A Certified Reliability Engineer is a professional who understands the principles of performance evaluation and prediction to improve product/systems safety, reliability and maintainability.
This Body of Knowledge (BOK) and applied technologies include, but are not limited to, design review and control; prediction, estimation, and apportionment methodology; failure mode effects and analysis; the planning, operation and analysis of reliability testing and field failures, including mathematical modeling; understanding human factors in reliability; and the ability to develop and administer reliability information systems for failure analysis, design and performance improvement and reliability program management over the entire product life cycle.
Here are the experience and exam specifics for the Certified Reliability Engineer.
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 Reliability 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 who were previously certified by ASQ as a quality engineer, quality auditor, software quality engineer, or quality manager, experience used to qualify for certification in these fields often applies to certification as a reliability engineer.
Candidates who have completed a degree from a college, university or technical school with accreditation accepted by ASQ will have part of the eight-year experience requirement 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 or diplomas from educational institutions outside the United States must be equivalent to degrees from U.S. educational institutions.
Here are the minimum expectations of a Certified Reliability Engineer.
Will understand strategic management aspects of reliability engineering, its relationship to safety and quality, its impact on warranty programs and customer satisfaction, the consequences of failure, and the potential for liability. Will understand requirements planning for reliability programs and how various engineering and operational systems must be integrated to achieve overall program goals and alignment with organizational goals. Will use risk analysis tools and techniques to evaluate product and system safety issues. Will abide by the ASQ Code of Ethics.
Will use probability and statistical tools to analyze product lifecycle, conduct hypothesis testing, understand appropriate statistical models, tolerance and confidence intervals, sample size determination, and regression analysis.
Will develop product and process reliability requirements using reliability and design techniques such as failure mode effects analysis (FMEA), fault tolerance, optimization, and design of experiments (DOE). Will develop systems for material selection, derating methods, and manufacturing control.
Will develop models to analyze and predict reliability performance using block diagrams, physics of failure, apportionment, dynamic reliability, and simulations.
Will develop reliability test plans that represent the expected use environment and operational conditions. Will select, analyze, and interpret the results of various test methods to be used during product development and end product testing.
Will apply the principles of maintainability and availability over the lifecycle of the product, process, or system and will identify and support appropriate testability methods and maintenance activities.
Will identify, collect, analyze, and manage various types of data to minimize failures and improve performance, and will use failure analysis, FRACAS, and other types of root cause analysis in support of reliability.
The topics in this Body of Knowledge include additional detail in the form of subtext explanations and the cognitive level at which the questions will be written. This information will provide useful guidance for both the Examination Development Committee and the candidates preparing to take the exam.
The subtext is not intended to limit the subject matter or be all-inclusive of what might be covered in an exam. It is intended to clarify the type of content to be included in the exam. The descriptor in parentheses at the end of each entry refers to the highest cognitive level at which the topic will be tested. A more comprehensive description of cognitive levels is provided at the end of this document.
Download the Certified Reliability 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 CRE examination is a one-part, 165-question exam, and is offered in English only. 150 questions are scored and 15 are unscored. Total appointment time is four-and-a-half-hours, exam time is 4 hours and 18 minutes.
Paper and Pencil - The CRE examination is a one-part, 150-question, four-hour exam and is offered in English, Korean, and Mandarin 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 Reliability 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.