Skip to main content

NECS Emerging Consultants Working Group – Celebrating the 2 year anniversary of the ECWG by considering their journey so far

Thursday 9th September 2021

Rachael Espie explores the history of the Emerging Consultants Working Group; from a small handful of members contributing to the work of the Young MCA, to a collective of early career consultants passionate about developing their consultancy skills to drive change in health and social care.   

Where We Started Out…
NECS Emerging Consultants Working Group (ECWG) was formed 2 years ago this month, initially with the goal of supporting the work of the Young Management Consultancies Association (MCA) network. This included sharing best practice and promoting their events and initiatives to support early career consultants, across NECS, as part of their role as Regional Council Representatives.

Four Core Objectives…
Fast forward to today and we have now rapidly expanded to approximately 30 early career consultants, welcoming team members from all roles, in the early stages of their consultancy career. This progress has meant that our group has had to adapt quickly to operate in a more structured manner, allowing all members the opportunity to be heard.

The ECWG has 4 overriding objectives that drive the work that we carry out-

  1. Empower early career consultants to ‘hit the ground running’ and build a strong foundation for a successful career in consulting. Acting as a sounding board and support mechanism for members; the ECWG provides us with the tools to capture and share our knowledge and experiences. Most recently they set up a dedicated communications channel to facilitate shared learning and provide a space where we can feel comfortable to seek guidance and support from our peers.
  2. Facilitate networking and ongoing learning and development opportunities to strengthen our core consultancy skills. As members, we are regularly provided with the opportunity to speak and network at MCA events. Our committee works closely with the wider Consultancy team to feedback on key areas of development identified by members, enabling new opportunities to be created which progress both our personal and professional development.
  3. Providing emerging consultants with the opportunity to shape the health and social care industry, with a powerful voice promoted both externally and internally within NECS. The Chair of our Committee has a regular slot at NECS Senior Management Team meetings, providing us with a platform to shape and influence the future development of NECS Consultancy. This framework recently allowed the group to help to shape the MCA Awards application process for emerging consultants. We did this by encouraging members to recognise our own efforts and achievements with self-nominations and working with SMT to support applicants through this competitive process.
  4. Given our close ties with the Young MCA, we are passionate about promoting NECS Consultancy as a positive, proactive and dependable member of the Young MCA. In our recent efforts to further the work of the Young MCA, Hannah Crompton and Laura Hirst within the EWCG led NECS’ involvement in a scheme ran by Manchester University, promoting consultancy as a career option to the next cohort of graduates; offering mentoring, advice and support.

Ambitious plans for the future…
Our plans for the immediate future include an exciting Rewards and Recognition scheme, recognising the efforts and achievements of early career consultants within NECS in transforming health and social care. We plan to continue to encourage members to have their voices heard and build connections through means such as publishing blogs or speaking at networking events across the Consultancy industry.

We have keen aspirations to further progress the learning and development of our members; increasing awareness of the availability of training, arranging inspirational guest speakers and facilitating learning on key topics within Consultancy. In order to kick start implementing this learning and development agenda, we are firstly looking to assist in the progression of NECS Consultancy’s newest apprentices and graduates to ensure that they have the best possible start to their consultancy journey.

As a group that is relatively in its infancy, we are proud of our progress made to date but remain ambitious and excited for what is to come. Consultancy, particularly within the healthcare industry, is a highly rewarding career choice but can pose new challenges for individuals at any stage of their career and peer support through groups such as the ECWG makes all the difference.

Rachael Espie, Project Management Officer
NECS North East Consultancy Team
Rachael.espie@nhs.net