Changing Role of Quality Manager

Michael Debenham

Year:    2002
Category:   TQM
Source:   ICQI 2002 – Pakistan 7th International Convention on Quality Improvement, Karachi
Publisher:   PIQC Institute of Quality

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Author’ Introduction:   

Michael Debenham, C Eng, FIQA, is the IQA Professional Affairs Manager and, as such, is the focal point for all professional and technical matters within the UK Institute of Quality Assurance and in the exchange of ideas and issues with other stakeholders in the UK Quality Assurance Industry.

For the past twenty five years and prior to joining the IQA, Michael Debenham has been providing management consulting and training services to the international petrochemical industry, the UK nuclear and manufacturing industries and various service organisations. These services include helping companies develop their own solutions to management systems issues and the presentation of in-house training courses on systems management.

Michael Debenham gained his personnel experience in management as a Director of the BIE (British Inspecting Engineers) Group from 1971 and as Managing Director of the BIE UK operation from 1986 to 1991. From 1991 to joining IQA in 2000 he practised as an independent consultant.

Other papers from this author:

·         Effective Process Management – Proven Practice

·         The Management of Corporate Risk

·         Risk Based Decision Making

·         Lateral Vertical Time Analysis

·         ISO 9001:2000 – The Changes

·         Promoting the Effective Management of Quality in the United Kingdom


This paper reviews the traditional role of the Quality Manager and considers whether in future the various responsibilities will best be undertaken by a dedicated quality professional or by members of the management team. Members of the management team who may well be required to have undertaken training in quality management or related subjects.
If indeed these responsibilities are re-assigned what will be the core duties of the Quality Manager and will they be the only responsibilities or will the Quality Manager be required to have a ‘day job’? The paper argues that in specific sectors these changes are beginning to be seen and the role is evolving towards that of business development manager or business improvement manager. With this shift comes the need for the acquisition of new knowledge and skills and potentially a more significant role in the organisations decision making process.
In particular the paper considers the role that could be described as the champion of the culture for opportunity and goes on to describe such a culture and the benefits for the organisation.
Within such a culture shift, the opportunities to use resources more intelligently in undertaking internal audit are explored in the light of the changes in ISO 9001:2000. In a process led system what is the requirement for compliance and how can the process owner or team leader participate as a member of the audit team to the benefit of the organisation?