The Certified Quality Engineer is a professional who understands the principles of product and service quality evaluation and control.
This body of knowledge and applied technologies include, but are not limited to, development and operation of quality control systems, application and analysis of testing and inspection procedures, the ability to use metrology and statistical methods to diagnose and correct improper quality control practices, an understanding of human factors and motivation, familiarity with quality cost concepts and techniques, and the knowledge and ability to develop and administer management information systems and to audit quality systems for deficiency identification and correction.
These are the requirements, experience and exam specifics for a Certified Quality Engineer.
Candidates must have eight years of on-the-job experience in one or more of the areas of the Certified Quality Engineer 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.
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.
For candidates who were certified by ASQ as a quality auditor, 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 engineer.
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.
These are the minimum expectations of a Certified Quality Engineer.
Will have a fundamental understanding of quality philosophies, principles, systems, methods, tools, standards, organizational and team dynamics, customer expectations and satisfaction, supplier relations and performance, leadership, training, interpersonal relationships, improvement systems and professional ethics.
Will have a fundamental understanding of a quality system and its development, documentation and implementation to domestic and international standards or requirements.
Will have a basic understanding of the audit process including types of audits, planning, preparation, execution, reporting results and follow-up.
Will be able to develop and implement quality programs, including tracking, analyzing, reporting and problem solving.
Will be able to plan, control and assure product and process quality in accordance with quality principles, which include planning processes, material control, acceptance sampling and measurement systems.
Will have basic knowledge of reliability, maintainability, and risk management, including key terms and definitions, modeling, systems design, assessment tools and reporting.
Will have a thorough understanding of problem-solving and quality improvement tools and techniques. This includes knowledge of management and planning tools, quality tools, preventive and corrective actions, and how to overcome barriers to quality improvements.
Will be able to acquire and analyze data using appropriate standard quantitative methods across a spectrum of business environments to facilitate process analysis and improvements.
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 Engineer Body of Knowledge
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. ASQ offers many books and training opportunities to help you prepare.
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 CQE examination is a one-part, 175- multiple choice question exam and is offered in English only. 160 multiple choice questions are scored and 15 are unscored. Total appointment time is five-and-a-half-hours, exam time is 5 hours and 18 minutes.
Paper and Pencil - The CQE examination is a one-part, 160- multiple choice question, five-hour exam and is offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Korean in certain locations. View available translated exams, dates and locations here.
All examinations are open book. Each participant must bring his or her own reference materials. Use of reference materials and calculators is explained in the FAQs.
To maintain the integrity of your Quality Engineer certification, ASQ requires that you recertify every three years. Find out the steps you need to take for recertification.
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.