ASQ - CQPA and CQIA

Quality_Goblin

Starting to get Involved
#1
Hi All,

For those with the CQPA and CQIA certificates, I have a few questions:
  • What positions do you hold in your companies? Did your position change after getting the cert?
  • How much knowledge and insight did you gain and has it benefited your career?
  • Did your salary increase after completing the course?
  • What did you enjoy most about taking the courses? What did you enjoy the least?
A little about myself - I am still new to manufacturing (1.5 years), working for a company that makes parts for medical, aerospace, and semi-conductor industries. We are ISO 9001/13485 and AS9100 certified, and I help with audits both internal and from certifying bodies. I enjoy auditing and looking for root causes and digging into documentation and finding gaps in processes. Currently I am a training coordinator and document control specialist, and I live inside our QMS. I spend a lot of my time looking over SOPs and scanning through documents for errors and accuracy. I have a BA in sociology and love looking for correlations between concepts and asking why things are done certain ways. I haven't really used any math or stats skills, and I am not very involved in production, but would love to do more from a Quality perspective. With that, said I can't decide which of these two certifications would be a better fit for me. Any suggestions? Also thank you to everyone in advance for answering my questions.
 
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Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#2
How your company views ASQ certification will determine whether it does you any good in moving forward in the company. There has been a lot of discussion here over the years about the value of certification, with different opinions. In general, and as a practical matter, there's no substitute for experience.
I enjoy auditing and looking for root causes and digging into documentation and finding gaps in processes.
In many cases internal auditors have little or nothing to do with resolving audit NCs, and that's generally how it should be, imo. The goal, rather than looking for gaps, should be to confirm that the processes in question operate according to the documented requirements. Internal audits should never be fishing expeditions, and you should never be actively looking for "gaps" and nonconformities.
 
#5
We had formerly farmed out all calibration, I took on the calibration of almost all of the inhouse tools, mics, calipers, and specialized measurement jigs for a bump in pay. I was not able to calibrate our force gauges in house, so that stayed outside my scope.
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#6
We had formerly farmed out all calibration, I took on the calibration of almost all of the inhouse tools, mics, calipers, and specialized measurement jigs for a bump in pay. I was not able to calibrate our force gauges in house, so that stayed outside my scope.
Were you already qualified to do all of that calibration?
 

Tidge

Trusted Information Resource
#7
I don't hold ASQ certifications in either CQPA or CQIA, although among the ASQ certs I do hold is CQE. (links are to the Body-of-Knowledge 'maps')

It is very likely that either CQPA or CQIA will offer insight into the areas you seek (many ASQ certifications have some common ground); I know that the CQE preparation will give a very fundamental understanding of modern Quality, and also introduce/reinforce one area of value for manufacturing ('Quantitative Methods and Tools') and one area vital for team participation ('Risk Management'... which was being beefed up... and is applicable to team projects). Of the other two, the CQPA BoK appears to be closer to the CQE... but keep in mind my personal ignorance.

As a manager: I would prefer a more foundational CQE, with a follow-up of a second, more targeted certification. Certification is not the same thing as the experience (as mentioned by @Jim Wynne ), I think of the CQE certification more like familiarizing yourself with a broad background of the experiences of others. The targeted certifications do offer value (see comments by @hogheavenfarm ), but generally my experience has been if you aren't routinely doing the activities as part of a job they are somewhere between resume additions and a source of general familiarity should the topics come up (*1). For seekers of certifications who are uncomfortable with exams, seeking a more focused certification is a reasonable approach to working towards something like a CQE.

(*1) Actual no-context quote that I remember hearing: "oh yeah, control charts!"

As for career helping? Some of my certifications were a measurable part of the above-and-beyond assessment of my annual performance; one cert was necessary (per hiring manager) for a past position. Besides the actual learning-of-things, I found value in recognizing (and expecting) a certain baseline level of knowledge and having a lingua franca when talking with fellow certified folks. I currently work in a semi-specialized field, the certifications have been valuable for me to recognize what my field does differently (and why) than other fields.
 
#9
I liked the SSGB cert mainly for the knowledge and the statistics it brought, the CQI was fairly straightforward but nothing earthshaking, I suppose some companies would like to see that one, the CQT is a base level course for the CQI. The CQM/OE is fairly complex, but very useful if you are in that position. I never went for the CQE, I think that one could be better monetized in the right circumstances. I got tired of taking tests. I have over 20 years of experience now in manufacturing, so I really don't need to add to my resume anymore.
 
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