No Physical Certificates?

Despite receiving a message in June that said I would receive a paper certificate in the mail, I did not receive a physical certificate for my QA certification. I'm told now that as of May 1 ASQ no longer sends physical certificates.

I can go online and print a cheap-looking cert that contains a QR code (why?) or add digitally to my LinkedIn profile. It looks positively childish.

This really cheapens the time and effort spent serving my local section, attending seminars, and otherwise keeping my professional development up to date. Still costs the same as before, as far as I know.

It's also pretty embarrassing that almost 2 months past the deadline, nobody at ASQ had bothered to update the messaging given to folks upon recertifying.

24 Replies

@Joseph Manske, I completely agree. I re-certified my CQE this year and the same thing happened to me: was informed that I would receive a paper cert in the mail in X weeks. I did not receive anything 6 weeks later. Called ASQ and was told the same as you that as of May 1, no paper certs would be mailed that I had to log into ASQ and print the certificate on my own.

Joseph Manske‍ I agree with you. I had the same experience when I passed my CRE. The cost of the exam is still the same. Felt like the effort put in was not valued and now I am reassessing my future plans on sitting for other ASQ certifications.
First of all, Congratulation on obtaining your certifications.

Second, It is sad that ASQ, THE SOCIETY FOR QUALITY has gone to this level. For many years I was the Certification and Re-certification Chair for my Section 0626. I complained to the Society that the leadership of the sections were never notified when members from their Section obtained Certifications. My point, many times, was to be able to reach the recently-certified members and congratulate them "on-the-spot". Isn't this part of Service we owe our members? Isn't that Quality? Isn't that an action making members feel part of THE SOCIETY? I had to wait one month or more until membership rosters were updated and then I had to sort through to see if anyone had passed. By then congratulations was like yelling today (October 24, 2022) "Happy New Year".

So many other things have happened that I do not agree with ASQ. I am still a member and active with my section. I have held many leadership positions in my section since 2001, and I still believe in the value of QUALITY, and actions like this does not make ASQ a Quality Organization worth being member of.

I feel your pain in not having a real, printed certificate, even as, in my case, I shove them into a binder and take out three years later when I replace them with the new one. However, I do know people that proudly display their certificates in their offices, cubicles, and shop floor desks (yes, in the shop floor because that's where they work and they are proud of that.

I know there may be many, many reason for ASQ no to incur in the expense of contracting a third party to handle the printing and mailing of certificates - yes, that is how it is done. I do know membership has dwindled (since I joined in late 90's when I was a student and led the Student Chapter at CSULB). Benefits like this have diminished, membership fees and test fees have skyrocketed and then the flavor of receiving a CERTIFICATE is taken away also. Wow!

All I can say to you Joseph and Jeffrey and the many others that will receive a digital certificate, please continue your quest of being Quality Professionals and provide Service, Quality and Leadership on everything you do and leave ASQ and their nuances behind. After all, prophesies turn true as I heard many times" "People join ASQ for to put that on their resumes and for the magazine" - By the way, that magazine is also digital.

@Joseph Manske I do not mind not getting a paper certificate, but I did enjoy the stiffer card stock certificate. One year I framed the four certifications I held. The plaques adorned my office. While the dates on them are from last decade, they do look nice displayed that way.


Not a huge fan of digital badges. For one, they have no dates on them. Second, is it better to simply list “CQE” on my email signature or to display this badge? Actually I do neither. I list ASQ Fellow and the volunteer positions I hold within the Society as it is because of one of those, I am writing the email for. Not to say I am opposed to badges as I proudly wore my Boy Scout ones in the day; maybe one day I will post my cert digital badges on LinkedIn or somewhere else.

I concur. Imagine graduating from college And being told that they don’t issue paper diplomas anymore, but you can go online and print one out yourself. So much for the embossed or debossed stamp, which used to mean something. The DIY culture should not apply to printing out a certification that is Meant to be held to a higher standard to which we Use as the foundation and reason for membership.

@Joseph Manske
Regardless of the quality of the actual certificate, I proudly display it in my office. I have been CQE certified since 1992, and work hard to attain the CEU's for recertification. My employer, RBC Bearings, finances those efforts. I thank them dearly for their support.

I totally agree! I just send a message last week about the "printable" certificates. They do not look professional nor do they look worthy of display. It feels very cheap. I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks this.
WHAT? Is this really true? If so, then ASQ has gone too far. ASQ has to understand their customer expectations.
ASQ should still provide an option to receive an actual physical certificate.
I will forward a complaint with my Section Chair and ask that he push his Regional Director (who sits on the ASQ Board of Directors) to make a change is this policy.
I urge you to let the ASQ Board of Directors know how you feel.
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@Joseph Manske I agree. “Portability” is fine, to a point. But the electronic version is the easy part. It should be available for posting along WITH the hardcopy. It's a little thing (and QUALITY!) to provide the heavier-grade embossed page. Personal printers and usual paper do NOT show the same presentable form! In this case, ASQ is definitely not “Walking the Talk”!

