Quality management plays a huge role in all businesses and establishments. It ensures both employee and owner satisfaction as well as customer satisfaction in making sure all products, goods and services are up to a high standard.
It is one of those things that we, as consumers, can take for granted. We forget there is someone behind the scenes making sure out needs and expectations in quality are met!
What is quality management?
Quality management is the act of overseeing activities and tasks within businesses in order to make sure they maintain a high standard. It ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent.
There are four main components in quality management. They are quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement.
What does a quality manager do?
Although it is the duty of everyone in the business to keep standards high, the person who oversees everyone else is the quality manager. The activities of a quality manager may change from day to day but some general tasks include:
- Ensure products are fit for purpose
- Ensure the business services are fit for purpose
- Establish the quality procedures, standards and specifications of an establishment
- Set standards of companies
- Review customer requirements and feedback
- Review existing policies and update and suggest changes where necessary
- Provide training, tools and techniques to staff
- Monitor companies performance and make changes and improvements if necessary
- Research ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency
- Keep documents and records of quality related proceedings
There are a few different courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Some courses also offer online opportunities. Examples of courses you can avail of are:
Courses in quality management give students the opportunity to explore theoretical and practical learning and look at how quality management can be applied to the work environment and add value to a business. Students will also learn to analyse risks at a strategic and operational level. Other key focuses include identifying suitable controls to eliminate, reduce and transfer risks.
Strategic Quality Management
Strategic quality management courses provide an understanding of current theory and best practice around operational, functional and strategic quality management. Students will learn to contribute to strategic visions for success and also learn how to implement policies in order to improve customer relations and business effectiveness.
Entry requirements differ from course to course and university to university. The majority of courses in this area require a second class honours degree in a related or relevant field. Some courses may require a 2.1 degree while others may only require a 2.2. Degree. Research on each course is important to ensure you meet the entry requirements before applying.
Being a Quality Manager
Being a quality manager does not necessarily have definite or particular working hours as it depends a lot on the area/company in which you work. There is the possibility of working very early morning and late nights as well as shift work. However, some sectors may provide normal working hours such as Monday to Friday, 9-5.
It is possible that you may become a freelance quality manager if you have gained enough experience to go out and work on your own. A lot of work may be based in an office or sometimes a lab and may often require travel. Experience can be quite important in this industry.
Starting salaries for quality managers can start around £23,000-£28,000. Your wage can increase with experience meaning a quality control manager with years experience can earn up to £50,000. If you work in industries such as manufacturing, it is possible to earn in excess of £60,000. These salaries are an estimate.
Skills and requirements
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to lead and influence others
- Strong managements skills
- Attention to deal
- The ability to adapt to and facilitate change
- Self motivated and able to motivate others
- A strategic mindset
- Skills in numerical and statistical analysis