What the CQE Exam Covers
To put it very short, the exam covers the Certified Quality Engineer Book of Knowledge (CQEBOK).
What is the CQEBOK
The CQEBOK is not what the name implies it is. It is not a book at all. Rather, it is just a very simple outline of the knowledge that is covered on the CQE exam. Maybe at one time ASQ wanted to make an actual book with all the knowledge a CQE would need to possess but it never really got there. Instead, ASQ has made this outline and relies on other experts to write material that follows their outline. ASQ promotes 3rd party material on their website that they have approved of and add it to the recommend list of study material to pass their certification exam. So to sum up the question of what is the CQEBOK, it is simply an outline of the areas of knowledge that you will need have knowledge in to pass the CQE exam.
What is the Point of Being a CQE
Being a CQE shows that you have gained the knowledge that ASQ has found that a quality engineer needs to posses. This is an important factor when an employer needs to know that you have done more than just held a position in the quality field. It shows that have made quality a career and not just a job.
What is ASQ
ASQ is a company that brings individuals together from around the world to be part of a community focused on quality. ASQ itself does very little in the quality field except provides a community for quality. As the industry standard for quality certifications, they provide the qualification standards that employers what to see in a certified quality professional.
The downside of ASQ is that they have monetized the quality industry. It is debatable, but an organization that is the certifying body should never provide training 100% geared towards passing the certification. This devalues the certifications and gives the impression to employers that the certification is just paid for. That is the bad and ugly side of ASQ. As quality professionals, we hope that ASQ continues to develop quality principles and reaches out into the communities to bring quality to the forefront of organizations.