Various Articles

Wisdom from our Wisest | Sagesse de nos plus sages

Eric Hosking & Samira Kazemi

Eric Hosking & Samira KazemiBy Eric Hosking, Section Treasurer, Membership Chair, ASQ CQE, CSSBB and CQA and Samira Kazemi, Program Committee Member


Last month in this column we featured Ruth Stanley, ASQ Canada’s former Regional Director. This month we are featuring one of our very longest serving members, Rosaire Ratelle. April 1st saw Rosaire celebrate 46 years with the ASQ. Like Marcel Charbonneau featured two months ago, Rosiare was instrumental in the development and evolution of the Quality institutions in Quebec.  This is his story:


Rosaire Ratelle, B. Eng., ASQ CQE

Wisdom from our Wisest | Sagesse de nos plus sages

Eric Hosking & Samira Kazemi

Eric Hosking & Samira KazemiBy Eric Hosking, Section Treasurer, Membership Chair, ASQ CQE, CSSBB and CQA and Samira Kazemi, Program Committee Member


Last month, in this column we featured Marcel Charbonneau, a very long time member of the ASQ. This month we are changing speed a bit. Some of our members are not necessarily long time members of the ASQ, but they are long time practitioners of Quality. They also come with a myriad of talents that have helped them have very successful careers inside and outside the Quality domain. Samira and Eric had the pleasure of interviewing Ruth Stanley, the ASQ’s former Regional Director for Canada and Greenland region. She described her career in Quality and her career as a leader. This is what we learned.


Ruth Stanley

Ruth Stanley has Ruth Stanley has 30 plus years in Quality working as a public servant in a number of branches of the Canadian Federal Government. While there she worked with ISO standards: 9001 for quality systems; 14000 for environmental standards; 17025 for laboratory information systems and 31000 for risk management.

Ruth became a member of ASQ in 2014 in the Ottawa Section. In 2017 she took the lead on organizing the first ASQ Canadian National Quality Conference which was hosted by the Ottawa Section. Following that she served as the ASQ Regional Director for Canada Greenland Region in 2019 and 2020, then stepping down to be Deputy Regional Director in 2021.  From those positions, she was deeply involved in both the 2020 and 2021 ASQ Canadian National Quality Conferences hosted by Toronto Section and Montreal Section respectively.

Now retired from the Federal Government, she is far from retirement. She is an author, presenter, blogger and now founder of Boann Consulting.

Impressed by Ruth’s resume, Samira had a number of questions for Ruth:

What was the definition of Quality in your industry?
I’m in the Pharmaceutical industry and in my Quality role, the main focus has been mostly on complying with  the requirements of national / foreign regulations. It is always interesting to me to know what Quality is in other industries, regulated or non-regulated. I was in the government industry where Quality was actually referred to as excellence. Quality meant acting with integrity and impartiality in providing the best value to Canadians while acting in accordance with statutes and regulations.

How did you get into Quality and how did your profession in Quality evolve over these many years in your industry?
My role changed over the years. My first role was as a Pensions Officer. I audited financial institutions that reported to the government.  Quality meant compliance with the Income Tax Act. I was assessing pension plans and RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan), RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund) and other financial instruments managed by those institutions.

As an Internal Auditor, I assessed the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of Revenue Canada internal processes. These were the Revenue Canada internal indicators of Quality at the time. Over the course of my time with the government, the tools of quality that we used changed.  As a Planner/ Policy Officer, I followed the PDCA cycle to plan improvement activities, measure execution, assess achievements and update plans, following Treasury Board guidelines.

We introduced other tools along the way. We began with process mapping and triage for risk levels, then used a balanced scorecard and key outputs, then we moved to outcome-based key indicators with Canadians as the focus and a Baldridge-inspired excellence framework with elements of ISO standards. Later we changed our focus to risk-based thinking. Lean thinking, along with the move to value-stream mapping and a customer focus, was just getting going in 2016 when I left.

Did you always stay in the same industry?
More or less. I was with the government for a large part of my career, but in the different branches I dealt with different industries. I then devoted myself to service through ASQ and now I am in consulting. I have also authored a published book and I am working on my second book.

What made you successful in your Quality role?
I am a natural connector – ideas, things and people. I was able to distill large amounts of information into bite-sized pieces.  I could facilitate and pull information out of people that they didn’t know they knew.

