Jun 2, 2017

Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)

After completing my Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) in January 2017, I wanted to take some more lifetime certifications from ASQ which have no recertification requirements, as each active ASQ certification gives 2 recertification units (RUs) up to 6 RUs that can be counted towards the total 18 RUs required for each recertification cycle for my CSSBB.

Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) is one of the aforementioned certifications, and so my ex-colleague and I scheduled it together to sit for this computer-based exam in June 2017, given that we'll be spending our time attending lectures and studying during our semester in NUS from January to May. We also reckoned that CQIA will be much easier considering that we've gone through CSSBB.

How did I prepare for CQIA?

We purchased the eBook of The Certified Quality Improvement Associate Handbook, Third Edition by Russell T. Westcott and Grace L. Duffy, which is a pretty concise. I printed it out to be brought into the exam room since it's open book, but I studied completedly through my computer.

We didn't really try out any question bank at all, the only sets of questions we went thru were the CQIA Sample Exam from ASQ and the sample solutions text from Quality Council of Indiana, which published the primers for most ASQ certifications

What kind of exam questions to be expected?

There are 110 questions in the CQIA exam, which I will share a little bit about the actual exam questions I've encountered. Surprisingly, quite a substantial amount of questions are asking about the quality guru's philosophy.

The CQIA Handbook would prepare you well but there were a handful of questions asking about the Juran Trilogy appear in the exam and I don't think the handbook outlines sufficient details about this and so one would probably need more reference material for whichever related to Juran. Questions about Deming were simpler, as long as the exam candidates are familiar with PDCA. The rest of the questions should be pretty doable, with a certain level of ambiguity.

I spent approximately two hours for the exam, and I didn't really want to go through those questions which I marked for review, as I thought as long as I don't have a lot of those marked, I should still be able to pass.

CQIA is a rather uncommon certification in the quality related field, but good luck to whoever taking it.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.