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The English-language examinations for auditor/lead auditor and auditor conversion courses will now be administered by the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) and International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) using their online learning system.

All learners enrolling on courses for QMS/ISO 9001, EMS/ISO 14001 and OHS/ISO 45001 standards, will receive the training online and take an online exam. Additional courses and languages will be incorporated into the regime during 2023. 

The new approach protects the security and integrity of the exams, it uses remote online invigilation during the examination period, and provides delegates with the ability to attempt the exam at a time and place of their choosing once they have completed their training course. 

This is a notable change, after decades of paper-based, handwritten, in-class examinations, which could now help increase the number of certified auditors and ensure they have satisfied the training pre-requisition essential for IRCA membership.

The new examination format features machine-scored, multiple-choice questions replacing the tutor-graded, short-answer questions that had comprised the older, paper-based examinations.  The question sets are distributed across five (formerly four) sections or domains, each clearly linked to the learning objectives defined in the course criteria and Bloom’s Taxonomy – a well-established educational hierarchy of learning and cognition. 

LRQA is an Approved Training Partner of the CQI and IRCA and was invited to participate in the pilot trials for the new online exam platform earlier this year.  This has provided LRQA with the experience as well as the insight to support clients in achieving success in their learning outcome.

Robert Clifford, LRQA Technical Manager for Training & Improvement Services, commented:

“The new exam and examination format modernises and improves this longstanding industry standard in management system auditor qualification. It also better highlights the position of the certified auditor / lead auditor and auditor conversion courses at the beginning of auditor certification and professional practice as much as it is the typical conclusion of the formal, auditor training course”.

LRQA’s Service Delivery Support associates stand ready to assist with the important administrative elements of the examination process, including requests for reasonable adjustments prior to the examination and for special considerations and appeals afterwards. 

More information about the new online examination process is available from:
CQI and IRCA online exams | CQI | IRCA (