How long have you been with the ASQ and what kept you as a member for such a long time?
Since 2014, almost 8 years. I came to it late in my career. I was still learning about leadership outside the government and deepening my knowledge of quality methods and other very interesting topics. The ASQ gave me a chance to serve in a different way. I am very pleased with the friendships and contacts that I have made along the way.

How has ASQ membership helped or played a role in your career advancement and how have you benefited from being a member?
I really grew as a person and a leader/mentor and I got to try things that I would never have done in the government. The support I got from other people, encouraged me to become a writer, blogger and presenter.

What do you suggest could work / serve members better?
The real magic in ASQ Sections is the support that we give each other as members. Mentoring or twinning is something that the Sections should do more of.  This is more personal than a webinar or a workshop.  It could be an ongoing relationship, a sounding board for new members. This is something that I would have benefited from in my career.

You have worked with ASQ HQ.  What are your impressions of that organization?
Staff are very dedicated and work hard. They are not on the ground, so they need our insights on current needs. They cannot be everywhere at once.

What would you say to any aspiring Regional Director candidate?
As a Regional Director, I was a therapist, problem fixer and sometimes an enforcer, but I would encourage an aspiring candidate to:

  • Stay open to new ideas. Don’t get into a rut. Always push forward with something new.
  • Don’t try to know everything or do it all yourself. You have a team. Listen to them and cherish them.
  • Build others up. Let them try something. Provide opportunities for everyone to push themselves and practice. learning is never “one and done”.
  • Be kind but don’t be afraid to “put the skunk out on the porch.” Sometimes it is necessary to address something uncomfortable
  • If you don’t measure up to your own ideals, be kind to yourself. You are going to mess up sometimes.  You are still human.

If you enjoyed this article, send your comments to the Membership Chair, and we will share them with the author.

Wisdom from our Wisest | Sagesse de nos plus sages

Eric Hosking 2021By Eric Hosking, Section Treasurer, Membership Chair, ASQ CQE, CSSBB and CQA


Did you know that we have a number of ASQ Montreal Section members who have been with the section for more than 40 years. Four decades! What do you think they can tell us about the evolution of Quality in Quebec? What do you think they can tell us about being successful in the quality profession? What was their quality path and why have they chosen to be with the ASQ for so long?

We asked Marcel Charbonneau, who joined the ASQ 49 years ago, and he provided this fascinating story:


Marcel Charbonneau, T.P., ASQ CQA
ASQ #00008263, Senior Member


I started in 1968 as a chemistry laboratory technician at Canadian Arsenals Ltd where I showed myself to be very versatile; I worked in the laboratories of non-destructive & destructive testing and QA metrology. My employer encouraged us to pursue studies by reimbursing the costs following successful completion of the courses.

The Human Resources department informed me of a program in quality CQ / QA, the COSE (Centre d’Organisation Scientifique de l’Entreprise). After 4 years of evening classes I completed the quality engineering analyst program, a program of more than 1900 hours.

In subsequent years I attended and participated in more than 300 hours of training through courses and seminars on management, quality improvement, new revisions of ISO 9000 standards and auditor training with ETI – ASQC Milwaukee and Canadian universities. During this training I had world renowned professors: Joseph M. Juran, W. Edwards Deming, Frank M. Gryna.

The COSE program, in French, was developed by Mr. Denys A. Pilon who was my teacher in quality management, mentor and friend. This program and the exams were based on the program of ETI – ASQC and the CQE certificate of ASQC. ASQC Montreal Section supported this program.

There were no such programs at that time in CEGEPs or universities. A committee made up of Denys A. Pilon, Pierre Caillibot, Philippe Lecompte, Michel Rhéaume and Jean-Pierre Amiel participated in the creation of the certificate in quality management at l’École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS). Following its inauguration in 1982, ÉTS continued the work and several of our members were invited as lecturers.


Mr. Denys A. Pilon, B.Sc., CQE, Senior and Fellow ASQC, Member of the International Academy of Quality and several years of experience in the industry in quality, consultant and trainer in quality management, helped me discover the ASQC. I joined him as a member of ASQC Montreal Section 0401 in 1973.

In order to be able to bring together Francophones working in the field of quality, we obtained accreditation from ASQC Milwaukee for the formation of the Section Québécoise 0404 of the ASQC in May 1974. Since that time, I have always been involved as a volunteer. I have held all the executive positions: secretary, treasurer, 2 terms as section chair, newsletter editor, and I was responsible for the program of activities, etc.

