Q-support applies the ISO 20700 standard and provides a structured framework for its consultancy activities.
The consulting process of Q-support consists of three typical activities: contracting, execution and closure
The contracting phase is performed by the client and Q-support together. A mutual understanding between Q-support forms the basis for negotiation of the agreement for the services to be provided.
Q-support will only enter into an agreement that protects the client and Q-support.
A binding agreement between Q-support and the client will be established in which the services and the deliverables to be provided and rights and obligations for each of the parties are defined.
During the execution phase Q-support executes the services agreed upon in the contracting phase. In case of significant change in the context of the assignment that have an impact on the execution, the agreement will be renegotiated. Q-support and the client will work together with trust, honesty and mutual respect in order to achieve the result expected by both parties.
The closure phase completes the assignment. Q-support assures that any unfinished items are resolved, and all contractual and legal obligations are met. The assignment is terminated when the agreed service has been provided and accepted by the client.
Q-support is responsible for its resources and work.
The client is responsible for decisions, except for the decision of batch release, in this caseDirective 2001/83/EC will prevail
The client is responsible for outcomes, deliverables and impact on stakeholders unless otherwise indicated in the agreement.
Q-support considers guidance provided by other national and international norms and standards relevant to the stakeholders in the assignment including those on project management, ethical behavior, risk management, business continuity, quality management, safety and sustainability.
Q-support assesses the effectiveness of each assignment by a structured process of:
The evaluation process is implemented for the duration of the relationship between the client and Q-support. Even if no evaluation is included in the agreement, Q-support follows a process to learn from the work it undertakes. If an evaluation is required for contractual reasons to determine the amount of fees paid, Q-support and the client will agree on the most appropriate evaluation method. Upon request from or agreement with the client, an evaluation based on a questionnaire can take place at the closure of the assignment, or on a regular basis to be agreed between Q-support and the client, depending on the duration of assignment.
Q-support will maintain an appropriate level of awareness of the relevant laws, policies, rules and regulations and standards that govern its services.
The legislation regarding working with enterprise cheque in the Walloon region are:
Q-support engages, in dialogue with the client, to identify and engage with the relevant stakeholders and agree on their involvement. The role of stakeholders and their relationship with Q-support is described in the agreement, including access to information, consultation, communication, roles and responsibilities.
Q-support commits to follow the Code of Conduct to guide the ethical and professional conduct during the assignment.
See also our Ethical Directives and Values
The applicable standards of the code of conduct is publicly available on Q-support website and can be provided upon request.
A clear understanding between the client and Q-support is critical for the success of the assignment. Q-support regularly communicates with relevant stakeholders for the duration of the assignment by means of regular meetings or mails.
Q-support Provides a guarantee of the services to be provided.
Q-support continually anticipates, evaluates, prioritizes and manages commercial and project related risks and quality issues associated with the assignment.
The governance of the project will be carried out jointly by Q-support, the client and, if applicable, the recipient.
If Q-support has reason to believe that the agreed outcomes of the assignment will not be met with in the terms of the agreement, Q-support will inform the client of its findings and renegotiate the agreement.
Q-support will safeguard the rights of privacy of all stakeholders by limiting the types of information gathered and the ways in which such information is obtained, stored, used, reported and secured. Q-support will not use stakeholders data or information without permission for any reason. Q-support will maintain their credibility and the confidence of the clients. Q-support is responsible for the confidentiality of data and information received from clients.
Q-support has intellectual property rights for its know-how, methodologies, database, benchmarks, business models, tools and other relevant concepts and techniques. Q-support normally retains the ownership for intellectual property rights that they bring to a project. For intellectual property rights arising from the outcome/deliverables of the assignment (ownership, right to use or right to refer to), the ownership is agreed upon during the contracting phase.
A statement of corporate social responsibility is guiding the professional conduct of Q-support.
See also our Company Social Responsibility statement
A statement of health and safety is guiding the professional conduct of Q-support.
See also our Company Social Responsibility statement
Q-support is responsible for developing and maintaining appropriate capability throughout the assignment. Q-support only seeks and accepts assignments that it is capable of fulfilling.
This clause provides a structure for the contents of an agreement.
Negotiation of the agreement starts from the existence of a mutual understanding of each party. This phase is to be performed by the client and Q-support together.
The proposal phase includes many elements, including the perceived needs, expectations and desires of the client, the constraints and potential risks associated with the assignment, and any significant changes.
The outcome of the contracting phase is a binding agreement between Q-support and the client. The agreement determines the services and deliverables to be provided and establishes rights and obligations for each of the parties.
An agreement with Q-support will always include following topics:
These topics are typical for an agreement between Q-support and the client. If it is obvious to both parties that some of these contents are inappropriate, they will be excluded. The description of a specific item can be added, if agreed with the other party.
The description of the context guarantees to the client that Q-support has taken into consideration all the significant information necessary to the work of the mission. It includes general information on the mission, assumptions, scope and limits, and specifies the stakeholders. It contains relevant facts, such as an accurate description of the organization’s current situation, the client’s objectives, the reasons why the work is to be performed, the assumptions and their impact, and the scope and limits of the engagement. It also specifies the constraints and risks associated with the engagement, to the extent that they are known and identified. These risks will be taken into account during the execution phase.
