The most important benefit of a diverse portfolio is the versatility and flexibility that come from having multiple qualifications. In the absence of a crystal ball or oracle to accurately predict the future, the next remedy is to properly prepare for such circumstances. Given the need for qualified people in advanced quality and technical fields, there is no wrong certification as everything can be applied and leveraged.
- Actual work experience in the Quality domain (technically a prerequisite for certification)
- Self-study from recommended resources (often the source books of the Body of Knowledge)
- Subscription to and participation in the appropriate ASQ Member Unit (example below include):
- Software Division for CSQE,
- Audit Division for CQA,
- Reliability Division for CRE,
- Biomedical Division for CBA,
- Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Division for CHA,
- Lean Enterprise Division for Lean Certifications,
- Quality Management Division for CMQ/OE
- Core training from ASQ (webinars or live sessions); either from the ASQ Member Unit or ASQ Learning (ASQ HQ programs)
- Supplemental training from accredited post-secondary institutions
- In competition, Gold is awards to the first place finisher, and Silver and Bronze are the subsequent prizes for second and third place. This reference implies a superiority and infers that Silver and Bronze are deficient and tainted, when compared to the "Gold-standard"
- With respect to service levels, the terms of Bronze, Silver, and Gold refer to levels of care and commitment, with Gold being the premium. In such cases, a cost-conscious consumer may opt for the Bronze option to avoid overspending on a "Gold-plated" alternative. An example might be in sending a package by courier, where Bronze offers 2 business days, Silver is 1 business day, and Gold is same-day delivery. If the price difference between Bronze and Gold exceeds the value derived from the benefit, the Bronze is the more prudent option.
Based on the ASQ Society Committee evaluation criteria for ASQ Fellows (when determining the top 0.1% of ASQ members in a given year), those individuals with a Master Black Belt are rated with the highest score. This is reflective of not only the subject complexity, but the managerial and executive requirements for this Program-level role.
This also provides a mapping for the more obscure references (i.e. Six Sigma "Belts", Lean "Medals").