Quality Manager

As a Quality Manager in the Whisky Industry, your primary role is to oversee the systems and processes across all aspects of the distillation process, including cask management, manufacturing operations, bottling, packaging, and logistics, to ensure the delivery of consistently high-quality whisky products that achieve the flavour and characteristics each brand is famous for.

This is an extremely varied role, liaising with colleagues across all departments to ensure operational ISO9001 quality management systems and standards are maintained at all levels including raw materials quality, cask selection, distillation, bottling and distribution. You will be responsible for developing quality control systems, improving efficiency, and reducing waste. You will also play a key role in maintaining health and safety standards by assessing the various production line components and materials.

Role Description

As a Quality Manager you will work with colleagues across all areas of the distillery and need to build strong relationships to ensure staff members and departments are working in ways that maintain quality.  Key responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing and ensuring the delivery all aspects of quality from raw materials to finished product. Including supplier and raw materials quality, plant and production quality & finished product quality to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Enforcing food quality standards in the distillery from the receipt of raw materials through to the packaging of the final product.
  • Ensures compliance with all relevant legislation, policies and procedures by developing and continuously improving auditing systems and procedures.
  • Manage & improve site quality management systems, including certification to ISO 9001 & FSSC 22000. Food Safety & HACCP. Including monitoring packaging quality performance and use data to determine continuous improvement priorities.
  • Working closely with production teams to develop & deliver CI plans reducing defects and waste.
  • Oversee the management of non-conforming raw materials and packaging materials. Liaise with suppliers to resolve material quality problems, identify continuous improvement opportunities and monitor delivery of supplier CI plans.
  • Ensuring compliance with EHS, Food/Feed Integrity and GMP and VPO standards. This will involve maintaining and producing a number of KPI reports to ensure manufacturing processes and source materials comply with food safety regulations and to identify areas where non-compliance needs further investigation.
  • Manage all laboratory and on-line testing equipment & facilities. Organise and perform regular quality assurance tests and to help distillery colleagues choose raw materials and suppliers.
  • Manage the quality assessment training and individual performance appraisals to ensure thy have the skills needed to create high quality products. Coach process & production teams in the effective application of quality management techniques.
  • Ensure continuous improvement is embedded within the distillery and that quality guidelines are regularly updated for company wide use. Ensure use of data is established to drive the next improvement ready for presentation to colleagues.
    • Manage QA department budgets.
    • Investigate and resolve product quality complaints with production and logistics teams. Oversee the complaints management process. Analyse complaint data to determine continuous improvement opportunities. Facilitate customer site visits.
  • Act internally as the voice of the customer to ensure that customer quality requirements and specifications are being met.
  • Support the sensory trials of products to determine the quality of the final product.

Skills and experience

A Quality Manager should have a strong background in the Whisky sector and a scientific degree in Microbiology, Chemistry or a related field.  Including:

  • Minimum of three years’ experience in a Quality Management role or equivalent in the food and drinks industry.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of all Food Safety and Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 22000 or BRC standards).
  • Demonstrated experience in effective leadership, with ability to coach, develop and engage individuals and teams.
  • Experience in controlling distillation processes and assessing alcohol quality. Comprehensive knowledge of maturation, blending and bottling processes.
  • Knowledge of food production and manufacturing principles.
  • Hands-on, people-person, able to converse and inspire at all levels, with ability to build strong relationships cross functionally.
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • High level s of computer skills and experience with quality assurance software packages
  • Strong attention to detail and drive to achieve continuous improvement.
  • Highly organised and able to design systematic approaches for quality improvement.
  • Able to work to demanding deadlines and to prioritise workload.
  • An excellent team player.
Did you know?

There are actually FIVE different styles of Scotch whisky (Blended/ Blended Malt / Single Malt / Single Grain and Blended Grain). Currently, Blended whisky still dominates the landscape, accounting for 85% of global sales with Single Malt making up the majority of the rest.


Institute of Brewing and Distilling
Tel: 020 7499 8144
Website: http://www.ibd.org.uk
Twitter: @IBDHQ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IBDHQ

National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
Tel: 0330 174 1253
E-mail: info@nsafd.co.uk
Website: http://nsafd.co.uk
Twitter: @NSAFD

Scotland Food and Drink
Tel: 0131 335 0940
Website: http://www.foodanddrink.scot
Twitter: @scotfooddrink
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scotfooddrink

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The Scotch Whisky Association

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