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Selecting your consultant...

A consultant should be an advisor and a facilitator during the course of the implementation of your organization's quality or environmental management system, and in some instances, his/her services may continue beyond your organization's certification/registration achievement. There are many reasons why your organization may need the services of a professional and competent consultant. In selecting your consultant consider the following:

Do you fully understand all of the requirements that your organization has to comply with?

How can you effectively implement them in your organization?

How much time do you have to implement them on your own?

How much will it cost your organization to hire a consultant?

How much will it cost your organization NOT to hire a consultant?

Are there any other reasons that may prevent you from implementing these requirements without a consultant?

If your answers constitute hiring a consultant, then consider asking the following questions from him/her:

How many years of practical work experience do you have?

How many organizations have you worked with in the past?

Have you conducted any public or private seminars?

What quality standards or principles are you fully cognizant of, or worked with?

Have you had any formal training in auditing, 8 Disciplines (8D), SPC, Six Sigma, DFSS, DMAIC, transition, implementation, document preparation, etc.?

What percentage of your business is from referrals?

Are you a registered IRCA Lead Auditor?

Can I contact some of your references?

How many of these organizations have you taken through the entire implementation and certification/registration process (from start to finish)?

What has been the first-time pass/fail ratio of these organizations that have applied for certification/registration?

How long will it take to achieve certification/registration?

Once you have interviewed your consultant and feel confident about his/her qualifications, request a formal proposal that addresses the deliverables, fee structure, payment terms and responsibilities. Price should not be the only determining factor in selecting your consultant.

A professional and competent consultant can save your organization a lot of time and money. Selecting an unqualified consultant can lead to failure, frustration, waste of time and unnecessary expenses.