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In the evolving and complex field of management consulting, the relationship between a consultant and their client is vital to success. It’s a relationship built on trust, transparency, and mutual understanding. This is where ISO 20700, the international standard for management consulting services, plays a crucial role. ISO 20700 is more than a set of guidelines; it’s a blueprint for cultivating robust client relationships grounded in trust and clarity. In this blog, we will explore how adherence to ISO 20700 can fortify these relationships, making them more effective and enduring.


Establishing Trust Through a Global Standard

Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship, and in the realm of management consulting, it’s the bedrock of success. ISO 20700 helps establish this trust by providing a globally recognized standard for service delivery. When consultants align with these guidelines, they demonstrate a commitment to a universally acknowledged level of professionalism and quality. This commitment is a powerful trust signal to clients, assuring them of the consultant’s dedication to excellence.


Enhancing Transparency in Consulting Practices

Transparency is a key principle of ISO 20700. The standard encourages open communication and clarity in all aspects of the consulting process, from scope definition to project delivery. By adopting these practices, consultants can create a transparent environment where expectations, goals, and methodologies are clearly articulated and understood. This transparency not only helps in aligning expectations but also in fostering a sense of openness and honesty, critical components of a trusting client-consultant relationship.


Promoting Ethical Conduct

Ethical conduct is at the heart of the ISO 20700 guidelines. By adhering to these guidelines, consultants underscore their commitment to ethical practices, integrity, and social responsibility. In an era where ethical considerations are increasingly at the forefront of business decisions, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practices goes a long way in strengthening client trust and loyalty.


Facilitating Clear Communication and Understanding

Clear and effective communication is essential in any relationship, and the consultant-client relationship is no exception. ISO 20700 emphasizes the importance of clear communication strategies, ensuring that both parties are on the same page throughout the consulting engagement. This level of understanding prevents misunderstandings, fosters collaboration, and ensures that client needs are met accurately and efficiently.


Customizing Solutions to Client Needs

ISO 20700 encourages consultants to tailor their solutions to the specific needs of their clients. This customization is only possible through a deep understanding of the client’s business, goals, and challenges. By taking the time to understand and address these specific needs, consultants demonstrate their commitment to delivering value, further enhancing client trust and satisfaction.


Building Long-Term Relationships

Adherence to ISO 20700 guidelines doesn’t just help in executing a successful project; it lays the groundwork for long-term relationships. By consistently delivering high-quality, ethical, and transparent services, consultants can turn one-time projects into enduring partnerships. These long-term relationships are built on the solid foundation of trust and mutual respect, established and nurtured through the principles of ISO 20700.


Continuous Improvement for Client Satisfaction

ISO 20700 is not a static standard; it embodies continuous improvement. By constantly refining their skills and methodologies in line with these guidelines, consultants can continually elevate the quality of their service. This commitment to improvement shows clients that their consultants are not just service providers but are dedicated partners in their success.

The ICMC ISO 20700 Checklist 

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) has developed a comprehensive Self-Declaration Checklist to facilitate the effective application of the ISO 20700 standard for management consultancy services. This checklist serves as a practical tool, ensuring that management consultants and their clients can maintain transparency and align on project deliverables and accountabilities throughout the consultancy process, from contracting through delivery to closure.

To complement the checklist, ICMCI offers specialized training programs delivered by accredited trainers. These programs are designed to provide consultants with hands-on experience and a thorough understanding of the ISO 20700 guidelines, empowering them to deliver high-impact consulting projects that fully adhere to the standard. 

To learn more about ICMCI’s ISO 20700 Checklist Training, click here.


In conclusion, ISO 20700 is an invaluable tool for building and sustaining strong, trust-based relationships with clients. It provides a framework for consultants to demonstrate their commitment to professionalism, transparency, and ethical conduct. These qualities are essential in cultivating trust and clarity, the cornerstones of any successful client-consultant relationship. In a world where these relationships are key to success, adherence to ISO 20700 can be the differentiator that sets consultants apart, transforming them into trusted advisors and valued partners in their clients’ eyes.