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Reference and guide to SFIA version 8. Framework status: Development.

#92 Add in an entry point at responsibility level 4 for the CNSL skill: change request pending

I have worked in a consulting firm for 20 years and we have found that our entry point is actually at SFIA level 4. Our senior consultant role is at level 5 and our principal consultant role is mainly at level 6. This should not be confused by the fact that may contractors refer to themselves as 'consultants. as borne out by ACS surveys where some respondents claimed to have that skill at SFIA level 3! Our entry level consultants were expected to actually expected to consult and to understand and deliver to client requirements in a wide range of situations. I would still assess them as being at level 4 at this entry level.

Attached to Consultancy


What we decided

Deferred.  Will be kept in the backlog of change requests and considered during continuous consultation.

Andy Thomson says:
Apr 25, 2019 01:41 PM

I agree with Michael's observation that Consultant has become a euphemism for Contractor! I think the CNSL skill was written implicitly for "management consultancy", hence a Level 5 entry-point. Many consultants are leveraging technical/professional expertise, rather than management/business expertise.
My own experience endorses Michael's, that Senior and Principal consultants are operating at Levels 5 and 6, therefore a "Consultant" would typically be 'doing consultancy' at SFIA level 4. I wonder if Business Analysis (BUAN) would fulfill this need but, meanwhile, I offer the following wording for CNSL Level 4, as a starter for consideration and from which there's a clear step up to Level 5:

"Engages with client stakeholders in the context of a consultancy engagement, to address their needs by providing relevant advice and guidance and delivering specified outcomes."

Ian Seward says:
Apr 25, 2019 02:44 PM

My own tuppence worth: I feel CNSL is not 'contracting' - however much we may like to inflate our titles. The contractor (hired-help) is not providing consultancy they may be operating at SFIA Level 3,4,5,6 using a number of skills that they have ... e.g. an experienced contract business analyst is just that a business analyst, a contract project manager is just that a project manager.

Having worked for one of the Big (5 or 6), Consultant is a grade and a badge even if they are used on a customer site as hired-help (contractor) at SFIA Level 3, 4, or 5.

I have no problem with an entry-level 'C', (typically being placed with a client) being Level 4 - I think I agree with that and the skills they provide could be almost any of the 102 currently in SFIA. I'm also comfortable that a Senior Consultant would be SFIA Level 5 and a principal probably SFIA Level 6.

What I'm uncomfortable with is making every contractor a consultant just because they are not full-time-employee of the organisation they are working in. After all don't we all have consulting skills ...

If the consensus view is that CNSL goes down to Level 4 then Andy's words seem a pretty good basis. We should clarify the CNSL Skill definition too as part of this and perhaps offer guidance somewhere as to when a 'C' is a 'C' and when it is not ...