The Competency Framework

The CQI Competency Framework provides an overview of the competencies that the profession requires to do its job effectively.

It is structured around what we as quality professionals do (governance, assurance, improvement), the context in which we work and the behaviours we must show.

The framework is designed to:

  • Provide clear benchmarks for competence for use by the Institute, employers and individuals
  • Help individuals plan their career development
  • Help employers develop their own competency frameworks
  • Establish requirements for CQI learning and development assets and qualifications
  • Tell the wider world what we do.

Context: Uses domain and/or industry-specific knowledge to ensure effective implementation of governance, assurance and improvement

Product, service, process expertise

Has detailed knowledge of customers’ specific requirements and expectations, ensuring that the appropriate plans, specifications, reviews and controls are in place. Establishes effective lines of communication with the customer as required. Has knowledge of the market, competition and potential peers to establish quality differentiators and benchmarking opportunities with respect to the products and services of the organisation. Has experience and understanding of specific assurance and improvement tools and techniques relevant to the product/service delivery, and how to deploy these tools and techniques successfully.

Compliance management

Uses appropriate methods to establish legal, regulatory, societal and standards-related compliance requirements. Ensures that these are coherent with the organisation’s policies and processes, and are effectively linked to the business strategy. Ensures requirements for governance, according to stakeholders’ needs, are effectively communicated throughout the organisation.

Assurance: Embeds a culture of assurance to ensure that policies, processes and plans are effectively implemented, and that all outputs (both internal and deliverable) are consistent with requirements

Business (internal) assurance

Ensures the flow-down of customer and stakeholder requirements across the organisation. Uses understanding of requirements management, process implementation and tailoring principles, risk management and performance measurement to ensure effective planning and internal controls are in place.
Uses appropriate methods to ensure an effective balance of self assurance vs independent assurance. Ensures management intent, as reflected in its policies, processes and plans, is effectively implemented. Identifies risks, failures and non-conformances associated with customer and stakeholder requirements, and ensures effective action is taken to resolve any issues and identify the root causes.

Supply chain assurance

Ensures appropriate methods are used to select suppliers and to ensure flow-down of customer and stakeholder requirements to the organisation’s supply chain. Uses appropriate methods to assess supplier performance and to identify risk, failure and non-conformance. Supports the organisation in evaluating any problems and risks, and in the development of appropriate mitigation and solutions. Ensures solutions are managed to closure.

Governance: Ensures that all organisation requirements are reflected in operational frameworks, policies, processes and plans, and that these meet all stakeholder requirements

External focus

Uses appropriate methods to establish customer/stakeholder needs/expectations and views. Ensures that the organisation’s policies, processes and plans reflects these needs. Evaluates risks, problems and potential solutions from a customer/stakeholder point of view.

Internal focus

Develops process management capability (ownership, definition, implementation and improvement) across the organisation to deliver consistent results. Ensures the organisation’s policies, processes and plans are effective in meeting stakeholder expectations, removing variation, minimising operational risk and maximising efficiency. Supports the senior management team in ensuring that the operational approach and system of business management are continually assessed and improved.

Improvement: Facilitates a culture of evaluation (both qualitative and quantitative), learning and improvment which drives more effective, efficient and agile ways of working to support business strategy, enhance reputation and increase profitability

Gathering insight

Uses appropriate methods to understand all stakeholder needs and to identify any changes to the organisation’s context including changes to the market, customer requirements and other factors impacting on the organisation. Uses benchmarking and other appropriate tools and techniques to evaluate performance and improvement priorities.

Evaluating measures/ results

Facilitates the development and use of appropriate measures of operational performance and product/service quality across the organisation to ensure fact-based decision-making. Helps establish priorities for change.

Implementing change

Evaluates the nature and magnitude of change required (incremental, step change, transformational) and how to achieve the required changes through the development of the organisation’s people, processes, tools, technologies and/or infrastructure. Identifies any issues associated with the organisation’s culture with respect to achieving and sustaining the desired levels of operational performance and product/service quality.

Leadership: Uses leadership behaviours to maximise influence and develop a culture of evaluation and improvment

The quality advocate

Articulates a clear vision for quality as a strategic imperative that supports the organisation’s broader aims and objectives. Develops and implements strategies to maximise the contribution of the quality profession within the organisation.

The stakeholder advocate

Acts as the conscience in the organisation, making interventions whenever necessary to ensure customer and stakeholder requirements are addressed.

The systems thinker

Looks across business functions and hierarchies to promote a holistic view of the organisation and its requirements.

The fact-based thinker

Promotes a culture of decision-making based on factual evidence and the measurement of performance.

The quality planner

Advocates the principle of planning for quality to prevent potential problems with product and service quality.

The quality coach

Develops knowledge of quality principles and capability in quality tools, techniques and approaches throughout the organisation.

The quality motivator

Motivates and empowers others to take accountability for achieving and improving standards of performance.

The quality collaborator

Works with all internal and external stakeholders to resolve issues associated with organisation performance, and delivery of quality products/services.

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