Should An ISO 9001 Consultant be Expert in an Industry?



Hello friends,

I am new on the forum. Let me share my views on the subject.

I believe that a consultant need not be an expert on the industry, but some knowledge about production realization processes is necessary. It helps him in designing proper process controls to give productivity advantage to the client company.
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For some years before I became a consultant I was faced with the need to assist suppliers of many shades and colours in a variety of industries in which I was not trained and certainly not expert. Since becoming a consultant in 1983 that situation has prevailed from time to time: clients with whose business sector and technology I am unfamiliar have requested and received help.

As many on the Cove are aware, I have a particular approach to quality and especially "process" control. I use my task elements, developed way back in the early 70s and they have never let me down. Of course, it is important to get to know something of the jargon, legislative concerns (product liability issues especially) and so forth. Some research and homework is needed to come up to speed. But in every case my clients have been most helpful in this regard.

The key thing is to know what are the cardinal matters: the client's own people can provide the details and be guided accordingly.

So, to answer the question, it has not been necessary to be an expert in the client's field. My clients have ranged from banking to foundries to food to electronics and computers to airlines and so on. Thankfully, they have been pleased and returned.


Dear AllanJ, I fully agree with you.

The prospective client company has already developed required core strtength in its product realization processes. To fill up the gap related to system management processes, the compoany hires me as its consultant. I may or may not have an expet knowledge about comapny's products or services and how they are realized. But me as consulatnt for management systems and company's personnel form a good team. Together we design an adequate management system and implement it in an effective manner.

During my introductory training, I clearly tell the people that I and they are both trainer and trainee. I will learn from them about their processes, and they will learn from me about my processes. During this give and take, we learn about the entire system. In this manner today I have attained sufficient knowledge about my clients' business.

So it has never been necessary for me to be an expert in the client's field.


It depends how the consultant presents themself. For instance a "Business Consultant" should be able to advise the client on running their business and, therefore, must be knowledgable about the specific sector. However a "Management Systems Consultant" should know about the management systems but not necessarily the specific sector and as a result the services are not prescriptive and are more facilitation.


I learn so MUCH from your discussions

in chinese "听你们一席话,胜读十年书啊“:)
Welcome to the Cove, stillwaterscheng :bigwave:
stillwaterscheng said:
I learn so MUCH from your discussions
Glad to hear it, and the fact is that so do we: We learn a lot from taking part in the discussions, so please join in. :agree:

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