Consultancy Agreement Guide

This guide provides  information for setting up an agreement with your chosen consultant.

Why this guide has been produced:

The need for such a guide has arisen from concerns expressed by some clients that they are not sure what services and/or deliverables they are purchasing. Such a guide also has potential benefits for consultants, protecting them from claims on their services beyond those they believe they had agreed to provide.

No obligation to use this guide:

There is no obligation on a client or a consultant to set up a documented agreement nor is there any requirement for a documented agreement to comply with the guidelines set out below.

The purpose of this document is to help clients and consultants identify items that could be included in an agreement. The items have been clustered into a number of broad areas. It is not anticipated nor expected that all agreements would include the full range of items listed. Individual agreements will include items that are relevant to the particular services being sought.

What might be included in a consultancy agreement?

a. What services and/or deliverables are to be provided?
Define the job specification – What things are specifically included? What things are specifically excluded?

For example:

  • A consultant has agreed to assist a client who wishes to set up a RTO. Does the consultant’s support/services end with the submission of the RTO application form, or does it extend beyond this to helping the client address any non-compliances identified as part of the audit process associated with this application?
  • Is the consultant agreeing to write (e.g.) policy documents; strategies for training and assessment; resource materials; assessment materials, or is the consultant agreeing to provide advice on documents provided by the client?

What responsibility does the consultant have to the client in responding to non compliances resulting from the contracted service?

b. Who does what?

What support/activities does the client undertake to provide as part of the agreement?
What services/deliverables does the consultant undertake to provide as part of the agreement?

c. What working relationships are involved?

For example:

  • Who is the consultant’s direct contact within the client’s organisation?
  • Who else within the client’s organisation will the consultant need to contact?
  • What time demands will be made on the direct and other contacts?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring that the other contacts will be available to the consultant?
  • What access does the client have to the consultant – e.g. face-to-face; phone contacts; email; fax? Are there any limits on, or any extra costs associated with, this access?

d. What is the agreed timeframe within which the services/deliverables are to be provided?

  • Is there a penalty if the services/ deliverables are not provided or are not provided within the timeframe?
  • Do timeframe requirements apply to the client as well as to the consultant?

e. What equipment is needed and who supplies what?

f. What is the agreed cost and what does the cost include?

For example:

  • A total job cost? Daily rate? Hourly rate? Combination – cost for named deliverables plus daily/hourly rate for other services? GST inclusive?
  • Extras that are/are not included in the costing -e.g. photocopying; phone calls; postage
  • Travel and accommodation costs?

g. When is payment due and what are the terms of payment?

  • E.g. up front; scheduled payments; at end?
  • E.g. 14 days, 30 days, 90 days

h. What confidentiality requirements might apply?

  • What confidential information might the consultant need to access?
  • Under what conditions will this be made available?
  • What confidentiality requirements apply to the consultant and the client?

i. What criteria could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the client/consultant relationship?

  • At what stage(s) might evaluation and feedback be warranted?
  • Following evaluation and feedback, how and where would changes to be made to the agreement be documented?

j. Who owns any intellectual property involved?

k. Dispute resolution or termination of agreement provisions

l. Who signs off for each party?

Disclaimers:

The Vocational Education and Training Industry Group Inc. (VETIG) does not provide any guarantees nor accept any liabilities with regard to agreements entered into between clients and consultants.

The Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) does not provide any guarantee that organisations that engage the services of a consultant will be successful in their application for registration as a Training Provider. Consultants have no influence over the assessment of your application for registration and the use of a consultant has no bearing on the consideration of your application.

VETIG and the department disclaim all responsibility and all liability to individuals, organisations and or any other person or entity for any loss, damage, costs, expenses or compensation of any kind arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with any act or omission of VETIG or the department in relation to information provided on this website.

Note: In addition to the general resources available here, there are also resources provided for members only. To access these, please Register as a Member of VETIG.