Qualsys sponsor the International Quality Awards 2017

Posted by Alex Pavlovic on Wed, Nov 29, 2017

What links Portsmouth, an Indian dairy cooperative, a Canadian hydroelectric project and a hospital in Dubai?

The inaugural International Quality Awards, hosted by the CQI, which took place in London on November 22.

CQI Awards

Designed to, in the words of the CQI's Director of Policy Estelle Clark, 'plug the gap' in an awards calendar neglecting the quality industry, the Awards aimed to recognise the achievements of quality professionals across the globe with six categories. Qualsys were thrilled to sponsor the event!

"Every day, Qualsys sees quality professionals using innovative programs and strategies to drive quality. We need to share their successes. For us, that is what the International Quality Awards are all about." Mike Pound, Managing Director, Qualsys

Hosted within the Merchant Taylors' Hall, a stone's throw from the Bank of England, the Awards drew finalists from three continents. Quality engineers, audit managers and risk analysts from power, transport, manufacturing, healthcare and FMCG backgrounds (among others!) were invited to share and celebrate their achievements. The CQI's mission to introduce a platform showcasing the best of the quality industry - which Acting CEO Vince Desmond discussed with us in July - shone through.

"In celebrating our profession today, we are reminded that we have the potential to underpin confidence in our public, private and non-profit organisations. Let us not view today as an isolated celebration, but part of a broader campaign to promote the value of our profession to the wider world." Vince Desmond, Acting CEO, CQI
CQI Winners

Anyone working in quality will be aware of its historic positioning: often separated from the broader business, viewed as an overhead and an annoyance, called upon only to comply with a regulation or fix a problem, with quality professionals devoid of recognition and working in isolation. A recurring theme from the Awards was that this could not continue - and, with the increasing importance of quality and governance, risk and compliance (GRC), cannot continue.

The unique ability of quality professionals to create confidence, guarantee satisfaction and safety, avoid financial and environmental waste and deliver projects successfully was a key element targeted by the organisers.

The Quality Professional of the Year and Quality Professional in a New Project categories showcased several incredible individual achievements, while the Leadership and Quality Team of the Year awards highlighted the importance of teamwork and direction in driving a culture of quality. Meanwhile, the Emerging Talent Award focused on what Vince Desmond calls the 'new breed' of quality professionals - the passionate, well-rounded future leaders of the industry - and the CQI Honorary Award celebrated individual contributions to the quality industry itself.



Three top stories from the Awards

1. Not one but two teams won the Quality Team of the Year Award. Al Zahra Hospital, styling itself 'the best in Dubai', was recognised for the exceptional commitment of its team to delivering high quality patient care, while the Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union in India was awarded for its continued supply of quality dairy products from over 350,000 farmers to consumers across Asia.


2. Yele Odofin-Belo scooped the Quality Professional in a New Project Award. He was recognised for his work with ATCO, a Canadian holding company supplying temporary luxury accommodation for labourers working on isolated, large-scale projects - in the middle of nowhere. ATCO's client, constructing a hydroelectric dam in British Columbia, laid out numerous heavy non-conformance penalties: $50 fines for every meal not served to plan, up to $1000 fines for every towel not replaced! Yele implemented a quality control system to avoid and minimise these penalties, drawing on formal systems such as ISO 9001:2015 and redesigning operational procedures to address high-risk areas and guarantee a successful project.


3. After a long and successful career, John Oakland was given the CQI Honorary Award in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the quality profession. A prolific author of hundreds of reports, articles and books, John is also Executive Chairman of Oakland Consulting, one of several leading quality consultants partnered with Qualsys. John shared the award with Crossrail's Andrew Wolstenholme, currently overseeing the construction of the South East's new Elizabeth line, which is expected to serve 200 million people annually when it opens in December 2018.



All told, the Awards got off to a flying start in their inaugural year, bringing a diverse collection of quality professionals together to celebrate the growth of the industry and the remarkable contributions of those within. The full list of winners was as follows:

Quality Professional of the Year Award

John Feltham, Portsmouth International Port, U.K.

Emerging Talent Award

Charlotte Laverty, Alan Auld Engineering, U.K.

Leadership Award

John Holland, Jaguar Land Rover, U.K.

Quality Team of the Year Award

Al Zahra Hospital, Dubai, U.A.E.

Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union, India

Quality Professional in a New Project Award

Yele Odofin-Belo, ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group, Canada

CQI Honorary Award

John Oakland, Oakland Consulting, U.K.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail, U.K.

Due to this success, the CQI has already announced that the Awards will return in 2018. We welcome all quality professionals to consider applying - it could be you on stage collecting an award next year! Read our ten reasons to enter here, and stay tuned on the Qualsys blog for the five things we learnt from the 2017 Awards.




Tags: CQI, Quality Culture

10 reasons you should enter the CQI's International Quality Awards

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Jul 11, 2017

The CQI's International Quality Awards is now accepting applications for awards in the following categories: 

Quality Professional of the Year 

Emerging Talent Award 

Leadership Award 

Quality Team of the Year 

Quality Professional in a New Project

If you're not sure whether to enter, here are 10 reasons why you definitely should. 

Quality Awards.png

1) Why shouldn't you win?  

Many people feel they have to wait to be recognised: to be promoted, to be hired, to be selected for an award. 

The most successful people look for ways to accelerate their career. Make the most of the opportunity the International Quality Awards presents. It's a chance for you to talk about what you do best. After all, why shouldn't you win?

2) Promote yourself or your team

We know you do some truly transformational work. We see it every day. It's about time you got recognised for all your hard work. 

To inspire you to get started, here are some examples of projects we've witnessed: 

3) Demonstrate your leadership potential

CQI Competency Framework

The CQI's Competency Framework has leadership as one of its core competencies. Part of a leader's role is to communicate the importance of quality and the value it can bring. ISO 9001:2015, for example, requires leadership to:

  • Inform stakeholders of the importance of the quality management system
  • Tell stakeholders why they should participate in its effective implementation
  • Promote risk-based thinking in respect of their organisation’s quality management system

There probably isn't a better opportunity to tell, inform and promote quality in your organisation than entering an award with the CQI. 

4) Plan, do, check, act

Just by entering the awards, you're taking the opportunity to reflect on your achievements and plan how you can improve. Set aside a couple of hours or a "Lunch and Learn" session to think about what you and your team have done really well and use the awards application form as a framework. By the end of the session, you'll have a completed application form you can send off to the CQI. 

Furthermore, by getting involved with the International Quality Awards, you'll be able to reflect and learn from hundreds of other quality professionals. You'll then be able to apply their war stories to your own organisation. 

5) Meet the Qualsys team

Qualsys are sponsoring the awards! That means you'll get to meet our team at the awards ceremony in November.

The Qualsys team

Don't worry, we're much better at developing quality management solutions than forming a 'Q' shape... 

6) Look at the venue!

Yes, the application will take some effort. But while you're writing it, why not have half an eye on the drinks reception for the event! You and your colleagues could be here in November (thanks to you!):

Merchant Taylors courtyardMerchant Taylors Hall

This is Merchant Taylors Hall – Sponsored by Qualsys 

7) Define the profession 

It's an exciting time to be in quality. Unlike many other professions, there isn't a clearly defined career path. By showing your support and entering the awards (for free), you'll be helping to share knowledge across the industry. 

8) Your marketing and sales team will love you

Quality World magazine

By entering the awards, you'll be sending a clear message to your organisation, supplier and customers that your organisation is good at quality. The winners of the awards will have an article featuring their achievements in Quality World magazine, which is sent every month to over 20,000 quality professionals. That's certainly one way to get the attention of your marketing and sales team!

9) Engage your team with quality 

Qualsys talks to hundreds of quality professionals every week. One common theme that arises is they struggle to engage others in what they are doing. Usually the feedback is: "No-one seems to be interested in what I'm saying." 

The honest response is: You're right!

Growing companies can be chaotic. Keeping up can feel impossible for a management team. It's not uncommon for everyone to remain in their own bubble and not set aside time for anything or anyone else. Promoting an achievement such as entering an award galvanises others to bring their ideas out into the open and ensure future efforts can learn from it.

10) Boost your career

 The opportunity to connect with others, learn and even possibly win an award will help accelerate your career. 


What you should do now 

Applications close on 31 July 2017 – so hurry!


 CQI Quality Awards

Tags: CQI

The International Quality Awards: Interview with Vince Desmond, CEO at CQI

Posted by Emily Hill on Mon, Jul 10, 2017

Marc Gardner and Emily Hill from Qualsys Ltd recently interviewed Vince Desmond, acting CEO at the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), to learn more about the CQI's goals and vision, how the quality profession is changing, and the new CQI Quality Awards. 

