American Society for Quality

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Formation February 16, 1946; 69 years ago (1946-02-16)
Type Professional association
Purpose To promote the use of techniques to improve organizational quality
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates 43°02′15″N 87°54′40″W / 43.03740°N 87.91117°W / 43.03740; -87.91117Coordinates: 43°02′15″N 87°54′40″W / 43.03740°N 87.91117°W / 43.03740; -87.91117
Region served
Services Certification, training, conferences
80000 (approximately) (2013)
William Troy
Dr. Cecilia Kimberlin
Main organ
Board of directors
Formerly called
American Society for Quality Control, American Society for Quality
ASQ Registration booth at America's Center in St. Louis for the 2010 meeting on 24 May.

ASQ, formerly known as the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), is a knowledge-based global community of quality professionals, with nearly 80,000 members dedicated to the promotion and advancement of quality tools, principles, and practices in their workplaces and in their communities.


Meeting room at America's Center in St. Louis for the 2010 ASQ annual meeting on 26 May.

Established in 1946 and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, ASQ traces its beginnings to the end of World War II, as quality experts and manufacturers sought ways to sustain the many quality-improvement techniques used during wartime. ASQ has played an important role in upholding these standards from the past while championing continued innovation in the field of quality.

By the end of the 1970s, the principles of quality had greatly influenced manufacturing and other industrial processes by focusing attention on how products and services could define and meet technical specifications. Businesses typically established a quality-control department to ensure specifications were met.

In the 1980s, ASQ members began to see how quality could be applied beyond the world of manufacturing. Quality, they realized, could make a difference in any organization and touch every person in it. Because of this, the idea of quality began to morph into a much broader discipline aimed at leading, inspiring, and managing a broad range of businesses and activities, with a focus on excellence.

Today, ASQ is a global organization with members in more than 140 countries. ASQ has service centers in Mexico, China and India, and has established strategic alliances with numerous organizations in countries like Brazil and the United Arab Emirates to promote ASQ products and training.


ASQ supports its members by providing a wide range of resources, from certification and training to publications and conferences. Globally, ASQ has formed relationships with nonprofit organizations that have comparable missions and principles, forming collaborative efforts to meet the quality needs of companies, individuals, and organizations worldwide.

The Society serves as an advocate for quality. Its members have informed and advised the U.S. Congress, government agencies, state legislatures, and other groups and individuals on quality-related topics. Since 1989, ASQ has administered the United States’ premier quality award, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which annually recognizes companies and organizations that have achieved performance excellence. The ASQ Dorian Shainin Medal is awarded annually for the Development and Application of Creative or Unique Statistical Approaches in the Solving of Problems Relative to the Quality of Product or Service.[1] ASQ is a founding partner of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic indicator.


ASQ offers a variety of professional certifications relating to various aspects of the quality profession. Exams are given nationally and, to a limited degree, worldwide several times annually. The body of knowledge for each certification is maintained through peer review every few years on a rotating schedule. The first ASQ certification was offered in 1968.[2]

All certifications listed are from this reference[2] unless noted.

Year created Certification ASQ initials Covers Comments Other reference
1968 Engineer CQE Principle of product and service, quality evaluation, and control. [3]
1970 Technician CQT Quality problem, analysis, inspection sampling plans and statistical process control applications. [4]
1972 Reliability Engineer CRE Principles of performance evaluation for product and system safety, reliability, and maintainability. [5]
1984 Inspector CQI Hardware documentation, lab, and calibration procedures, inspection, process performance, data collection, and reports. Initially known as mechanical inspector. [6]
1987 Auditor CQA Standards and principles of auditing, questions, evaluations and reports for quality system adequacy. [7]
1995 Manager CMQ/OE (CQM: 1995-2005) Champions process improvement initiatives and supports strategic planning and deployment initiatives. Changed to Certified Manager of Quality/ Organizational Excellence in 2006 to reflect the broader scope of the quality manager's position. [8]
1996 Software Quality Engineer CSQE Development of software processes, measurement, verification, and validation, analytical methods, and quality management. [9]
1996 CQA-HACCP CHA since 2004 Developed to test applicants knowledge of the HACCP standards. Changed to Certified HACCP Auditor in 2004. [10]
2000 Improvement Associate CQIA Designed to test basic knowledge of quality tools and their uses, along with involvement in quality improvement projects. [11]
2001 Six Sigma Black Belt CSSBB To demonstrate competency in Six Sigma methods. [12]
2002 CQA-biomedical CBA since 2005. Understands principles of standards, regulations, directives, and guidance for auditing a biomedical system. Changed to Certified Biomedical Auditor in 2005. [13]
2003 Calibration Technician CCT Tests, maintains, and repairs electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, analytical, and electronic measuring/ recording equipment for conformance to established standards. [14]
2005 Process Analyst CQPA Paraprofessional who analyzes and solves quality problems and is quality improvement projects. [15]
2006 Six Sigma Green Belt CSSGB Paraprofessional who works with process development and documentation, collects, and summarizes data, and creates, and intreprets multivar studies. [16]
2009 Pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices professional certification CPGP Tests applicant knowledge of principles as regulated and guided by national and international agencies. [17]
2010 Six Sigma Master Black Belt CMBB To demonstrate master competency in six sigma methodology. [18]

