Qualifications for QMS staff training position


Q: I work at an environmental testing laboratory company with facilities in California.  We are certified to ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001-2008: Quality management systems – Requirements ISO/IEC 17025-2005: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories and are pursuing certification to  ANSI/ISO/ASQ E14001-2004: Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use.

We are attempting to hire an assistant quality manager (AQM) whose primary function will be staff training on the quality management system.

We have identified an excellent candidate in Ireland and are attempting to secure a work visa for her in order to come to the United States and join us. The folks at the Immigration and Naturalization Service are demanding that we write a job description so that they can somehow justify bringing her into the country.  One of their requirements appears to be related to having a bachelor’s degree in education in order to fulfill the training function. In addition, they are demanding that we prove that this is an “industry standard,” namely, having an education degree in order to become a training manager.

My question for you is: is a bachelor’s degree in education a normal requirement for a quality training position? If so, can you offer any guidelines in terms of companies or types of firms that may have this requirement? If not, what can you tell me about normal background or education requirements necessary for the AQM – the training position that I am considering?

A: The short answer is no — a degree in education is not a normal industry requirement. I believe the Immigration folks are confusing this position with a school teacher who is required by most states to have a teaching certificate. One of the requirements for most teaching certificates is an education degree from an accredited college or university – the so-called “normal” schools.

An education degree is not normally required and usually not desired in industry.

It would be much better to emphasize the quality knowledge aspects. It is quite common for candidates to have one of the ASQ certifications, such as ASQ Certified Quality Improvement Associate certification (easier) or the ASQ Certified Quality Engineer certification (very hard).

Dennis Arter
ASQ Fellow
The Audit Guy
Columbia Audit Resources
Kennewick, WA
http://auditguy.net

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