Assessing and monitoring consultants

You should make sure potential consultants can offer you the service you need. You ought to establish and agree what you can expect and how much it is going to cost.

You will want to ask potential consultants about their experience, skills and competence and establish that they have the knowledge and resources to give you what you need.

Good practice example

Firm F monitored the services provided to them by their consultant. The monitoring identified that the consultants were not providing a tailored service or specific enough help putting in place procedures.

The firm felt they were not getting the support they needed and changed to a consultancy which gave a more bespoke service. This helped them to implement improved procedures for complaints handling.

Poor practice example

Firm H asked a consultant for specific technical advice on complaints handling and the scope of permissions. However, the consultant was inexperienced in these areas and gave the firm incorrect advice.

Following an FCA visit the complaints procedures were revised. However, the advice on permissions had resulted in a significant breach of FCA requirements, which resulted in disciplinary action.