Published: 12 Jul 2019

Ian Dalling, CQP FCQI, Chair of the CQI’s Integrated Management special interest group, and Managing Director at Unified Management, speaks to Dina Patel about his experiences in the profession.

How did you begin your career in quality?

I became aware of the importance of quality principles in manufacturing when I started studying engineering in 1960. However, my early career focused on operations in conventional and nuclear power plants involving major hazards. Getting it right first time and every time was essential. 

After various posts at Dungeness B Nuclear Power Plant, I was appointed to a newly created quality department in 1989 where finally I had the word ‘quality’ in my job title. I also joined the IQA. I was part of a team implementing a fully integrated management system, providing training to over 700 employees and leading audits covering the totality of the plant’s operations and management. It was a pivotal moment in my career.

What does your role as chair of the CQI’s Integrated Management SIG (IMSIG) involve?

The CQI Integrated Management Special Interest Group is a think tank created in 1996 after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) started fragmenting its management system standards by publishing ISO 14001 Environmental Management rather than extending the scope of ISO 9001. IMSIG has given integrated management a theoretical and practical foundation and created MSS 1000:2014, the world’s first universal comprehensive auditable management system standard. It supports fully integrated management systems without boundaries and has the capability to streamline audit and certification processes.

I was part of a team implementing a fully integrated management system, providing training to over 700 employees

How has the CQI helped your professional development?

It has helped me hone many skills. Most significantly, it has acted as a catalyst for improvement and has been invaluable in my consultancy and chairing the IMSIG. The CQI has facilitated my networking with like-minded management professionals enabling the scope of quality management to be broadened and embrace all aspects of management without restrictions.

What did you learn during your time on the British Standards Committee for BS 8800:1996 Guide to occupational health and safety management systems?

BS 8800:1996 was the forerunner to BS OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety and ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety, but it was a bumpy start demonstrating that creating standards is often controversial. The 50-strong committee had a spread of views including whether the standard was necessary and should be auditable. Disagreement necessitated BS8800 being published in two versions: ISO or HSG65 structure. I preferred ISO but abstained from the vote stating that I would not risk non-publication if either form had the potential to save life. 

What have you learned about quality management in the various sectors your clients operate in?

Although quality principles transcend space and time, their application can be diverse and in need of specialist competence. Major infrastructure projects such as nuclear power plants tend to be bespoke, while mass production lends itself to repeated testing, study and statistical methods of improvement and control. The cycle of the latter being many more times faster than the former.