Professional problems for consultancy

The relaunch and rebadging of the Institute of Management Consultancy has
already led to some friction with trade body
Management Consultancies
over who sets professional standards.

The IMC, through a series of mergers including its latest deal with the
Institute of Business Advisers, is now known as the Institute of Business

The IBC’s new chairman is KPMG consulting boss Alan Downey, who intends to
grow the institute’s 7,000 membership base by raising its profile. He admits
numbers have dropped through lapsed membership. The body focuses more on
individual consultants and their qualifications compared to the MCA, which
represents firms.

But his first discussions with the his opposite number Peter Hill left Downey
with the impression that the MCA wants to be both trade body and
standard-setter, with the IBC uninterested in being a trade body competitor.

‘Peter believes the MCA can be trade and professional institute ­ including
standards,’ said Downey. ‘That [model] does exist elsewhere but we see it as
helpful as drawing a distinction between the two bodies.’

The Institute of Management
was initially a spin-off from the MCA in 1961.

The move to raise the IBC’s profile, plus talks between the MCA and the Big
Four over how the body represents them, comes against a backdrop of a growing
market in terms of revenue and competition.

Figuring out who will represent, and regulate, this emerging field, looks
like being an absorbing contest.

Related reading