The Institute is the professional body representing management consultants. It sets and maintains standards for the profession in South Africa. It seeks to make the profession of management consulting recognised, respected and accepted as providing a valuable and indispensable service to organisations in South Africa and the Southern African Region.
The IMCSA thus:
- Draws from and services all facets of our society.
- Encourages the achievement of standards required by the profession through its accreditation process.
- Promotes and maintains contact with complementary local, regional, national and international bodies.
The Institute was inaugurated on 28 April 1972 to: Act as the certifying body for the Management Consulting Profession and to represent and enhance the Profession of Management Consulting in South Africa to clients, authorities and the community at large.
To achieve its mission, the Institute undertakes the following activities:
- The maintenance of the code of professional conduct and the required disciplinary procedures.
- Setting of standards for acceptance to the Institute in order to promote public confidence in its members, qualifications and abilities.
- The certification of successful applicants.
- The provision of education programmes for members and potential members.
- The maintenance of a member's handbook and register of skills.
- Promotional and public relations activities.
- The distribution of a journal, brochures, articles and informative material.
- The arrangement of social functions, including the achiever of the year award.
Management Consulting is the provision of independent advice and assistance about the process of management to clients with management responsibilities.
A Management Consultant is an individual who provides independent advice and assistance about the process of management to clients with management responsibilities.
A Professional Management Consultant is a management consultant who views management consulting as a profession, who strives for self-improvement in the processes of both management and management consulting, and who subscribes to the code of ethics of a professional body of management consulting.
A Certified Management Consultant is a professional management consultant who meets relevant requirements of character, qualifications, experience, competence and independence established by the professional body issuing certification.
Values and assets
The Institute will maintain certain values, which are regarded as important to the Mission. The individual members will always be the backbone of the Institute. The larger consulting firms will continue to play a major role in the development of the profession. The Institute shall always protect its professional and ethical image, which it regards as essential to obtain a client’s trust.
The Institute has certain strengths, which are used to promote the concepts of consulting and to represent the profession. The “tangible” assets are the standards and processes, which clearly indicate its belief in the professionalism and ethics of consultants.
The “intangible” assets incorporate a history of nearly 40 years during which the Institute have been well accepted by consultants, including most of the major firms, and by public institutions. The major firms have always supported the National Council; in so doing they have helped overcome a key weakness of the Institute: the lack of available time of individual consultants to work on Institute projects without reward.
There is much support for the concept of consulting as a remedy for the skills shortage in the Southern African region. The IMC is committed to expanding its role as agent of change in the society. The IMC believes that individual Members and the consulting firms that are registered with the Institute can play their part in working towards these objectives.
The consulting firm is a key resource in a developing nation. The new political society with its need for changing attitudes and new industrial-, information- and service-based society requires professional management skills. Consultants in management, productivity, education and technology can be a factor in creating prosperity for the rapidly growing population and, hence, bring stability in society.
During this period of change, the Institute is striving to attract membership applications from all sectors of the population, without sacrificing the demanding standards, which ensure international accreditation. The consulting profession is experiencing a period of strong growth and there has been an increase in applications from smaller, specialised firms as the demand for these services increases. As markets become increasingly global, it is necessary to ensure that all IMC members comply with “world class” requirements and are equipped to compete in global markets.
Benefits of membership
The full benefit of membership can best be achieved through active participation in Chapter and National Activities. Some of the many benefits of membership and participation to consider are:
- Recognition - Members are graded according to skills and experience and are required to abide by a Code of Professional Conduct. Private and public sectors clients recognise members as respectable reliable sources of advice.
- Networking - Activities of the Institute facilitate networking with fellow professionals. Members may meet to exchange ideas and look towards cooperative opportunities.
- Chapter activities - Being an active part of Chapter activities provides many benefits including social days, practice development, special speakers, and locally produced seminars.
- Member register - A members’ register is produced annually. The register will be available to confirm that a member is indeed registered with the institute.
- Free access to Thought-Leader - The magazine is an international, peer-reviewed publication focused on the professional and the buying public for their services. Members receive this magazine as part of their membership subscription. New trends in management consulting are just some of the issues discussed within the journal.
- Newsletters - Newsletters are produced quarterly throughout the year and are published in the magazine. These discuss relevant management consulting issues and information, and are a regular update forum for Institute members.
- Other communications – The IMCSA generates other communications throughout the year which are distributed via the most appropriate medium, be it email or post.
- Professional Development - Members can attend accredited professional development programmes.
- Industry mouthpiece – the IMCSA speaks on behalf of the profession on subjects such as standards, education, ethics and other topical matters.
- International reciprocity – certified management consultants enjoy reciprocity with some thirty-member nations as described under “international links”.
This Institute of Management Consultants is a founding member of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) and is a contributing member.
Certified membership of the South African Institute allows reciprocity by benefits with each member country without the need for further assessments or examination, offering distinct benefits to those members who travel in their job. This is particularly relevant for those who wish to practice in countries where the management consulting industry is regulated, such as North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
The IMCSA maintains these links, attends annual congresses and participates actively on special task groups.
Becoming a member
Membership of the Institute is available to:
- Management consultants whose principal activity is the practice of management consulting, whether they are self-employed or employees of a firm in public practice.
- Internal Consultants whose employers are not engaged in the public practice of management consulting for a fee.
- Academics who consult to management.
Members also satisfy the standards required by the Institute in respect of qualifications, experience and personal qualities. Members are entitled to use the post-nominals designated for the particular grade membership.
All grades of membership need to sign and abide by the Institute’s code of professional conduct.
Grades of membership
This category is reserved for individuals who wish to be involved in the profession without necessarily complying with the entry criteria.
A graduate with less than three years management consulting experience or a non-graduate with less than eight years management consulting experience may qualify as a Member. Members of the academic professions and those people who provide internal consulting are to be classified as members until such time as they can demonstrate they have the relevant management consulting experience, at which time they may be classified as a Certified Member.
Certified Management Consultant (CMC)
Certified Management Consultant is the mark of competency for the management consulting industry and is recognised internationally. The CMC designation is consistent with internationally accepted standards and indicates that a management consultant meets certain requirements of character, education, and experience.
Existing members with a minimum of three years consulting experience are eligible to become a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) by examination or assessment. These examinations or assessments are offered to Members of the Institute and are held on request.
If an applicant does not possess a degree but has five years of management experience plus 3 years of management consulting experience and is working full time as a management consultant, he or she may be accepted as a Certified Management Consultant.
To retain CMC designation, members must perform 1200 hours of management consulting annually and 100 hours of professional development every three years. A CMC Practising Certificate is issued annually upon proof of fulfilment of the stated requirements.
The above requirements and standards are subject to variation by agreement between the member institutes of the ICMCI.
A Certified Management Consultant, who has held that grade for not less than seven years and is deemed to have served the profession with distinction, may be graded as a Fellow. The applicant must submit a motivation with the request for an upgrade.
The final decision as to the satisfaction of these criteria resides with the presiding council.