How chartered status can give consultants a competitive edge

16 May 2024 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
More news on

Breaking into the top tier of consulting is a constant battle – but having formal accreditation for key skills can be a crucial aid in that fight. According to Bev Evans, deputy CEO of CF, the Chartered Management Consultant award has presented the firm with a “strategic edge” as it bids to win work typically dominated by larger firms.

At CF (formerly Carnall Farrar), a young and dynamic consulting firm, we relentlessly pursue the highest level of consulting excellence. We go head-to-head with established strategy houses, the Big Four and other major management consultancies, and possess the talent, drive, and proven track record to deliver exceptional results for our clients, but sometimes wonder if there's more, we can do to boost our market position.

The answer? The Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) accreditation. It isn’t just a credential; it's a strategic move that has given us a competitive edge. Here's why.

How chartered status can give consultants a competitive edge

Why ChMC matters

Imagine walking into a client meeting with the same level of validation as those established houses. With ChMC accreditation, that's exactly what we achieved. It has been a significant step forward for CF as it allows us to demonstrate our commitment to the highest ethical standards and proven best practices on par with more established firms.

All our partners, myself included, are ChMC-accredited – the first entire eligible partner team to achieve this distinction. This positions CF as a serious player in the consultancy arena, fostering trust and confidence with our clients.

The impact went beyond client perception. ChMC resonated deeply with me as a qualified accountant and Fellow of CIPFA. It's that same sense of professional validation – recognition of the time, effort, and expertise we bring to the table.

This pursuit of excellence extends far beyond individual credentials. We knew our training programs had to reflect the same commitment. By securing ChMC accreditation for our training, we ensured our consultants weren't just well-versed; they were equipped with the latest best practices and a deep understanding of ethical considerations. The results speak for themselves: our clients consistently praise the calibre of our teams and the impact they deliver.

How ChMC shapes decisions

The ChMC framework isn't just a checklist; it's a guiding light for my leadership style. It's about fostering a culture of ethical conduct and prioritising best practices in everything we do. This commitment to ChMC principles also extends to decision-making at the leadership level.

Take our recent project with a healthcare client, for example. Their community service delivery needed a complete overhaul. By applying ChMC principles, we ensured a robust evidence base approach, making sure everything we recommended was grounded in solid data. The outcome? A successful implementation program that's making a real difference.

What does ChMC mean for our clients? Peace of mind. They know they're getting consultants who are not only highly skilled but also committed to ethical behaviour and delivering the best possible outcomes. Consistency is another key benefit. No matter which CF consultant they work with, they can expect the same high standards. But most importantly, ChMC fosters a collaborative spirit. We don't just work for our clients; we work with them, building long-term partnerships that deliver tangible results.

Don't hesitate

If you're a leader on the fence about ChMC accreditation for your firm, I wholeheartedly encourage you to move forward with it. The benefits are undeniable. It signifies a commitment to quality, ethics, and professionalism – all qualities that are increasingly prized by clients.

With frameworks like MCF4 on the horizon, ChMC accreditation is poised to become an even bigger differentiator. The program itself is accessible, with entry points for consultants at various stages of their careers.

ChMC has been more than just an accreditation for CF; it's been a transformation. It has empowered us to shed any sense of doubt in our abilities, transforming us into acknowledged industry leaders with confidence.

The rapid rise in ChMC adoption across the industry is a testament to its growing value. It's not just about individual firms; it's about elevating the entire consulting profession.

The path to ChMC accreditation is clear, and the rewards are undeniable. I would encourage you to seize this opportunity and watch your firm ascend to new heights.