As part of our series of Q&As with CQI Fellows, CQI Trustee Christopher Chinapoo CQP FCQI tells us about his journey to becoming the first CQI member in the Caribbean to achieve this prestigious grade.
What was your journey into quality?
I started my journey as a change management facilitator and leader in the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service. As an improvement facilitator I was actively involved in leading teams through problem solving, planning and implementation, as well as coordination and control of transformation activity. I developed expert level capacity in using and applying quality management and planning tools and techniques for managing change and transformation.
I then moved on to become New System Facilitator, Quality Enhancement and Quality Assurance Officer in the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago, the external quality agency responsible for quality assurance and regulation of higher education. I then worked as Correction Specialist in the Ministry of National Security, an inspector in the division of ageing responsible for quality assurance and regulation of homes for older persons and care facilities, before moving into the energy sector with Caribbean Well Services and NABI Construction. My experience has been varied and vast!
When and why did you decide to join the CQI?
I decided to join the CQI in 2020 to further my quality journey, learn more from professionals practicing Deming’s system of profound knowledge to achieve organisational transformation, and to contribute to the development of the profession and make a difference. Joining allowed me to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals, while enhancing my recognition and thought leadership in the field.
What prompted you to become a CQI Fellow?
I became a CQI Fellow driven by a commitment to excellence and a desire to create a culture of quality globally based on the System of Profound Knowledge. This recognition testifies to my proven competence and unwavering dedication to fostering a culture of quality.
My mission is to create a lasting and profound impact by nurturing the skills and knowledge of others. I continue to be a coach, mentor and support system for many. Furthermore, I aspire to serve as a motivating force for professionals in the Caribbean and developing countries, inspiring them to reach new heights in their own quality endeavours.
"I aspire to serve as a motivating force for professionals in the Caribbean and developing countries, inspiring them to reach new heights in their own quality endeavours."
How did you find the regrading process?
The process was both clear and straightforward. It demanded meticulous planning, thorough preparation, comprehensive documentation and the invaluable support of colleagues, clients, mentees, mentors, SIG chairs, and more. It encouraged intense preparation and a keen focus on tracking continuous professional development, while emphasising the importance of future contributions to the profession.
It also prompted a deeper reflection on one's role in advancing the field, extending beyond work contributions to active volunteerism and the quality of those contributions, fostering personal and professional development for oneself and others.
How did the CQI support with this?
The support from the CQI was both exceptional and crucial throughout the regrading process. I was offered invaluable guidance regarding the criteria and the specific evidence needed to meet those criteria, ensuring clarity and direction in the preparation of the presentation.
Notably, the CQI’s emphasis on future contributions to the profession beyond achieving fellowship was a standout feature. This forward-looking perspective, even though not explicitly stated in the criteria, proved instrumental in shaping my plans for ongoing contributions to the field, enhancing the overall value of the fellowship experience.
What has been the benefits to your career in becoming a Fellow?
Becoming a Fellow has brought significant career benefits. It has provided quality-assured recognition, serving as a testament to my leadership capabilities and setting me apart as the first member from the Caribbean to attain this grade. This distinction has also resulted in heightened demand for my expertise, insights and interventions in areas related to quality, health, safety, environment and sustainability. Overall, it has elevated my professional standing and expanded opportunities to contribute meaningfully to critical issues in these domains.
What top tips would you give to anyone who is considering regrading?
- Early preparation: begin by reviewing the criteria early in the process to understand the requirements thoroughly.
- Connect with Member Journey team: establish contact with the team early to gain insights and guidance.
- Compile evidence: start early in collecting and organising the evidence required to meet the criteria.
- Time management: allocate 3-4 months for the process to ensure thorough preparation.
- Update CQI profile: keep your CQI profile up to date with relevant information and achievements.
- Engage with SIGs and branches: connect with Chairs of the special interest groups (SIGs) and branches you volunteer with, and actively contribute to their work.
- Active volunteering: be an integral part of committees and ensure your volunteerism is well-documented.
- Mentorship: formalise your mentorship relationships and gather evidence of recognition by mentors.
- Maintain CPD and volunteer logs: keep well-maintained logs of your continuous professional development (CPD) and volunteer activities for easy review.
- Document external contributions: if you volunteer in other organisations applying quality concepts, tools and approaches, document your contributions meticulously.
- Be responsive: if asked for additional information, respond promptly. Adopt a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) approach.
- Focused and aligned presentation: creating a lively yet concise presentation that aligns with the criteria and showcases your planned future contributions is crucial.
Following these tips will help streamline the regrading process and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Becoming a CQI Fellow
Begin your regrading process today – learn more about what is required.
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Become a member and you too could input into future revisions of standards such as ISO 9001.
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