In this blog, Vince talks about what the CQI Quality Awards aim to achieve. Alternatively watch more of the interviews here. 

Vince Desmond, CQI's Acting CEO

Raising quality's profile

We need to work on the image of quality, that image that suggests "we're going to check your homework".

We really need to reposition quality as a business partner who's going to help you to make the business better. This message is much more attractive for the business and it's much more effective to achieve the purpose of the profession.

We've identified that one of the key weaknesses of the profession, and the CQI, is marketing. We need to celebrate the profession's amazing achievements. 

This is the first International Quality Awards, which we're delighted Qualsys is supporting. We need to know what projects quality managers are working on and celebrate their successes.

The International Quality Awards can only be good for careers, businesses and for the CQI.

CQI Quality Awards

Get recognised. Build your organisation's reputation. Define the profession. 

The International Quality Awards are an interesting thing.

The first thing is that the quality profession can shine a light on what it does. This will help raise the profile of quality. The awards are going to help other parts of the organisation understand what we do, and encourage and recognise success. Helping quality professionals to get recognition is important. 

It's important as well because organisations can demonstrate to their suppliers, customers and partners that they're good at quality and they're a good organisation to work with.

From the partner's perspective, we're all swimming in the same pond. CQI and Qualsys share an aspiration that organisations benefit from really exemplary quality management.

We have great organisations standing shoulder to shoulder. We have employers, recruiters and technology companies. We're all trying to solve a complex puzzle on how we improve the quality profession. With our partners, this message is more powerful that the International Quality Awards is not just the CQI. It's a message from the entire community that this is really important.

Start now – Applications close 31 July 2017

There are five category awards: 

  • Quality Professional of the Year
  • Emerging Talent
  • Leadership 
  • Quality Team
  • New Project 

You don't have to be a member of the CQI to enter the awards.


CQI Quality Awards


Tags: CQI

Top 10 Tweets From The CQI Conference 2016

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Apr 19, 2016

Here are our favourite 10 Tweets from the CQI Conference 2016.


Download the ISO 9001:2015 webinar by Richard Green, Head of Technical Services at The CQI.


ISO 9001 Changes IRCA Webinar

Tags: CQI

Raise A Glass for World Quality Day 2015

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Nov 03, 2015

At 4pm on Thursday 12th November, raise a glass of Qualsys' very own pale ale to appreciate, share and discuss the important contribution quality makes to your business. 

Find out more about World Quality Day 2015 and how you can request your free pack of Qualsys' very own pale ales here.  World Quality Day 2015


What is World Quality Day? 

Quality management practices contribute more than £90 billion to GDP every year - accounting for 6.0% of the UK GDP. Not only do quality management programmes reduce waste, they save companies millions, promote innovation and are the linchpin of an organisations sustainability. 

In a global economy where success depends on quality, innovation and sustainability, World Quality Day is a chance to reinforce these as the foundations of your organisation and focus on the importance of quality. 

World Quality Day was established with the purpose of promoting awareness of quality around the world and to encourage individuals' and organisations' growth and prosperity.

This year, the CQI's the theme for World Quality Day is "Sweet Dreams".

Entice and engage your fellow employees in the importance of quality by delving into the world of chocolate by downloading the CQI's Chocolate challenge. There are a number of interactive and engaging exercises which focus on chocolate you can download on the CQI website.

Download your CQI Chocolate Challenge Here. 


Why the 4pm Pint? world-quality-day

Every week, the Qualsys team get together in a quality circle to discuss, share and learn about other areas of the business. It gives the team time to reflect and ideas are often born. 

Qualsys is delighted that we will once again be offering free packs of ales to those who wish to join our tradition of the 4pm Pint on the World Quality Day.

Get involved by requesting your very own pack of three ales. Then take a photo of you and your team enjoying your 4pm pint. 

Either upload the photo to twitter using the hashtag #4pmpint or email it to Qualsys so that we can promote the important contribution quality makes to businesses across the globe. 




Tags: Quality Management Software, CQI, Events

ISO 9001:2015 – The CQI's Richard Green on 'Risk and Opportunities'

Posted by Alastair Atcheson on Thu, May 28, 2015

Risk is a concept that many people naturally assume is something bad; ‘That’s a bit risky, are you sure you want to risk that?’ However, the upcoming changes to ISO 9001 will require businesses to move away from this perception and instead view risk as ‘risk and opportunity’.

