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NEWS | March 18, 2016

DCMA Air Propulsion Operations Rolls Royce team passes certified quality auditor exam

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS - Five Defense Contract Management Agency Air Propulsion Operations Rolls Royce employees recently passed the certified quality auditor exam through the American Society for Quality.

ASQ is a professional organization dedicated to advancing quality methodologies and ideas to help organizations and communities function better. ASQ is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has approximately 76,000 individual and organizational members from more than 150 countries. 

“I was motivated by the quality assurance staff here that work for me,” said Eric Lee, a supervisory quality assurance specialist at DCMA APO Rolls Royce who passed the test along with four of his employees. “It’s an accomplishment for all of us. This skill set allows us to become better employees to help the agency accomplish its mission. This certification has helped all of us develop better skillsets and enable our organization to better transition from detection to a prevention quality team.”

In addition to Lee, Jason Drewitz, Scott Kirisits, Komlan Koudifo and Edward Pawelczyk, who are all quality assurance specialists, passed the exam. The preparation for taking the self-paced course and exam is approximately three months.

“You have to be dedicated and want to do it,” said Lee. “There is a lot of material to learn in a short amount of time.”

Kirisits, who has been with DCMA four years, said the course provided him with the knowledge to conduct more in-depth, better quality audits.

“I took the exam to separate myself from the pack, and to give myself an advantage for when a promotion came up,” he said. “Like most DCMA people, I have military experience and a college degree, so I needed something else. In the future, I would like to get a team lead position here at DCMA APO Rolls Royce and hopefully a QA supervisor’s position.”

The test has 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately five hours to complete. Someone who is already certified administers the test. Koudifo, who passed the certified quality auditor exam before his colleagues, was the proctor at DCMA APO Rolls Royce.

“Komlan mentored the group,” said Lee. “He encouraged us and emphasized the amount of dedication required to study and pass the test.”

Lee said the test covers a variety of topics, including how to conduct business with government contractors and how to properly administer audits. He also said that his team taking the course at the same time allowed them to quiz each other during lunch breaks and share lessons learned.

“Taking the course and passing the exam has made me a better leader and DCMA employee,” said Lee, who has been with the agency seven years. “It was a challenge, but I’m always looking for ways to improve myself.”

After individuals are certified, they can do certain tasks such as proctor exams and participate in training and other professional activities to maintain their certification. The quality auditor certification is good for three years.

Lee said he would recommend other employees, especially in the quality assurance career field, to take the course and exam.

Michael Shields, DCMA’s Quality Assurance director, said he was proud of the team.

“I firmly believe our folk’s dedication to duty and commitment to our warfighters is demonstrated everyday by the important work they perform and their desire to be recognized as world-class quality professionals,” he said. “I hope they will consider furthering their expertise through additional certifications such as the certified quality engineer or certified quality technician. Improved competencies in these areas will greatly assist them as we continue to transition more of our oversight activities from detection to prevention.”

DCMA has purchased an enterprise quality roundtable level membership with ASQ, which means all agency employees are eligible for a free individual membership. More than 5,000 DCMA employees are currently members. Since DCMA became a member in 2009, 700 employees have passed the certified quality technician, quality auditor and quality engineer exams. ASQ offers 17 certifications, and has issued approximately 160,000 certifications to various individuals and organizations.

Click here (log-in required) for DCMA enterprise membership sign up instructions. If employees have problems joining, contact ASQ at salessupport@asq.org.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to inform DCMA personnel about the professional benefits of ASQ membership. It is not intended as an endorsement of ASQ.

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