Choosing a consultant

Your local authority should be able to provide you with a list of ‘approved providers’ - or you can ask at your local Third Sector support organisation. Draw up a shortlist of possible suppliers, contractors or consultants relevant to your project,  and send out copies of your brief. 

If you are receiving a grant to pay for professional help, your funder will require you to obtain a set number of quotes (commonly three).

When it comes to choosing a consultant consider:

  • their experience and track record in work on similar projects

  • whether they appear to have the attitude and approach you desire

  • flexibility in regard to your circumstances – for example are they willing to attend evening meetings?

  • their availability in regard to your timescale

  • their proposed fees

  • the sufficiency of resources at their disposal

  • how accessible they will be to you

  • whether you feel you can work with them

Always check the consultant's references and ask organisations that they have previously worked for, what they did, the results, whether they worked within budget and delivered on time, and how easy it was to get on with them. Do not make your choice simply based on reputation or a well-known name.

When interviewing consultants find out:

  • whether or not they have worked with similar organisations to yours

  • the challenges they see in working with a voluntary group  - and how these might be resolved

  • what assistance they expect to receive from you