@Steven Schuelka Hey Steve: SInce you are joining the ASQ Board of Directors, please do thing about this. You will have the power to make a motion at a BoD meeting to mandate that the ASQ Certification Department provide the option for members to receive a physical certification on hard stock paper. Please MAKE A DIFFERENCE and do something that the members want.

@Philip Malowitz
Doesn’t the definition of quality include customer expectations? I can’t imagine a leading quality organization is going to cheapen the quality in their own certificates. Perhaps the cost and decision to get or not get a paper certificate can be linked to your recert exam fee? And then you can see how many Choose paper or electronic

@Joseph Manske & @ASQ

I just wanted to be on the record that I was very disappointed when I was told this as well. For flying to a training for a week, studying for months, and taking an exam that takes hours to be told "here is a LinkedIn badge, I was very disappointed. I passed my CMQOE exam and spent so much time on it. I was looking forward to framing it because I was very proud of it. I printed a version that I had to screenshot that is disproportionate to the paper and grainy. It looks like an online bootleg certification…even a nice .pdf would be better than this.

@Joseph Manske

Hello Everyone

We appreciate everyone’s feedback here. I wanted to respond to this email chain and add some context and additional perspective on the decision by our Certification Body to move towards Digital Certificates back in May this year. I am aware that there was an email communication from our system that we failed to update (to remove paper certificate mailing verbiage) back in June – but that was addressed back then. I know I won’t convince you all – but there are so many benefits to using Digital Certificates, below are a few highlights:

  • Instant Delivery - Avoids the customer frustration and dissatisfaction with delays of snail mail. Digital delivery is instant, regardless of the person's location globally. The experience aligns with Computer based testing instant results and digital badges.
  • High resolution Digital Certificate – allows customer to print an unlimited number of high-resolution Certificates, for home, office or just about anywhere they desire!
  • Sustainable – Digital Certificates supports our mission and ESG strategy to become and support sustainable practices and reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Reduces Fraud - Even with watermarks, embossed paper and e-ink paper certificates are regularly faked. For digital, single-click verification makes third-party authentication quick and easy. Digital certificates use bank-level encryption and blockchain logging making it impossible to fake certificates. This is a requirement of ISO 17024 Accreditation.
  • Reduces Waste - No resending or reprinting - One in every 200 paper certificates has an error (customer entered name incorrect or wants to change name) and needs to be re-printed and re-sent. With digital you can make updates instantly and revoke certificates en-masse with the click of a button.
  • Brand Exposure - Sending out paper certificates doesn't allow us to track engagement and brand exposure. Traditional certificates get hung on a wall and their exposure is limited. Digital certificates can be shared by customer on Facebook, Twitter, added to LinkedIn profiles for job seekers and linked back to our website and Accredible for verification.
  • Leaner Process – staff time and cost savings gained by avoiding spending time generating, printing, and mailing certificates, in addition to managing support requests from certificate recipients and validating the authenticity of paper certificates & inventory management with vendors.

I sincerely hope this at least provides you with an alternative perspective as to the reasons and benefits. Thank you and please reach out to me directly if you want to discuss more.

@Michael Byrnes
Hello, I believe the issue is why can't ASQ offer both? Us member don't think digital or hard copy should be exclusive one to another.

I am also one of those expecting an option to receive official hard copy certificate from ASQ but seems like I can't.


@Joseph Manske
Thank you for posting this; I hadn't realized this process had changed and I have been telling my students they will get a physical certificate in the mail if they pass their tests. Now I know!

@Philip Malowitz And yes, my certificate is in a frame that I can show off proudly. And yes, when I saw someone else have their certificate on their desk at work, it is exactly what drove me to get my own.

@Michael Byrnes
Hi Michael,

I understand your position which helps explain why ASQ made this change but the reasons listed forgot one factor, satisfying customer expectations. Please listen to the feedback we are providing you. There is a portion of the people who have an ASQ certification that still desires receiving an actual hard copy of the cert on hard stock paper. The message that this group is conveying is “provide us the option".

I find great value in having a physical certificate sent to me. For the $89 fee, I expect it. If the cost for physical certificates are a barrier, I would be willing to pay an additional $5 to cover the cost of printing and mailing me my cherished cert. ASQ has already established such a process for QUALITY PROGRESS magazine, offering hard copies for an additional fee, so I see no reason why it can't do the same for certifications.

Thank you for all that you do for ASQ.

@James Spichiger

I am totally agree with you James

@Joseph Manske

Hello Joseph, I recently shared this information my local ASQ chapter in Central North Carolina and all members were extremely disappointed with this approach. Hopefully we can all push on the same direction were at least ASQ can reconsider this decision. I will for sure expect more from ASQ.