O V E R V I E W
                                           P R O G R A M

The CSQA program was developed in 1986 by leading Quality Assurance Professionals as a means of recognizing
quality assurance practitioners who demonstrated a predefined level of IT Quality competency. The CSQA
program is directed by an independent Certification Board and administered by the Quality Assurance Institute. The
CSQA program was developed to provide value to the profession, the individual, the employer, and co-workers.

Note: It is helpful in understanding the role of quality assurance to differentiate "BIG QA" from "little qa." "Little
qa" is an organizational unit which is given specific job functions. "BIG QA" is focused on customer satisfaction and
is practiced by anyone who has quality responsibilities. The CSQA program is directed toward "BIG QA."

VALUE PROVIDED TO THE                                                  Code of Ethics
PROFESSION                                                                 The successful candidate must agree
                                                                           to abide by a professional Code of
                                                                           Ethics     as   specified by the
The role of quality assurance in IT has been, and                          Certification Board.
still is in some organizations, greatly mis-
understood. The role recognized by leading IT
organizations is that of assuring customer                             VALUE PROVIDED TO
satisfaction, while building an ever improving
infrastructure and work processes that support                         THE INDIVIDUAL
enterprise goals and objectives. The CSQA                              The individual obtaining the CSQA
program was designed to recognize quality                              certification receives these values:
assurance practitioners as CSQA professionals by
providing:                                                             Recognition by Peers of Personal
                                                                       Desire to Improve

Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK)                                            Approximately,     eighty   percent
                                                                           (80%) of all CSQAs stated that a
    The Certification Board defines the skills upon                        personal    desire      for    self-
    which quality assurance certification is based.                        improvement and peer recognition
    The current CBOK includes these skill                                  was the main reason for obtaining
    categories: 1) Quality Principles; 2) Software                         the CSQA certification. Fifteen
    Development Processes; 3) Quality Models; 4)                           percent (15%) were required by their
    Quality Management; 5) Quality Assurance;                              employer to sit for the examination;
    6) Quality Control/Testing; 7) Software                                and 10% were preparing themselves
    Engineering (Processes); and 8) Measurement.                           for an improved quality-related

Examination Process to Evaluate Competency                                 Many CSQAs indicated that while
                                                                           their employer did not require CSQA
    The successful candidate must pass a four-part                         certification,  it   was     strongly
    examination (based on the CBOK) with a                                 encouraged.
    grade of 75%, or greater, on each part. Only
    63% of the prequalified applicants pass the                        Increased Confidence in Personal
    examination the first time, making this a                          Capabilities
    prestigious certification to obtain.                                   Eighty-five percent (85%) of the
                                                                           CSQAs stated that passing the
                                                                           examination     increased   their
                                                                           confidence to perform their job
                                                                           more effectively. Much of that
    confidence came from studying for the              Independent Assessment
    examination.                                       of Quality Assurance
Recognition by "IT" Management for
                                                           The CSQA program is directed by a
Professional Achievement
                                                           Certification Board of independent
    Most CSQAs stated that their management                quality assurance experts. Through
    greatly respects those who put forth the               examination and recertification, they
    personal effort needed for self-improvement.           provide an independent assessment
    IT organizations recognize and reward                  of the CSQA's quality assurance
    individuals in the following ways:                     competencies, based on a
      • Thirteen percent (13%) received an                 continuously strengthening Common
        immediate average one-time bonus of                Body of Knowledge for quality
        $610, with a range of $250 to $2500.               assurance practitioners.

      • Twelve percent (12%) received an
        immediate average salary increase of           Quality Assurance
        10%, with a range of 2% to 50%.                Competencies Maintained
    Non-monetary recognitions were: 1) thirty-six      Through Recertification
    percent (36%) were recognized in staff                 Yesterday's quality assurance
    meetings; 2) twenty percent (20%) in                   competencies are inadequate for
    newsletters or email; and 3) by receiving              today's challenges. CSQA
    rewards, management visits or calls, and lunch         recertification is a process that helps
    with the boss.                                         assure the CSQA's skills remain
                                                           current. The recertification process
    Within the first 18 months after receipt of the
                                                           requires CSQAs to obtain 40 hours
    CSQA certification, of the successful
                                                           of quality assurance related training
                                                           per year in topics specified by the
     • Twenty-seven percent (27%) received an              Certification Board.
       average salary increase of 23%, with a
                                                           From an IT director's perspective,
       range of 2% to 100%.
                                                           this is employee initiated quality
      • Twenty-three percent (23%) were                    assurance training. Most, if not all
        promoted, 25% received a better                    CSQAs, do this training during their
        assignment and 13% a new assignment.               personal time. IT organizations gain
                                                           three benefits from CSQA
                                                           recertification: 1) employees initiate
VALUE PROVIDED TO THE                                      improvement; 2) quality assurance
                                                           practitioners obtain competencies in
EMPLOYER                                                   quality assurance methods and
With the need for increased software quality and           techniques; and 3) employees train
reliability, employing CSQAs provides value in             during personal time.
these ways:

Increased Confidence by IT Users                       VALUE
and Customers
                                                       PROVIDED TO
    IT users and customers expressed confidence
    in "IT" to effectively build or acquire software
    when certified quality assurance practitioners     The drive for self-improvement is a
    were involved.                                     special trait that manifests itself in
                                                       providing these values to co-workers:
Improved Processes to Build/Acquire/Maintain,
Operate and Measure Software                           Mentoring the Testing Staff
    CSQAs use their knowledge and skills to                Forty-five percent (45%) of the
    continuously improve the IT work processes.            CSQAs mentor their testing
    CSQAs know what to measure, how to                     colleagues by conducting training
    measure it, and then prepare analysis to aid in        classes; encouraging staff to become
    the decision-making process.                           certified; and acting as a resource to
    the staff on sources of IT quality related                            •   Creating an awareness of the
    information.                                                              CSQA Program and its benefits
                                                                              to your quality assurance
Testing Resource to "IT" Staff                                                practitioners.
    CSQAs are recognized as experts in quality
    assurance and are used heavily for advice,
    counseling, and for recommendations on                                •   Requiring or encouraging your
    software construction and testing.                                        quality assurance practitioners to
                                                                              become certified.
Role Model for Quality Assurance Practitioners
    CSQAs are the IT role models for individuals
    with quality responsibilities to become more                          •   Recognizing and rewarding
    effective in performing their job                                         successful candidates.

                                                                          •   Supporting recertification as a
                                                                              means of maintaining quality
                                                                              assurance competency.

A "driver" for improved IT effectiveness is the
integration of the CSQA certification program in
your "IT" career development plan. This can be
accomplished by:
                                         For information on the CSQA program, contact:
                                                    Certification Administrator
                                                  c/o Quality Assurance Institute
                                                 7575 Dr. Phillips Boulevard, Suite 350
                                                      Orlando, Florida 32819
                                                   407-472-8100 or fax 407-363-1112
                                         E-mail: certcsqa@softwarecertifications.com

                                               How to apply to become a CSQA:
                            Information and applications are available on Software Certifications
                                                         Web Site

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