About the ISO 20700 standard & the CMC professional designation

Developed in 2017 by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in collaboration with the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI), the aim of the ISO 20700:2017 standard is to:

“improve transparency and understanding between clients and management consultancy service providers in order to achieve better results from consultancy projects”.

The focus on clients was with the purpose of providing a tool to assist in identifying and selecting professional providers that demonstrate good professional practices. It also is a means of evaluating the services received. This provides clients of management consultancy services with the assurance of professional behavior, and enhances trust that is based on a systematic scheme for consulting.

Specifically, this modern standard meets the requirements of both clients and the consulting industry by:

  • re-enforcing good consulting practices and ethical behavior among practitioners;
  • focusing on outcomes by defining state-of-the-art successful assignments; and,
  • accommodating the different cultures, size of projects, and approaches to consulting.

Note that management consulting firms are NOT certified; instead, individual consultants are trained in how to provide ISO 20700-compliant consulting projects. Once trained, management consultants are permitted to self-declare a project as “ISO 20700-compliant” and stamp their report with a restricted-use logo.

This elevated level of training is only available to holders of the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation, the management consulting industry’s premiere professional credential.

We realize that the relationships between these entities is as clear as mud! Allow us to explain.

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI)

ICMCI, also known as CMC-Global, is the global professional body for management consultancy, and is committed to the certification of management consultants in the country of their operation.

Registered in Switzerland, its main council consists of trustees appointed by its members, who are national Certifying Institutes. Individual consultants are not members of the ICMCI, with a few exceptions such as academic fellows.

CMC-Global’s Executive Committee oversees various other committees and work groups, including the Membership Committee (responsible for overseeing the admittance of new members and the continuing adherence to the membership requirements of the existing members), the Professional Standards Committee (which covers all professional matters including standards), and the Quality Assurance Committee (responsible for checking that members award the Certified Management Consultant to the agreed standards).

For more information about ICMCI / CMC-Global, please see www.cmc-global.com

The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation

Professional buyers of management consultancy worldwide indicate that the key requirements of a management consultancy are:

  1. Knowledge of management, the function, the sector, the general economy, the processes and the business professions;
  2. Skills, both analytic and inter-personal;
  3. Competence, meaning the ability to manage the assignment in close communication with the client; and,
  4. Trust (keeping organizational secrets, maintaining confidentiality) and integrity.

Consultants holding an MBA, or other Masters in Management degrees, provide evidence of underpinning knowledge and analytic skills, but may or may not have completed a course in consultancy and/or a short period of relevant work experience.

CMC-Global understood the gap between clients’ requirements and recent MBA graduates’ skills and experience, and subsequently developed the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) qualification.

The CMC designation is awarded by a competence-based assessment of an applicant’s qualifications against a defined CMC-Global Standard Competence Framework. Additional requirements include at least three years of successful practice, and an examination of client consulting engagements. All holders of the CMC qualification are required to be a member in good standing of their national Certifying Institute, and must commit to a code of professional conduct.

The Certified Management Consultant is currently mutually-recognized in over 40 countries, and was the first worldwide single business professional qualification.

About CMC-Canada

In Canada, Certifying Institutes are provincial since management consultants are governed in the same manner as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other self-regulated legislated professions. For example, in the Province of Ontario, the Certifying Institute is CMC-Ontario. Legally, CMCs are members of their provincial Certifying Institute, although from an administrative viewpoint they are often treated as members of CMC-Canada. This distinction is immaterial for most purposes.

The provincial Certifying Institutes jointly fund and operate the Canadian Association of Management Consultants, also known as CMC-Canada, to i) act as the country’s national member of the ICMCI, and ii) provide a national voice for the industry.

For more information about the CMC designation and CMC-Canada, please see www.cmc-canada.ca

About Market Metrics

Market Metrics Inc. helps knowledge-based businesses with strategy, planning and innovation. We offer our clients a unique combination of top-drawer professional skills, competitive pricing, and real-world industry experience in business planning, marketing, and technology.

The consultancy was founded in 2003 by Greg Graham, a seasoned marketing professional. Greg is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Management Consultants (FCMC), an Accredited Small Business Consultant (ASMEC) in the United States, and holds MBA/BEE degrees plus a Certificate in Strategic Management.

Prior to founding Market Metrics, Greg's 21 years of corporate experience encompassed tech start-ups through Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in subscription-based business models (including SaaS). Greg frequently performs consulting engagements on behalf of the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).