CQE (Certified Quality Engineer) vs. Six Sigma Black or Green Belt and Statistics

A

AJLenarz

#1
I have been in the quality field for over 12 years now. I have held the title of Quality Engineer for about three years and a Management Rep for about one year. I just took the CQA exam and plan to take the CQE exam when it is offered at the end of the year.

Recently I have tested the job market. The majority of employers are searching for “Six Sigma” experience. I am familiar with both green and black belt programs. I am aware of the philosophies and tools they use to accomplish their goals. In my opinion, they are not new. They actually overlap greatly with the BOK of the CQE. In my own opinion, the CQE BOK actually exceeds the scope of “Six Sigma”.

In my opinion, a CQE is of more value and worth than a practicing “Six Sigma” individual (green or black belt). But the CQE status is getting clouded over to the “Six Sigma” hype.

What is the general consensus us of the forum? Am I way off track here with my opinion? CQE vs. Six Sigma, who would win? I am interested in persuing one or the other. Should I go for the 1) CQE and become a better professional or 2) put on my slick used car salesman outfit and go for the latest buzz word Six Sigma and make myself more marketable?
 
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Kevin Mader

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#2
AJ,

Your comments, in my opinion, are correct. Six Sigma hype has clouded the picture to some degree. Any time anything 'new' hits the market, it generally enjoys the surge.

Regards,

Kevin
 
N

Norman V

#5
Hi,

ASQ recently sent out a publication which promotes that the CQM certification has a significant correlation to Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion Training. In a recent comparison study, the CQM certification applied many of its concepts to the Six Sigma body of knowledge.

I've been a CQE for 6 years, and am taking the CQM exam in October.

It certainly is a task these days explaining to people that the "revolutionary new concepts" of Six Sigma are really the same tried and true TQM and QE principles we've been using for many moons.

Good luck. I hope you're having more success explaining this to people than I have had.


Norman V.
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#6
Norman,

Well stated and thank you for the update in the comparison of the two bodies of knowledge.

Regards,

Kevin
 
B

Bill Pflanz

#8
Norman V said:
Hi,

ASQ recently sent out a publication which promotes that the CQM certification has a significant correlation to Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion Training. In a recent comparison study, the CQM certification applied many of its concepts to the Six Sigma body of knowledge.

I've been a CQE for 6 years, and am taking the CQM exam in October.

It certainly is a task these days explaining to people that the "revolutionary new concepts" of Six Sigma are really the same tried and true TQM and QE principles we've been using for many moons.

Good luck. I hope you're having more success explaining this to people than I have had.


Norman V.
I don't know how it turned out for Norman but if he is a CQE and then became a CQM, he would not have any trouble understanding the Six Sigma body of knowledge and passing ASQ's CSSBB.

I have the ASQ CQM and CSSBB certifications and I have also talked to Black Belts that have been certified by non-ASQ organizations. Here is what I found out.

1. CQE's and experienced quality professionals with a strong statistical background will not find anything new taught in Six Sigma courses except for some new terminology used by Six Sigma.

2. Not all Six Sigma certifications are equal. Most require 4 weeks of training although some are offering Internet training plus 1 week of class training. The students are generally required to take at least one and sometimes 4 tests to demonstrate they learned the body of knowledge.

3. Consultants and universities offer Six Sigma training. Both appear to have taken their prior training and modified it to Six Sigma. For example, Motorola University, Juran Institute, Qualtec, Six Sigma Academy (Arizona State) have always taught quality concepts but now call them Six Sigma. The body of knowledge is not consistent across all organizations. Some consultants specialize in manufacturing, others in services such as medical or financial. Someone who passes the consultant training of Six Sigma for services may not be able to pass a Six Sigma test for manufacturing or the ASQ CSSBB. The main difference appears to be the amount of knowledge required of DOE, hypothesis testing, gage R&R, testing and other highly technical areas.

4. Both ASQ and the other certification "bodies" require an affidavit of two completed Six Sigma projects. ASQ does not specify a format but does want it to be signed by the business sponsor and include examples of the tools used. The consultants usually spread the training over months and expect the students to use the tools being taught in a real project at their company and are given a standard format (usually a PowerPoint presentation) that must be prepared and given to the senior management sponsor and provided to the consultant. There is heavy focus on the money saved by the project. Assuming they passed the tests and completed the Six Sigma projects, they are awarded the Black Belt certification.

As Norman noted in his posting, many job postings are requesting black belt certification and that is still true. I am hearing more stories, which I admit are anecdotal, that indicates hiring a person based on the Black Belt certificate can be risky. You could be hiring an experienced CQE who went through the 4 week training and did what they have always done on their Six Sigma projects. Or you could be hiring someone who paid $6-10K for a Six Sigma class, passed the test and even did the Six Sigma projects but has no idea how to do a lot of the expected quality work because they only have limited knowledge and experience of quality. Let the buyer beware.

One of the "accomplishments" of Six Sigma is getting quality concepts into the service industries. In the 1980's, the quality training was mainly aimed at manufacturing and was highly technical and sometimes very specific. SPC would be taught but all the training material was related to manufacturing. Now there is training that is for people in the government, banking, education, medical and other service industries. That training and how the quality tools are used are different in those industries than in manufacturing. Some are different because there are more sophisticated needs and some are different because they are not being used with the same sophistication.

The major complaint that I have heard about Six Sigma is that it does not recognize the history of quality and that its proponents say that TQM, ISO etc. failed where Six Sigma won't since it is a new methodology. My bet is that there will continue to be a need for quality professionals and that a "new" quality theory will replace Six Sigma as the answer to all management problems. The quality professionals will continue to plod along doing what they have always done regardless of the new name.

Bill Pflanz
 
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