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2019 Workforce Insights survey

Published: 21 Jun 2019

The CQI’s second Workforce Insights survey paints a clear picture of quality and management systems audit professionals across the world. They are generally well-rewarded, satisfied and have long and varied careers.

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with HSEQ recruiters Shirley Parsons Ltd, asked questions about remuneration, satisfaction, opportunities for, and barriers to, career progression, and skills gaps identified by employers.]

Key results

Satisfaction and salaries continue to compare favourably with other professions, and membership of the CQI and IRCA correlates with better pay and a happier workforce.

However, we should not rest on our laurels. Once more, women appear to be paid less than their male counterparts and are poorly represented among the most senior quality roles.

Employers struggle to plug skills gaps in their workforce, and the quality profession is at times frustrated by a lack of understanding of the value that quality management delivers.

Here are the main conclusions from the results:


  • A good salary, compared with global and national averages and those of similar professions, makes a career in quality financially attractive
  • Quality is a rewarding career, offering independence, flexibility and variety of work
  • Quality professionals are also inclined to stay in the same discipline and seek opportunities for progression and professional development
  • Despite the attractiveness of a good salary, quality professionals are most interested in what their job entails than in chasing benefits and promotion
  • The profession values challenge and variety and appreciates management who understand and support the organisation’s quality aims and objectives

Gender equality

  • While the quality and audit professions compare favourably with some other professions, more needs to be done to attract a wider talent pool
  • The profession is failing to recruit sufficient numbers of women and to place enough women in senior roles
  • The gender pay gap widens as seniority and experience increases
  • There needs to be parity for everyone, regardless of gender or any other demographic factor, in terms of progression and financial reward

Skills gaps

  • The profession must continue to develop to exploit the opportunities and mitigate the risks associated with the future world of work
  • Skills gaps are preventing organisations, business and society from exploiting the benefits of governance, assurance and improvement
  • A lack of expertise in management systems audit is a particular issue. Employers, audit and quality professionals, and the CQI must ensure the profession remains relevant and valued

About the survey

We would like to thank the 2,546 individuals from 80 countries around the world took the time to provide their views and valuable insight into our profession.

This included CQI members, IRCA certificated auditors, Corporate Partners, Special Interest Group representatives, and non-members working in quality and management systems audit.

The final report will be available on 31 July.

Please email [email protected] with any enquiries.

Global workforce survey results now available

Our second Workforce Insights report collates survey responses from over 2,500 quality and auditing professionals from 80 countries. Download your copy now to find out what they had to say.