Section 0404 held 18 conferences during the 37 years of its existence, organized with partners such as COSE, AQQ (Association Québécoise de la Qualité), ASQ Montreal section 0401, SRE (Site Reliability Engineering), OTPQ (Ordre des Techniciens Professionnels du Québec), BCM (Le Bureau de Commerce de Montréal), MQQ (Mouvement Québécois de la Qualité), ÉTS, Club Maillage Qualité de Lanaudière and l’Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ).

I was co-president with David Tozer, from ASQ Montreal Section 0401, in 1986 for the bilingual colloquium: “DESTINATION QUALITY”, during Quality month. As a volunteer, I participated in at least 20 other conferences.

During those years, mainly though the ASQ and our conferences, I met several people with very interesting experiences from various backgrounds who made me realize that each organization is not unique, that is to say that whether quality management is for the military, food, telecom or pharmaceutical products, etc., we all live the same realities. Giving customers what they asked for: i.e. designing and producing it in a committed organization with competent staff.

Networking also allowed me to climb the internal corporate ladder and apply elsewhere to better fulfill myself. It is my observation that a member of the ASQ must maximize their status by getting involved in their section, even the smallest tasks will allow a member to know the organization and to assert his or her skills.

In 1982-83 I teamed up with other quality professionals who founded the AQQ (Association Québécoise de la Qualité) which became the MQQ (Mouvement Québécois de la Qualité). We needed to have a 100% Quebec and French-speaking group to better communicate and teach quality management in all Quebec companies.

Since Section 0404 had members with ASQ certifications, we offered courses, in French, to prepare for the ASQ exams. We used the references recommended by the ASQ for the CQA, CQT, CQE, CSSGB, CSSBB and CMQ/OE.

I obtained a CQA in 1992 and with my experience I also gave training.

Other colloquium souvenirs


My involvement in the various functions and my continuous training have allowed me to climb the ladder in my organizations.

I have held various positions: technical officer in the technical manufacturing department; technical officer in the QA (Quality Assurance) department and QA supervisor in a manufacturing company (Canadian Arsenals Ltd). In January 1980 I was promoted to manager of the QA department. The company worked with the DND 1016, MIL-I-45208 and AQAP-4 standard: “Company Inspection System”. My department included 40 people and a supervisor in each sector: QA, QC and labs.
During my last year at Canadian Arsenals Ltd, I worked on making QA system documentation compliant to DND 1015, MIL-Q-9858a and AQAP-1 (early military quality system standards).

At the end of 1987, I joined the Canada Post Corporation Montreal division as a quality manager, as part of the corporate team. With a small team we had to audit the mail sorting processes: manual and mechanical, PCB installation inspection, cause and effect analysis and CA (Corrective Action) of the different processes.

At the beginning of 1990, I got a dream job with a team of professionals to participate in the realization of gigantic projects of the SEBJ (Societé d’Énergie de la Baie James) phase 2, as a QA Representative with responsibility for supervision, evaluation and audit of subcontractors and equipment suppliers. The contracts required Canadian standard Z299.1; .2 or .3-1985. Companies have since moved away from these standards, with the arrival in Canada in 1991, of ISO 9001 or 9002-1987 standards.

At the end of my SEBJ contract I worked as an advisor, auditor and quality trainer at Multiqualité Inc, Warnock Hersey, Accademia Qualitas and STAT-A-MATRIX.

The last 13 years of my career were spent at QMI division of CSA as Head of Sales and Training, supervising a team, drafting service offers, meeting clients, presenting QMI services at business fairs and giving training on the ISO 9001 standard and auditor courses. As a Chief Auditor, ISO QMS, I carried out more than 800 monitoring and recording audits in chemical, paper, mechanical welding, machining and electromechanical manufacturing companies.

I volunteered as an assessor 2007 and 2008 and chief assessor 2009 at the Grand Prix Québécois de la Qualité organized by the MQQ and the Government of Quebec.

I was able to succeed thanks to my continuous training. If I had to do it again, I would go into industrial engineering by specializing in quality management.


We need to come together and get involved by joining an association.

As a member of the ASQ, I was able to benefit from a vast network both for training and their certifications and from recognition by my peers, which is an asset with American customers or suppliers.

Members must be involved when participating in activities. During speaker events for example, I observe that they should ask more questions and voice their opinions in order to better understand and even challenge the speaker.

New members, by participating in their association, will be able to improve their network of contacts which may lead them elsewhere to new and exciting opportunities.

After all my years with the ASQ and my section, I can say that my involvement has allowed me to benefit, to succeed and to evolve. As you have read, I left my first employer after almost 20 years and it was my best decision.

