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Software Certification is recognized worldwide as the standard for IT quality assurance professionals. Certification is a big step; a big decision. Certification identifies an individual as a quality assurance leader and earns the candidate the respect of colleagues and managers. It is formal acknowledgement that the IT recipient has an overall understanding of the disciplines and skills represented in a comprehensive Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) for a respective software discipline.



  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 fi rst must have a working knowledge of quality principles and basic concepts. This category will test the CSQA candidate’s ability to understand and apply these principles.
  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, neighbehaviors, building the infrastructure, techniques, approaches and communications. 
  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. 
  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.
  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.
  6. Define, Build, Implement, and Improve Work Processes This category will test the candidate’s understanding of process components, how to defi ne a process, and how to continuously improve process capability.
  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 verifi cation 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. 
  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.
  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.
  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.


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