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Consulting Excellence

Consulting Excellence is the ground-breaking scheme for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. It marks a step change for the industry.

MCA firms strive to uphold the highest standards and they share and promote best practice in UK consulting.


MCA member firms all adopt the thirteen Principles of Consulting Excellence. Each member demonstrates how they meet these Principles in ways that suit their clients and specialisms. Members provide a Consulting Excellence Declaration every year to this effect which is published on the MCA website. There are common exemplars (activities, commitments and illustrations) they can draw upon. Consulting Excellence highlights how firms make their commitment visible and real for clients, staff, potential recruits and other audiences.

Consulting Excellence is under constant review and will develop in response to the changes and innovation in the industry and wider economy.


Clients want a hallmark of quality that will lead to better decision making when buying consulting services. The Consulting Excellence scheme enables them to identify firms committed to openness and great results. It helps member firms celebrate their work and promote their value to clients, staff and potential recruits. The scheme also helps clients distinguish the value of consulting – well managed teams that achieve client objectives – from the work of contractors and interims.

The Principles express the mix of the long-standing commitment to quality service plus a relentless focus on innovation. As consulting firms work increasingly in partnership with others to achieve complex outcomes for clients, Consulting Excellence is used to commit all participants to common, high standards. The Principles also encourage firms to evolve to meet emerging business, public and social needs.

Consulting Excellence is a positive initiative, developed by firms who are committed to doing the right thing.


As signatories to Consulting Excellence, MCA members firms commit themselves to adopt the Principles.


Consulting Excellence firms work with clients, partners, employees and other stakeholders in an ethical way. This means:

  1. We are responsible and good citizens.
  2. We conduct our business ethically.
  3. We foster an ethical culture.



Consulting Excellence firms promote the highest standards of client service and value. This means:

  1. We provide excellent consulting services which deliver the outcomes clients seek and need.
  2. We are transparent with clients and respond to their concerns.
  3. We always strive to improve the value we can deliver to our clients



Consulting Excellence firms develop the capabilities of their consultants, provide career development opportunities and support the welfare of all their employees. This means:

  1. We undertake training and professional development planning each year.
  2. We promote strong core consulting capabilities and specialisms in our consultants and teams.
  3. We support our employees’ career progression, professional development and welfare



Consulting Excellence firms are committed to diversity and inclusion within their workplace and workforce. This means:

  1. We respect and embrace diversity and inclusion and understand the importance and positive benefit of people from different backgrounds working for our companies and our clients.
  2. We recruit and retain people from a diverse talent pool and strive to build cultures where difference is valued, respected and celebrated at all levels.  Furthermore we are committed to developing diverse future leaders and ensuring their progression in the industry.
  3. We support industry efforts to improve progress on diversity and inclusion, implementing best practice and monitoring the diversity of the consultancy sector workforce over time. This includes encouraging the collection of data to assess the effectiveness of D&I policies and participating in the MCA annual report.



Consulting Excellence firms are committed to sustainable development within their organisations and their work with clients. This means:

  1. we commit to ensuring that our firms operate in an increasingly sustainable way and strive to ensure that sustainability is considered by our clients in our work with them. ​


MCA members make vital contributions to the economy, public services and our national life. In Consulting Excellence, MCA members celebrate consulting’s value and are committed to the highest standards of ethical behaviour, client service, professionalism and diversity and inclusion. Available only to MCA members, Consulting Excellence is the badge of quality in consulting. It helps clients make better buying decisions, helps promote collaboration between clients and consultants and helps MCA members recruit and retain the best people from a diverse talent pool.