Quality Assurance Committee: For an evolving CMC-Global
QAC is an evolving arm of the Governance of ICMCI, leading to a worldwide elevation of our Profession and the CMC designation. The standards, by which the CMC mark of excellence is granted to Consultants worldwide by member institutes, have not changed fundamentally over time. However, our own internal processes and assessments have been continuously refined towards the much more sophisticated, well-documented system that we currently operate. This allows QAC Committee members and Assessors to work “with” members to ensure that the ICMCI global standards of excellence and the principle of equivalence are developed over time.
This article aims to clarify our approach to QAC Assessments, and to remind ICMCI members of several current issues as well as planned future developments. It also sets out how we handle the assessment process.
The primary ambition of the QAC is to assure compliance of each full member’s CMC Standard with ICMCI’s current CMC Standard - as described in the ICMCI CMC Certification Scheme Manual.
The adherence to the CMC Standard is a requirement for full membership of ICMCI, re: equivalence principle leading to reciprocity, namely the recognition by all member institutes of the CMC certification awarded by any other full member. The QA system is a key element in assuring the credibility and validity of CMC as a portable and internationally recognised certification. The QAC assessments also allows us to record and share best practices with members, as appropriate.
Management Consulting is, in general, a non-regulated Profession, something that provides us with the challenging opportunity, through our assessments, to facilitate the development of the strengths of local IMCs to develop their markets.
The Equivalence Principle
ICMCI’s policy is that the ICMCI CMC Standard be at a relatively high level, leaving a significant degree of freedom to member countries in the detailed specification of their own national CMC standards. This is largely in recognition of the valid differences in background, history, and culture across the wide range of member countries. It also has the benefits of:
- Longer term validity of the Standard in a changing world, and
- Allowing room for national innovation in good practices (from which ICMCI benefits).
“Equivalence” is a key concept used for assessing compliance with the ICMCI CMC Standard. ICMCI respects the historical, cultural and legal diversity of its members; consequently, it fully accepts diversity (within certain defined limits) in national CMC standards and procedures in reflection of these valid differences. ICMCI requires the Institute to demonstrate, against each of the ICMCI Standard requirements, how its standard assures the presence of at least the equivalent of that requirement in candidates (e.g., an equivalent competence at an equivalent level). The benchmark of ICMCI is our Common Body of Knowledge Statement.
The equivalence principle emphasises the outcome, or actual effect, of a standard, rather than rigid and detailed compliance to a specific set of means to achieve it.
Securing the sustainability of IMCs
In support to the above we require IMCs to demonstrate their capacity to run a reputable and sustainable organisation to lead the Management Consulting Profession in their Market. This requires, commitment and diligent planning and execution of activities. This is now part and parcel of our template for the Basic Institute Facts.
Being ready for the QAC Assessment
We understand that with more than fifty member organisations involved in ICMCI, it is inevitable that many go through internal changes. This includes changes in the market situation, of key personnel, board members, attractiveness for new members, relations with government, etc. This means that, at times, members may feel they are unable to meet QAC requirements in a timely manner. We urge you to make sure that your contact details are always up to date and file in time your annual returns to secretariat, so that we can keep in touch with you all the time.
Our web site: www.cmc-global.org has all the information you need to make sure that you are always ready. We urge you to use it from time to time, all IMCs have been sent usernames and passwords – if for any reason your account is blocked, or you have displaced your credentials kindly contact the secretariat, and please remember to pass the credentials down to new Board Members. Also make sure your contact details, as they appear on the web site are always up to date.
If you have any issues whatsoever regarding your readiness for assessment, the best approach is to discuss these with QAC well in advance. We are here to support you. This will also enable us to arrange the logistics of both new and repeat assessments. It is useful to remember that the QAC approach aims for the common good and strength of the ICMCI in promoting the global standards of the profession of Management Consulting.
At the QAC we are committed to achieving the best outcomes for ICMCI members and the profession of Management Consulting. This involves remaining ever watchful of new developments around the world, including the development and application of formal Standards such as ISO 20700 which are now an integral part of our QAC assessment.
In summary, the QAC approach is a positive one – aimed at ensuring that members collectively and individually add strength to the profession of Management Consulting through adherence to a set of professional standards that are reasonable and necessary. We aim to work “with” members and to assist, rather than to pass onerous judgement on members. We expect to hear your views for making ICMCI stronger.
We like to stay in touch and make sure that our role is strengthened in as far as achieving our designated role and objectives. We have recently adopted an online survey which IMCs are requested to fill upon completion of their assessment. The results have helped us improve. We aim to be your source of support within our Professional Management Consulting family. Your opinion counts. Please contact us for comments and suggestions at:
Louis M. Loizou, CMC
QAC Chair, ICMCI