The process of selecting a safety consultant can be a daunting task. Whenever a company seeks the services of a consultant, they are looking solve a problem that the company’s in-house employees do not have the time, resources or experience to solve on their own. If there is not an established relationship with a tried and tested consultant, interviewing and selecting a person to help can compound the problem and add uncertainty into the mix.
To paraphrase Alan Weiss, Ph.D., an expert on business consulting: the role of any good consultant is to improve state of their client’s business. In other words, a consultant should always leave their client’s business in better shape than when they started their project. Below I have listed four ways that businesses can improve their chances of selecting a reputable
consultant to serve their occupational health and safety needs:
1 – Review their credentials. Most reputable designating bodies have a strict set of academic, experiential and ethical guidelines that their membership must follow. If you are unsure of what the letters behind a person’s name mean, a quick chat with an in-house safety person should be able to decipher what the letters indicate.
2 – Try to thoroughly examine the problem that requires the services of the consultant. By better understanding why the business needs the consultant’s services, it will be possible to develop measures of success during the project. Clearly defined needs help to establish milestones in the consulting relationship that will later be used to determine if the project is on track or if the business should not use the consultant in the future due to deviations from the expected benchmarks.
3 – Speak face-to-face with potential candidates. Many deals can be brokered over the phone or through email, but when trying to develop a trusting relationship with the consultant, it is always best to meet in person.
4 – Ask for referrals. Request that the consultant provide a list of contacts from current or recent previous clients. If the consulting relationship is or was beneficial with these contacts, then the likelihood is good that the relationship will be beneficial for the contracting business as well. In some cases, the organization in charge of regulating occupational health and safety in your area may have a list of “approved” consultants that can be used to shortlist candidates to help your
Hopefully these suggestions can help your business select the most appropriate consultant for your company’s needs. For more information, please see the contact us page.
We will periodically be posting original articles, safety related news stories and other information that we feel is noteworthy. Feel free to leave comments if you find the content interesting.