The IC offers a range of recognised qualifications for the business consulting profession that are awarded by the Chartered Management Institute. If you are looking to move into the profession, gain independent validation of your skills or wish to consolidate and embed your existing skills whilst networking with your peers, then membership of the IC is an important facet of your professional profile.

The IC has a number of professional qualifications from which to choose; the Level 5 in Professional Consulting; Level 5 Business Support, Level 7 in Professional Consulting, (all at Award, Certificate or Diploma), taking you from an introduction to consulting essentials through to the skills and competencies to become a consultant. In addition there is the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) accolade, an internationally-recognised award offered exclusively in the UK by the IC.

Whatever stage you are at in your career and whichever qualification you take you will:

  • Learn the most up to date tools, techniques and skills
  • Increase your marketability with clients and employers
  • Network with your peers and leading training providers
  • Be presented with new business opportunities
  • Maximise your potential
  • Develop alternative ways of thinking
  • Gain added confidence
  • Get access to student support resources, including the Body of Knowledge during the course and membership upgrade on completion.

Choosing your qualification

The Level 5 in Professional Consulting qualification gives an opportunity to gain an understanding in consulting essentials. It is intended for people who are considering a move into the profession from a functional discipline, or for those who wish to obtain an introduction to the skills and knowledge needed in the field of management consultancy.

As an aspiring management consultant, you will learn about:

  • Consulting essentials
  • Planning and managing consultancy interventions
  • The client relationship
  • Communication for consultants
  • Problem solving tools and techniques for consultants.

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, but it is expected that most candidates are intending to enter into a management consulting role and will therefore be educated to degree level or hold a minimum of two years’ business experience.

More experienced consultants should consider the Level 7 Diploma in Professional Consulting which will develop your knowledge, skills and behaviours to operate as a management consultant. It is intended for people who want to enter management consultancy from a functional discipline, or for those who wish to develop the skills and knowledge needed to operate in the field of management consultancy.

As a developing management consultant, you will learn about:

  • Organisational structure and culture
  • Entry and diagnosis
  • Managing consultancy interventions
  • Tools and techniques for effective consulting
  • Group dynamics and facilitating skills
  • Professional practice
  • Professional development in consulting
  • Managing the business of consulting
  • Communicating strategies for consulting
  • Strategic performance management
  • Organisational direction
  • Strategic project management
  • Organisational change
  • Leadership and coaching and mentoring skills.

It is recommended that candidates are educated to degree level or equivalent, or hold a minimum of five years’ business experience.

The Level 5 Qualification in Business Support is also an introductory unit to business support that gives the learner a full understanding of the importance of communication and relationship building, understanding the business support process and the importance of how to conduct and develop oneself as a business support adviser.

Within the Diploma, IC have introduced units from CMI Management & Leadership and Coaching & Mentoring qualifications to give the learner the option to further develop their skills in the role of a business support adviser.

Both the Certificate and Diploma in Business Support are aimed at all business support professionals, whether you are considering embarking upon a career in this field or are already a practising business adviser. Studying for these qualifications can be adapted to suit the individual’s particular needs.

In order to obtain the certificate, candidates must complete the mandatory unit and at least two optional units to a minimum of 24 credits in total to achieve this qualification. Assessment for these units can include evidence drawn from observation of client contacts, candidate reflective accounts, professional discussion, oral and written questioning, testing and evidence from prior experience.

To obtain the Diploma, candidates must complete all mandatory units and one optional unit to a minimum of 45 credits in total and a 2,500-3,000 word work related project. There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification.

Units covered in the Certificate/Diploma in Business Support area

The BSC will cover the following units:

  • Introduction to business support
  • Develop effective business support relationships with clients
  • Enable the client to analyse the business implement change
  • Develop business support networks
  • Reflective practice and development in business support
  • Monitoring the business support service.

Optional units:

  • Conducting a management project
  • Marketing planning
  • Operational risk management
  • Organisational corporate social responsibility
  • Introduction to management coaching and mentoring
  • Management coaching and mentoring and the organisation
  • Management coaching and mentoring skills
  • Management coaching practice
  • Management mentoring
  • Management of action learning
  • Managing the change process.

All qualifications can be completed at Award, Certificate or Diploma level.

To find out more about consulting qualifications and to download syllabuses, see the Institute of Consulting website.

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