All candidates will be tested on the current CASQ CBOK / Skill Categories mentioned below. Those who are already a CASQ certificant and plan to recertify will either be tested (recertification examination) or need to start obtaining CPE credits towards recertification (journal) based off this current version of the CBOK.

Skill Categories: (CSQA)

  1. Quality Principles and Concepts
  2. Quality Leadership
  3. Quality Baselines (Assessments and Models)
  4. Quality Assurance
  5. Quality Planning
  6. Define, Build, Implement and Improve Work Processes
  7. Quality Control Practices
  8. Metrics and Measurement
  9. Internal Control and Security
  10. Outsourcing, COTS and Contracting Quality

Knowledge Category 1 ~ Quality Principles and Concepts
Before an organization can begin to assess the quality of its products and services, and identify opportunities for improvement, it first must have a working knowledge of quality principles and basic concepts. This category will test the CSQA candidate’s ability to understand these principles.

Knowledge Category 2 ~ Quality Leadership
The most important prerequisites for successful implementation of any major quality initiative are leadership and commitment from executive management. Management must create a work environment supportive of quality initiatives. It is management’s responsibility to establish strategic objectives and build an infrastructure that is aligned to those objectives. This category will cover the management processes used to establish the foundation of a quality-managed environment, as well as commitment, new behaviors, building the infrastructure, techniques, approaches and communications.

Knowledge Category 3 ~ Quality Baselines (Assessments and Models)
Organizations need to establish baselines of performance for quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. These baselines are used to document improvements by showing changes from a baseline. In order to establish a baseline, a model and/or goal must be established for use in measuring against to determine the baseline.

Knowledge Category 4 ~ Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is a professional competency whose focus is directed at critical processes used to build products and services. The profession is charged with the responsibility for tactical process improvement initiatives that are strategically aligned to the goals of the organization. This category will address the understanding and application of quality assurance practices in support of the strategic quality direction of the organization.

Knowledge Category 5 ~ Quality Planning
Executive management establishes the vision and strategic goals. Planning is the process that describes how those strategic goals will be accomplished. Quality planning should be integrated into the IT plan so that they become a single plan. In simplistic terms, the IT plan represents the producer and the quality plan represents the customer.

Knowledge Category 6 ~ Define, Build, Implement and Improve Work Processes
This category will test the candidate’s understanding of process components, how to define a process, and how to continuously improve process capability.

Knowledge Category 7 ~ Quality Control Practices
Quality control practices should occur during product development, product acquisition, product construction at the end of development/acquisition and throughout product change and operation. During development, the quality control process is frequently called verification and at the conclusion of development, it is called validation. This category will address the various types of controls and when they are best used in the process.

Knowledge Category 8 ~ Metrics and Measurement
This category addresses measurement concepts, the use of measurement in a software development environment, variation, process capability, risk management, the ways measurement can be used, and how to implement an effective measurement program.

Knowledge Category 9 ~ Internal Control and Security
Privacy laws and increased accessibility to data have necessitated increased security. Accounting scandals and governmental regulation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have placed increased importance on building and maintaining adequate systems of internal control. The quality assurance function can contribute to meeting those objectives by assuring that IT has adequate processes governing internal control and security.

Knowledge Category 10 ~ Outsourcing, COTS and Contracting Quality
Organizations can assign software development work responsibilities to outside organizations through purchasing software or contracting services; but they cannot assign the responsibility for quality. Quality of software remains an internal IT responsibility regardless of who builds the software. The quality professionals need to assure that those quality responsibilities are fulfilled through appropriate processes for acquiring purchased software and contracting for software services.



General Bibliographic References
It is each candidate’s responsibility to stay current in the field and to be aware of published works and materials available for professional study and development. Software Certifications recommends that candidates for certification continually research and stay aware of current literature and trends in the field. There are many valuable references that have not been listed here. These references are offered for informational purposes only.

==> Handbook of Software Quality Assurance
edited by Gordon Schulmeyer and James I. McManus. Prentice-Hall, 1999.

==> Practical Guide to Software Quality Management
by John W. Horch. Artech House, 1996.

==> Inroads to Software Quality: “How To” Guide and Toolkit
by Alka Jarvis and Vern Crandall. Prentice-Hall, 1997.

==> Software Quality: A Framework for Success in Software Development and Support
by Joc Sanders and Eugene Curran. Addison-Wesley, 1994.

==> Cultivating Successful Software Development: A Practitioner’s View
by Scott E. Donaldson and Stanley G. Siegel. Prentice-Hall, 1997.

==> Software Process Design: Out of the Tar Pit
by Jacqueline Holdsworth. McGraw-Hill, 1994.