In a 2008 press release for the 40th anniversary of ASQ's certifications, the three most popular were the engineer (CQE), followed closely by the auditor (CQA) and the Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB).

Other offerings[edit]

In addition to certifications, ASQ also offers:[19]

  • ASQ Memberships
When members join ASQ, they join a community of people passionate about quality who make the world work better. ASQ also provides memberships to organizations and institutions. ASQ offers Site, Enterprise, and Primary-Secondary Education memberships.
  • Networking
ASQ is home to a robust group of communities at the local, regional, and global levels.
  • ASQ Learning Institute™
The ASQ Learning Institute™ houses all of ASQ’s learning offerings in one location.
  • World Conference and Events
ASQ connects the quality community through events, conferences, and meetings throughout the year. The ASQ Annual World Conference on Quality and Improvement is its premier event. Other ASQ conferences include the Lean and Six Sigma Conference and National Quality Education Conference.
  • Knowledge Center
ASQ’s Knowledge Center provides online access to quality tools and resources.
  • Standards
ASQ provides support to a number of volunteer groups that develop and approve international and American National Standards. This includes the most widely known standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO 26000, and ISO 14001, and other standards and technical reports that apply quality management principles, tools and technology.
  • Quality Press
Quality Press is the world’s largest publisher of quality related products, including books and magazines. ASQ publishes six journals and magazines, including Quality Progress — its flagship publication.
  • Research
ASQ participates in notable research that adds to our Quality Body of Knowledge (QBOK®). ASQ’s premier work is the Futures Study, conducted every three years beginning in 1995. ASQ also engages in high-profile research collaborations, including studies on social responsibility with IBM and ManpowerGroup. ASQ’s annual surveys on manufacturing outlook and salaries for quality professionals serve as economic barometers.
  • Social Networking is home to an online community with blogs, discussion boards, and forums available to members of the global quality community.
  • Social Responsibility
Quality plays an indispensable role in helping companies achieve their social responsibility objectives. ASQ’s Social Responsibility Organization (SRO) brings together SR and quality professionals to generate ideas and improve the world.
  • Advocacy
ASQ advocates activities and legislation that promote quality in all walks of life.

Forums and Divisions[edit]

ASQ has 25 forums and divisions on various aspects involving quality-related issues. These forums and divisions cover specific disciplines or methods of quality practices.


ASQ is separated geographically into regions. Within these regions are sections which are individual units that serve their local communities. In some cases sections are divided further into sub-sections and student branches.

15 Largest ASQ Sections in North America[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shainin Medal - ASQ
  2. ^ a b Newcomb, Wiiliam O. "ASQ Certification: A Brief History". Quality Progress. January 2010. p. 43.
  3. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Engineer brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  4. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Tehnician borchure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  5. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Reliability Engineer brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  6. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Inspector brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  7. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Auditor brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  8. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  9. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Software Quality Engineer borchure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  10. ^ American Society for Quality Certified HACCP Auditor brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  11. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Improvement Associate brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  12. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Six Sigma Black Belt brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  13. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Biomedical Auditor brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  14. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Calibration Technician brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  15. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Quality Process Analyst brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  16. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Six Sigma Green Belt brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  17. ^ American Society for Quality Certified Pharmaceutical GMP Professional brochure. - accessed 9 January 2010.
  18. ^ Earn a Master Black Belt (MBB) Certification
  19. ^ ASQ - accessed 13 December 2012.
  20. ^ "”Why are drugs so expensive”". IBTimes. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]