The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) Designation And How It Can Help Start Your Consulting Career


If consulting is on your job radar in the short- or long-term, you may be looking for ways to professionalize and stand out.

You should know that the CMC – Certified Management Consultant – designation is the only international certification for consultants and, while you need three years of experience to apply for the designation, the Canadian Association of Management Consultants is an amazing resource for students and recent grads who are thinking about careers in consulting.

Here’s some background info and five reasons to check out CMC-Canada even if you’re not applying for the designation:

What is the CMC?

The CMC designation indicates that a consultant has a proven track record of excellence as a management consultant, as well as a wealth of experience.

The CMC is a world class standard, and is the only internationally recognized certification in consulting which is not associated with a specific field. Anyone with the necessary experience and qualifications can be certified as a CMC, regardless of their industry of specialization.

In 2010, there were 1,593 CMCs in Canada out of a global community of 8,080.

Who can become a CMC?

CMC certification is open to those who meet the following requirements:

  • a minimum of three years of experience in management consulting
  • significant time commitment to consulting activities in the last three years
  • possession of a bachelor’s degree
  • currently own or are employed by a consulting organization approved by the International Council Of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) – don’t worry, all the employers hiring entry level consultants on TalentEgg are approved!

How do you become a CMC?

The CMC designation can be obtained in 48 countries worldwide at institutions approved by the ICMCI.

The CMC qualification process consists of three stages:

  • a written examination or interview which assesses your competencies and practical knowledge
  • a confirmation of sponsorship from two members of the ICMCI body (which includes other CMCs and those with senior qualifications)
  • a set of references from five previous clients with corresponding task descriptions

You must also demonstrate a commitment to professional development and be prepared to re-certify every three years. It’s definitely not cheap – membership dues cost almost $500 per year and each of the required courses will cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 – but most people consider it to be a long-term investment in their career. Plus, you’ll already have at least three years of work experience (and salary) under your belt, so the cost won’t seem so daunting.

Why CMC-Canada is a great resource for students and recent grads:

  • Learn more about management consulting: We focus on starting your career in consulting here on TalentEgg, but CMC-Canada may be able to provide more in-depth information about the profession as a whole.
  • Connect to your provincial institute: Most provinces or regions have their own CMC institutes, including Alberta, Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
  • Find consulting events in your area: Some events require significant fees and are members only, but others are informational sessions geared toward non-members to help you learn more about consulting and the CMC designation.
  • Read Consult magazine for free:Consult is the semi-annual magazine for members of the Canadian Association of Management Accountants. If you’re interested in a career in consulting, you should read the latest issue as well as any back issues to see what issues are currently facing the profession, and who the movers and shakers are in the industry. Read it here.
  • Explore the member directory to build your network: You may not have many consultants in your network, so you have to start somewhere. CMC-Canada’s member directory is extensive and easy to search by consulting area, service area, location and other criteria. You can learn more about each member and potentially even contact them to request an informational interview. Consultants are busy people, however, so if you do contact someone, you should always be respectful of their time and mindful of the fact that they may not be willing to meet with you or even respond to your request.

About the author

Elias Da Silva-Powell is a Content, Marketing and Community Specialist at TalentEgg, as well as a two-time graduate of Queen's University. An avid bow-titan, he has been trying to bring whimsical neck wear back into the mainstream since 2008. He's around on Twitter: @EDSPowell and you can check out his profile on LinkedIn, and even G+.