Member Competence Guidance

Step 1 – Exploring the Profession Map

It is crucial that before you write your case studies you have a good understanding of the CQI Profession Map.

  • Visit the Visit the Profession Map
  • Click on each competence area tab
  • Read the competence area definition
  • Click on each of the key component headings and consider the tiers and corresponding summary competences
  • Make a note of which tier best reflects the work you are doing for each of the key components, under each competence area. While doing this, it is important to note:

o   The language used in each tier. For instance, someone working at tier 1 or 2 may be able to identify or understand a particular topic, while someone working at tier 4 may be leading, developing, or advising on a topic

o   The tiers are indicators not requirements, to be working at tier 4 you do not have to also be completing all of the key components at the lower tiers



Step 2 – Self-scoring your competence

Before you start writing your case studies you should give yourself a self-assessment score against each of the competence areas.

·         To do this, identify what tier you are working at for each of the key components under a particular competence area in the Profession Map

·         Your overall self-assessment score for a competence area should reflect your general level across the key components of a competence area. If you’re unsure, you may wish to take an average of all your key component scores for a particular competence area.

Now you have completed the self-scoring step, consider the following:

·         Have you scored 3 or 4 in one of Governance, Assurance, or Improvement?

·         Have you scored a minimum of 3 in Leadership and Context?

·         Have you scored an overall total score across the five competence areas of 13 or higher?

If the answer to any one of these questions is no, then you are unlikely to be awarded the grade of Chartered Member at this time. You should consider the section/s of the Profession Map where you have not met the requirements, and what additional activities and development you can undertake to boost your knowledge, skills, and experience in this area.


Step 3 – Planning what to write

You are required to write two case studies per competence area that demonstrate your competence at the tier you have self-scored yourself at.

·         For each competence area, refer back to the definition, key component, and summary competences in the Profession Map

·         Consider real examples from your work experience which relate to the competence components at the tier you have scored yourself

·         Note these down to expand on when you come to write your case studies

·         Where possible, it is advisable to choose two case study examples that cover different key components so that you can demonstrate you have broad-ranging knowledge and skills for each competence area. However, it should be noted that we do not require you to cover all of the key components from a competence area in your case studies to meet the requirements.

To support you with this process you may benefit from:

·         Discussing your work history with your colleagues, line manager, or people within your quality network

·         Creating a matrix of key components and your examples to see where your examples are relevant across multiple areas and which examples might best suit which competence area

·         Discussing your application with your Sponsor prior to final submission


Step 4 – Writing your case studies

When you come to write your first case study you may benefit from writing about an example you feel confident in or area of the Profession Map you have most experience in. This will enable you to become comfortable with your approach to writing case studies before you write about other areas in which you may have less experience or feel less comfortable.

We encourage all applicants to use the following writing structure when writing their case studies:

  • Situation - Provide the operational context for your case study.
  • Objective - What did you have to achieve? What were your key deliverables?
  • Action - What methodologies, tools and techniques did you employ, and why did you use those rather than alternatives?
  • Results - What was the outcome to your actions?
  • Aftermath/Reflection - What did you learn from this experience and how have you used this learning since?


Using this structure should provide your case study with a clear logical narrative and cover all the key information needed by the Technical Assessor. You may even wish to add the headings into your case study to offer an additional level of clarity.

Each case study has a limit of 500 words. We strongly recommend that you attempt to write between 300 – 500 words per case study. Anything less than this is unlikely to provide the Technical Assessor with sufficient detail to assess your level of competence.

Your case studies should be written in the first person with extensive use of “I” rather than “we” so that the Technical Assessor can clearly determine your level of ownership and responsibility in the activities you are describing.

Once you have written your case studies, re-read them and make sure:

·         They are consistent with the score/tier you have selected

·         To sense check the language you are using in your case study against the language used for the relevant tier in the Profession Map. For instance, if you were writing a case study on managing change for the Improvement competence and had scored yourself at tier 4 you should be using words that demonstrate you lead, develop, or advise which reflects the behaviours outlined in tier 4.

Step 5 – Adding evidence and referee statements

Each case study must be supported with evidence; this may be in the form of (A) documentary evidence such as a project report or (B) a referee statement from someone with first-hand knowledge of your case study (colleague, manager, customer etc.).

(A)  Documentary evidence

Please ensure that any documentary evidence uploaded is referenced/sign posted by file name in your case study so that it is clear which section of your case study relates to each piece of evidence.

If your evidence is part of a larger document, please only upload the portion relevant to you and the work you are describing in your case study.

Documents may be redacted to ensure the privacy of individuals and organisations. Should redacted documents remove relevant intelligence and context, consider submission of alternative evidence.

Documentary evidence ownership

The document should either mention you by name or be clearly marked as authored by you. If your evidence does not include any form of ownership, please also provide a referee who can testify to your ownership of the work.

(B) Referee statement

If you are unable to provide documentary evidence to support your case study, you may choose to use a referee statement instead. Referees must have first-hand knowledge of the work described in your case study.

To include a referee statement, please enter your referee’s work email address in the ‘Referee email address’ field and their statement supporting your case study in the ‘Referee statement’ field under the relevant competence area.

Before inputting your referee's personal data, you must obtain their consent to share their information with us. The CQI may choose to contact your referee to verify your case study.

Sharing your case study with a referee

To share your case study with a referee, return to the Competence Overview page. From this page, you can download a case study by clicking the ‘print row’ link in the right-hand column of the Competence Assessment table.

Key information required in a referee statement

Your referee should:

  • Confirm their name and position/role in relation to the work described in your case study
  • Confirm your position/role in relation to the work described
  • Specifically refer to the work in your case study and confirm if it is a true reflection of events


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