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Brighton School of Business and Management Student Newsletter December 2009

Welcome !

Contributions information, advice, links, ideas, that may be of help to other students  are very welcome  please email them to

Issue Focus

Consistent reliability and quality of products, processes and services are no longer desirable features  they are now essential ingredients, without which no public sector or private sector organisation can be successful.

In today’s highly competitive business environments it is critically important for managers and specialists, at all levels, to be fully conversant with quality management thinking, tools, techniques, developments, and trends, in order for them to contribute productively to operational and strategic activities.

Knowledge and understanding of Quality Management principles and best practice is an area of expertise that every professional needs to add to their portfolio.

This issue focuses on Quality Management, providing links to explore and suggestions that will help you build your awareness and knowledge of this essential discipline.

Food for Thought

Does your organisation take Quality seriously?

You may be surprised to learn that many people don’t know what “quality management” is and just as many are not even sure that they understand what is meant by the phrase: ”quality in the workplace”.

If you are one of these, don’t despair, for there are many at every level of management who would also struggle with these.

The first difficulty is to recognise that, in business, in the workplace, “quality” has a very specific meaning. It doesn’t mean “good”, “expensive”, “better”, “best”, “top quality”, in the way that we sometimes describe the “quality” of items or services in our social or domestic lives.

In business, quality has a specific meaning.

It means “getting it right first time, every time”, “zero defects”, “fitness for purpose”, “meets the specification”, “meets the criteria”, “meets the requirements”, “achieves the targeted standards”, “satisfies the needs of the customer”.

Many variations, but all underpinned by the fact that each phrase implies that there is a “standard”, a “specification”, a “criteria”, a “need” that has been identified, is known, and is recorded as being the “target”, the “performance level” that must be achieved.

The product, or service, is then measured against those.

So how do you know if your organisation is taking “quality” seriously? here’s how:

in the organisation you will find that:

·         all staff know the organisation’s policy on (approach to) quality

·         staff at all levels have been involved in creating or are involved in improving that policy

·         standards, for every key activity, have been agreed on and clearly (usually in writing) laid down

·         these standards are achievable, measurable, reasonable, but as high in terms of performance as the organisation can manage, given the resources it has

·         all staff involved in any activity have been trained in and understand the quality standards set for that activity

·         a monitoring system is in place to ensure the standards are maintained

·         a continuous improvement system is in place to ensure that the standards are improved where possible

·         corrective action is taken when a standard is not achieved

·         individuals and teams are rewarded for consistently achieving the standards

·         end users / customers (could be: product users, patients, cinema goers, bank customers etc) are regularly asked to give their views on the quality of the product or service

·         staff at all levels of the organisation, from the most junior to the most senior, are visibly proud of their work and are visibly striving to improve the quality of the work they are involved in

If you see this then the organisation is taking quality seriously it is managing quality effectively.

If you are a manager in an organisation, and you don’t see this, you have a responsibility to start working towards it, at least in your own area of work.

If the organisation belongs to you – as owner, chief executive, or executive manager – and you don’t see this, you have a responsibility to start changing things.

Written by the Quality Management Courses Tutor Team at Brighton School of Business and Management

Study Advice

We wondered whether to include this section in this Quality focused edition, but decided to go ahead, as we all instantly agreed that “quality” had a role in every business, workplace, and organisational activity, and definitely in continuing professional development.

As the definitions of Quality are, in the business context, “fitness for purpose” – “meeting the criteria” – “satisfying the customer-client” – “getting it right first time” – “zero defects”,  we have taken these as our headings:

Fitness for Purpose ~ not so easy to translate into study activities, but if we take the view that the study approach, and activities, and resources used, should be fit for the purpose of studying effectively, then it is easier to see that this means: dedicating the appropriate amount of time, effort, and energy, and using appropriate resources – equipment, materials, tools – so that the business of studying is carried out for as long as is needed, with the appropriate resources, to the right standard,  in order to achieve the objective

Meeting the Criteria ~ simply, studying in the way that has been advised, and producing coursework that meets the criteria laid down in the assignment briefs, and-or responding to examination questions in the style, format, and quality of content expected ~ writing assignments as asked for ~ answering the examination question as asked for

Satisfying the Customer-Client ~ is satisfying the requirements of the accreditation body, the educational provider, the tutor, the assignment criteria, the examination questions ~ these, as a student, are your customers-clients

Getting it Right First Time ~ is achieved by studying in the depth and breadth required, as advised by advice documents and tutor guidance and feedback, so that when assignments are written or examination questions answered, your response is appropriate and to the standard required – first time, not needing re-writing or re-sits

Zero Defects ~ a Phil Crosby phrase that he used to stress to organisations and their managers that the ultimate objective, no matter how difficult to achieve, should be no defects, no mistakes, no flaws, no errors, no unnecessary wastage, no re-working, no after-sales putting things right ~ in other words, getting it right first time ~ often (wrongly) mocked as an impossible  objective, but, as a student, if you select your course of study wisely, plan your studies carefully, work diligently, follow the guidance and advice of your educational providers and tutors, study in the depth and breadth required, take the whole process very seriously, and produce assignments and-or examination answers to the best of your ability you will, at least, be close to achieving it.

As succinctly expressed in one of the quotes below, excellence is not an event, it is the result of habit, a routine, a consistent level of performance and when studying for professional qualifications, this means planning, and maintaining, a consistently high quality approach to the process of studying.

