News | Nov. 2, 2021

Join ASQ for free training, celebrate World Quality Month

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency offers team members free access to professional training and certifications to enhance their skills in supporting our nation’s warfighters.

One option for training and certification is the American Society for Quality. DCMA has purchased an ASQExcellence organizational membership, which means all agency employees are eligible to join to access the resources to gain more knowledge in certain areas, including research reports, publications, tools, case studies, webcasts, and journals.

According to the ASQExcellence website, also known as ASQE, it was founded in January 2020 as a trade association that provides networking opportunities and resources to organizations and their affiliated individuals.

In addition, November is World Quality Month. This annual event highlights the vital role of quality professionals and the impact quality assurance makes in organizations and communities. During the month, DCMA employees are encouraged to join the agency’s ASQE organizational membership if they have not already done so and learn other ways they can enhance their job performance. For example, by becoming an ASQE member, employees can take part in web-based training on topics such as compliance or a specific industry’s best practices.

Michael Shields, executive director of Quality Assurance in the Technical Directorate, encourages employees to take advantage of DCMA’s membership and the training resources available.

“This is a great opportunity to recognize and reflect on how quality is important in all parts of DCMA, not just employees who work in quality assurance,” said Shields. “We all can impact quality no matter what area or job we are in at DCMA.”

Since DCMA became a member in 2009, employees have completed training courses and passed the certified quality technician, certified quality auditor, and certified quality engineer exams.

“In 2020, DCMA outperformed its industry counterparts in certification of all three programs,” Shields said. “Our employees have put forth the time, effort and sacrifices to achieve one or more of these certifications.”

Shields said it is important for employees to take advantage of opportunities like ASQE training, and these certifications enhance an employee’s professional skill set and increase the agency’s credibility with customers and government contractors.

“I encourage employees to join professional organizations such as ASQ,” said Shields, a certified quality auditor and quality engineer, who understands the time and effort involved with preparing for and taking the certification exams. “I am a strong supporter and champion of these certification programs. Our agency’s objective is to have a fully-trained workforce. Professional certification increases the agency’s credibility with customers and contractors. I appreciate the supervisors and managers who support their employees in their study and preparation for these certification exams.”

The various ASQ training and certification exams are available to DCMA quality assurance professionals through Fiscal Year 2022. QA personnel can find the CQA and CQT class and exam schedules in the Learning Management System and apply accordingly. The CQE certification program will accept applicants via a tasking memo distributed in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022.

“The DCMA quality assurance community is committed to their studies and it shows based on our data,” said Nicole Cornish, a staff quality assurance specialist for the Technical Directorate, who oversees the ASQE program. “One example is that it was exciting to see the participation for the certified quality engineer program increase by 49% in 2021.”

For information on how to join ASQE, go to the Technical Directorate's SharePoint site (employee login required). Users who experience registration challenges should email: orgmembership@asq.org. 

“I hope employees sign up and begin using the many benefits and resources ASQE has to offer. It should take less than 10 minutes to join,” added Cornish.

To learn more about World Quality Month, visit the ASQ website.

Editor’s Note: This article is intended to inform DCMA personnel about the professional benefits of ASQE organizational membership. It is not an endorsement of ASQE.