Many people are surprised when we tell them that ISO as an organisation was founded in 1947. But did you know that the CQI (Chartered Quality Institute) will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year?!  We really value being a CQI IRCA Approved Training Partner as we feel part of not only a strong heritage but also part of a dynamic organisation that keeps up with the times and sets the bar for others to follow.

The CQI informs us that quality management stems from the military (e.g. the accuracy of weapons) and gradually evolved into a platform for commercial manufacturing. The CQI has a royal charter (no less!). Since those days long gone by, the CQI has adapted to the needs of its members, and quality management has become a valuable discipline for service industries who do not actually ‘make’ anything.

As a quality training company, the CQI competency framework reminds us of the following:

  • that managers and auditors need to understand the Context of their companies and clients;

  • that managers need to promote and embrace a culture of continual improvement;

  • that companies need to ensure that they not only meet the needs and expectations of their clients, but to follow appropriate legislation and regulation;

  • that top management needs to demonstrate effective leadership qualities and adopt quality management principles such as evidence-based decision making;

  • that top management and auditors appreciate that confidence comes from comprehensive and value-added assessments of management systems.

CQI and IRCA (International Register of Certificated Auditors) became one entity in 2017, having previously operated as separate organisations. Membership is still offered individually as some may want to solely focus on their auditing career, others on quality management in general, and some on both. This is a personal decision for many, unless a company/organisation makes the decision for them of course.

With the arrival of ISO 9001:2015, quality took on a much broader perspective. Firstly, it addressed business leaders considerably more than in previous 9001 editions; secondly it encouraged a greater understanding of the world in and around the business which inspired more collaboration (e.g. across different functions in a business, and also to other external interested parties), and thirdly it increased participation in social responsibility practices – e.g. you could demonstrate good environmental management as part of your QMS without necessarily having to achieve a second ISO (14001) certificate (although this is a worthy certificate to aim for, especially in the current ‘climate’!).

We have always asked delegates who come to our quality training courses, what is quality? ISO 9000 defines it as the “degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfils requirements”. Notice they don’t mention the customer even though the central focus of ISO 9001:2015 is customer satisfaction. Why not we hear you say? Answer: it is not just about the customer it is about meeting all relevant requirements! These could be legal, regulatory, environmental, social etc. Customer satisfaction is mighty important, but not to the detriment of everything else.

Happy anniversary CQI