Answers to the most frequently asked questions about CQI qualifications, including registration, fees, structure, where to study, exams, and changes to CQI education in 2016.

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Registration, fees and course structure

Can I study for a single unit without registering for a qualification?
Yes, students wishing to study a single unit without registering for a full qualification can do so. You’ll still need to enrol with an education centre.

What is the total cost of the course?
The CQI delivers the qualifications through a network of education centres. Please contact the education centres directly to find out about pricing. Our current list of education centres can be found here.

How do I register?
You can find full details here.

Do I really need to study at a centre or can I just sit the examination?
You need to register with the centre in order to study and sit the examination. As an awarding body, CQI does not teach the qualifications – this is done through a network of education centres.

Do I need to be a member of the CQI in order to study for the qualifications?
Yes, you will need to be a member of the CQI for the duration of the course. If you would like more information on how to register for a qualification, please see here. If you would like information about CQI membership, please see here.

What are the entry requirements for studying the qualifications?
For the Level 3 Certificate in Quality Management, there are no specific entry requirements. However, a basic level of English and maths is an advantage. For the Level 5 Diploma in Quality Management, we ask that students already know the basics of quality. We suggest a minimum of one year’s work experience in a quality-related role, or a related degree, in order to undertake the Level 5 Diploma qualification.


Can I sit the exam at a different education centre from where I study?
Yes, it can be a local college or university in your area. You will need to contact your alternative exam centre and arrange the examination(s) with them. The Alternative Exam Centre Form needs to be sent to the CQI education department in order to register you at the chosen centre.

I am a distance learning student. Where can I sit my examinations?
As a distance learning student you have these options:

  • Contact one of the current CQI education centres and ask if you can be accepted as an external student
  • Contact one of the examination centres
  • Contact a local college or university in your area in your area and enquire if they could accept you as an external student
  • Travel to the CQI exam location in central London (please contact our education team to find out more and how to register)
  • If you live outside UK, please contact the British Council. You would need to contact them directly and arrange the examination(s) with them
  • In all cases the Alternative Exam Centre Form need to be sent to CQI education department in order to register you at the chosen centre. You can get this form from your current education centre.

What are the dates of the exams?
We hold examinations twice a year, in January and June. The dates of the examinations can be found here.

For units assessed by assignments, we hold assessment sessions in January, June and October. 

Education centres

Can we become a CQI education centre?
Due to the recent changes in the CQI qualifications (see below), we will not be accepting new education centres. Instead, we will be offering a new programme of short, modular courses, covering a range of quality and auditing topics through Approved Training Partners. If you’re interested in becoming an Approved Training Partner, find out more here.

Changes to CQI qualifications in 2016

What’s changing?
In 2016, the CQI launched a new portfolio of CQI and IRCA Certified courses, delivered through Approved Training Partners. 

Can I still enrol on a CQI certificate or diploma?
Yes – you are welcome to enrol for a CQI qualification until 31 December 2016. From 1 January 2017, we will no longer accept enrolments for any qualifications.

For how long will assessment continue?
October 2020 will be the final assessment session offered by the CQI. All exams and assignments will need to be completed by this date.

What do the changes mean for my current qualification?
Current students should be assured that the changes will not affect your qualification or studies. Please continue studying as normal and you will be able to complete your qualification within the normal time limit. However, please note that if you complete your first assessment after October 2016, you will need to complete your Diploma by October 2020 (this will result in the time limit being reduced accordingly).

CQI qualifications will continue to be recognised and valued by employers and industry, as well as continuing to be an important route to membership of the CQI. To find out more, please see our information sheet for students below.

Will there be any changes to the format of future assessments?
No. Current students can enter for, and prepare for, assignments and examinations in exactly the same way. Please continue to refer to our online resources, including the past examination papers in the Student Zone. For more information about assessments and dates, please see our Exams and assessments page.