Quality Auditor Certification Exam

Everything you need to prepare for your test.

The ASQ Quality Auditor Certification exam, also called the CQA exam, is required to become a certified quality auditor in the United States.

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Quality Auditor Certification Exam Eligibility

To be eligible for this exam, you must have at least eight years of full-time experience in one or more of the areas of the Certified Quality Auditor Body of Knowledge, three years of which must be in a decision-making position.

Depending on your level of education, you may have one or more years waived from your required experience.

Level of EducationYears Waived
Technical or trade school diploma1
Associate degree2
Bachelor’s degree4
Master’s or doctorate degree5


Quality Auditor Certification Exam Outline

The computer-delivered Quality Auditor Certification exam contains 165 multiple-choice questions, 15 of which are unscored, and you will be given a time limit of 5 hours and 18 minutes. The paper-and-pencil version of the exam contains 150 questions and has a time limit of 5 hours.

The questions are designed using six levels of cognition, based on Bloom’s taxonomy:

  • Remember: Recall or recognize information
  • Understand: Read and understand information
  • Apply: Know when and how to use information
  • Analyze: Break down information and identify sublevel factors from a complex scenario
  • Evaluate: Make judgments by comparing information to specific standards or criteria
  • Create: Compile elements of information and identify information to examine further

Roughly 10% to 15% of the questions on the exam pertain to case studies. Each study provides a scenario that outlines a specific audit situation that is supported by related audit documentation.

The exam is split into five sections.

I. Auditing Fundamentals (28 questions)

The questions in this section focus on the following fundamentals:

  • Types of quality audits
  • Purpose and scope of audits
  • Criteria to audit against
  • Roles and responsibilities of audit participants
  • Professional conduct and consequences for auditors

II. Audit Process (44 questions)

The questions in this section focus on the following audit processes:

  • Audit preparation and planning
  • Audit performance
  • Audit reporting
  • Audit follow-up and closure

III. Auditor Competencies (24 questions)

The questions in this section focus on the following audit processes:

  • Auditor characteristics
  • On-site audit resource management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication and presentation techniques
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Team dynamics

IV. Audit Program Management and Business Applications (30 questions)

The questions in this section focus on the following topics:

  • Audit program management
  • Business and financial impact

V. Quality Tools and Techniques (24 questions)

The questions in this section focus on the following topics:

  • Basic quality and problem-solving tools
  • Process improvement techniques
  • Basic statistics
  • Process variation
  • Sampling methods
  • Change control and configuration management
  • Verification and validation
  • Risk management tools

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Quality Auditor Certification Exam Registration

To register for the ASQ Quality Auditor Certification exam, you must submit an application to ASQ. Your application must include the $533 exam fee, which will be partially refunded if your application is not approved.

Once your application is approved, you will be sent confirmation of your approval and information on how to schedule your computer-based or paper-and-pencil exam appointment.

Test Day

You should arrive at the Prometric testing center at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to leave enough time for the check-in process. You will be greeted by a Test Center Administrator (TCA), who will ask you to present two forms of valid identification, one of which must contain your photo and signature.

Once your ID is checked, your picture will be taken, and a digital image of your fingerprint will be taken. You will then be asked to put any personal items in a locker. The only things you are permitted to bring to the check-in station are your ID papers, your locker key, and a pair of foam earplugs in an unopened container.

You will be asked to stop testing and leave the room immediately if you violate any security regulations, and no scores will be given for your test.

How the Quality Auditor Exam is Scored

Your CQA exam score is calculated using a scaled scoring system. This system takes your raw score, which is how many questions you answered correctly, and converts it to a numerical scaled score. You will need a final scaled score of at least 550 to pass the exam.

If you take the computerized version of the exam, you will receive your results immediately, and you should receive an email within 3 to 5 days with further confirmation. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a summary report within 3 to 5 days.

Retaking the Quality Auditor Exam

If you do not pass the exam, you may retake it after submitting a new application and a retesting fee of $333.

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How many questions are on the Quality Auditor Certification exam?


There are 165 multiple-choice questions on the computerized exam.


How long is the Quality Auditor Certification exam?


The time limit for the computerized exam is 5 hours and 18 minutes.


What is the passing score for the Quality Auditor Certification exam?


To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 550.


How much does the Quality Auditor Certification exam cost?


The examination fee is $533.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: December 29, 2023