Continual decline of ASQ - can it be saved? Nov 2019

Watchcat

Trusted Information Resource
#21
ASQ’s membership has been steadily declining."
Anyone know why? Is the profession (or the segment of the profession ASQ serves) declining? Or is the profession/segment alive and well and joining some other organization(s) instead of ASQ? Or are they joining fewer organizations, i.e., not joining some other organization(s) instead of ASQ, just dropping ASQ because they perceive it as offering the least value and keeping the other membership(s) which they perceive as offering more value? Or perhaps value better aligned with the cost of their dues?
 
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Tyranna

Involved In Discussions
#22
I have been a member of ASQ for a pretty good while, and can offer this as perhaps one reason memberships may be declining. My previous company used to pay for the memberships for those who were part of the quality organization (Auditors, QM, Supply Chain Auditors) as we were participating in events and training given by or associated with ASQ. Then new management decided to stop paying our dues and eliminated training..so there were many who let their memberships lapse as they didn't want to pay out of pocket for the dues/training. I imagine when Covid hit, other companies may have done the same. I kept my membership and am still a member through my new company that pays my dues. I find value in some of the offerings but find the training has gotten so expensive that I take training elsewhere. My certifications are through a different organization as well.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#23
Simple, perceived lack of value to the customers or target audience. I've discovered over the years (myself included) that all those letters after the name come to equaling wetting your pants while wearing a dark suit....Gives you a warm feeling and nobody else notices. The eyes really pop open when I simply ask the person with all those letters and qualifications, who-ha and poo-pa doing or managing the internal audit..... "Who audits the audit process?" or "Who audits management review?"............ Extremely low hanging fruit for me when dealing with "experts with little or no expertise but lots of letters".
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Leader
Admin
#24
I agree about the lack of value. I find that the materials are either repetitive (but necessary for those new to quality), or so highbrow that it is either unintelligible or the application is so unique that it is of no value to anyone other than the author.

ASQ seems more interested in how they can convert everything into a revenue stream than they are in promoting quality.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#25
I've found that having an ASQ certification and/or membership is a lot like a company that has an ISO9001 or AS9100 certification, or a person with a college degree. On average, it may mean they are a little better than those without it, but it is absolutely not a guarantee of competence in anything.

Some of the worst companies I have ever dealt with had an ISO9001 or AS9100 certification. Some of the most worthless people had college degrees up to and including a Ph.D.
 

Tyranna

Involved In Discussions
#26
I've found that having an ASQ certification and/or membership is a lot like a company that has an ISO9001 or AS9100 certification, or a person with a college degree. On average, it may mean they are a little better than those without it, but it is absolutely not a guarantee of competence in anything.

Some of the worst companies I have ever dealt with had an ISO9001 or AS9100 certification. Some of the most worthless people had college degrees up to and including a Ph.D.
The problem with not having a certification of some sort is most hiring companies will not consider an applicant if they don't have the "ASQ CQM, CQA, etc" to show. It does not mean the applicant is "better", it means the applicant can pass a test :) The way applications are previewed by hiring companies that look for those 'magic letters" means many good applicants are never considered for the positions they apply for if they can't get through the preview process. Sad really!
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#27
The problem with not having a certification of some sort is most hiring companies will not consider an applicant if they don't have the "ASQ CQM, CQA, etc" to show. It does not mean the applicant is "better", it means the applicant can pass a test :) The way applications are previewed by hiring companies that look for those 'magic letters" means many good applicants are never considered for the positions they apply for if they can't get through the preview process. Sad really!
Although I haven't been job-searching for quite a while, I don't think I ever saw ASQ certification as anything other than a "desireable."
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Leader
Super Moderator
#28
I am maintaining my membership (and paying at the Fellow rate) out of sheer momentum. I will not get enough recert points to renew in the next cycle, and since I am working (albeit part time) I can't declare myself retired. Besides, I still have commitments to my "home" Section on the other coast (ASQ 614 Columbia Basin). So for now I remain a member.
 

Tidge

Trusted Information Resource
#30
I've started (and maintained) my ASQ membership after the point at which many have written it started to decline! When I was younger, I found a lot of value in both the certifications and Quality Progress articles. (I can't say that I ever understood whatever "Mr. Pareto-Head" was trying to accomplish, even after reading an interview with the creator.). I've been very lax about local chapters. We'll have to see if my pandemic-era recertification journal is accepted.

As I have matured as a Quality Professional, I've gotten less out of the publications. Some of it is due to the focus of the articles, some of it has been repetition. I actually proposed a peculiarly holistic session topic (it's a generally applicable theory of using different levels knowledge to get particular work done with a quality mindset) for a rather minor conference session that was, as near as I can tell, pretty much rejected out of hand. Like any good talk, it can be adjusted for particulars... which if I had been allowed to present would have been a nice positive meta-commentary on the topic, but I digress...

I've been occasionally disappointed by a few folks with certifications that "should have known better", but that is true with just about every professional society and/or certification process I have encountered. Work with enough PEs and you may be surprised at some of the major blunders (and general personality disorders) that you may witness.

As long as ASQ maintains some standards for the certifications I do believe that the organization offers value. I worked on multiple sides of a question bank rework for one certification, but I never saw what the finished amalgamation looked like. Bluntly: Many employers don't know how to assess the competency of their own employees, so a well-established organization (like ASQ) with well-defined "Bodies of Knowledge" for the subject matter areas is a means of evaluating certain general competencies of employees, to first order. I can attest that I've had far fewer false-alarm non-conformances at incoming inspection from folks with a CQI certification than from those without. My org delivers the same training to all inspectors, but the external BoK of the CQI has been the special sauce that provides external context to the fundamentals of that job. That sort of discrepency makes it easy to show the ROI for a certification when there is a VP screaming about the cost of false-alarm NCRs. Disclaimer: I do not have a CQI certification myself.

Is ASQ able to make a self-assessment of their utility and value? Maybe if they'd have let me present my talk they'd have some idea! I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss ASQ certification if the only quality certification someone has is from "the school of hard knocks". Even Neil Peart took drum lessons in the 1990s.... and he already had dozens of certifications (silver, gold, platinum record sales) by that point in his life.
 
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