As part of his presentation on clarifying the jargon of ISO 9001:2015 (see the full webinar here), The Chartered Quality Institute’s Head of Technical Services, Richard Green, discusses the definitions of risk and how organisations should approach the increased focus of risk in ISO 9001:2015.


Why Watch?

In this segment, Richard defines risk as ‘the effect of uncertainty’ that can be ‘positive or negative’. A hot area of debate, a universal definition of risk is something that still needs to be resolved.
Annex SL does not prescribe a risk management methodology, but it does require companies to:

  • determine their risks and opportunities
  • plan and take actions to address them

While many companies will already approach risk similarly, Richard argues that the bulk of the work to come is due to organisations general focus on risk, rather than both risk and opportunity. However, you have the freedom to do this in any way that works for you, as long as you determine and plan.



See the Full Webinar!

Receive one hour’s worth of IRCA CPD points by watching the full 25 minute presentation here and completing a summary questionnaire on the topics covered. Correct submissions will be sent a PDF certificate confirming CPD points from IRCA. Richard’s presentation covers the essential changes to ISO 9001:2015 and was recorded at the annual EQMS User Group in April 2015.


ISO 9001 Changes IRCA Webinar


Tags: CQI, ISO 9001:2015, Risk Management, Events, Risk Based Thinking

CQI CONFERENCE 2015: Key Points Taken from the Presentations

Posted by Ben Saxton on Mon, May 18, 2015

Qualsys was pleased to sponsor the Chartered Quality Institute 2015 Conference as part of its ongoing partnership with IRCA / CQI (see EQMS User Group).


250 Quality professionals attended the CQI Conference held in April at the King's Fund in central London. Representatives from organisations as diverse as ABB Group, BAE Systems, Caterpillar, Proctor & Gamble and Network Rail travelled from around the world to share cutting-edge insight and key trends in Quality, supply chain management, KPI reporting and audit management.

We have summarised some of the key sessions below.


Forecasting the Future: Data-driven Decision Making

james-woudhuysenOpening the CQI Conference with his key-note, ‘Forecasting the Future: Data Driven Decision-making’, leading ‘innovation forecaster’ James Woudhuysen spoke illuminatingly about the three critical types of data that are essential for business strategy – and the challenges that most organisations face when seeking and using that data. His talk was well received by the audience, with many rueful nodding heads as he talked through examples of bad decisions made using incomplete data and the perils of presenting data to meet a pre-set agenda. 

“Don't be transfixed by big data. Concentrate on the algebra rather than the arithmetic.”

James made some valuable points regarding real-time reporting and the importance of tracking feedback data in the customer and supplier lifecycle to map satisfaction and ensure positive reputation.

If financial data is a view of the past and present, then customer feedback metrics are a vision into the future – an often critical blind-spot on the reporting scorecards used by Senior Management.

The Feedback Imperative: Why the Voice of the Customer is Crucial

Michel_BerthusMichel Berthus, Global Head of Quality Management for ABB Group, delivered an engaging presentation on how a large and diverse organisation like ABB accomplish measuring customer metrics. The transparency of the presentation was welcomed by an audience who appeared to relate to the topic being discussed.

Michel presented how customer based metrics affected key decisions at ABB. By collecting data and feeding the results back into the business, it was able to improve products and processes and as a result increase brand loyalty.

ABB operates its Customer Loyalty Improvement Process along with assessing client satisfaction with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a metric widely used by thousands of organisations (including ourselves) across the globe interested in their customer relationships. Michel explained how these metrics are then used within the decision-making process in ABB to help shape future decisions and behaviour. The NPS within ABB has increased since they started recording the score, a positive indication that the system is working.

ISO Standards in the Future: Spare me the Jargon 

“The introduction of Annex SL based standards is the most important management system event since the introduction of ISO 9001 itself.”

Richard_GreenRichard Green, Head of Technical Services at CQI, highlighted how the harmonisation of the structure of various standards (14001, 9001, 31000, 18001 etc.) and the renewed emphasis on risk, process management and senior management ownership of the ‘culture of quality’ will create challenges and opportunities for dynamic organisations. 

