For the layperson and even for experts, gauging the potential quality of the service offered by a professional can be extremely hard without the benefit of previous experience. The damage to your business of choosing the wrong Accountant for example, could be immense.
Professional bodies like the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) set standards (both technical and ethical) that must be achieved, maintained and enhanced throughout the professional’s career. Beyond this they seek to raise the standards of the profession, increase understanding and protect the public interest. Through this they build social and economic capital.
The CQI is the global Chartered body for quality professionals encompassing the whole quality community, including quality management professionals, and is the world’s largest professional body of its kind.
Today, we are finding that UK businesses that want to improve their quality processes and systems are reaching out to, or are recruiting for, Chartered Quality Practitioners. So, now is a great time for you to gain your chartered status if you are already working in the field of quality.
In this blog, we will explore:
The CQI is the only organisation in the world that can award chartered status to quality professionals – an unrivalled mark of excellence, which makes its brand one of the most trusted.
The CQI supports the development of good governance, agile assurance and a culture of continuous improvement through membership services, training, learning and thought leadership.
The role of the Quality Manager is quite different from one organisation to another but in general, it has to do with ensuring that the products and/or services delivered by the organisation are fit for purpose and meet both internal and external stakeholder requirements. These requirements primarily stem from customer expectations, legal compliance, and adherence to standards of excellence.
The Quality Manager achieves this firstly by coordinating the activities required to identify and determine the necessary quality standards; and secondly, by coordinating the activities required to ensure these standards are met. The role, therefore, typically involves a lot of communication with other managers and staff throughout an organisation to ensure that there is a proper quality management system in place and that it is functioning appropriately.
Performance monitoring and measurement, including data capture, analysis, and reporting, as well as the provision of training, tools, and techniques, are some of the key features of a quality management system.
The swell in global construction is immense, pumped up by emerging nations rapidly building the infrastructure they need to take them from predominantly under-developed economies to industrial nations.
This is generating fantastic opportunities both at home and abroad for UK professionals as these nations seek to service the demand.
“I would not be comfortable if unqualified or unaccredited engineers were allowed to contribute to this hugely complex building project. Why would I let unqualified quality professionals work on that same project?” Chris Sexton, Technical Director of Crossrail
Quality management is increasingly being seen as an answer to two problems prevalent in the construction industry: waste and safety breaches. These equate to costs that any construction manager would be keen to avoid. In fact, by putting quality management at the heart of their businesses, construction companies have found that:
1. Viewing quality as a strategic necessity provides financial benefits
Construction firms are increasingly viewing quality as a strategic necessity rather than a luxury, and that when utilised properly, there are significant financial and reputational benefits to be gained from a focus on excellence in operational governance assurance and improvement.
Quality management is a difficult concept to grasp at times, but it is clear that when used properly, it can be the difference between a good project, and a great one.
2. Employing accredited quality professionals can help win major tenders
By looking at every aspect of a company’s operation (from winning business to managing suppliers), employing a right-first-time approach (based on risk planning) and relentlessly learning from experience (through robust analysis and treatment of the root cause of problems that do occur), quality managers promise reduced costs, as well as faster delivery times and increased profits.
In addition to the internal benefits in eliminating the waste that is inherent in construction projects, a robust approach to quality management also adds a new dimension when going to tender for potential projects when the ability to demonstrate strong capability in quality management provides increased confidence to the client.
An example of where quality training was deemed critical to future business growth was at Crossrail. They recognised that many sectors were reaping huge benefits from the implementation of formalised quality management programmes, including increased efficiency, productivity and staff morale.
Crossrail developed a Quality Professional training programme in partnership with the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) and it was mandated that all quality resources on the programme participate. Now Crossrail will only appoint contractors in the role of quality managers if they are a Chartered Quality Professional (or equivalent).
With the planned construction of new nuclear power stations in the UK and as the nuclear industry grows, the quality profession will be critical in meeting the challenges faced. It is quality professionals who will ensure organisations are equipped to deal with the fast pace of change that will be required, as well as focusing on the assurance of safety that is so critical to nuclear.
The CQI has long supported quality professionals in the nuclear sector, both in civil nuclear and defence, and there are currently more than 300 quality practitioners benefiting from the professional chartered recognition in the industry.
Projects such as Crossrail show how some of the most cutting-edge organisations use quality management to ensure that their projects remain under control and stay within budget. A large number of construction companies now use the ISO 9001 standard as a means of bringing quality to their firms. Used by more than a million firms globally, ISO 9001 is an accepted standard for companies who are attempting to operate with greater efficiency and profitability.
