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Striving for excellence in the quality profession

Published: 6 Nov 2020

Victoria Tait, Quality Specialist at Qualitait – a division of J Tait & Sons, UK, talks to Daniel Moore about securing Chartered Quality Professional status (CQP MCQI), and what others should consider when regrading.

Daniel Moore: What made you decide to apply for this grade?

Victoria Tait: I have worked in quality for nearly 20 years and I have never had the time to concentrate on documenting my own professional development and completing the application. Very selfishly, lockdown was fantastic for me because it gave me the opportunity to start putting everything together, collate my evidence and thoughts and focus on the next steps for my Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Throughout this period, I have also been able to read more literature, listen to webinars, join online training courses and network at various branch meetings.

DM: What training and experience has helped contribute to your latest achievement of Chartered Quality Professional status?

VT: The ISO 9001:2015 transition course with Cheryl Savage, Business Development Manager at Lloyds Register, which is conducted through Bywater training, was amazing. Cheryl made us all think beyond being an auditor and more about what value we could bring to a company in terms of governance, assurance, leadership and improvement. She always tried to pull in examples of the standard within the context of our own work. 

It was after this that everything about my application just seemed to click and make sense. In addition, I undertook the ISMS ISO 27001:2013 Internal Auditor course with Amanda Spedding, Senior Management Systems Trainer at Alcumus, which allowed me to show diversity in the quality standards that I can audit to, which helped to support my application for achieving CQP MCQI status.

DM: How did you find the application process?

VT: A minor issue I encountered with this process was having to upload single pieces of evidence rather than uploading the latter in a block. This is because I had organised all my evidence as per the references in my case study, so I had it all on my PC ready to go.  

Aside from this minor issue, the process was straightforward. Revisiting the CQI’s Competency Framework really helped me during the application process because it sets out the abilities and types of behaviour you need to show and demonstrate through your case studies, no matter what industry you work in.

DM: What does this grade mean to you as a quality professional and how will this help benefit your career going forward?

VT: It demonstrates the extent of my experience, the level and depth of my knowledge and how I can apply it in a service industry or corporate environments. I also think it outwardly demonstrates a level of competency in the profession and will hopefully bring new networking and business connections.  It allows you to self-reflect on questions, such as “how are these capabilities all interlinked”, questions that I’m now being asked by others who are looking to apply for this grade.

DM: What advice would you give to other quality professionals who are looking to move up to CQP MCQI status?

VT: Personally, I found doing it one day here and there broke my chain of thought and flow of information. With that said, I would suggest setting yourself a block of time aside (maybe a week), to read insightful/inspiring quality articles, or literature covering governance or assurance, reflective learning and critical thinking.

I would also suggest getting yourself a mentor through the CQI’s Mentoring platform. You should make sure that you find a mentor who suits you and if the relationship is not working, be honest and find someone else through the CQI’s Mentoring programme.  The rewards of mentors and mentoring and the positive mutual gain is invaluable.

A final and major point is to ensure that you provide as much evidence documentation as possible in your application that demonstrates you wrote them. This is an important component of the process, which will have a significant impact on whether your application is successful or not. Evidence, evidence and more evidence is key!

To find out more about regrading, visit the Regrades page in the Members’ Area.