Paul Sypko, Consultant/ Member of Partnership
I obtained my CMC qualification in 2005. The assessment process was surprisingly rigorous and thorough - anybody considering applying should be reassured by this, as it is the IC 's high standards for the CMC that make it worth having.
Increasingly, both clients and employers are starting to recognise the CMC as a mark of a professional consultant. One of the challenges we face in this sector is that it is possible for anybody to market their services as a 'consultant' even though they may lack many of the core consulting competencies. The CMC provides you with a mark of excellence and shows that you are both able and committed to performing against a set of high consulting standards. It helps you stand out from the crowd - it demonstrates that you have been through a rigorous assessment process, and that you are acknowledged by the IC as being a confident and competent consultant.
Even if you do not feel the need to obtain accreditation, I would still recommend applying for the CMC . The peer review element is priceless: having your fundamental assumptions challenged by a panel of highly experienced consultants really makes you stop and think about what you're doing day-to-day, and gives you a level of feedback and understanding about what it means to be a competent consultant that you would be hard pressed to get from anywhere else.
Jacqui Lees, Consultant - Atkins Management Consultants
Having worked at Atkins as a 'placement student' as part of my degree, many of my colleagues had made me aware of the CMC Award and the benefits it could bring. Having thoroughly enjoyed working in the world of management consultancy I rejoined Atkins after completing my degree with the motivation to work towards my CMC as a structured way of becoming 'recognised' as a consultant.
As an accredited practice, people within my organisation were able to give my guidance on how I could work towards the award. Using the competency framework I was able to understand the different competencies required as a consultant. With this in mind I started examining every area of my work to identify the opportunities where I could learn. At my annual appraisal I was able to identify training and development objectives that would help me obtain the different competencies (i.e. scoping work).
Since gaining my CMC status in 2007 I have been respected more as a consultant, both by my colleagues and clients. For my organisation this has meant that I have become more sellable. On a personal level the CMC has allowed me to:
- Gain a new qualification (which looks good on my CV)
- Take on more responsibility directly resulting in progression and promotion
- Become a more rounded consultant
- Be recognised as a consultant that invests in themselves for the good of the client
- Be involved in a variety of projects at a more senior level
- Promote the CMC award to other younger consultants
In addition to the above I have also recognised the importance of continual professional development. This has allowed me to really reflect not only on my own behaviour regularly but also help the graduates I manage to learn realise their potential.
Matthew Bonfante Horrox, Senior Consultant - Atkins Management Consultants
I joined Atkins as a graduate consultant in 2000 at the age of 22. As a young management consultant it's sometimes tricky to convince prospective clients and colleagues that you have experience and skills to make a difference on a consulting project. Just working towards the CMC changed that for me. Not over-night, but steadily and over a relatively short space of time.
The range of competences and criteria required for CMC accreditation are well articulated by the IC . I used these criteria as aides to assist in my personal development and training over four years. From the start I was careful to document evidence (of training, project experience, learning points, lessons etc) as I went and was able to use this body of evidence at my regular performance appraisals to get approval for training where weaknesses were evident.
I was also able to gain promotion much more easily than some of my peers because I was able to present "hard" evidence in support of my assertions that I was exceeding the required competences for my grade, and that I possessed the necessary skills to take on more responsibility.
Working toward the CMC gave me confidence and provided my superiors and clients the assurance they sought to allow me to take on more challenging tasks.
Since gaining accreditation from the then Institute of Management Consultants in 2004, I'm sure that it's been a real asset on my résumé . The CMC has clearly demonstrated my commitment to continuous development (in support of the other qualifications that I've gained over the years). It has helped to ensure that I am always in demand from clients and peers to work on their projects. And while it may be difficult to give all the credit for this to the CMC "kite mark", it has certainly played a pivotal role in my career progression thus far.