five-hour exam and is offered in English and Spanish in certain locations.

All examinations are open book, with the exception of the constructed response (essay) portion of the CMQ/OE exam. Each participant must bring his or her own reference materials. Use of reference materials and calculators is explained in the FAQs.

Case Studies

The CQA examinations will continue to present a number of case studies. Each case study will include a brief scenario outlining critical details about an audit situation. In addition, each case study will be supported by related audit documents.

Approximately 15 percent to 20 percent (25-30 questions) of the test will be devoted to these case studies.

Although the questions related to these cases will use the same four-choice answer format as the rest of the test, the use of scenario details and sample documents will allow the candidates to apply their critical thinking skills in evaluating realistic situations and accompanying documents, memos, etc.

 


Recertification

To maintain the integrity of your Quality Auditor certification, ASQ requires that you recertify every three years. Find out the steps you need to take for recertification.


 

Computer-Based Testing Dates

ASQ certification examinations are delivered by ASQ's testing partner, Prometric. The examination scheduling instructions in your eligibility letter will direct you to a section of Prometric's website, where you can select and schedule your examination date and location.


Special Administration Exam Dates

**For a list of dates and locations of ASQ offered Permanent Special Administration sites (paper based exams) please click here.**


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