The CQE Exam Application – Tips,Tricks & Advice

Tips & Tricks for the CQE ExamHey All!

I wanted to share with you my experience of applying for the exam in hopes of making the process as smooth as possible for you.

3 Key Exam Requirements

Requirement 1 – ASQ requires you have 8 years of OTJ (On The Job) experience in any of the areas in the CQE Body of Knowledge (BoK)

The caveat here is that ASQ will waive a few years of experience based on your education level, see below:

  • 2 Years – Associates Degree
  • 4 years – Bachelors Degree
  • 5 years – Masters Degree

Requirement 2 – Three (3) years of your experience must be in “a decision making role.”

Defined by ASQ: “Decision-making” is defined as the authority to define, execute, or control projects/processes and to be responsible for the outcome.

Requirement 3 – Your work experience must be in a full time, paid role, things like internships cannot be applied towards the work experience requirement.

7 Application Tips & Tricks

So you’re ready to apply for the exam, great! From here you can either enter your ASQ member information, or if you choose to remain a non-member, you will have to register with ASQ, which is free but requires an email address.

Below are a few tips that should really help you move through the application process smoothly!

Tip #1: Re-write your Resume to Highlight your CQE Related Experience

ASQ requires your work experience to touch on one of the topics in the BoK, so it is important to highlight this in your resume. Below are some memory joggers or topics that you may have been involved in the past.

 Management & Leadership
  • Do you currently lead a department within your quality organization
  • Are you involved in Strategic Planning
  • Are you involved in Supplier Management
The Quality System
  • Have you ever performed a role in an Audit
  • Have you ever been on a Corrective Action (CAPA) Team
  • Do you use, reference or work within an ISO 9000 system
  • Do you author, review or approve Quality System Documentation [assembly procedures, part drawings, etc]
  • Do you train new hires or other employees
Product & Process Design
  • Do you interact with customers to develop Customer Requirements
  • Do you work on new products, attend design input, review or validation meetings
  • Do you create or provide input into the FMEA Process
  • Do you perform, review or approval Validation documentation
Product & Process Control
  • Do you attend or participate on an MRB [Materials Review Board]
  • Do you investigate non-conformances, defects, process deviations, etc
  • Have you ever setup a Sampling Plan
  • Are you involved in the Measurement, Testing or Calibration process
Continuous Improvement
  • Have you ever used one of the 7 Quality Tools (Pareto Charts, Scatter Plots, Control Charts, Check Sheets, etc)
  • Have you ever implemented a Lean Project
  • Have you ever been involved in a CAPA
  • Have you ever been a part of a Six Sigma Project
Quantitative Methods & Tools
  • Do you use statistical methods or tools when analyzing product, process or service data
  • Do you use or are you involved in Statistical Process Controls
Risk Management
  • Have you ever performed a Risk Assessment
  • Have you ever been on a team for an FMEA or FTA

Tip #2: Don’t Skip the Resume

You can choose to skip attaching your resume. By doing this you are relying only on the 250 character description of your work experience (more on this below), I wouldn’t recommend that.

Having a resume attached allows ASQ to expound or clarify the information you’ve entered, just in case you weren’t able to sufficiently define your role under the BoK.

Tip #3: Watch your file type

When I tried to upload my Word Document Resume, I was rejected due to the file type and I learned that ASQ only accepts non-editable file type, PDF, JPG, GIFF, etc.

So print (or save) your resume to a PDF or Image file type to accommodate this requirement.

Tip #4: Do some Research up front

As I moved through the application I was forced to enter in the address of my previous employers and my supervisor in each role. This information wasn’t part of resume and I didn’t have it handy. Spend some time up front getting the addresses, supervisor, phone numbers, etc from your previous employers before beginning.

Also, you will have to enter in your local ASQ chapter as your exam location, you can be prepared with that information by reviewing it on the front end.

Tip #5: Summarize your Work Experience

As you enter all your relevant work experience, you will be required to complete a summary of your work experience in 250 characters or less. Create a nice summary of the information you’ve already created in your resume for this section to save you some time.

Tip #6: Have your Credit Card ready

When you complete your application one of your last required items is to pay for the exam. This is where having your credit card handy will help.

Tip #7: Become an ASQ Member

Are you an ASQ Member? If not, this is a good time to decide if you want to become one or not. Why? Because the cost to sit for the CQE exam is significantly cheaper if you’re an ASQ Member.

  • Non-Member Price: $419
  • Member Price: $269
  • Price for Membership: $85 (Associates)

Basically, if you become a member, you save $65. ($419 – ($269 + $85))


All in all, the total application process took me about an hour, but with the tips above you should be able to complete the entire application in under 30 minutes!

If you had a different experience from me, or a question you’d like to ask check out my FAQ page, or contact me!

Want to learn more about the Certified Quality Engineer?

I hope you found these tips to be helpful and have a great day!