IMCNZ Press Release – Quality over Quantity

Consulting Institute backs quality over quantity for public spending on management consultants

Media Release – 19 April 2024

IMC New Zealand says quality not quantity matters with public spending on consultants. 

“Government and the media should focus on the quality of the advice, the independence and ethics of the consultants and the value added.” said spokesperson Phil Guerin.

“The New Zealand public sector provides world class policy advice delivered by skilled and highly capable people  Consultants can complement that with technical or commercial expertise to inform decisions and help implement them. The key is to add capability, not to take over”.

Consultants can only add value if they have the knowledge, experience and skills to do so. Hon Judith Collins, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, will launch the Institute’s new Consulting Competence Framework on Thursday 2 May 2024.  The framework helps ensure that consultants have the capability to deliver technical, commercial and sustainable value to clients and to do so ethically and professionally.

“Despite the All of Government Consulting panel existing for many years, it does not require information on the competence, certification or performance of consultants on the panel or on their adherence to a Code of Conduct or an independent complaints procedure.  IMCNZ has recommended such changes.”

“Professional standards matter.  If someone provides services that they are not qualified to provide, charges for work they didn’t do, misleads a client or fails to declare a conflict of interest then a client can use the IMC complaints process if that consultant is an IMC member.”

“Both the public sector and the private sector need people who can deliver complex pieces of work; and that work needs to directly add to the capability of the organisation.  That is where consulting has a place; offering advice and insights that are not available and probably wouldn’t ordinarily be available internally.  Clients, including Government agencies, need to take leadership of the work they outsource and be precise about what they need, to engage external skills when they need them.”

“Defaulting to a big firm because they have a recognisable brand is common and it may be the right call.  However, choosing to engage a consultant should be about the skills, experience, and capability of the people.  Sometimes a smaller firm or even a sole practitioner may be the best source of advice and expertise, in many cases they can deliver high-quality outcomes for substantially lower cost than larger alternatives.”

Our advice to anyone hiring consultants is to ensure they are qualified to provide advice and that they belong to a professional association with a Code of Conduct and a formal complaints procedure. That may be IMC or another professional institute or it may be both. 

About IMC New Zealand

Established in 1970, the Institute of Management Consultants New Zealand (IMC) is dedicated to advancing excellence and ethics in management consulting. Through certification, education, and professional resources, IMC promotes industry standards.

IMC offers the globally recognized Certified Management Consultant (CMC) accreditation, demonstrating adherence to international benchmarks in competence, education, experience, and ethical behaviour.

As a member of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) since 1970 and affiliated with Transparency International New Zealand since 2020, IMC collaborates globally and upholds transparency standards.

IMC has worked with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, to educate buyers on maximising consultancy value. Additionally, IMC conducts an annual consulting skills course and other training initiatives to elevate professional standards within the field.

Contact for media:

Mr Phil Guerin

Immediate Past President (quote as Spokesperson or IMC Council member)

IMC New Zealand        Ph 027 494 4871