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The Certified Quality Inspector is an inspector who, in support of and under the direction of quality engineers, supervisors, or technicians, can use the proven techniques included in the body of knowledge. Under professional direction, the Quality Inspector evaluates hardware documentation, performs laboratory procedures, inspects products, measures process performance, records data and prepares formal reports.

Minimum Expectations of a Certified Quality Inspector
  • Must know basic quality terms, definitions and concepts.
  • Must know basic statistical terms and techniques, how to plot data and how to recognize out-of-control conditions.
  • Must know the definition of PDCA and understand the team concept.
  • Must understand types of measurement, measurement terminology and the different types of measurement scales.
  • Must know the difference between accuracy and precision and be able to select the appropriate measuring tools and techniques.
  • Must know how to measure using surface plate layouts.
  • Must be able to identify/recognize inspection errors and initiate resolution.
  • Must have basic calibration knowledge.
  • Must be able to read and interpret blueprints and know definitions of critical, major and minor characteristics.
  • Must have a general knowledge of ASME Y14.5M, working knowledge of GD&T, and must understand the x, y, z coordinate system.
  • Must be able to use inspection planning tools and perform a product audit; determine sample size for lots; pull random samples.
  • Must have knowledge of testing methods.
  • Must be able to identify and report nonconforming material.
  • Must understand traceability (product, material and calibration).
  • Must have a strong knowledge of basic mathematical operations and perform measurement conversions; be able to solve for x; add and subtract degrees, minutes, and seconds.

Education and/or Experience

To apply for certification as a Quality Inspector, you must have:
  • Graduation/Diploma in Any Engineering Discipline. Or,
  • Graduation in any science related subject, or.
  • Two years of on-the-job experience in mechanical inspection or a related field.

Degrees or diplomas from educational institutions outside the United States must be equivalent to degrees from U.S. educational institutions


Each certification candidate is required to pass a written examination that consists of multiple choice questions that measure comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. The Quality Inspector examination is a one-part, 100-question, four-hour exam and is offered in English. Examinations are conducted at Decibel Nde timely, by international organizations. All examinations are open-book. Each participant must bring his or her own reference materials. Use of reference materials and calculators is explained in the seating letter provided to applicants. Please Note: The Body of Knowledge for certification is constantly affected by new technologies, policies and the changing dynamics of manufacturing and service industries. Changed versions of the examination based on the current Body of Knowledge are used at each offering.

Topics Covered

Technical Mathematic (16 Questions)

  • A. Basic Shop Math
  • B. Basic Algebra
  • C. Basic Geometry
  • D. Basic Trigonometry
  • E. Measurement Systems
  • F. Measurement Conversions

Metrology (30 Questions)

  • A. Common Gages and Measurement Instruments
  • B. Special Gages and Applications
  • C. Gage Selection, Handling, and Use
  • D. Surface Plate Tools and Techniques
  • E. Specialized Inspection Equipment
  • F. Calibration
  • G. Measurement System Analysis

Inspection and Test (30 Question)

  • A. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)
  • B. Sampling
  • C. Inspection Planning and Procedures
  • D. Testing Methods

Quality Assurance (24 Questions)

  • A. Basic Statistics and Applications
  • B. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  • C. Quality Improvement
  • D. Quality Tools and Techniques
  • E. Resources
Math Note: Approximately 20% of the questions in each CQI exam will require calculation.

Six Levels of Cognition

Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956)
In addition to the content specifics, the subtext detail also indicated the intended complexity level of the test questions for that topic. These levels are based on the “Levels of Cognition” (from Bloom’s Taxonomy, 1956) and are presented below in rank order, from least complex to most complex.

Knowledge Level

(Also commonly referred to as recognition, recall, or rote knowledge.) Be able to remember or recognize terminology, definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, sequences, methodologies, principles, etc.

Comprehension Level

Be able to read and understand descriptions, communications, reports, tables, diagrams, directions, regulations, etc.

Application Level

Be able to apply ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, principles, theories, etc., in job-related situations.


Be able to break down information into its constituent parts and recognize the parts’ relationship to one another and how they are organized; identify sublevel factors or salient data from a complex scenario.


Be able to put parts or elements together in such a way as to show a pattern or structure not clearly there before; identify which data or information from a complex set are appropriate to examine further or from which supported conclusions can be drawn.


Be able to make judgments regarding the value of proposed ideas, solutions, methodologies, etc., by using appropriate criteria or standards to estimate accuracy, effectiveness, economic benefits, etc.

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