For example, we can expect to see a rise in ‘multi-standards’ as managing three or more ISO standards will be easier. Also, there are (software) tools where, for example, one audit can be used to meet the requirements of many standards. The role of the auditor will become even more important, becoming the "eyes and ears of senior management" and requiring new business language communication and multi-disciplinary assessment skills. Time and resource efficiency has never been more important. Customers and suppliers need to be prepared for this new ‘norm’ as expectations on reporting and risk management change.

Richard kindly delivered a version of this presentation at the EQMS User Group 2015. You can watch the full video here, and even collect an IRCA CPD points for watching the video and completing a short multiple choice questionnaire.



Watch Richard Green's ISO 9001:2015 Webinar Now

In his talk on the CQI Competency Framework, David Armstrong, Head of Profession at the CQI expanded on Richard’s view regarding the changing role of Senior Management as a result of Annex SL. A previous version of David’s talk on the CQIs Competency Framework is covered here by Callum Hornigold of Qualsys.

Accelerated Change: Innovation and Improvement in Formula 1


Mark Gallagher
 former Head of Marketing on the management board of Jordan Grand Prix, Head of Commercial Affairs for Red Bull Racing and Business Unit Leader for Cosworth F1, delivered an insightful and amusing talk that tied together many aspects raised in earlier presentations during the day and closing the conference.

He explained how critical it is for a Formula One team to harness data to ensure quality performance. The rows of computer screens you see on TV when they show you teams in the pit lane are all displaying metrics that go into making instantaneous decisions on race strategy as well as helping form longer-term decisions on car design projects. The rows of screens shown on TV are only the tip of the iceberg though as all teams will then have dozens of engineers back at base also analysing the data. Within the successful teams there is a culture of people relishing the challenge to improve by learning from the current performance. The majority of the team’s bases are within a 50 mile radius in Oxfordshire. Mark commented:

“It is the quality of the people and the quality of the supply chain which is why the UK is the hub for F1 teams' engineering.”

Mark then also spoke with emotion about how safety in F1 became top priority on the back of Ayrton Senna’s death in 1994. The loss of the sport's leading figure placed the spotlight on senior management pressuring them to embed a strict culture of quality and compliance. Mark was a personal friend of Roland Ratzenberger who died the day before Senna but it was the global reaction to Senna’s death that made the sport’s leaders take action. Although there have been serious accidents since, there have been no deaths in the sport for the last 21 years.

Mark closed his presentation and the conference with an amusing look at all the components and ‘what if’ thinking that has gone into taking a Formula 1 pitstop to a sub 2 second action. Teams are now asking themselves, 'What can we do to go even quicker without jeopardising safety?'

Mark’s experience of an industry where quality data drives decisions that lead to fractional performance advantages was well understood by the audience, with many relating to how an F1 approach could deliver benefits for their own organisation.


We’d like to thank the team at CQI for such a well-organised event. It was a pleasure to speak to new and existing customers to learn from their experiences and to see old colleagues again.

Simon Wells, Training Manager at Qualsys said:

“We are in a privileged position at Qualsys supporting Quality professionals in various sectors around the world. The CQI Conference was really valuable as it validated the feedback and on-the-ground experience we see every day with our existing customers. 

"The speaking programme provided great insight and challenging opinion and the breakout sessions highlighted the importance of KPI Dashboards, process auditing (and the time to communicate / close out CAPA) and managing multi-standards. 

"Qualsys are committed to CPD and ensuring EQMS exceeds the current and future needs of the profession. This event was a great example of our investment in continuous improvement”


What Next?

Why not download one of our useful ISO 9001:2015 resources to help you further understand upcoming changes to the standard.





Tags: CQI, Events

Qualsys to Sponsor the CQI Conference 2015

Posted by Alastair Atcheson on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Qualsys is excited to announce it will join The Chartered Quality Institute as an exhibitor and sponsor of the CQI Conference on 15 April at The King’s Fund in London.

With discounted rates for CQI and IRCA members, the event will give delegates and exhibitors the ideal opportunity to explore new developments in the Quality industry, access new products and network with key industry figures.

Last year’s conference saw record attendance and a hugely positive response. Attendees represented every corner of the Quality landscape, with Auditors, Consultants, Quality Managers and more all benefiting from the conference’s focus on innovative practices in leadership and Quality. In fact, 97% of delegates felt that they had learned practical points from the presentations that they could implement within their role.

