Simple Meaning of Quality

The objective of any organisation (independent or public) is to supply on time, services of a quality standard

which satisfy client requirements in a manner which is effective, efficient and economically viable.


ISO 9002



What the Initiatives are and how they are linked:

4 General Points

  • All strategies are similar
  • Commitment is required throughout the organisation
  • There are no right answers for all organisations, The initiatives adopted depend on the companies unique requirement
  • All organisations who have implemented the initiatives have shown improved performance levels that produce bottom line benefits




The 1988 Government White Paper ‘Employment for the 1990s’ saw the establishment of the National Training Task Force (NTTF) and launched a new initiative to form partnerships between business and government at a local level. To help this initiative succeed, plans were announced to create a national network of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) in England and Wales and Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) in Scotland. They changed to Learning and Skills Councils in 2001.


The concept of Investors in People emerged from the NTTFs plan to increase the amount of commitment employers give to training. Investors In People, also known as ‘Investors’ or ‘IiP’ in shorthand. It has 4 principles



Action Planning



The award demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to training and developing its staff

It encourages the recruitment and retention of staff

It links training and development with business objectives

It ensures training is effective

Better use of resource results

Business performance improves

It can result in greater competitiveness and a greater market share




A series of reports in the 1980s highlighted a skills gap between the UK and Europe leaving the UK in an uncompetitive position. In 1981 the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) produced a new training initiative: ‘An Agenda for Action’.

In 1986 an MSC/NEDC report entitled ‘Review of Vocational Qualifications in England and Wales’ was produced. Subsequently, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) was created. It was the role of that body to bring vocational qualifications in England and Wales into the a national Framework known as National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

NCVQ approved standards and proposed NVQs submitted by Lead Bodies, such as IITC, and secured the implementation of the framework by accrediting and certifying bodies such as RSA, City and Guilds, Pitmans, ITD, BTEC and SCOTVEC (for Scotland). Over time name changes and incorporation of bodies into larger award bodies have taken place, and some of the above have disappeared.


NVQs are statements of competence, clearly relating to work and intended to facilitate entry into, or progress in, employment, further education and training, which is certificated and issued by a recognised body (such as City and Guilds) to an individual stating the level of competence (such as NVQ 2, 3 or 4 in Care)

NVQs are awarded on the basis of what people are competent to do, and not just what they know!!! and are measured against nationally approved standards.

Those standards are developed by the industry (i.e. Care) and fit into a national framework for vocational qualifications.

Their are five levels of competence, reflecting both the degree of difficulty and complexity of the work involved. Level 1 covers tasks of a routine and predictable nature whereas Level 5 reflects the application of many different and complex techniques and principles in an unpredictable variety of solutions. Level 5 standards will include a major responsibility in areas such as planning, evaluation and problem solving.

The former Management Charter Initiative (MCI) have developed standards for managers which fit the framework at levels 3 to 5.

NVQs are assessed in the workplace by internal assessors and verified by external assessors. Throughout the process of assessment there are quality control checks built in to ensure that the standards are met and that there is consistency in assessment.


They are relevant to the business

They are a measured tool to assess the effectiveness of training

They are a recruitment aid

They provide recognition of staff competence

They increase motivation and awareness

The provide a higher skill base

They promote customer awareness

They create a clear statement of what the organisation wants of its staff

They are a performance appraisal tool




BS5750 Quality standard was introduced on Britain in the 1970s and is based on 20 principles of good management practice. However BS5750 took at least 10 years before it was accepted and there was great interest and acceleration of interest in the mid eighties and early 1990s. It is now incorporated into the world wide and European standards BS/EN/ISO 9000

ISO 9000 is a quality system standard. It is an International standard with laid down criteria. Inspection by independent inspectors ensures the standard is met.

Principles described in the standard identify the basic disciplines, procedures and criteria required to ensure that products or services meet customer requirements. In relation to the quality of the product or service, it is the system that is checked, not the outcomes.

