Being part of ASQ should not be synonymous with high-pressure sales, exaggerated claims, and misleading misrepresentations about the future benefits of overpriced certifications. ASQ has survived and sustained itself for 70 years by being relevant and suitable for its membership. A modest and methodical approach, carefully and thoughtfully considered, and emphasizing prudence and thrift, will enable ASQ members to realize their personal and career aspirations in a way that does not disrupt or diminish other elements of their personal or professional lives.
This article captures some personal and reflections and perspectives on my 25+ years of professional education and growth. I wanted to share my own experiences in managing professional upgrades and training while concurrently fulfilling my job duties and personal commitments (i.e. home, family, other pursuits).
Spending $2000 or more per individual certification just to train for and write an open book exam is not sustainable for our membership.
THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!
I recommend three approaches for professional development to build your Quality portfolio within your financial means.
- Certified Quality Improvement Associate
- Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt
- Certified Six Sigma Green Belt
- Certified Quality Technician
- Certified Quality Inspector
- Certified Quality Process Analyst
- Certified Suppler Quality Professional
- Certified Lean Bronze (SME with ASQ contributions)
- Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
- Certified Quality Auditor
- Certified Quality Engineer
- Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence
ASQ also provides its qualified members with the opportunity to be a behind-the scenes reviewer of content and questions. This requires some work and commitment, but the benefit is that participants actually get initial exposure to current knowledge and transcripts, and are literally paid to learn Quality.
When a new exam is released, early adopters have the ability to take the exams at a discounted rate. These savings can be compounded as ASQ releases more training and certification options, or retools their existing offerings to incorporate technology and innovations.
This eligibility is one of the reasons and selling points for promoting each and every ASQ member to pursue and attain the level of Senior Member. It does not cost anything to upgrade, and with the self-verification option, there should be no restriction once a member is eligible. An additional benefit of ASQ senior members is the eligibility to receive a free ASQ journal, filled with important content that will also support professional development and knowledge within the Quality profession.
The expression "the rich get richer" has validity in ASQ because once a person gets established as an author, speaker, and contributor, more opportunities are presented to them to entice their participation in additional conferences and publications. Surprisingly there is a shortage of knowledgeable speakers and authors, making this the perfect time to become involved.