Published: 8 Oct 2019

Richard Green, Managing Director and founder of Kingsford Consultancy Services, explains the important work of the CQI’s Standards Panel.

The Engineering Standards Committee was established in London in 1901 as the world's first national standards body. Its creation was a direct response to the need to ensure consistency in the specification of construction materials supplied by organisations to their customers.  

It subsequently extended its standardisation work and became the British Engineering Standards Association in 1918, adopting the name British Standards Institution (BSI) in 1931 after receiving its Royal Charter in 1929.  

The national standards it developed were adopted universally throughout the UK, and enabled markets to act more rationally and efficiently, with an increased level of cooperation.

This group of strategic thinkers, visionaries, standard experts, innovators and influencers is tasked with ensuring that CQI’s stakeholders’ voices are heard

With roots established in much the same time period, the CQI enjoys a special relationship with BSI in respect of the development and maintenance of new and existing standards – a relationship that has been built over the course of many years of joint working.

The CQI has an enviable track record in respect of contributing to the development of both domestic and international standards. The management system standards ISO 9001, ISO 9004, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, as well as the auditing standards ISO 17021-3 and ISO 19011, have all been shaped to some degree by our organisation, and our on-going participation includes contributing to the production of the new ISO standards such as ISO 37000 - Guidance for the governance of organizations, ISO 45002 – General guidelines for the implementation of ISO 45001 and ISO/AWI 45003 – Psychological health and safety in the workplace – Guidelines. 

Central to this work is the CQI Standards Panel. This group of strategic thinkers, visionaries, standard experts, innovators and influencers is tasked with ensuring that CQI’s stakeholders’ voices are heard whenever standards relating to the quality profession and auditing of management systems are being created or revised. 

Typically, this is achieved by panel members applying for and securing places on the appropriate ISO Project or Technical Committee charged with developing each standard.  Such ‘liaison’ places are not readily given out, however the CQI is invariably successful in such applications as a result of its previously demonstrated performance over time.

The Standards Panel’s principal duties are to:

  • design, develop, maintain and review CQI policy and position relating to the development and implementation of CQI approved standards.
  • horizon scan in order to identify potential opportunities for the CQI to influence standards development for the benefit of its stakeholders and to subsequently build the case for CQI direct participation/CQI approved standard status.
  • advise the CQI Executive Team of the implications of generic trends in standards development and their likely impact on the CQI and its membership.
  • commission research, as necessary, in order to determine an informed CQI position with respect to generic standards development.  

The Standards Panel is currently comprised of nine permanent members who collectively bring a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience to the table. These individuals and their current respective areas of responsibility are:

  • Richard Green (Chair of the CQI’s Standards Panel), Kingsford Consultancy Services Limited – Occupational Health and Safety
  • Mike Pearson, Pearson Associates Limited – Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Mark Braham, formerly AA – Quality Management and Annex L
  • Angela Cunningham, Coca Cola European Partners – Food Safety
  • James Pink, NSF Health Services Limited – Medical Devices
  • Ricky Leask, Intermoor – ICT and Artificial Intelligence
  • Sharon Shutler, QMS services – Life Sciences
  • Estelle Clark, CQI Policy – Corporate Governance and setting overall direction of travel
  • Alexander Woods, CQI Policy – Panel facilitator and setting of overall direction of travel.

Active participation in standard development is not limited to Standards Panel members only, however. The CQI has developed its own Standards Commenting System (SCS) application which allows any CQI member to register their own comments on the latest draft of a standard in a manner which is guaranteed to meet the eligibility requirements set by BSI. 

At the appropriate point in each standard’s development cycle, CQI members are invited to register their views using the SCS application. When opinion was sought in respect of the latest edition of ISO 19011 – Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems, for example, CQI members provided more comments than most National Standards Bodies and of the comments provided, the majority were accepted into the new standard.

The Standards Panel continues to meet on a quarterly basis and welcomes expressions of interest from CQI members who believe they can contribute in technical areas not already covered by existing panellists. 

The panel is also able to offer practical guidance and support to any CQI member who wishes to develop their understanding of the standards arena.