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European Standard “Management Consultancy Services”

European Standard “Management Consultancy Services” 
By: Ilse Ennsfellner

1. Achievements and next steps
The standard „Management Consultancy Services“ covers good practice for a Management Consultancy Services Povider (MCSP). It is based on a series of guiding principles for the effective, efficient and acceptable provision of management consultancy services and aims at providing recommendations for offering, execution and closure of management consultancy assignments. The rationale for the standard under preparation is to share European best practices in management consultancy.

The preparation of this service standard for management consultancy evolved during the last months. The Project Committee PC 381 met in September 2009 in Cambridge, UK, to prepare the draft CEN service standard “Management Consultancy Services for submission to Public Enquiry. After this meeting we faced the challenge to improve the standard from an editing point of view. With the support of a small task force and the Italian Standards Institute UNI we were able to finalize the draft standard, which has been sent to CEN in February 2010 and is now published for public comments within a six months period. The next meeting to evaluate the comments of the draft standard is planned for the second half of 2010.

The publication of the standard is expected in 2011. The agreed standard “Management Consultancy Services” is then mandatory for all CEN member countries and must supersede any existing national standards. 

2. Benefits for ICMCI
Having a service standard for management consultancy services is considered to be a tremendous advancement for the role of the professional bodies as well as for ICMCI, and a positive contribution to the success of the management consultancy profession and all those who practise in it. There will be difficulties and obstacles ahead. But the major benefits for ICMCI are as follows:

  • The standard “Management Consultancy Services” helps ICMCI to get awareness and recognition in the European Union.
  • The development of this standard has a positive impact on the relationship to other organizations and institutions, e.g. FEACO, EBRD, ILO, etc.
  • ICMCI initiated the development of the standard and is playing a major role, especially by providing expertise on best practices in management consultancy, and can therefore ensure a minimum standard of management consultancy services European wide.
  • ICMCI has taken the responsibility to prepare a marketing plan and to support the roll-out and implementation of the new European service standard.
  • Finally this standard also aims at reducing the risks associated with management consultancy assignments.

3. Contributions from IMCs
In order to gain from these benefits, contributions from all European IMCs are needed. The draft standard has been sent to all European Standards Institutes. Please send your comments to your National Standards Institute within the next months. The national Standards Institute will then forward the comments to the Project Committee PC 381, which will meet in the last quarter of 2010 to discuss and agree upon the comments.

When reading the draft please take into consideration that this standard sets out what is common and feasible for all European countries in respect to management consultancy.

Thank you for your support and contribution. I am looking forward to a successful and fruitful project outcome.

March 2010

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