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Top 11 Quality Assurance Auditor Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best quality assurance auditor certifications available for professionals looking to advance their career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a Quality Assurance Auditor in the job market because they provide proof of specialized knowledge and skills that are essential for success in the field. Certifications demonstrate to employers that an individual has the necessary qualifications to perform quality assurance audits effectively. The certifications also show potential employers that the individual is committed to staying current with industry standards and practices. Additionally, certifications can give an individual an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions, as they prove their dedication to their profession and expertise in a certain area.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Quality Assurance Auditors and how they can help advance a quality assurance auditor's career.

What are Quality Assurance Auditor Certifications?

Quality assurance auditor certification is a type of professional certification that is designed to provide an individual with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a successful quality assurance auditor. Quality assurance auditors are responsible for performing audits on products and services to ensure that they meet the standards set by the organization. These audits assess the adequacy of processes, procedures, and controls used in the production and distribution of products or services.

Having quality assurance auditor certification can help individuals who want to pursue a career in this field by providing them with the necessary credentials and training needed to be successful in their chosen profession. The certification also allows employers to identify qualified professionals who can perform these types of reviews efficiently and accurately. Those who possess this credential may also have access to job opportunities that may not be available otherwise. Additionally, having this certification can demonstrate an individual's commitment to excellence in quality assurance and may increase their chances of being hired or promoted within their organization.

Pro Tip: When selecting a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification program, look for programs that provide comprehensive training and certification in multiple areas of quality assurance auditing, such as ISO 9001, Lean Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management. This will help ensure that you receive the most comprehensive training possible and stay up to date with the latest industry trends.

Related: What does a Quality Assurance Auditor do?

Top 11 Quality Assurance Auditor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Quality Assurance Auditors today.

1. Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)

Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skills in auditing, which includes planning, conducting, reporting and following up on audits. It is also used to assess an individual’s ability to analyze data and interpret results.

It typically takes around 4-6 months to prepare for the CQA exam. The preparation process involves studying the ASQ Body of Knowledge (BOK), attending training sessions or workshops, and taking practice exams. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals have at least three years of experience in quality auditing before attempting the exam.

The CQA exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as quality management systems, audit principles and practices, sampling techniques, statistical analysis methods, measurement systems analysis and improvement tools. The exam can be taken either online or at a testing center.

The cost of the CQA exam varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or non-member. For members, the fee is $399 USD while for non-members it is $499 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center.

2. Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)

Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the principles and practices of quality management. The CMQ/OE certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and competency in the areas of quality management, organizational excellence, and continuous improvement.

In order to obtain the CMQ/OE certification, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as quality management systems, process improvement tools and techniques, organizational performance metrics, customer satisfaction measurement, leadership development, and project management. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and requires approximately four hours to complete.

The cost of obtaining the CMQ/OE certification varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or non-member. For ASQ members, the cost is $299 USD; for non-members it is $399 USD. In addition to this fee, there are also additional fees for re-examination if needed ($50 USD for members; $75 USD for non-members).

Overall, obtaining the CMQ/OE certification can take anywhere from one month to six months depending on how quickly you can study and prepare for the exam.

3. Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)

The Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) is a certification program designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead quality improvement initiatives. The CQIA certification is offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

The CQIA certification program consists of four modules: Quality Fundamentals, Quality Planning, Quality Assurance, and Quality Control. Each module includes a series of lectures, activities, and assessments that are designed to develop an understanding of the principles and practices of quality improvement.

It typically takes about six months to complete all four modules and receive the CQIA certification. To get started, you must first become an ASQ member. You can then register for the CQIA certification program online or through your local ASQ chapter.

The cost of the CQIA certification program varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or not. For non-members, it costs $1,295 USD; for members it costs $995 USD.

4. American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the Six Sigma methodology. The certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and ability to apply the DMAIC process, analyze data and implement solutions that improve business processes.

It typically takes about six months of study and preparation to become certified as a CSSBB. During this time, individuals must complete a training course or self-study program that covers the following topics: Lean Six Sigma principles, DMAIC process, statistical analysis tools, project management fundamentals, and other related topics.

In order to become certified as a CSSBB, individuals must pass an exam administered by ASQ. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and lasts four hours. It costs $495 USD to take the exam.

