How chartered status can be a 'unifying voice' for UK consulting

07 March 2024 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Since the launch of the Chartered Management Consultant award, many of the industry’s leading firms have signed up to help their professionals through the process. Strategy& and PwC Partner Colin Light explains the significance of the ChMC accreditation, as the UK consulting sector looks to enhance its reputation among its global client base.

The consulting industry stands at a crossroads. Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence are poised to reshape the landscape, demanding a new breed of consultant equipped to navigate this evolving environment. In this context, the Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) accreditation emerges as a critical stepping stone, not just for individual consultants, but for the industry as a whole.

My own journey exemplifies the value of ChMC. Throughout my diverse career at PwC, I've witnessed firsthand the power of diverse experiences and teams in crafting insightful solutions, regardless of the specific area of consulting. ChMC embodies this very principle, emphasising values that define a high-quality consultant. For clients seeking a long-term partnership, choosing a ChMC accredited consultant signifies a commitment to ethical principles.

How chartered status can be a 'unifying voice' for UK consulting

Traditionally a career choice with no formal recognition, ChMC now establishes, from the outset, that consulting can be a fulfilling and sustainable career choice with a clear path. This aligns with individual life choices and demonstrates the viability of consulting as a distinct profession.

For consulting firms, ChMC accreditation serves as a benchmark of quality and trust, signifying a commitment to providing highly trained professionals who adhere to a rigorous ethical code. This fosters trust and strengthens client relationships, ultimately benefiting the firm's long-term success.

As we move forward, it's interesting how ChMC will change and be viewed differently in a Gen AI world that clearly is going to drive disruption into our industry. And I think ChMC has an incredibly important role to play, not just for management consultants, but actually within the wider professional services industry around having a shared common voice. This includes how Gen AI should be used and how it benefits both clients and consultants.

More than box-ticking

This can become a unifying voice, guiding the ethical and responsible use of AI within the consulting profession, ensuring it benefits both clients and consultants. This aligns perfectly with my own values and those of PwC. ChMC is not just about ticking boxes; it's about embodying the core principles of good consulting practice. While individual approaches may vary across consultancies, this shared foundation of ethical behaviour is crucial.

Wider industry recognition of ChMC, however, remains a challenge despite the momentum within the Management Consultancies Association (MCA). It's crucial for all consultancies to embrace ChMC, not just for individual branding, but to represent the industry with a unified voice, particularly during disruptive times.

To my fellow leaders in the consulting industry, I urge you to embrace ChMC for two key reasons. Firstly, AI disruption necessitates demonstrating the value and longevity of consulting careers to attract future generations. Secondly, in these turbulent times, businesses need a unified voice to articulate their contribution to society and the economy. ChMC provides that platform. Why wouldn't we leverage it to showcase the positive impact our industry makes?

The ChMC accreditation is not an endpoint; it's a springboard. It sets a minimum standard for excellence, paving the way for further development and recognition within the consulting profession, both nationally and internationally. I believe ChMC has the potential to significantly shape the future of our industry, ensuring it remains a trusted advisor and valuable contributor to the global economy and society.