CQI Conference 2015

This year’s event will build on the previous success of last year, delivering a comprehensive agenda that comprises of in-depth presentations and dynamic breakout sessions. With a choice of sessions available, the CQI Conference 2015 provides attendees with the opportunity to tailor their schedule and focus on their own personal goals.


The 2015 event agenda includes:

8.30-9.00 Registration

9.00-9.15 Welcome and Introduction

9.15-10.00 Forecasting the future: data driven decision-making – James Woudhuysen, Innovation Forecaster, discusses the types of data essential to business strategy, supply chain decisions, R&D and innovation.

10.00-11.00 What to do with the numbers: driving continual improvement – Leading quality professionals discuss the practical use of business information to enhance reputation, minimise risk and drive improvement.

11.00-11.30 Refreshment break

11.30-12.30 Breakout Session 1: The feedback imperative – why the voice of the customer is crucial – Why assessing customer feedback is integral to increasing customer and brand loyalty.


Breakout Session 2: Supply chain metrics: quality management on steroids – Caterpillar case study on lessons learned from implementing co-dependent performance metrics in its supply chain, reporting Quality issues to management.

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.15 Breakout Session 3: Six questions every board must answer – CQI’s Head of Profession, David Armstrong, looks at defining a strategic approach to Quality by ensuring the right questions are being asked of management by quality professionals.


Breakout Session 4: ISO standards in the future: Spare me the jargon – IRCA’s Head of Technical Services, Richard Green, outlines what the changes to ISO standards mean in practice, including significance of Annex SL and what quality professionals should do about it.

14.15-15.15 Does good governance equal good performance? – The expert panel discuss recent media reports of quality failures and assess the contribution and limitations of effective operational governance.

15.15-15.45 Refreshment Break

15.45-16.30 Accelerated change: innovation and improvement in Formula 1 – Head of Commercial Affairs for Red Bull Racing and Business Unit Leader for Cosworth F1, Mark Gallagher, shares his unique insights into high-performance teams, motivation, improvement and risk management.

16.30-17.00 Closing remarks and event overview

Click here for the full agenda details.

CQI Conference 2015

Attendees of the event will also be eligible for IRCA CPD Points. With such a diverse and up-to-date agenda, the CQI Conference promises to give an in-depth analysis into the current state of the Quality industry. Attend and you can learn:

  • the role of the Quality professional in developing business strategy

  • how business can benefit from an effective approach to quality

  • the importance of developing great customer relationships

  • how Quality reporting can be standardised when using external suppliers

  • the best and worst cases of governance in practice


Michael Ord QualsysM


ichael Ord, Business Development Manager at Qualsys, said:  

“2015 is set to bring about some dramatic changes to the Quality landscape. The CQI Conference 2015 is a fantastic opportunity for attendees to stay on top of developments and meet with industry thought-leaders.

“Qualsys are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and recognise the importance of key industry events. We are excited about extending our relationship with CQI by sponsoring the conference, and relish the opportunity to interact with other leaders in the industry.

“As exhibitors, Qualsys will engage with attendees around key subjects such as ISO 9001 changes technological developments. The event provides a unique opportunity for us to interact with Quality professional and hear their thoughts on the key talking points of 2015.”


Want more?

ISO 9001 Software


Image credit: http://www.cqiconference.org

Tags: CQI, Events

CQI Competency Framework Overview – Qualsys Report from Manchester Event

Posted by Callum Hornigold on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Qualsys recently attended the Chartered Quality Institute’s (CQI) Manchester Branch Event, ‘Repositioning the Quality Professional’, an event aimed to increase awareness around its new Competency Framework.

The CQI’s Competency Framework provides an overview of the competencies Quality professionals require to do their job effectively and is structured around governance, assurance and improvement.


Qualsys’ Callum Hornigold and Alastair Atcheson attended the event and joined speaker and CQI’s Head of Profession, David Armstrong, to discuss the issues those in the profession currently face.

Below is our detailed report covering the event, highlighting key issues, including:

  • why there is a need for change
  • how management can drive change
  • how Quality professionals can take a more holistic view of Quality to drive their organisation forward in 2015.

Why the Need for Change?

On a number of occasions, quality professionals have failed to protect organisational reputation. Prominent cases of systematic wrongdoings such as the Tesco horse meat scandal and the Savar building collapse have garnered worldwide media interest. In both cases, neglecting Quality principles led to severe reputational damage and even death. However, the Quality departments were not held accountable by the press or public.

