CQI CONFERENCE 2015: Key Points Taken from the Presentations

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.





Topics: CQI, Events

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