What is the Value of CSSGB/CSSBB when I have CQE?

My Quality leader is pushing for me to get my CSSGB (and probably CSSBB as next stepping stone down the line), but looking at the BoK, it appears to be the same material as was covered in my CQE exam. I get that it should make passing the CSSGB exam easier, but is there truly any benefit to having the CSSGB when you already have CQE?

11 Replies

Hey @Jeffrey!!

I actually get this question all the time, so I created this youtube video to answer the question:

R. Force
1 Posts

@Jeffrey Wenzel Andrew's video is a great summary of the similarities and differences betwee GB and QE exams. My suggestion is since there is such a large overlap in the BB BOK and QE BOK, and you are already a CQE, skip GB certification and work on the CSSBB.

@R. Force, thank you. I think I will skip the Green Belt.

@Jeffrey Wenzel I do not think skipping the GB Exam is a good idea. Why? Many professions share the same methods and tools but have specialties and apply them differently. A carpenter uses a hammer to bang a nail. An electrician uses a hammer to hang an electrical box. Same hammer different purpose. The CQE is a skill set that is needed to complete day to day quality management activities. The GB is learning to use similar tools to solve problems and create breakthroughs. You should ask yourself; do I know how to solve problems using the CQER tools? If not go for both. CQE and GB. Do not confuse the exam with the skills needed to do different roles.

@Jeffrey Wenzel

I too ask similar questions not only regarding the CSSGB/BB certification but also regarding the Certified Reliability Engineer certification BOK. There is considerable overlap and ASQ apparently does not grant “consideration” (shorter version of the exams covering only material not common to both BOK's? Reduced exam fee?) for knowledge demonstrated when completing the CQE certification process - As we know, the CQE BOK is quite comprehensive!

Brings me to question ASQ motives - revenue generation versus promotion of the quality principles! By the way, this not solely my opinion as this notion has come up in comments made by a number of individuals in past forums


@Jeffrey Wenzel It all depends on the needs and valuation of the organization. As long as the organization can provide you a list of potential GB and/or BB projects - or allow you the leeway to choose your own, then there is value in the SSGB or BB certifications. Otherwise, just to obtain either the GB or BB training and certification, without the support - is of less value.

Time Line
5 Posts

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@Willard Kalchek

I agree with your question about motives. I have a CQE, CMQ/OE, and a CSSBB through ASQ. First and foremost I do appreciate the training materials and the classes, however, I recently sold my CSSBB and CQE books and kept the CMQ/OE book (and got a CSSMBB book). There is a tremendous amount of overlap in those books as well as the BoK. And the books are not inexpensive, to boot. If it were up to me, I would have a generic BoK applicated to CSSxB, CQE, CMQ, CRE, etc., and then have smaller books with details of each certification. Seems to make more sense to me (and a few other colleagues I work with who, in some cases, “collect” ASQ certifications.

@Willard Kalchek Whether “for a good cause” or not, it has been apparent for decades now that ASQ is more concerned with expanding profitability than promoting quality - not that they don't promote quality in order to generate those profits. BUT, beyond a few really basic certifications, the plethora of “specialties” really does not enhance career advancement. The whole “Six Sigma” thing got completely highjacked from the original intent and mechanisms, and while improvements at large scale can and are made, the actual “return on investment" wouldn't get any other project approved by those companies!

SO, IF the company is paying for your time and effort (and materials) to obtain any Six Sigma level of “Certification”, GO for it! There are useful things in that BoK. If they expect YOU to pay for it and figure out how to schedule something on your own, look for a company that is more interested in results and capabilities than Slogans and Titles

@Jeffrey Wenzel , perhaps your Quality Leader has a management objective of having a quota of resources trained up to Six Sigma Green Belt, to justify the presence or hiring of a Six Sigma Black Belt. If the employer is reimbursing the training and exam, I suggest to get with the program and take the benefit: you win by gaining a CSSGB and the Quality Leader wins by training up a staff member.

Like you, I completed my CQE prior to writing ASQ's Six Sigma certification. I found it helpful and the CQE study material was also relevant and constructive. However, if you have the necessary project experience, you should pursue the CSSBB as the CQE demonstrates your proficiency of the test material.

You also have to ask whether your employer wants a certificate or Certification. The difference is that a certificate reflects a snapshot of completed training and exams, while Certification represents a long-term professional commitment. In that case, having multiple (2 or more) renewable certifications as an ASQ member is a member benefit that rewards member value for the duration of your Quality career.

@Gary Netherton ; I resemble your remark :)

In my defense, I obtained my ASQ “collection” of certifications between 1998 and 2004. The average price per certification ranged from 90 USD to 120 USD (a fraction of the posted 2022 fees). The training costs were modest and manageable due to the availability of self-study materials and volunteer ASQ instructors at my section.

Two certifications I obtained at the time were extensions of the ASQ CQA: CQA-HACCP and CQA-Biomedical. These have since been decoupled from the CQA and renamed as Medical Device and Food Safety auditors. Although I do not work directly within these fields now, I am able to renew these certifications as part of ASQ's “synchronized renewal” program.

If a professional certification provides access and eligibility for a career path, it is a worthwhile pursuit. This is particularly true if the certification is accepted by a particular industry or field of study. Ultimately, our best preparation for the future is to be versatile and capable with various proficiencies.