The Consultancy Tool

The consultancy tool is a simple protocol designed to facilitate on-line or face-to-face discussions. It will be found especially helpful when more than three people want to confer about a particular issue but can also be of value in twinning arrangements where only two participants are involved.

In the description that follows, we will assume that discussion is on-line since most people using the EQUIPE toolkit will be working at a distance from each other. We will also assume that A, a continuing education practitioner is facing a challenge in the planning of an quality project. He is using the Quality Learning Tool to plan his project and that is going well but he feels he would like to get input from perspectives other than his own. A consults the list of experts on the EQUIPE web site and decides to offer the problem to B, C and D who all have experience in an area he feels may be helpful. An on-line consultation follows in which A is able to gain new insight that allows him to move ahead in the planning process. The on-line consultancy process is outlined below.


Step 1: A invites experts B, C and D to an on-line discussion A date and hour is agreed and at the appointed time, all four participants log on, ready to receive and respond to the email exchange. The discussion begins when A sends an email to A, B, C and D outlining the challenge he is facing.

Step 2
: On receipt of A's email, B, C and D email queries to A to check their understanding of the issue.

Step 3:
A responds to queries from B, C and D with further clarification.

Step 4:
B, C and D each analyse A's issue, where helpful consulting each other as they look for possible solutions. A reads and makes notes from their email exchange but does not intervene.

Step 5: B, C and D email suggested solutions to A's challenge.

Step 6: A emails feedback on the offered solutions, explaining what is useful and what is not and what will be followed up and what will not.

Step 7: Discussion is complete - All may now log off.