It is a business of one or more experts (consultants) that provide professional advice to an individual or organization for a fee.
The primary purpose of a consulting firm is to provide access to industry specific specialist/consultants and subject matter experts.
Consulting firms will be recruited for assignments to provide a wide range of services e.g. feasibility studies, project design, supervision.
Consulting firms are usually hired when the assignment requires teams of individuals and where the collective experience of the team, resources and support facilities are important in the execution of assignments. Since the contract will be signed between the procuring entity and the consultants, a template contract needs to be designed to suite the procuring entities requirement. Depending on the budgeted cost of the assignment and also taking into account the different procedures that need to be followed.
Recruitment of consultancy firms falls under 3 categories:
- Small Consultancy (Less than 4 months)
- Medium Consultancy (4 – 12 months)
- Large Consultancy (More than 12 months)
The method of procurement by the procuring entity shall be set out in the procurement plan prior to the commencement of any action and shall be decided on or approved by the authority. The individual steps in the procurement process vary slightly from the procurement of consultancy firms to that of individual consultants, but the evaluation criteria remains very much the same and attention will be drawn to any differences.