ASQ re-certification and in-house training requirements

Q: In our corporate audit department, we have a number of individuals that are ASQ certified.  What standards do we need to adhere to in order to provide in-house training that qualifies for ASQ re-certification units?

A: You asked ASQ about standards for granting re-certification units (RUs) from in-house training. There are two main concepts here:

  1. Training must cover some part of the affected certification body of knowledge or be taken for job enhancement.
  2. Every hour of contact time equals 0.1 RU.

Body of Knowledge (BoK). The training topics must cover some part of the certification BoK. This is pretty liberally interpreted. Each certification has a booklet, available for download from the ASQ web site, showing its BoK as an outline of topics. Make sure the training will support one or more of these topics.

Contact time. A one-day course is typically 6-7 contact hours, which would equate to 0.6-0.7 RUs. You cannot count lunch (unless it is a working lunch) or break times – just actual training.

Records. Most people receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training class. It shows name, date, course title, contact hours (or RUs), and person granting the certificate (need not be signed). The employee makes a copy of all these certificates and includes them in the re-certification journal/logbook. Pay particular attention that the date of the class is within the dates of the three-year ASQ certification.

Dennis Arter
ASQ Fellow
The Audit Guy
Columbia Audit Resources
Kennewick, WA

Six Sigma Green Belt Projects

Q: I teach a course called “Statistical Methods of Six Sigma” at an engineering college. I’m preparing students to take the ASQ Certified Six Sigma Green Belt exam if they are interested (it is not a mandatory requirement of my class).

Here’s my question — most of my students already have jobs lined up after graduation. Some of them are going to places where Six Sigma programs are already fully established. I do have one particular student who is expected to implement a Six Sigma program at the company that she is going to. It’s a small company, and they don’t already have a Six Sigma program in place.

If she passes the ASQ Green Belt exam and receives her Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, how does she go about getting a project approved if she’s working for a company that doesn’t already have existing Belts?

A: To ask a Green Belt to implement a Six Sigma program is not only ambitious, but also somewhat risky.  Green Belts have the least amount of experience in Six Sigma. Regardless, what this person should be doing is look at the company and decide what a good first project would be with an executive mentor.  The candidate should be looking at something that is important to the company and has impact to the business.  It should be something that requires some work and is not obvious to just anyone looking at the project.

Q: I think the expert more accurately posed what my real question is: how does a new grad working for a company that doesn’t currently have a Six Sigma Black Belt program find an executive mentor to approve or qualify her project?

I agree that she will need a Black Belt, but who will/can certify her project if there is not an existing Black Belt or Master Black Belt at her place of work?  (It is a small consulting firm for medical hospitals).

A: I recommend that she approach her local ASQ Section and inquire about mentors.

Jim Bossert
SVP Process Design Manger, Process Optimization
Bank of America
Fort Worth, TX


ASQ Sections and Divisions:

ASQ Sections are locally organized member groups where you can interact with quality professionals in your community. ASQ’s Forums and Divisions are topic or industry focused communities that are not based in a specific geographic area.

Membership to a section and division is an ASQ member benefit.

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