What do ASQ and the inspection division actually do?
ASQ is the global quality knowledge network that links the best ideas, tools, and experts because it has the resources, reputation, and reach to bring together the diverse quality and continuous improvement champions that transform our world. With more than 70,000 members worldwide, ASQ provides individuals and organizations access to the tools, techniques, and insights that can help distinguish an ordinary career from an extraordinary one. ASQ provides training, professional certifications, and knowledge to the vast network of members of the global quality community. It covers the complete quality body of knowledge (QBoK), all of which is available and accessible to each individual member for the price of a professional membership. Nearly all of the QBoK is developed and maintained by ASQ’s 25 technical communities.
ASQ is comprised of many member units. Probably the most commonly known are technical and geographic communities. Within the technical communities, divisions, and forums are unique sources of focused information on quality that can help people do their job better. Professionals and subject matter experts in various quality-related fields manage the forums and divisions on a volunteer basis. These volunteers provide a place to turn when someone has a question or if they need a specific type of conference, course, book, paper, or other career development tool. Within the geographic communities, sections and local member communities are also volunteer run. Sections provide complete coverage throughout the United States and Canada, while local member communities exist in many countries throughout the world.
The ASQ Inspection Division was founded in 1968. Though information on a wide variety of quality topics is provided, the division primarily focuses on topics related to the science of inspection. ASQ members have access to key tools, techniques, ideas and practices vital to product conformance. The division is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to “inspire, motivate, educate, prepare and support Inspection Division members and professionals to excel in techniques, methodology, knowledge and skills of inspection and test processes.” It aspires to be the world’s leading authority on inspection technologies, techniques, methods, principles, and applications.
The Inspection Division is also dedicated to advancing the theory and practices of quality control and quality assurance, including the skills and science of inspection and test and auditing of products and services. It provides value-added services and information to ASQ members and quality practitioners, thus helping further their interests and fulfilling their objectives.
Educational courses, conferences, webinars, and publications are just some of the offerings provided by the Inspection Division to help members become proficient at using advanced quality tools and equipment; conducting calibrations, inspections, and test; apply statistical techniques; effectively implement corrective and preventive actions; participate in quality teams; and conduct product, process, and systems audits all in order to facilitate continuous improvement. When skills are put to use, members solve quality-related problems, prepare inspection plans and instructions, analyze quality data, and apply statistical process controls that drive organizational improvement.
Networking opportunities, recognition, and leadership development are additional benefits that technical and geographic communities provide. Active members can quickly meet and get to know the numerous experts within the global quality field through conferences and meetings. This personal connection provides individuals with access to an unlimited amount of knowledge and personal development. Recognition is primarily provided through the division’s International Inspector of the Year award as well as through its scholarship program. Volunteer opportunities with the society provide hands-on leadership development in a safe environment. A significant amount of ASQ’s success can be attributed to the passion of its member leaders, many of who dedicate countless hours of support while still fulfilling their obligations to their families and employers.
Simply put, ASQ has the QBoK and the quality tools that make our world work better. Our technical communities house the QBoK and ASQ geographic communities provide networking opportunities and local access to the QBoK. Similar to stocks, ASQ membership pays dividends, and while it may take time to accumulate sufficient wealth and/or knowledge before seeing a noticeable impact, perseverance and patience pays off. Personally, I owe much of my success to the offerings and services provided by ASQ obtained through my 30-plus years of membership so I encourage you to join ASQ and enjoy the journey—I assure you the investment will pay off handsomely in the end.