Good thread, and great idea. Thanks to Jim Wade for referring me here. I will promote the link on my site.
A little information which may be useful (or not) on ASQ:
In 2003, it reported "approximately 145,000 members."
On Jan 1, 2005, all members of the Quality Society of Australasia (QSA) were transitioned to ASQ, adding to the ASQ rolls literally overnight. This transition occurred without member consent or notification (until after the fact.) What we don't know: how many members were in QSA during the transfer, and how many will opt out of ASQ as a result.
In 2003, ASQ was operating at a $1.7M US loss (~$37.2 revenue - ~$38.9M expenses.) There are no other publicly available records available at this time.
ASQ owns both ANAB and RABQSA, and ASQ Exec Paul Borawski is on the boards of both, although "secretly" (his name does not appear in the public rolls). This raises questions about legitimacy of various accreditations of ANAB and RABQSA, all of which are being investigated. Our company has already filed two official complaints against RABQSA, one of which is re: conflicts of interest and failure to disclose relationships.
ASQ's official organ, Quality Progress, will not run articles or news pieces on such investigations or complaints because they risk the organization's reputation. Quality Progress and other unrelated magazines will not run these news pieces either because ASQ and related bodies are advertisers. Quality Systems Update will run them sometimes, but QSU has recently entered into partnerships with ANAB and other organizations, so this is likely to stop. For my article on "Where Are Our Industry's Quality Journalists?" click here:
RABQSA, an ASQ subsidiary, is running at an almost insignificant net profit and is undergoing a significant management restructuring as a result. The organization is far under target, perhaps as much as half depending on how the figures are analyzed. In my opinion, the management restructuring will have little affect, since it's just a shuffling of the existing bodies.
Before the RAB/QSA merger, RAB had 3500 certified persons, QSA had 3300. This means RABQSA began with a total of 6800 certified persons.
As we see how the various issues and complaints re: RABQSA and ANAB fall out, this may thus affect ASQ, who manages both. There is also someone looking into tax filings by ASQ and whether they violated US tax law, but I don't know much about this (I am not an attorney.) Supposedly, ASQ has failed to report RABQSA and ANAB as member bodies, or maybe it's vice versa. I can't imagine that ASQ would make that kind of mistake, so I won't believe it until I see subpoenas going around.
ASQ is aggressively attempting to internationalize, in order to expand member rolls, and (by obvious extension) dues, certifications and related product sales. This is most prevalent in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India. Work is underway to do so in China and other Asian nations. There seems little effort to go after the IQA in Europe, but I wouldn't doubt that someone in ASQ is thinking about a merger.
As for Mr. Sayle's idea, it's a good one. Jim Wade's caveats are worthwhile, too, but need more discussion to flesh out the details. The idea of a "quality" profession *should* be passe. Since we are not there yet, it becomes the role of the proposed GCBI to do this, one imagines. You cannot expect the current ASQ or IQA to think this way, as it will be counter to the ambitions of both the organizations and their leadership. There are millions and millions of dollars/pounds being exchanged here, and that means power and influence. In the US, ASQ is accredited by ANSI, for example, and ANSI operates under US government blessing. Poking a finger in the eye of RABQSA pokes ASQ by association, then ANSI then the US government. One has to have particularly sturdy fingers.
Edited by Christopher Paris, 11 July 2005 - 06:29 PM.