Much remains to be done to improve quality. I believe that the teaching network of technical CEGEPs and universities must include the notion of quality management. It’s everyone’s business, not just one particular group. Everyone is concerned: designer, expert, manager, specialized worker, etc. and they must know the tools for measurement, improvement and communication. These concepts must be integrated into the management of regular work in the same way as productivity, performance, safety and the environment.

It seems Utopian to think that the system will change, but all our little gestures count and can advance the cause that is close to our hearts and that is why I am still a member of my Montreal section of the ASQ.

In 2012, I had the honour of receiving tributes and thanks from the ASQ Section Montréal francophone 0404 for my exceptional contribution to the section and to the promotion of quality in French in Quebec.

I am very proud to have joined an association where I was able to develop professionally and make friends with people dedicated to a great cause. Since my retirement in 2008, I have continued my participation in activities, and I continue to support voluntarily, following the merger of the two Montreal sections.

I stay in contact with professionals, I stay informed on topics related to quality and I allow myself to voice my opinions based on my experience.

If you enjoyed this article, send your comments to the Membership Chair, and we will share them with the author.

Turning Data into Useful Information

Dr David TozerBy Dr. David Tozer, Ph.D., ASQ CQE and SSBB, Education & Audit Chair.

Over the years I have seen many presentations where people collect data to perform evaluations and then try to draw conclusions from the data.  In many cases it is difficult to draw conclusions from the data collected.  A common reason for this difficulty is the data were collected by an experiment or evaluation that did not use designed experiment methodology to guide how to collect data.

For almost 100 years, we have been teaching Design of Experiments (DOE) to students.  These methods are more efficient and effective, from an economic perspective, than other methods.  In some industries, designed experiments are used regularly.  Examples include agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical safety and efficacy testing (pre-clinical and clinical trials).  In other parts of industry, designed experiments are uncommon.  Many of us are involved in doing experiments or evaluations.  I think it would be useful to use a scientific method to perform experiments or evaluations.

Scientific work is based on having standards.  I am not referring to ISO standards, but the physical standards that are the basis for commerce, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and medicine.  Standards reduce bias and allow us to use a common language to describe the world.  These physical standards include the degree (temperature), ampere, kilogram, metre, second and mole.  In the case of biological and social systems, we often do not have well-defined physical standards when performing experiments or evaluations.  In these circumstances we designate a sample from the population as a control to serve as the standard.  Controls receive a reference treatment and can include placebos (sugar pill), untreated subjects or a current treatment.

Designed experiments can be used in almost all industries and get useful results. The simplest experiment that could be used by many organizations is described in the following example. 

An activity that is done in almost all industries is training.  Another thing that is common to many industries: the money spent on training does not seem to yield the expected results in increased productivity or effectiveness. 

So, to assess training effectiveness the following process could be used:

1) Before training begins:

  • Training methods are developed and documented;
  • Important performance metrics are identified;
  • People being sent on training are evaluated to access current performance, the control, and data collected on the current performance. 

2) The people are then trained in the required skill using the developed methods. 

3) After training is completed, the trained people are evaluated for their performance of the required skill, the treatment effect. 

4) The difference in performance between the control and the treatment is assessed to see if there is a training effect.

In more technical terms, this set up is a single factor (training) repeated measures (repeated on the same people) two level experiment (control and treatment). 

The analysis of the results requires the use of the first statistical test discovered in the early 1900s.  It too is the simplest possible statistical test.

We also need to make sure the environment and selection of trainees is done in as uniform a manner as possible.  It is important to ensure the environment, in which any experiment or evaluation is done, is understood and documented.  All results are conditional on the environment the data were collected in.  In the case of the training example the results are conditional on the training methods.

An important take away from this short discussion is the idea of a control as a reference standard.  It is not the same as a physical standard, but it is a standard nonetheless.  Standards in the form of controls should form the basis for evaluations and experiments in many business situations.

As mentioned earlier, the example demonstrates the simplest designed experiment possible.  The real world is a lot more complicated.  For more complicated systems, more complicated designs need to be used.  Many economical methods have been developed over the years to handle complicated situations.  The methods can be used for evaluation, screening and optimization.  Some designs look for relative changes and may not, at first glance, appear to have a standard or control.  It is always a useful exercise to determined what the actual control is when doing an experiment or evaluation.

By performing designed experiments, data collected during the evaluation are turned into information about the effectiveness of an intervention.  By using information, we can make better informed decisions.