Bringing measurable commercial acumen to your business...
Bottom Line improvement Processes
Bringing measurable Commercial Acumen to Your Business....
Public Sector Training Section

S6. Buying Consultancy

The Aim

The aim of this module is to ensure that the delegates understand the main differences between consultants and contractors so that they can determine when it is appropriate to use consultants and then source, select and manage their performance on terms that protect the councilís commercial interests.

Who Should Attend

The module is aimed at staff at all levels, including Directors and Senior Managers. It is applicable to staff from a wide range of business disciplines including engineering, design, project management, production, finance, sales & marketing, business development, purchasing, procurement, commercial and general management. Those who will benefit most will have a current or planned interface with consultants through which contracts are negotiated and managed. The module will suit those with little or no previous involvement with consultants but will serve as a refresher for those who have some training but do not practice their skills frequently.

The Teaching Method

The teaching method is based on the Kolb learning cycle and incorporates a balanced mixture of a didactic approach and practical exercises centred on PowerPoint presentations. The structure is consistent with the skills framework for Procurement Project in Local Government in ensuring that Levels 1 and 2 (Understanding & Knowledge) are covered within the programme thus providing a firm base upon which the delegates can build their practical experience to reach Level 3 (Expertise). The module is tutor led throughout using syndicate work, highly interactive plenary discussion groups, easily understood case studies and role playing where appropriate. A formal framework is built around the delegatesí current knowledge and they are encouraged to re-discover and share their knowledge and experiences. The ideal group size is eight to twelve delegates but it is possible to extend the group size to fifteen. Copies of the training material are provided in the form of a workbook. Delegates are encouraged to develop both their short and long term memories to increase the value for money provided for the employer.

The Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, participants will know the Difference between Consultants and Contractors and consider when it is appropriate to use consultants. They will understand how to source and select consultants, the criticality of developing a clear Statement of Work and how to evaluate bids and proposals. The key clauses to be included in contract documents will be identified against the context of a model contract and the need to ensure full performance management against deliverables. Specific reference will be made to the need to ensure the independent status of the consultant as well as to the structure and application of incentive arrangements. The delegates will review and understand how to evaluate consultantís proposals including the use of price and/or cost analysis. The need for good contract administration will be examined as will the arrangements to Monitor and measure the Consultantís performance


The module is scheduled for 1 day.


The topics covered include:

  • Defining the Difference between Consultants and Contractors
    • Why do we use Consultants?
    • When should we use Consultants?
    • What relationship do we need with Consultants?
  • Understanding the Rights & Obligations of the Parties
    • Additional risks & pitfalls
  • Sourcing & Pre-Qualifying Potential Consultants
    • Expertise, track record & references
    • Financial status/viability
  • Consultants and IR35 Ė April 2000
    • Tax & NI rules for independent consultants
  • Defining the Scope of Work
  • The Tendering Process
    • Proposal/Bid Evaluation
    • Contract Pricing & Price Adjustments
    • Price Analysis of Proposals/Bids
    • Cost Analysis of Proposals/Bids
  • Contract Terms & Conditions
    • Confidential Information & Non-Disclosure
    • Insurance Coverage
    • Intellectual Property Rights
    • Place of Performance
    • Independent Consultant Status
    • Warranties and Representations
    • Restrictive Covenants
    • Incentives
    • Model Contract Formats
  • Performance Management
    • Monitoring and Measuring Consultant Performance
    • Progress Reporting and Payment
    • Closure of the Contract

What Next?
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