Written by the Management Studies Tutor Team at Brighton School of Business and Management

Quality Internationally

For anyone who doubts the importance of taking Quality seriously, here are extracts from recent articles on Quality Management that illustrate how organisations and governments in developing and emerging countries are adopting Quality principles and techniques in order to become leading global providers.

China Leads in Adopting ‘Quality Management’ Measures for Business

“Chinese organizations are embracing management systems faster than the rest of the world in a bid to boost reputation and customer satisfaction.

The research conducted for the UK Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) said the surge of investment in management systems is driven by a desire to overcome perceptions in the developed world that quality and social and environmental standards are lower in emerging markets such as China.

 The desire for improved reputation, customer satisfaction and improved quality of products and services is the driving force behind the change in management systems, the report said.

China’s response has been to recognize the upside of having robust, assessed systems and the positive impact it has on reputation and customer satisfaction. Systems dedicated to managing quality control have now spread to many other areas of business operations, and have become key tools for managing organizational performance and behaviour”.


See for the full article


How India Inc is Managing Quality

“Today India boasts over 20 companies that have won the Deming Award from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers, over 100 companies that have been awarded TPM (total productivity management) certificates from the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance, and 50,000 ISO-certified companies.

A leading example is in the auto components industry, where, amongst China, India and Thailand, India is No.1 on the quality of products supplied, and multinational companies have begun to see the benefits of sourcing from India.

General Motors and Caterpillar source radiator caps from Sundram Fasteners – the company has won GM’s best-supplier award for three years. GM sources light equipment from Lumax. Mitsubishi of Japan sources front-axle beams from Bharat Forge. Federal Mogul of the US sources components through a tie-up with the Anand group.

This is a reflection of the increasing quality consciousness of India Inc, generated by the Total Quality Movement launched in 1988 that gained momentum resulting in TQM and TPM now being extremely popular models among Indian companies”.

See for the full article

Membership of Quality Organisations

For those managers and specialists who have a professional interest in keeping up to date with developments in the field of Quality, membership of a Quality association or institute can be valuable, as an information source, for education and training, or simply for networking with other members.

Here are some, with links to their websites, many with international branches that our tutors can recommend:

CQI Chartered Quality Institute ~ United Kingdom

SASQ South African Society for Quality ~ South Africa

SAQI South Africa Quality Institute ~ South Africa

QBPC Quality Brands Protection Committee ~ China

NAHQ National Association for Healthcare Quality ~ USA

AOQ Australian Organisation for Quality ~ Australia

APQN Asia Pacific Quality Network ~ Pacific Basin region

ASQ American Society for Quality ~ USA

QFI Quality Forum of India ~ India

NQI National Quality Institute ~ Canada

BSBM Courses with Quality Modules

We don’t have any newly launched courses to highlight this month, but in keeping with the Quality Management theme, here are some of our courses that have significant Quality Management content:

HND Higher National Diplomas – with Option Units in Managing Quality

DMS Diploma in Management Studies – with mandatory Managing Quality module

ADMS Advanced Diploma in Management Studies – with mandatory Quality and Systems Management module

CQI Certificate in Quality  – foundation level Quality course

CQI Diploma in Quality – professional specialist Quality Management qualification

For more information please go to

Study Resources of the Month

There are hundreds of sector and technique-specific books on Quality Management ~ here are some examples that our tutors can recommended:


Quality is Free: the art of making Quality certain

by Philip Crosby – publisher McGraw-Hill

Service Quality Management in Hospitality, Tourism, and Leisure

by Mok and Sparks – publisher Haworth Press

Total Quality: Management, Organisation and Strategy

by J R Evans – publisher South Western College

The Health Care Quality Book: Vision, Strategy and Tools

by Ransom, Joshi, Nash – publisher Health Administration Press

On our website we now have a direct link to the Amazon Management Books section ~ to use this go to our Study Bookshops page.

Student Recommended Resources, ok it’s a government organisation, but the advice on their website is very good – easy to understand, written in a format that you can use as action plan frameworks”  our thanks to Geoff

http://www.information-management .com for data specialists like me, but there’s other stuff for managers generally …” ~ our thanks to Jeannine

for Safety, Quality, and Environmental managers – lots of useful items …. ~ our thanks to Hassan

Advice from the Gurus

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an event, but a habit”

Aristotle ~ Philosopher and Scientist ~ 2,300 years ago

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort”

John Ruskin ~ Social Critic  ~ 120 years ago

“Quality has to be caused, not controlled”

Philip Crosby ~ Quality Guru ~ 8 years ago

Useful Study Links

Sites that illustrate the range  of Quality Management activities taking place around the world:

article on accreditation of African medical laboratories

articles and views on Japanese quality management and best practices, with many links to other quality related sites

many articles on Quality Management issues and topics

information on the Investors in People staff development quality system

information on Environmental Management systems

information on Six Sigma and Quality Management in general

information on the European Foundation for Quality Management models and standards

massive amounts of information about all things Quality related

information on the UK Quality Scheme for Sport and Leisure organisations

the International Standards Organisation site ~ invaluable!

advice on implementing a Quality Management System from BSI – one of the main developers of  quality management best practices

the website of the late-lamented Quality Guru – Philip Crosby – promoting his down to earth, practical, no-nonsense approach to quality management tools and techniques ~ the simple but highly effective approach driven by the phrase ~ “get it right first time!”

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