Certified Quality Auditor (ASQ CQA)

What does a Certified Quality Auditor do?
The Certified Quality Auditor is a professional who possesses an in-depth knowledge to the standards and concepts of auditing and the auditing strategies of reviewing, questioning, assessing and reporting to point out certain adequacy and deficiency in a quality system. The Certified Quality Auditor monitors and evaluates all key factors of a quality system and criticizes its degree of cohesion to the standards and norms of industrial management and quality assessment and control systems.

Now that you know the key elements in the many responsibilities of a Certified Quality Auditor, you might start to question yourself if this certification is suitable for you. Below are the minimum expectations, requirements, experiences and exam details to be able to become a Certified Quality Auditor:

Part of the eight-year experience requirement will be granted if you have completed a degree from a college, university or technical school with accreditation accepted by ASQ. These are as follows:

  • Technical or trade school diploma – one (1) year will be waived
  • Associate degree – two (2) years will be waived
  • Bachelor’s degree – four (4) years will be waived
  • Master’s degree – five (5) years will be waived
  • Doctorate degree – five (5) years will be waived

The applicant must have a total of eight (8) years of on-the-job experience in one or more of the areas of the Certified Quality Auditor Body of Knowledge, and that there is an inclusion of a minimum requirement of three (3) years experience in a decision-making position. A decision-making position is defined as the authority to define, operate, or manage projects or work processes and to be held liable for its respected results. Such decision-making position does not necessarily involve management or supervisory job occupation. Work experience gathered must be in a full time, paid duty. Any paid intern, co-op or other skilled works are not applicable towards the certificate’s work experience requirement.

However, if you were authorized by ASQ as a Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Software Quality Engineer or Quality Manager, any experiences applied to qualify for certification in these areas are suited to practice as a Certified Quality Auditor.


  1. Candidate must acquire the knowledge and ability to adequately execute several kinds of audits that are suited for the process, relationship, or end-goal of the audit.
  2. Candidate must identify the correlated effects of those audit types on its scope and outcomes.
  3. Candidate must be able to audit in a professional, proper, and unbiased manner using and analyzing applicable standards or necessities, with the awareness of possible legal and financial complications.
  4. Candidate must be able to deliver design plans and communication effectively, and operate an audit within its defined capacity, with an inclusion to scheduling resources, executing essential meetings in audit work, and applying suitable strategies to gather, analyze, and distinguish objective evidence.
  5. Candidate must be able to confirm, document, and communicate audit outputs.
  6. Candidate must develop an audit report and assess the efficacy of counteracting actions and consequences.
  7. Candidate must acquire interpersonal skills to conclude certain work conflicts and provide interviews and presentations while cooperating as an audit member.
  8. Candidate must acquire knowledge of the distinct responsibilities of the lead auditor and team facilitator.
  9. Candidate must be able to choose suitable quality and auditing tools and strategies and apply them in diversified applications.

Candidates are required to take and pass a written examination that covers multiple choice questions used to measure his or her comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. The Quality Auditor examination constitutes a 150-question, five-hour exam. And it is offered in English.

Examinations are offered twice a year, in June and December, by local ASQ sections and international organizations. Such examinations are open-book, thus participants are required to bring his or her own reference materials.

How can you recertify?

Maintaining the integrity of your Quality Auditor certification is highly advised, and ASQ requires each candidate to recertify every three years. There are two (2) ways in which you can recertify:

I. Recertification Journal – Acquire a minimum of 18 recertification units (RUs) on your three-year certification period and document them in your recertification journal.
II. Examination – This is required if your certification has expired its six-month grace period.

The purpose of recertifying is to make sure that you have maintained your acquired knowledge that is originally executed when you passed the written examination. Not recertifying, even when your certification has lapsed, ASQ will no longer recognize you as “certified”.


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