Management Consulting in New Zealand – It is a matter of certification, ethics and trust
By: Gordon Shaw
The Institute of Management Consultants Institute in New Zealand (IMCNZ) has recently undertaken a survey of to 187 state sector Chief Executives including Ministries, Departments, Commissions, Crown Entities, SOEs and Tertiary Education Institutes.
The purpose of the survey was to identify the thinking behind why CEO’s hire management consultants.
IMCNZ, President Mr Gordon Shaw states, “The results of the survey have given the institute an insight into what is important to clients who hire management consultants”.
“The results confirm our thinking that clients are looking for competent, certified management consultants who they can trust”
“The CMC (Certified Management Consultant) certification process gives a level of assurance to clients that certified consultants abide by a code of ethics and are required to undertake professional development to retain the CMC certification”.
The training and certification of management consultants has been a focus of the ICMCI and the ICMCI web site sates, the Certified Management Consultant qualification is only awarded by those Full Members of ICMCI.
The qualification rigorously assesses candidates meet the ICMCI standard in respect of:
- Knowledge: Of business, organisation, functional specialism, market sector and national economy and culture
- Skills: interpersonal, process and analytical (including practicality and a sense of proportion)
- Competence: demonstration in client assignments of competence in operating a complete consulting process and appropriate behaviour
- Trustworthiness: adherence to a defined code of conduct and professional ethics and an understanding of the implications
As a competence based qualification, all holders are required to maintain their competence through a programme of continuing professional development or education activities: these activities are judged by their impact on the holder's competence, not by the hours they take to complete.
Mr Shaw states, “Having access to an internationally recognised consulting certification for New Zealand based consultants provides our members’ clients with a high level of assurance to the competency of the consultant they are engaging”.
The key results from the survey include:
- Exactly half of respondents would prefer a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) in choosing a consultant if all other criteria were met, 45% were neutral and 5% disagreed.
- 46% of respondents would prefer a IMCNZ member in choosing a consultant if all other criteria were met, 49% were neutral and 5% disagreed.
- 73% of respondents felt membership of a NZ Institute was most important, 15% said membership of an Australasian Institute was most important and 12% favoured an International Institute.
Respondents ranked the benefits of using a Consultant who is a CMC and member of IMCNZ in the following order:
- Validation of knowledge and experience
- Compliance with IMCNZ Code of Ethics
- IMCNZ ongoing professional development requirements
The services for which respondents would be likely to hire a consultant are ranked below in order of the percentage of respondents who chose each service from most popular to least popular:
- Business Process Improvement 74%
- Programme and Project Management 59%
- Effectiveness and value for money analysis 50%
- Business Change 41%
- Organisational Design 38%
- Efficiency and expenditure control 38%
- Business strategy and planning 35%
- Organisational Development/culture 32%
- Procurement - IT 27%
- Governance 24%
- Procurement - Other 24%
- Environmental consulting 15%
The survey was undertaken with the assistance of Hague Consulting in Wellington. Mr Phil Guerin, Director of Hague Consulting states “Consultants advise on major decisions and deal with sensitive issues. The survey shows that Chief Executives are rightly cautious about the qualifications and experience of management consultants and value adherence to a professional code of ethics.”