Advance your career and achieve the credential of ASQ Certified Quality Auditor.
The ASQ Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) 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.
What Is a CQA Certification?
A CQA certification is a general standard that indicates someone as a Certified Quality Auditor. As a Certified Quality Auditor, someone can analyze a quality system and ensure accuracy and adherence to all regulations and criteria of judgment.
The National Commission accredits the CQA certification for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), and it is recognized internationally. To make a CQA certification, you must have demonstrated skills and experience within the range of quality auditing, and you must pass an examination.
Who Should Get an ASQ CQA Certification?
A CQA certification can be helpful for anyone working as an auditor or in the field of quality auditing. However, the CQA certification is not designed for entry-level auditors. This certification is best for those working as an auditor for at least a few years, gaining expertise and knowledge. The certificate does not teach you new skills. Instead, it allows you to prove your current skills, so you must be prepared for the exam.
This is especially relevant because if you do not pass the CQA exam on your first attempt, you must set two years from your original testing date to retake it. If you feel assured in your abilities as a quality auditor and want to move forward in your career, you can contemplate getting a CQA certification.
How to Get an ASQ CQA Certification?
If you are interested in becoming an ASQ CQA, follow these steps to get your certification:
1. Meet the Prerequisites
To become a CQA, you must first meet specific conditions. You must have one of the following sequences of knowledge and experience to become a CQA:
- A diploma from a technical or trade school and seven years of experience.
- An associate degree and six years of experience.
- A bachelor’s degree and four years of experience.
- A master’s degree or doctorate and three years of experience.
The least amount of work experience that a CQA can have is three years, and the expected amount of work experience depends on your education level. A CQA’s degree should either be in auditing or a relevant field, like business or accounting.
Their experience should be as a quality auditor or a related type of auditor. Unpaid experiences such as internships or college classes do not count towards the required experience.
2. Submit an Application
To get a CQA certification, you must apply to take the exam. Your application should confirm your eligibility to take the exam by listing your education and work experience. There is also a fee, and this application varies depending on whether you are a member of the organization. CQA exam is administered every few months, and you can take your wanted test date when applying.
As part of the application process, you must also read and consent to the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) code of ethics. This code needs you to support their importance as a quality professional and be considerate of others.
3. Take the CQA Exam
The final step is taking the exam, and you should guarantee that you prepare for it ahead of time. The CQA exam consists only of multiple-choice questions, and you have two options for taking it. Candidates can decide to take the exam online or in person. The online exam consists of 165 multiple-choice questions that cover your understanding of quality auditing principles. 15 of these questions are not scored, and the time limit for this exam is 5 hours and 18 minutes.
The in-person exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, all of which are scored. This exam is five hours long, and unlike the online exam, it is allowed only in English. Both versions of the exam are an open book, so you can bring reference materials to aid you.
The CQA exam includes 10 to 15 percent of questions related to case studies about special auditing situations. These questions are somewhat more complicated than the other questions and require you to apply critical thinking skills while examining documents, memos, and additional relevant information. However, these questions are answered using the four option multiple-choice format.
Benefits of an ASQ CQA Certification
Getting a CQA certification can be very useful for an auditor. The CQA certification seems excellent on a resume and can aid you during the hiring process. This certification shows your knowledge and skills in performing and reporting quality audits, making you a better candidate. The CQA certification can even aid you in gaining higher-level work within the management field of quality auditing.
This certification can also help you at your current place of work. This certification can enhance your competency and production, making you eligible for a promotion or a pay increase. CQAs make more money on average than non-certified quality auditors because of their additional credentials.
Having a CQA on their team can help employers because it increases confidence in their auditing process. Some employers may even help their quality auditors become certified, including the exam fee. If you are interested in becoming a CQA, you may need to speak to your employer about the opportunity.
Auditing requires following specific regulations and paying close attention to detail. Quality auditors who wish to prove their skills can choose to get a Certified Quality Auditor certification. If you are interested in developing your career as an auditor, you might consider becoming a Certified Quality Auditor.