|On February 20th and 21st, eighteen international Management Consultants were hosted in Milan by Roberto Ravaglia, on behalf of UNI (the Italian body for Unification), at the presence of Anna Caterina Rossi, as a representative
of ISO (International Standard Organization).
The purpose of the meeting was to start the process of developing standards and guidance in the field of Management Consultancy at world level, under the ISO umbrella.
This process, that should last 36 months, has taken the European Norms EN 16114 (approved in 2011) as a starting ground.
The ballot for the proposal for an ISO standard on management consultancy was closed on 23 April 2013. Of the 31 replies, 16 member bodies that approved the proposal, 12 indicated their intention to participate actively in the work. According to the ISO/IEC Directives, acceptance of such a proposal requires approval by a simple majority of the member bodies voting and a minimum of five member bodies willing to participate actively in the work. The proposal has therefore been accepted.
It is good to know that ISO counts 165 Countries as Members (117 of which have full membership). Currently ISO has 229 active Technical Committees, and during its life has produced 19.770 standards, in all fields.
In Milan there were seven Countries represented (Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Italy, UK, and USA), plus two external organizations (FEACO and ICMCI), that were proposed to ISO for acting as A category liaisons.
The intense works, wisely lead by Robert Bodenstein (Austria), resulted in the creation of the following six Working Groups:
- Country specific issues (this WG will be lead by Jeremy Webster, UK)
- Guiding principles in EN 16114:2011 (this WG will be lead by Jeremy Webster, UK)
- Missing issues to be considered in an improvement process (this WG will be lead by Thomas de Bellaigue, France)
- Other standards and works to be considered (this WG will be lead by Claudio Barella, Italy)
- Similar professions to be considered (this will be WG lead by Claudia Melchert Strohmaier, Austria)
- Stakeholder approach (this WG will be lead by Louis Loizou, Cyprus).
The main issue that these six Working Groups have to face is becoming really worldwide, both in their approach and in their outcomes. While wishing all the best to these colleagues who generously volunteered to help our profession to improve and become more appreciated all over the world, we should similarly ask all our colleagues around the globe to become proactive and participate to the challenging task of developing standards and guidance in the field of management consultancy.
Next meetings are to be scheduled outside Europe in the near future.
Franco Guazzoni, CMC