Once an individual has passed the exam and been certified as a CSSBB, they will be able to demonstrate their expertise in applying Six Sigma principles and methods in order to improve business processes. They will also be eligible for higher-level positions within organizations that require such expertise.

5. ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (CLSSGB)

ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (CLSSGB) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an understanding of the principles and practices of Lean Six Sigma and its application in various organizational settings.

The CLSSGB certification requires that applicants demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement. To be eligible for this certification, applicants must have at least three years of work experience in a relevant field or have successfully completed a recognized Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training program.

The ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as: quality management systems, project management, process improvement techniques, problem solving methods, data analysis tools and techniques, team dynamics, and customer satisfaction. The exam typically takes two hours to complete.

To get the CLSSGB certification you must pass the ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt exam with a score of at least 70%. Once you have passed the exam you will receive your official certificate from ASQ.

The cost for taking the ASQ Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $400-$500 USD to take the exam.

6. ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE)

ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize professionals who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, implement, and manage reliability programs. The CRE certification is intended for those with at least five years of experience in reliability engineering or related fields.

The CRE certification exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. The exam covers topics such as reliability planning, analysis techniques, maintenance strategies, safety systems, quality assurance principles, and statistical process control.

To get the CRE certification, candidates must first pass the ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) exam. Candidates can register for the exam through ASQ's website. Once registered, candidates can download study materials from ASQ's website or purchase them from a local bookstore.

The cost of the CRE certification exam varies depending on where you take it. The cost ranges from $225 to $400 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration and proctoring fees.

7. International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Lead Auditor Certification

The International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Lead Auditor Certification is a professional certification program designed to assess the competency of auditors in conducting management system audits. It is recognized worldwide as a benchmark for quality assurance and environmental management systems auditing.

The IRCA Lead Auditor Certification program consists of two parts: an online training course and a practical assessment. The online training course covers topics such as audit principles, techniques, planning, report writing and follow-up. Upon successful completion of the online training course, participants are eligible to take the practical assessment which includes an audit simulation exercise and an open-book examination.

The duration of the IRCA Lead Auditor Certification program varies depending on the individual’s experience level and commitment to study. Generally speaking, it can take up to 6 months or more to complete the program.

To get certified as an IRCA Lead Auditor, you must first register with IRCA and then complete all requirements for the certification program including passing both parts of the assessment. After successfully completing all requirements, you will be issued a certificate that is valid for three years from date of issue.

The cost for obtaining IRCA Lead Auditor Certification varies depending on your country/region and other factors such as whether or not you need additional support services like mentoring or coaching during your studies. In general, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 - $5,000 USD for the entire certification process.

8. ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Certification

ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Certification is a professional certification program designed to provide auditors with the knowledge and skills necessary to audit quality management systems (QMS) that are based on ISO 9001:2015. The certification is awarded by an accredited certification body and is valid for three years.

The certification process typically takes around two to four weeks, depending on the individual's experience and background. To become certified as an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor, individuals must complete a training course, pass an exam, and demonstrate their proficiency in auditing QMSs.

The cost of the certification varies based on the country or region in which it is obtained. Generally speaking, costs range from $2,000 to $5,000 USD. Costs may also vary depending on whether or not the individual has prior experience in auditing QMSs.

In order to get certified as an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor, individuals must first find a suitable training provider and register for a course. Once they have completed the course and passed the exam, they can then apply for certification with an accredited certification body.

9. ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor is a certification program designed to provide auditors with the knowledge and skills to audit an organization’s environmental management system (EMS) against the requirements of ISO 14001:2015. The certification is awarded by a third-party accreditation body after successful completion of an examination.

The program typically consists of a three-day training course, followed by an exam. During the training course, participants learn about EMS principles and concepts, as well as the requirements of ISO 14001:2015. They also learn how to plan and conduct audits in accordance with the international standard.

It usually takes around five days to complete the training and pass the exam. The cost of the program varies depending on where it is offered, but can range from $2,000 to $3,500 USD.

In order to get certified as an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor, you must have at least two years of experience in environmental management or auditing and must be able to demonstrate your understanding of EMS principles and concepts. Additionally, you must successfully complete a three-day training course and pass an exam administered by a third-party accreditation body.

