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API AQ1 - Auditor Q1

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ICP has revamped the Auditor certifications and sunset the previous suite of six programs. For individuals who hold any ICP Auditor certification or have applied under the previous structure, please review the ICP Auditor Program Restructure factsheet.  

The newly created API Certified Auditor Professional (CAP) program includes two certifications which allow both company personnel and self-employed individuals to become API certified. 

  • Auditor Q1 - Exam will test applicant’s knowledge of auditing skills and understanding API Spec Q1 requirements 
  • Auditor Q2 - Exam will test applicant’s knowledge of auditing skills and understanding API Spec Q2 requirements

Certified individuals will obtain recognition both within their own company and within the oil and gas industry. Given API’s history, brand, and expertise in the quality management certification space, such a certification is extremely valuable to substantiate the auditor position within the oil and gas industry as a properly recognized and credentialed auditing professional.

The API Auditor Certifications are valid for three years. Exams begin November 2021.

This exam can now be scheduled either at in-person test centers or through remote proctoring.

1. Studying for the Exam

  • Body of Knowledge - List of specific topics included in the API AQ1 exam.

2. Exam Structure

  • The API AQ1 exam is 4 hours long.
  • There are 170 multiple-choice questions, of which only 160 are scored. The remaining 10 are pretest questions.
  • Papers and reference materials are not allowed in the exam rooms. 

3. Additional Resources

Are you qualified to take the API Auditor Q1 exam?

Prior to submitting an application, please use the information below to determine if you qualify to take an API Auditor Certification exam. The minimum experience required MUST be documented on your application.

For every audit that candidates list on the Auditor Log page of their online application, they must fill out the following form and upload it into the application: Audit Detail Form

The qualification requirements for all API Auditor certifications are defined in terms of five criteria.

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for EACH of the five criteria.
  1. Education
  2. Oil and gas industry experience
  3. QMS-related work experience
  4. Special training
  5. Auditing experience

Minimum Requirements Additional Info
1. Education 4-year College Degree
High School diploma AND 5 yrs. industrial experience* in manufacturing and quality processes
  • High School is defined as 11-12 full years of schooling prior to college/university entrance
  • Diplomas must be translated officially into English
  • Industrial experience includes oil and gas, technical, mechanical,, automotive, nuclear, aerospace, or medical
2. Oil and gas industry experience in any capacity With 4-yr College Degree: 5 years of work experience in the oil and gas industry
With a High School Diploma: 5 yrs. oil and gas work experience
• Includes work with oil/gas companies, or with equipment manufacturers and service companies that supply the oil and gas industry
3. Quality Management Systems (QMS) experience 3 years QMS experience in the past 5 years
Includes any the following QMS experience in any industry:
• Quality Control
• Quality Assurance
• QMS/Processes Implementation
• Quality Auditing
• Inspection/Testing
• Application of the various Quality Improvement Tools and Techniques (SPC, DOE, MSA, Lean Manufacturing, RCA, CPAR, etc.)
4. Special Training
API-U (or equivalent) API Spec Q1
~ AND ~

Auditor Training in the past 3 years

If either training above occurred more than 3 years prior to the application, then supplemental auditing experience of 10 audits with a minimum of 30 days is required.
Acceptable training includes:
• Courses that require attendees to take an examination at the end
• Course certificate must indicate successful completion.
• Auditor courses need to be at least 3 days (24 hrs. total) duration
• Spec Q1 courses need to be at least 3 days (24 hrs. total) duration
• The training courses may be taken together as long as they meet the combined minimum course duration.
5. Auditing Experience
At least 5 audits with a total of 15 days
If Auditor/Q1 training occurred longer than 3 years prior to the application, applicant needs 10 audits with a minimum of 30 days.


Expanded to allow for internal audits and ISO audits (any ISO audit, not specifically 9001)

Auditing experience:
• Must have been full system or complete audits
• Must have been within 3 yrs. before application

• Internal audits and ISO audits allowed

Audits that are NOT accepted:
• Audits of less than one-day (8 hrs.) duration
• Re-audits or follow up audits to verify implementation of corrective actions
• Gap analysis audits

Recertification Overview

1.  The certification term for API AQ1 – Auditor Q1 is three years.

Certification Code of Conduct Declaration Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Auditing Requirements
Auditor Q1/Q2 Sign new declaration upon application for recertification 36 hours minimum in 3 years 3 audits (on-site full system only) with a total of at least 5 days per year

2.  Please refer to the CAP Recertification Requirements for more information. 
3.  You may apply for recertification 90 days prior to the certification.
4.  API also allows a 90-day grace period for submitting a recertification application. Late fees will apply.
5.  If an application is not submitted by the end of the 90-day grace period, the certification will expire. A new application and fees must be submitted, and the candidate must pass a full exam in order to be recertified.

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