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MCA Public Sector Report


This report has been compiled for all buyers and users of consulting within public services.


This report has been compiled by the Management Consultancies Association for all buyers and users of consulting within public services.

It serves as a guide for the types of value Government should be expecting from consulting. Government is one of the biggest clients for the Consulting industry and we at the MCA recognise that all consultancies want to ensure they are achieving the very best of outcomes and value for money for every Government client.


This report will:

  • Show how consultants can bring value to the public sector
  • Provide real examples of best practice of delivering with consultants
  • Give you an overview of the MCA and the ways in which it is driving up Consulting Excellence standards

“While government has considerable resources at its disposal, it cannot do everything by itself. It needs the dynamism and innovation that only a healthy, diverse marketplace of suppliers can provide. I see it as the duty of both government and industry alike to restore, repair and rebuild that trust between us. It is … through lively, innovative and dynamic markets that high-quality, effective services are created.”


Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

An Overview

Consultants play a vital role in the public sector and according to a recent independent survey by Circle Research, are valued by public sector leaders for the transformational impact, innovation and increased efficiency they bring.

Consultants deliver additional benefits and value for public sector clients enabling the organisation to deliver public services uninterrupted and consultants help central government and local authorities get better results with less money.

Consultants bring up to date and innovative thinking and experience from a wide variety of sectors and markets to deliver the best solution for public sector clients.

Consultants are outcome focused and deliver real return on investment for the work delivered.

Consultants provide technical, sector and market insights to deliver better solutions and outcomes, improving efficiency and doing more with less.

Consultants bring tools, platforms and accelerators which improve not only the value of services achieved but increase the speed to value and bring genuine pace to the government’s delivery of services.

Senior ministers confirm the importance to government of engaging external suppliers in the transformation of public sector organisations and the delivery of public services.

Executive Summary


Organisations may need an independent view for consensus building and decision making.

– A core value of consulting is to provide a credible independent voice. Consultants provide an ability to challenge the status quo and can find it easier than current employees to call for change and reform.
– Consultants research and bring in external points of view which provide diverse and thought-provoking insights to drive organisations forward. They focus on delivery and try to overcome internal politics and hierarchy.


Organisations cannot afford to employ, cultivate and retain the wide range of skills and expertise they might need for specific projects.

– Our sector brings together teams of consultants who have relevant skills and expertise that government departments might lack. Multi-disciplinary teams can be brought in quickly and flex skills required as needed without the need to manage the transition.
– Consultants draw on deep subject matter expertise (for instance in digital technology or healthcare), combined with sophisticated understanding of business and organisational dynamics.
– Consultants can bring in innovation skills and ideas and experience from the private sector.
– Consultants transfer knowledge and skills into the client organisation, leaving it better equipped to respond to future challenges.


Organisations may lack the in-house capacity, or have difficulty recruiting the right skills to deliver key projects.

– Consultancies provide flexible access to the right mix of skills to augment capacity gaps quickly.
– Consultancies provide rigorously selected resources, continually developed through structured professional development to ensure consistent quality.
– Consultancies invest in the development of their people – with structured professional development in all disciplines to ensure best practice, up to date thinking and ensure consistent quality. Clients can rely on rigorously selected resources to supplement their existing skill sets.


Organisations can achieve results within defined fixed term and cost parameters.

– Consultants bring deep focus on the problem.
– Consultants are accountable for the quality of performance and outcomes, managing risks. Consultants are frequently requested to return to clients because they deliver real results and positively impact in the public sector.
– As the MCA awards this year demonstrate, consultants share our clients’ objectives and purpose and are delivering social benefits across the UK – from work on getting better outcomes for children in care to improved processes for finding homes for vulnerable families in London – these examples offer a true reflection of the consulting excellence that operates across the UK to the benefit of councils and the wider society.

For questions or queries regarding MCA Reports please contact Caroline Florence.
Tel: 020 7645 7959

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