10. AS9100 Aerospace Quality Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor

AS9100 Aerospace Quality Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor is a certification program designed to provide auditors and lead auditors with the necessary skills and knowledge to audit an aerospace quality management system (QMS) in accordance with the requirements of AS9100. It is based on the ISO 9001 standard and includes additional requirements specific to the aerospace industry.

The certification program consists of two levels: auditor and lead auditor. The auditor level focuses on understanding the requirements of AS9100, performing audits, and reporting audit results. The lead auditor level focuses on developing an audit plan, leading audits, making decisions regarding non-conformances, and providing corrective action recommendations.

The duration of the training depends on whether you are taking the course online or in person. Online courses typically take between 10-20 hours to complete while in-person courses can take up to 5 days depending on the provider.

To get certified as an AS9100 Aerospace Quality Management System Auditor/Lead Auditor you must pass a written exam that tests your knowledge of AS9100 and its requirements. You may also need to demonstrate your experience by completing a workbook or portfolio prior to taking the exam.

The cost of certification varies depending on where you take it from, but generally ranges from $500-$1,000 USD for both levels combined.

11. Exemplar Global Certified Quality Management System Professional - QM

Exemplar Global Certified Quality Management System Professional - QM is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and skills in the areas of quality management systems, including ISO 9001:2015. This certification is offered by Exemplar Global, an international accreditation body that provides certification programs for people who work in the fields of quality management, environmental management, occupational health and safety, and more.

To get this certification, applicants must first complete a two-day training course on quality management systems. The course covers topics such as the principles of ISO 9001:2015, risk assessment and analysis, internal audit processes and procedures, corrective action plans, and more. Upon completion of the training course, applicants must pass an exam to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered.

The cost of the Exemplar Global Certified Quality Management System Professional - QM program varies depending on the country it is taken in; however, it typically costs between $1,000 and $2,000 USD. It usually takes around four to six weeks to complete the program from start to finish.

In order to get certified as an Exemplar Global Certified Quality Management System Professional - QM professional one must apply online at exemplarglobal.org/certification/apply/. The application process includes providing personal information such as name and contact details as well as uploading a copy of your resume or CV. After submitting your application you will be contacted by an Exemplar Global representative who will provide further instructions about how to proceed with your application.

Do You Really Need a Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate to work in the field of quality assurance. However, having such a certificate can be beneficial and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

A Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate shows that you have taken the time to learn about quality assurance and its specific processes. It also shows that you have an understanding of the principles behind quality assurance and how it is implemented in various organizations. A Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate can give employers confidence that you are knowledgeable in the area and can competently carry out audits.

Having a Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate also demonstrates your commitment to quality assurance as a profession. It shows employers that you are serious about pursuing a career in this field and that they can trust you to perform audits correctly and efficiently. Furthermore, having certification may provide access to higher-level positions or more specialized roles within the industry.

In conclusion, while a Quality Assurance Auditor Certificate is not necessary for working in the field of quality assurance, it does demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the profession. Employers may look favorably upon applicants with such certification when hiring for roles in quality assurance, so earning one could be beneficial for those looking to pursue this line of work.

Related: Quality Assurance Auditor Resume Examples

FAQs About Quality Assurance Auditor Certifications

1. What is a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification?

A Quality Assurance Auditor Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and expertise in the field of quality assurance auditing. The certification is typically earned after completing a series of courses and exams on topics such as auditing principles, processes, and techniques.

2. What are the requirements for obtaining a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification?

The requirements vary depending on the organization offering the certification, but typically include completing an approved course or program, passing an examination, and meeting any other prerequisites set by the certifying body.

3. How long does it take to obtain a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification?

The time frame to obtain certification depends on the program or course taken to prepare for the exam. Generally speaking, it can take between 6 months to 2 years to complete all requirements for obtaining a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification.

4. What are the benefits of having a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification?

Having a Quality Assurance Auditor Certification demonstrates an individual's expertise in this field and provides them with credibility in their profession. It also allows employers to recognize their commitment to quality assurance and helps individuals qualify for higher-level positions within their organizations.

5. Is there an expiration date associated with my Quality Assurance Auditor Certification?

Yes - most certifications have an expiration date associated with them that requires renewal every 3-5 years depending on the certifying body's policies and regulations. Renewal typically involves taking continuing education courses or re-taking the initial examination.