Opnieuw het verschil maken

Kwaliteitsmanagement is volgens Simon Feary van de Britse kwaliteitsvereniging Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) even van het pad gesukkeld, maar kan in tijden van hogere klantenverwachtingen, meer regels en de grote impact van sociale media opnieuw het verschil maken.

Dat schrijft Feary in een (Engelstalige) toelichting bij het CQI Competency Framework, dat gestructureerd is rond leadership, governance, assurance, improvement en context. Feary is ook een van de sprekers op het VCK Kwinta-Congres over de toekomst van kwaliteit.

Repositioning the quality profession

In the 20th century, the quality management discipline and the quality profession made a profound difference to the quality of life.

However, as we progress into this century, the quality management movement has lost its way. The consequences of failure grow ever more significant in today’s world of increasing customer and stakeholder expectations, regulatory oversight and use of social media to broadcast success or failure. Yet we live in a world where there are still too many organisations failing to deliver against all stakeholder requirements.

The quality community has the opportunity to make a difference again. To do so, we must understand the new world of the 21st century and how we must adapt to make that difference, just as government, organisations and other professions must also adapt.

Through industry analysis and research, we have examined the challenges and opportunities facing the quality profession.

Our key findings included:

  • Quality professionals of the future must have a broader set of skills
  • The profession needs to speak the language of top management
  • We need to show the breadth and impact of quality, and the difference we make
  • The profession must attract people at times of career choice in schools, colleges and universities

The findings highlight the key changes needed for the profession to thrive and support business. We understand that to sustain delivery of high-quality products and services and to operate in a way that meets stakeholder needs, organisations must establish effective systems of governance and assurance, and commit to a culture of objective evaluation and continuous improvement.

That understanding has driven us to create the new CQI Competency Framework. It is structured around what quality professionals do:

  • Governance, Assurance and Improvement,
  • the Context, which quality professionals work in, and
  • the Behaviours they must show.

It requires:

  • Asking six key questions relating to three core areas of organisational activity.
  • Quality professionals to operate at two levels within their organisations – enterprise and product/service delivery level.
  • Quality professionals to demonstrate competency in five areas of activity.

It is important to note that the intent of the framework is not to set a requirement for all those involved in quality management and improvement, to be subject-matter experts in all areas. However, the framework does emphasise the importance of everyone in the profession understanding how they fit into the overall quality context – be they supplier assurance specialists, Six Sigma Black Belts, or Senior Vice President/Director of Quality and Operational Excellence.

So why is leadership at the centre of the framework? It is because the professional must shift from a “back-foot” position as “2nd-tier” managers to a role as “1st-tier” leaders in their organisations. In that way, our profile will increase and our contributions will be even more significant.

This framework is designed to be used by:

  • Individuals – as a professional development tool
  • Employers – as a common standard for defining skills for the range of quality professionals, and indeed other staff
  • Industry sectors – to develop supporting sector-specific bodies of knowledge
  • The CQI – as a basis for the development of its professional standards, knowledge and learning services, and as a basis to communicate the value of the profession.

All this might seem like a huge challenge, but the benefits to business and society are equally significant. If the profession as a whole can deliver the value that it is capable of providing then new opportunities will emerge for our stakeholders.

To find out more about the CQI Competency Framework, please visit the CQI website.

This proposition has already generated significant interest, with leading businesses embedding the Competency Framework into its quality functions and capability development processes.

We would like to present the plans to the audience via our Chief Executive, Simon Feary and Head of Profession, David Armstrong.

About the author

Simon Feary is the Chief Executive of the Chartered Quality Institute. Simon’s career has taken him from laboratory management, through transforming the International Register of Certificated Auditors, to his current role as CEO. Today he is focused on leading the quality profession to a successful future, by addressing the challenges facing the industry.

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