Quality Professionals are dedicated to protecting and strengthening their organisations by making sure that stakeholders’ needs are met and their expectations are exceeded.
There are numerous benefits to your organisation in training staff to become experts in Quality, including:
Becoming a Member of the CQI and a Chartered Quality Professional is the gold standard for professionalism in Quality, putting you at the same standard as other Chartered Professionals
“CQI and IRCA members are part of a unique global network of nearly 20,000 Quality Professionals”. CQI
Membership offers you infinite development opportunities and is an invaluable way of gaining professional recognition for your expertise and commitment and has the following benefits:
Increasing your financial value: the financial impact on your salary of gaining Chartered Professional Status is considerable
Raising your skill levels: the process of becoming Chartered raises your overall skill level even higher
Gaining professional recognition: in today’s competitive job market, you need to establish your credentials as a professional to stand out from the crowd if you wish to succeed. Employers are looking for evidence that an individual is motivated and committed enough to be considered for investment in their professional development and Chartered Quality Professionals are clearly becoming a preferred requirement
Having the confidence to lead: the ability to lead requires that an individual knows and understands the process by which they make decisions, as well as having the inner belief to execute them
Inspiring staff: Chartered status individuals act as a role model for other quality managers and leaders within their organisation
GBS provide a series of Quality Practitioner courses. Rather than providing a broad-brush approach in our quality training, we have worked with the CQI to define those areas that quality practitioners are most sought in, and have created a course around each of those topics.
Completion of just two in our series of Quality Practitioner courses, can lead to the gold standard Chartered Quality Professional (CQP) status. Each of our courses are 3 days long and are highly interactive, enabling attendees to immediately apply what they have learnt across different business scenarios.
The areas that our courses explore are as follows:
One of the key responsibilities of the quality professional is to support process owners to design, develop and deploy their business processes. There a variety of improvement methodologies, tools and techniques available to any team but in order to gain the most from them the selected approach needs to be correctly applied and efficiently managed.
GBS’ business process performance training is specifically designed to equip business professionals with business process analysis tools. Our courses involve teaching participants the key steps in effective business process improvement and re-engineering, and how to identify what is important to the business and its customers.
Another main objective of our business process improvement training is to assist a business or an organisation to meet the demands of its customers, as well as to fulfil its strategic and tactical goals in a more effective manner.
A quality professional must be able to assess the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the organisation system, processes and procedures against some set criteria, for example, the requirements of ISO 9001, other standards, customer and stakeholder requirements, and an organisation’s own policies.
Our course equips management and Quality professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to implement, review and manage the globally recognised ISO 9001:2015 standard.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement will not only help make your products better, it will make your teams and your business better as a whole.
A core part of the quality professional’s remit is change and improvement and aligning business improvement effort is vital if organisations and projects are to use their financial resources wisely, investing in the right changes that respond to performance and close the loop on risk in an agile manner. This requires the system of improvement itself to be properly managed in terms of ensuring standard approaches are employed for aspects ranging from proper root cause analysis of problems to the delivery of changes.
Our course equips Managers, Team Leaders and Improvement Leads with the practical skills, tools, and structured techniques to manage change in the context of process management and improvement.
Another of the key responsibilities of the quality professional is to support problem-solving teams in getting back to their root cause and then arriving at the optimum solution. Our approach to developing the solution is comprehensive and this problem solving course is developed to correct the problem, prevent it from reoccurring and to share the lessons learnt during the process of investigation. It has been designed to equip Managers, Team Leaders and Improvement Leads with the practical skills, tools, and structured methodologies for problem solving activities.
Fundamental to achieving project, product or service quality is an effective and robust quality planning process. The GBS Managing Quality Planning Practitioner course has been designed to equip managers, team leaders and improvement teams with the practical skills, tools, and structured techniques in product/service management in the early phases of the product/service lifecycle.
Most importantly it makes sure that delegates have understood the importance of identifying quality risks at every stage of the lifecycle, evaluating these risks to identify severe risks and allocating prevention resources to these risks.
Remember – you only need to book onto two of our practitioner courses to gain your Chartered Quality Practitioner status. Our courses are mapped to the CQI Competency Framework, developed to define the abilities that every successful quality professional needs.
So – take a look at upcoming courses and book on the ones that are most applicable to you and become one of the most sought-after quality individuals by UK businesses at the current time.
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