According to the UK’s PRCA website, ‘The Consultancy Management Standard’ (CMS) is the single biggest factor in persuading potential clients of the value of PR and the professionalism of our member consultancies”. As proof of this, many of the UK’s leading companies and professional trade associations (such as the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply) have endorsed its use.

The PRCA, which first developed the CMS in 1997 and made it a mandatory condition of membership in 2000, has now licensed its use by the ICCO for adoption and use by other affiliated trade associations.

Today, several ICCO member trade associations have joined the UK in making the CMS a mandatory condition of membership, while several more are making it a voluntary condition of membership. All ICCO affiliated agencies that pass the CMS are entitled to use a logo, demonstrating their success in passing the standard and, crucially, proving to their clients, supplier and staff that they are a professionally run company.

The CMS comprises an audit on eight key business areas and to attain the Standard agencies must achieve 50% of the marks in each area. These comprise almost every aspect of how a consultancy is run and comprise: Leadership and communications; business planning; business improvement; financial systems; campaign management; client satisfaction; new business and people management.

The audit is carried out on behalf of each trade association by DNV, an independent organisation and one of the world’s leading firms involved in risk management, with over 300 offices in 120 countries around the world.

Listed here are a number of documents that ICCO affiliated trade associations may use to promote the CMS amongst its members.