“I know we’re likely all comfortable that we add real value to our organisations but where are the news stories which say the Quality profession let us down?” says Armstrong. “As the Head of Profession for the CQI, the phone has not rung once for someone to say, ‘What is your plan to fix this further down the line?’ I’m not saying we’re accountable for saving the world but we’re accountable for our organisation’s culture. We have a statement of intent and we need to make sure we fulfill that statement.”

The CQI’s new Competency Framework aims to reposition the Quality professional as not just someone who ensures quality within their product / service, but someone who also protects their organisation’s reputation and stakeholder interests in all aspects of governance, assurance and improvement.

With 2015 bringing major developments to standards such as ISO 9001 – bringing more emphasis on risk based thinking and leadership – the CQI’s model provides a more holistic approach to quality.


Based around good governance, agile assurance and evaluation and improvement, the model puts strong leadership at the heart of an organisation. This strong leadership is enforced by a solid understanding and communication of the context of the organisation.

Six Essential Quality Questions

The model incorporates six questions today’s Quality professional should ask themselves in order to deliver a good service, each question being conducive to either governance, assurance or improvement.


Question 1: Is Management Intent Defined?

Under the new model, Armstrong stresses the importance of quality being at the heart of the organisation and embedded via strong leadership and a clear intent, maximising influence and developing a culture of evaluation and improvement.

“Management intent is the policies and processes that constitute a business management system (BMS). They are statements of how you will manage various facets of your organisation. The moment someone leaves the business, you cannot be sure the next person wants to run the business in the same way, therefore policies and processes change with management intent.

“There are many BMS’s out there where the names on the covers of the policies that state how they will operate are from people who have long retired, moved on or even died. How does that represent good governance and the clarity of purpose about how you operate your business?”


For Armstrong, management intent is one of the most crucial facets to drive good governance, agile assurance and improvement. While standards play a key role in solid governance, Armstrong stresses that standards alone will not ensure effective quality management.

“Standards are there to represent society’s interest in how you’re operating first and foremost. By setting an expectation to meet that standard there’s an assurance you’re not polluting the rivers and you’re not damaging the environment. We work in support of society through compliance to standards, we certainly work in support of customers, but we still need to be holistic in our approach and ensure management intent is evident and permeated throughout the organisation.”

From an external focus, this means using appropriate methods to establish both customer and other stakeholder needs and expectations (suppliers, shareholders, staff etc.) and ensuring the organisation’s policies, processes and plans reflect these needs. Organisations must evaluate risks, problems and potential solutions from a customer and stakeholder view.

 “You cannot protect reputation by ensuring customer satisfaction only. You have to understand your entire stakeholder community, all of their requirements and work to achieve a balance across all departments. You can pick any stakeholder in your organisation and if you disenfranchise them enough, you will go out of business.”

Question 2: Is Management Intent Fit for Purpose?

An important consideration when defining management intent is whether it is fit for purpose. Policies, processes and plans must meet stakeholder expectations, removing variation, minimising operational risk and maximising efficiency. Under the new model, Quality professionals must support the management team in ensuring the operational approach and system of business management is effective, continually assessing it and working out new ways to improve.

“You can have a set of policies and processes that will generate shed loads of profit but in terms of management intent, it has to be fit for purpose from the stakeholders’ point of view,” says Armstrong. “You can be absolutely compliant with a really bad set of policies and processes that don’t fit what you need. However, the reality is if you don’t have the insight through asking whether management intent is effectively implemented and whether it produces the desired outcomes, you can’t grow an improvement agenda.”



Question 3: Is Management Intent Effectively Implemented?

Question 4: Does It Produce The Desired Outcomes?

Solid business assurance assures the flow-down of customer and stakeholder requirements across the organisation. It ensures effective planning and internal controls are in place through a solid understanding of management’s requirements (intent), process implementation, risk management and performance measurement.

Pic5ManagementIntentImplemented-2A combination of process audits and external audits ensure organisations identify risks, failures and non-conformances associated with customer and stakeholder requirements and ensures effective action is taken to identify any issues and the root causes.

The new model places greater emphasis on stakeholder requirements, with Armstrong encouraging organisations to not just look at internal assurance but also have tighter control over their supply chain and ensure supplier requirements are duly met.