The agreement contains a description of the services to be provided by Q-support, the expected outcomes, deliverables and the conditions and process for acceptance.
Objectives must be specific, measurable and achievable, relevant and time-bound so that the results of the mission can be evaluated.
Q-support provides work plans for the operational planning of the services to be implemented.
The agreement specifies the roles, responsibilities and all the resources, including tools as appropriate, involved in the assignment.
The agreement specifies the decision-making, direction and control processes for the assignment, including the designation of a project “sponsor” or project “leader” for the project governance role.
The agreement specifies how the evaluation will be carried out and to whom interim and final evaluation results should be reported.
Q-support specifies the acceptance criteria in the agreement.
Q-support provides its services in accordance with its own terms and conditions applicable to billing, such as fees and charges, payment schedule, expenses, and more generally all relevant information with respect to applicable legal and regulatory requirements and legal obligations, such as ownership of materials and files, user rights, licenses, intellectual property rights, liability limits, etc. Q-support’s general terms and conditions also include a reference to applicable professional standards, as well as to all requirements, responsibilities and activities related to policies applicable to the mission, such as regulatory framework, communication, ethics, social responsibility, capacity, quality, guarantees, health and safety, and any other agreed upon element.
The execution is the performed of the service agreed upon in the contracting phase. Beyond the delivery of the agreed services and the performance of the assignment, the ultimate aim of the execution phase is to fulfil the agreement.
The purpose of this phase is to deliver what has been agreed.
The execution will not start before there is an agreement. If the context of the assignment changes significantly and the execution is impacted, the agreement will be renegotiated.
The outcomes are the following:
The components of the execution include:
The workplan as agreed upon in the contracting phase is refined to reflect the actual conditions at the start of the execution phase. Q-support involves the client and the recipient to gain approval for the refined plan.
Q-support will carry out the assignment in accordance with the refined work plan.
The method of implementation typically consists of following steps that are performed by Q-support with the recipient:
Planning and continuous coordination between the client, the recipient and Q-support are essential for the success of the assignment.
Several areas should be considered for the assignment to be delivered successfully:
The client makes the final decisions about the assignment. Q-support makes all reasonable efforts to provide the relevant information relating to the assignments to the client on ongoing basis.
Any disputes between the client and Q-support are handles in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Q-support adheres to the agreed project management approach and structure throughout the assignment.
Q-support ensures that the assignment is carried out effectively and efficiently.
All resources involved in the assignment will be made available and managed in accordance with the agreement between Q-support and the client.
Q-support is responsible for the deployment of suitable human resources. Criteria for suitability include relevant domain experience, consulting skills and people skills.
Q-support will foresee the needs and availability of the client’s and the recipient’s resources and plan resources in accordance with them.
The progress of the mission against the work plan is monitored and formally documented. Significant changes may occur that go beyond the original scope of the agreement. These will be considered as new entries in the offer and/or execution phases.
The client and Q-support follow the agreed risk and quality methodology to ensure that the agreed service is provided and the output delivered. Both commercial and project related risks will be continuously assessed and managed to the extent possible. Risk management identifies, analyzes, evaluates and prioritizes potential risks, coordinates and applies the resources required to minimize, monitor and control the likelihood and impact of unforeseen events.
The principles of communications agreed in the contracting phase will be followed throughout the assignment and include regular reporting of progress and risks.
Q-support follows the agreed ongoing evaluation methodology and feedback approach.
The services delivered during the assignment will be approved and accepted by an agreed process.
The assignment is completed when the acceptance process as defined in the agreement is completed. Q-support will not consider the assignment closed until the final closure topics have been addressed. These include:
The purpose of the closure phase is to achieve an orderly end to the assignment, after completion of the delivery of the service on accordance with the agreement.
The close-out process begins when it is decided that the engagement is complete, normally when the agreed service has been provided. A closing may take place before the originally agreed service has been provided. In such a case, the initial agreement between the client and Q-support can be amended.
The closing process results in a number of outcomes, including:
Q-support implements all necessary provisions to ensure that all legal and contractual matters can be handled promptly and efficiently in accordance with the agreement. These arrangements include:
Even if no evaluation method is specified in the agreement, Q-support learns from its work it undertakes so that it can apply them for any improvement purpose. An evaluation may be required for contractual reasons to determine the fees paid. In this case, Q-support and the client will agree on the most appropriate evaluation method.
Q-support has expertise in evaluation and ensures that strengths and opportunities for improvement are recorded and shared among staff members.
Q-support assures that all administrative matters are dealt within a timely and efficient manner. The processes may include:
Q-support ensures that all communication obligations concerning the mission are fulfilled (confidentiality agreements, preparation of case studies, articles, requests for references, etc.) and that the client is debriefed at the end of the mission.
Q-support follows a process, agreed with the client, to resolve any minor outstanding issues after the completion of the assignment, so that closure can be agreed upon.