The leader in the field of quality, ASQ, formerly known as the American Society for Quality, was established in 1946 and currently has over 85,000 members worldwide. The ASQ community is divided into over 250 sections and focused into more than 25 forums and divisions. The ASQ offers seventeen quality certifications that can help quality professionals with their career development. This article examines the certifications on offer from ASQ.
A biomedical auditor is someone who works with medical devices, including in vitro diagnostics and biologics that are regulated as medical devices. This position is required to accurately and objectively report to management on the effectiveness of business processes to achieve business objectives, including compliance with regulatory requirements. The certification from ASQ requires that you must have at least five years of on the job experience as a biomedical auditor.
Calibration of equipment is vital to ensure that measurements are accurately obtained. The certification of a Calibration Technician is for someone who has at least five years experience in calibrating, maintaining and repairing electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, analytical and electronic measuring, recording and indicating instruments and equipment for conformance to established standards.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. The goal of HACCP is to help prevent issues with food safety before they occur, rather than after an incident has already taken place.
The Lean certifications offered by ASQ have been designed by three organizations; the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. There are three certifications available; bronze, silver and gold.
Six Sigma Green Belt
The certification requires that a candidate has three years of work experience in areas of Six Sigma Green Belt knowledge. The candidates must have working knowledge of Six Sigma, lean principles, six sigma design, project management, process management, collecting and analyzing data, and hypothesis testing.
Six Sigma Black Belt
Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) requires that candidates have three years of experience and at least two completed projects. The certification aims to test a candidates knowledge of project deployment, organizational process management and measures, team dynamics, team decision-making tools, management and planning tools, process characteristics, measurement systems, hypothesis testing, design of experiments, statistical process control, and methodologies.
Six Sigma Master Black Belt
The certification of Master Black Belt has a prerequisite of a person already holding the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). The certification is aimed at individuals who possess exceptional expertise and knowledge of current industry practice. Master Black Belts have outstanding leadership ability, are innovative, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the practice and advancement of quality and improvement.
Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence
Candidates for this certification should have at least ten years of on-the-job experience as a Quality Manager. The candidate should be able to answer questions on leadership, strategic plan development and deployment, management methods, quality management tools, supply chain management, and training.
Pharmaceutical GMP Professional (CPGP)
Candidates for the CPGP should have a minimum of five years of on-the-job experience. A successful candidate should have knowledge of compliance with good manufacturing practices (cGMP ), as regulated and guided by national and international agencies for the pharmaceutical industry. The exam covers areas such as regulatory agency governance, quality systems, laboratory systems, materials and supply chain management, sterile and non-sterile manufacturing systems, and product development and technology transfer.
A candidate for this certification requires a minimum of eight years of on-the-job experience. A quality auditor must possess the knowledge to effectively conduct different types of audits in a professional, ethical and objective manner using and interpreting applicable standards, with an awareness of potential legal and financial ramifications. In addition candidates must be able to effectively plan, develop, communicate and execute an audit within a defined scope, including resource scheduling, conducting necessary meetings in performance of the audit and using appropriate auditing techniques.
A candidate for this certification requires a minimum of eight years of on-the-job experience. Candidates should have a fundamental understanding of a quality system and its development, documentation and implementation to domestic and international standards or requirements. In addition, candidates should understand quality philosophies, principles, systems, methods, tools, and standards.
Quality Improvement Associate
This certification is for candidates with a minimum of two years on-the-job experience. Candidates should understand basic quality terms, concepts, and principles. In addition candidates need to understand about continuous improvement, including improvement cycles and tools.
Quality Process Analyst
This certification is for candidates with a minimum of two years on-the-job experience. Certification requires a candidate must understand the elements and purpose of quality planning, and who contributes to its development. In addition the candidate should be able to select, apply and interpret basic quality tools, as well as be able to define and interpret the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle and continuous improvement models.
This certification is for candidates with a minimum of two years on-the-job experience. A quality inspector should be able to evaluate hardware documentation, perform laboratory procedures, inspect products, measure process performance, record data and prepare formal reports.
This certification requires candidates to have at least four years of higher education or work experience. A certified quality technician should be able to prepare inspection plans and instructions, select sampling plan applications, analyze and solve problems, prepare procedures, train inspectors and perform audits.
This certification is for candidates with a minimum of eight years on-the-job experience. Candidates should understand the principles of performance evaluation and prediction to improve products and systems safety, reliability and maintainability.
Software Quality Engineer
This certification is for candidates with a minimum of eight years on-the-job experience. A certified software quality engineer should be able to understand software quality development and implementation including software inspection, testing, verification, and validation. They are also required to implement software development and maintenance processes and methods.