“We’ve always been interested in outcome versus intent and whether we’re achieving the desired results, but do we do it holistically? For example, do we ask the supplier whether they’re happy to work with us? Are we ensuring employees aren’t feeling disenfranchised? These are essential considerations that Quality professionals and management must ask.”




Question 5: Is There a Culture of Objective Evaluation?

Question 6: Is There a Commitment to Continually Improve?

Armstrong argues in order to effectively promote continual improvement there must be a culture of objective evaluation. Objective evaluation encompasses gathering insight through strong analysis of Key Performance Indicators, resulting in fact-based decision-making. This enables organisations to establish priorities for change.

However, as Armstrong states, “The biggest vehicle for change and improvement is culture.”. Under the new model, Armstrong believes that objective KPI reporting is not the primary driver for continual improvement, but rather individuals who are committed to change and want to prove themselves as valuable assets to the company.

“In most organisations, culture is the least likely driving force to be anchored in order to improve. What you usually get is another process, another training course and maybe another set of tools and technologies. But you need objective evaluation to drive change, looking at skills and competencies and the individual’s commitment to evolve the organisation rather than a simple popularity contest.”

Quality professionals must now evaluate the nature and magnitude of change required and how to achieve the required changes through the development of the organisation’s people foremost, then through an analysis of processes, tools, technologies and / or infrastructure.

“Driving change is the hardest part of this model. This is also an objective evaluation with respect to all the stakeholder requirements. ‘We know we’re complying with the standard because the evidence is…’ ‘We know employees are happy because the evidence is…’ ‘The suppliers happy to work with us because the evidence is…’ Fact based analysis is essential.”



Developing language and social skills

As Armstrong welcomes the audience’s questions, the sentiment in the room is generally positive. Quality professionals across the lecture theatre agree the CQI has provided a simple, pragmatic framework that is in-line with current industry trends. However, many are concerned at the model failing to address the issue of communicating quality internally across multiple departments.

It quickly becomes evident that Quality professional are facing a huge cultural challenge of communicating quality within their organisations. Many feel that a large number of members in their organisations have little knowledge of what they do and the benefits they bring.

While Armstrong agrees with the sentiment, he can only offer to cover the topic in future discussions due to time limitations. However, he recognises that Quality professionals are going to need to develop a range of communicative skills in order to flourish in the modern Quality environment.

“The biggest challenge for Quality professionals going forward is behavior. The range of skills and behavior we need is massively different,” he responds.

“Back in 1998, from my experience, everyone was either a practitioner such as a quality engineer or a manager. There was no sense that you needed different skills to go and talk to the external supplier and somehow charm and influence in order to get through the door and ask them how things are going – that’s a different skill from working on a manufacturing shop floor where people are building and saying the machine might not be calibrated. The skills of quality assurance have changed.”



The new model aims to reposition the quality professional as agents for change, who work with leaders to develop a culture of excellence and support. They are holistic in their approach and are able to speak to internal members and external stakeholders in the appropriate manner, both charming and influencing. Ultimately, they are the guardians of their organisation, identifying appropriate standards for performance and providing assurance they are being achieved.

Under the CQI’s new model, the successful quality professional will:

  • adopt analytical, objective methodologies to…
  • identify, report and address risks associated with meeting Stakeholder requirements and so…
  • protect and enhance reputation and improve efficiency

While visionary, the model currently lacks detail in how exactly Quality professionals will overcome cultural challenges such as communicating the benefits of quality internally and adapting their communicative skills to address all key stakeholders. This certainly opens the door for future discussions.

However, a key point to be taken from the discussion is that Quality professionals will need to adapt to a role that is becoming increasingly demanding, requiring a broader range of skills if they are going to continue to deliver operational excellence. With the worldwide increase in social media networking, organisations have nowhere to hide, therefore quality professionals must now protect and enhance reputation. They must be agents for change, transforming both processes and culture. While some may find this an uphill struggle, requiring management’s backing, the results are likely to pay dividends.


2015 is set to bring dramatic changes within the Quality industry. Changes to ISO 9001, the introduction of Annex SL and the increased focus on leadership and risk based thinking all require Quality professionals to re-evaluate their priorities. Learn more about the essential changes with our free ISO 9001 Toolkit below.


Auditing iPad


Image credits:
mayrsom.com, justresources.com



Tags: CQI