The Certified Software Quality Engineer understands software quality development and implementation, software inspection, testing, verification and validation, and implements software development and maintenance processes and methods.
Here are the requirements, experience and exam specifics for a Certified Software Quality Engineer.
Work experience must be 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 Software 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.)
For candidates who were certified by ASQ as a quality auditor, reliability engineer, supplier quality professional, quality engineer or quality manager, the experience used to qualify for certification in these fields applies to certification as a software quality 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 Software Quality Engineer.
Must possess a fundamental understanding of quality philosophies, principles, methods, tools, standards, organizational and team dynamics, interpersonal relationships, professional ethics, and legal and regulatory requirements.
Must evaluate the impact of software quality management principles on business objectives and demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of developing and implementing software quality programs, which include tracking, analyzing, reporting, problem resolution, process improvement, training, and supplier management. Must have a basic understanding of how and when to perform software audits including audit planning, approaches, types, analyses, reporting results and follow-up.
Must understand systems architecture and be able to implement software development and maintenance processes, quantify the fundamental problems and risks associated with various software development methodologies, and assess, support, and implement process and technology changes.
Must be able to apply project management principles and techniques as they relate to software project planning, implementation and tracking. Must be able to evaluate and manage risk.
Must select, define and apply product and process metrics and analytical techniques, and have an understanding of measurement theory and how to communicate results.
Must have a thorough understanding of verification and validation processes, including early software defect detection and removal, inspection, and testing methods (e.g., types, levels, strategies, tools and documentation). Must be able to analyze test strategies, develop test plans and execution documents, and review customer deliverables.
Must have a basic understanding of configuration management processes, including planning, configuration identification, configuration control, change management, status accounting, auditing and reporting. Must assess the effectiveness of product release and archival processes.
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 page.
Download the Certified Software 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 CSQE examination is a one-part, 175-question exam, and is offered in English only. 160 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 CSQE examination is a one-part, 160-question, four-hour exam and is offered in English only.
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 Software 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.