New Body of Knowledge for CQA Exam

A new Body of Knowledge (BOK) has been published for the ASQ Certified Quality Auditor Exam. The new BOK can be viewed atCQA Body of Knowledge – 2004. If you are an auditor, even if you are not a candidate for the CQA exam, you should still be competent in the topics of the 2004 BOK.

The 1999 BOK will be the basis of the CQA exams through the May 23, 2004 exam. The exams after that date will use the 2004 BOK and include case studies.
Each case study will include a brief scenario about an audit situation. In addition, each case study will be supported by related audit documents.

About 15-20% (25-30 questions) of the test will be devoted to case studies. Although the questions related to these cases will use the same 4-choice answer format as the rest of the test, the use of scenario details and sample documents will examine the critical thinking skills of the candidates in evaluating realistic situations. Additional time will be needed to process the elements of the case studies and, therefore, the length of examination will be increased from 4 hours to 5 hours.

There are five major topic areas in the 2004 BOK compared to seven in the 1999 BOK. The key differences are described below:

I. Auditing Fundamentals (formerly: I. Ethics, Professional Conduct, and Liability Issues; VII.A. Auditing Basics)

No new content and nothing eliminated.

II. Audit Process (formerly: II. Audit Preparation; III Audit Performance; IV. Audit Reporting; V. Corrective Action, Follow-up, and Closure)

No new content and nothing eliminated.

III. Auditor Competencies (formerly: VII.B. Basic Skills)

Nothing eliminated. Added new content on:

  • Team membership, leadership, and facilitation techniques
  • Process verification and validation

IV. Audit Program and Business Applications (formerly: VI. Audit Program Management)

Nothing eliminated. Added new content on:

  • Change control
  • Risk management
  • Interrelationships between business processes
  • Common elements of various types of audits, e.g., quality, safety, environmental, financial
  • Emerging roles of the auditor

V. Quality Tools and Techniques (formerly: VII.C. Tools and Techniques)
Nothing eliminated. Added new content on:

  • Cost of quality categories

For a detailed comparison of the two BOK versions, go to: Comparison of 1999 versus 2004 Body of Knowledge.