The initiative has a fixed standard and the award is confirmation of a standard that good management would be practising anyway It has to have a flexible approach to meet changes in customers need. Implementation can be brought in on a piecemeal basis, i.e. it can be in a used in a part of an organisation initially and then in other areas at a later date.

To précis:

ISO 9000 ensures when a company states what it does, the company does it

ISO 9000 ensures when a company states what it does, it justifies what it does

ISO 9000 ensures when a company states what it does, it ensures it does what it says it does

ISO 9000 ensures when a company states what it does, the company Records proves what it does

or to plagiarise a popular advert

‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’


It provides a sound quality assurance system

It improves quality and reduces costs

It is externally assessed and therefore credible

It can be a marketing tool

It may be a requirement of its customers (i.e. Government)

It ensures a product or service is ‘Fit for Purpose’




TQM goes back to the second world war and was based on statistical analysis work carried out in England and America. The work was carried out by Deming and Crosby following lectures by Deming in Japan in the 1950s, TQM became established within normal working practices for many companies.


Total Quality Management is based on Continuous Improvement in meeting customers needs in providing goods or services by recognising and releasing the potential of all employees at an optimum cost. It relies on a total commitment to the organisations clear vision of its future

The philosophy of TQM is based on the concept that everyone is a supplier to someone else, either internal or external and not just the end user. It is a never ending approach. Therefore there is no definitive description of TQM in terms of standards. Consequently, it is not open to assessment against a national standard and thus there is no external accreditation.


Greater staff involvement in Management decisions

Job enrichment and creative thinking opportunities

Clearer understanding of targets

Committed workforce

Fewer mistakes

Quality Products, Services to customers

Greater customer satisfaction



ISO 9000/TQM

Both are Quality Assurance initiatives

ISO 9000 is a recognised and established example of a quality system. The TQM approach relies on an underpinning quality management

ISO 9000 is often used as a stepping stone by companies embarking on a TQM approach

ISO 9000 is essentially a check on systems, whereas TQM relies on a corporate philosophy

ISO 9000 can be primarily product or service focused and can be applied to a part of a company, whereas TQM has to be company wide

ISO 9000 does not require staff involvement in improvement whereas TQM is based on staff involvement and commitment

ISO 9000 goal is to lay down standards and maintain them, whilst TQM is for continuous improvement

ISO 9000 has standards to ensure things are down correctly whilst TQM focuses on doing things right AND doing right things


ISO 9000 sets out the requirement for the systems and the training to run those systems

Having a Quality Manual and having ISO 9002 throughout the organisation could provide evidence of having met a number of indicators for IiP

ISO 9000 sets the standards but does not necessarily allow staff to understand the need for them, IiP trains and develops staff to understand their role and responsibilities within the organisation.

ISO 9000 has one standard relating to training, consequently; if ISO 9000 and IiP are standards within the organisation, the combination could be regarded as a ‘Corporate NVQ’

ISO 9000 and NVQs

ISO 9000 is based on a quality system and NVQs are based on an Individual’s competence to work a task

Both are geared to positive outcomes therefore are complementary

NVQs focus on improving quality through competence and training through individual staff members. As the performance of the individuals are central to the quality of the product, there is a common link between the two initiatives

The assessment system for NVQs require the involvement of Assessors (often work colleagues and supervisors) fit precisely with what the organisation require to achieve there goals for ISO 9000


Principles such as total commitment, clear vision and continuous improvement are central to both TQM and IiP. An Investor in People will be a long way down the road to TQM.

TQM and NVQs

TQM relies on continuous improvement and meeting customer needs by recognising the value and releasing the potential of all staff

NVQs equally offer individuals the chance to raise their potential by improving their skills and expertise. At the same time the awards recognise their competence which is then apparent to a prospective or existing employer

These two initiatives are both likely to result in a greater motivated workforce

IiP and NVQs

The IiP recognises that training and development is the essential message behind the indicators

IiP also ensure that managers are involved with the process of training and development

As the process of IiP is based on training and development, NVQs fit into that process and are a significant statement of how an organisation views there staff