Published: 19 Jan 2018

Last year the CQI partnered with recruitment agency Shirley Parsons to conduct an independent survey into how satisfied quality professionals are in their jobs. The results are in and there’s plenty to smile about!

  • 72% of respondents were satisfied with their current role in quality – a strong result compared to other professions such as HR, engineering and teaching
  • The survey showed that CQI members are more satisfied than their non-member counterparts working in the quality industry
  • Quality professionals are well rewarded for their hard work – the survey shows that earnings in the quality industry compare favourably with other sectors
  • A career in quality provides longevity as well as satisfaction. 40% of our respondents had been in the industry for 20 years or more.
You can imagine how delighted I was when I received the results and found that quality professionals are a really happy bunch!
Estelle Clark, CQI’s Director of Policy

When the CQI embarked on the Quality Workforce Insights project, a survey which explores the potentially sensitive areas of career satisfaction and pay, it didn’t know what the results would show but felt the work was important nonetheless.

As CQI’s Director of Policy Estelle Clark says: “Whatever the result you know you will have to deal with it and to some degree it’s inevitable that you prepare yourself for a certain amount of bad news. So, you can imagine how delighted I was when I received the results and found that quality professionals are a really happy bunch!”

Key findings of the results were that quality professionals have high levels of job satisfaction, and that they are positive about their pay and the career progression open to them. The survey also found a few areas of dissatisfaction among those in the industry, with interesting insights emerging in areas like gender equality in relation to pay.

In terms of overall satisfaction with their current jobs, 72% of respondents were satisfied, a result that stands up well when compared with other professions such as engineering (51%), HR (64%) and teaching (43%). In fact our industry scored higher than any other we could find which has published a similar survey.

The reasons for this high level of satisfaction are varied; flexibility, variety, an embedded culture, plenty of development opportunities and a sense of achievement are all cited as determining factors.

The satisfaction figure slides up the scale slightly when talking to respondents who are members of a professional body, with CQI Fellows listing a 79.5% satisfaction rate. One respondent believes this is due to the CQI’s support network, and access to resources. “Sometimes a quality voice is a lonely one within an organisation, and knowing that you have other likeminded quality professionals out there to speak to, to share ideas and solutions with, and to bounce ideas around in some of the more specific working groups and focus groups is helpful,” she explained.

Where respondents were looking to move jobs, only 7% of those asked were looking to leave the quality profession altogether.

The research concluded that CQI Fellows and members registered the highest salaries in the industry
Estelle Clark, CQI’s Director of Policy

When it comes to salary there’s good news and bad in the report. The mean average salary was found to be £57,677, with 40% of the respondents earning within the £40 - £70k range and nearly 9% earning in excess of £110k. The research concluded that CQI Fellows and members registered the highest salaries in the industry and, when compared to other professions on a like-for-like basis, the salaries of quality professionals exceeded those of numerous sectors including teaching, engineering and the health and safety profession.

Salaries in the quality profession seem to increase with age and experience. The survey showed that those aged over 65 were earning on average £58,571 with plenty of options open to them, from full- and part-time work to interim and voluntary commitment. Those aged over 65 made up a healthy 10% of our total respondents, and the results showed clearly that a long career in quality is possible, with 45% of respondents having put in 20 years or more of service.

On a less positive note, the survey’s results underlined an area of concern regarding the gender pay gap, with women earning an average of £47,365 a year and men £58,496. The results go as far as to show that even if more qualified, women are being paid less than men for their work, and they highlight a key area of focus as the quality industry moves forward.