Company doubles its numbers

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A management consultant is essentially a neutral party, brought in for help. They can provide assistance and an objective take on a company's strategic plan, organizational and operational reviews; human resources conflicts, policy and program development, market research design and small business counselling.

And there are more people with the designation of Certified Management Consultant (CMC) in Newfoundland and Labrador than ever before.

A management consultant is essentially a neutral party, brought in for help. They can provide assistance and an objective take on a company's strategic plan, organizational and operational reviews; human resources conflicts, policy and program development, market research design and small business counselling.

And there are more people with the designation of Certified Management Consultant (CMC) in Newfoundland and Labrador than ever before.

Kathy-Jane Elton, president and principal consultant with Elton Management Consulting, told The Telegram there are currently 11 CMCs in this province, with three more preparing for an oral exam following which, if they are successful, will be awarded their certification.

Fourteen certified consultants would double the number found in this province last year, Elton said. "Last year we only had about seven."

Recruiting

She said she has been actively recruiting consultants already working, encouraging them to earn their designation and promote the certification as a standard for the profession.

She plans to continue that work as she steps into the chair of president of the Atlantic Canada division of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants, CMC certifiers.

"The designation of a CMC, Certified Management Consultant, it's out there in the market place, but people don't really know about it all that well. It's really prevalent in other provinces in Canada.

"In Alberta, it's legislated and you can't even call yourself a management consultant unless you're certified, in the same way as here you can't call yourself a management accountant unless you're a CMA (certified management accountant)," Elton said.

To maintain their designation, certified consultants must pay a membership fee, continually update their skills through regular course work in a variety of areas and follow a code of professional conduct.

That code includes responsibilities to the profession and to other members, but also responsibilities to the client. These include a commitment by the consultant to maintain confidentiality of client information and work only with an "informed client."

That is, reach an understanding with their client before beginning work as to exactly what it is they will be working on, what the objectives are, what the approach will be and the potential costs involved.

Commitments like these make certified consultants a better choice than their non-certified counterparts, Elton said.

"That doesn't mean that people who don't have a CMC are not qualified, but it does mean that there are a lot of people out there who might say 'I'm a consultant,' but to the client, you don't know just how much expertise they've got," she said.

"There's a lot of really good qualified people who are out there consulting, that's true. But there's also lot of other people out there who will say, 'Yes, I'm a consultant,' or, 'Yes, I'm a management consultant,' but in fact they don't have the comprehensive range of skills you would look to."

Elton's position among consultants in Atlantic Canada is a first for an individual from this province.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Elton Management Consulting, Atlantic Canada division, Canadian Association of Management Consultants CMA

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada, Alberta

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