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In the fast-paced and evolving world of management consulting, staying ahead of the curve is paramount. The introduction of ISO 20700, the first global service delivery standard for management consultants, marks a significant milestone in this pursuit. This standard is not just a guideline; it’s a visionary step forward, shaping the future of the industry. In this blog, we’ll explore why ISO 20700 is so crucial and how it’s set to redefine the standards and expectations of management consulting.

Pioneering a Global Benchmark

ISO 20700 is groundbreaking as it establishes a global benchmark for delivering management consultancy services. This international standard provides a comprehensive framework that consultants around the world can adhere to, ensuring consistency and excellence in service delivery. In an industry that spans diverse cultures and business practices, having a common standard is vital for maintaining a uniform level of quality and professionalism.

Enhancing Credibility and Trust

For management consultants, credibility is key. ISO 20700 significantly boosts this credibility by providing a clear set of guidelines that consultants can follow. When clients know that a consultant adheres to international standards, it builds trust. This trust is fundamental in an industry where relationships and reputations are the cornerstones of success. ISO 20700 acts as a seal of quality, assuring clients that they are engaging with professionals who are committed to delivering the highest standards of service.

Fostering Ethical Practices and Transparency

Ethical practices and transparency are at the heart of ISO 20700. The standard emphasizes the importance of ethical behavior, clear communication, and transparency in all stages of a consulting project. In a world where clients are more aware and demanding about corporate responsibility, discussions are triggered for topics that are important to the client. By aligning with ISO 20700, consultants demonstrate their commitment to ethical practices, thereby enhancing their reputation and client trust.

Setting Clear Expectations and Deliverables

ISO 20700 helps set clear expectations and deliverables, ensuring that both the consultant and the client are on the same page. This clarity is crucial in avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring that the final outcomes meet the client’s needs. The standard guides consultants in defining the contracting, delivery and closure of consulting projects, leading to more efficient and effective project delivery.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

The management consulting industry is constantly changing, and ISO 20700 provides a framework that is adaptable to these changes. It accommodates the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies, ensuring that consultants have discussions that are appropriate for the project ast hand. This adaptability is critical for staying relevant and competitive in a fast-evolving industry.

Encouraging Continuous Improvement

ISO 20700 is not just about maintaining standards; it’s about continuous improvement. The standard encourages consultants to regularly evaluate and enhance their processes and methodologies. This commitment to continual development ensures that consultants are always striving to better their services, adding more value to their clients.

The Client-Centric Approach

At its core, ISO 20700 is about putting the client first. The standard emphasizes understanding and meeting client needs, ensuring that the consultancy services are tailored to deliver maximum value. This client-centric approach is crucial in building long-term, successful relationships with clients.

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 closure¹.

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.


ISO 20700 is more than just a set of guidelines; it’s a key platform for the evolution of management consulting as a profession. By adopting these standards, consultants are not only enhancing their own credibility and service quality but are also contributing to the elevation of the entire industry. As the first global service delivery standard for management consultants, ISO 20700 is set to shape the future of the industry, steering it towards greater professionalism, consistency, and excellence.