Institute of Consulting
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The Institute of Consulting (IC) is the professional body for consultants and business advisers in the United Kingdom. It replaced the former Institute of Business Consulting (IBC) in January 2011. Its history and background is an amalgam and extension of two predecessor bodies; the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) and the Institute of Business Advisors (IBA). The Institute of Consulting is an organisation within the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The Institute of Consulting offers several grades of membership, qualifications, training and awards as well as a range of tools and resource to support members. The IC also encourages consultancy and leadership development and sets the standards for the profession by way of a code of conduct and thorough accreditation process which ensures that members of the IC are of the highest standard.
During a major conference held in Paris during the 1950s, the big four consultancy companies at that time agreed to form the Management Consultancies Association. This was developed further into a professional institute and the Institute of Management Consultants came into being in 1962. Having subtly changed its name during the 1990s to the Institute of Management Consultancy - providing scope for corporate membership - the organisation began discussions about merging with the CMI in 2005. This led to the IMC becoming an organisation within the CMI later that year, however both institutes would remain separate and retain their own brand identity.
At the time of the merger with CMI, the IMC were themselves approached by the Institute of Business Advisors (IBA) about combining membership. After lengthy discussions, the IMC and IBA merged in 2007 to become the Institute of Business Consulting, an amalgamation of their two previous names.
Like many businesses, both the IBC and CMI suffered as a result of the recession caused by the financial crisis of 2008. In 2010, both organisations established closer working links and relationships and as a result of member feedback filtered through the regional branches it was clear that the scope of work undertaken by members was changing. For this reason it was felt the word 'business' in the name did not reflect a broader appeal so the decision was made to change the name to the Institute of Consulting and use the opportunity to redevelop the brand, its proposition and the products and services offered.
There are 4 grades of membership within the IC:
The Affiliate grade is suitable for anyone starting out in the consultancy field with little or no experience, or for anyone who just has an interest in consultancy and wishes to keep up to date with the profession. There is a sub-grade of Affiliate suitable for those studying:
For individuals who are enrolled on an IC qualification course or are undertaking study outside of the IC then the Studying Affiliate grade provides the same benefits as the standard Affiliate grade but available at a discounted rate. This is the lowest priced grade of membership within the IC.
The Associate (AIC) grade is applicable for individuals who have a small amount of experience within the consultancy or advisory fields and who demonstrate a commitment to Continuous Personal Development, for which tools to help you do so are freely available to members. Associates are permitted to use the postnominals AIC after their name to demonstrate their membership.
The Member (MIC) grade is the most popular grade and is applicable to individuals who have at least 3 years experience as a consultant or business adviser. Members are entitled to use postnominals MIC after their name to demonstrate their accreditation and membership.
The Fellow (FIC) grade is the highest grade of membership available and members are encouraged to strive towards it. It requires at least 10 years experience, of which three must be at a strategic level. Fellow membership of the IC provides additional benefits and provides an opportunity to become a mentor, a highly regarded and well respected service within the IC. Fellows are entitled to use the postnominals FIC after their name to demonstrate their standing within the profession.
Qualifications and training
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The Institute of Consulting has several qualifications available for members, and offers courses to members and non-members. It offers several certifications and diplomas:
- Certified Management Consultant
- Certificate in Management Consulting Essentials
- Diploma in Management Consulting
- Business Advisory
- Certificate in Business Support
- Diploma in Business Support
- Certified Business Adviser
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