Frequently asked questions
Do you use associate consultants?
The core consultants on risk and business continuity are full time employees of Needhams. We retain associates in more specialist roles such as Dr Katherine Devitt on HR issues and Paul Mackenzie Walker, a Barrister, on legal issues to do with business continuity. Other associates are detailed on the links page and we vouch for their expertise in their field.
What Quality standards can I rely on to demonstrate Needhams’ professionalism?
We have attained ISO 22301 with the external auditors LRQA and we were the first in the UK to gain certification to the standard.
We also hold ISO 9001:2008 for the Provision of Risk Management and Business Continuity Consultancy Services.
We are corporate associate members of the Business Continuity Institute and all consultants hold appropriate levels of membership.
Our main training courses have been approved by the Emergency Planning Society.
Do you hold government security vetting?
All consultants are either still government vetted or have been in the past and their vetting can easily be renewed if required.
How do you set charge rates?
We generally charge a daily rate. This is set in agreement with the client and applies to all consultants used on the projects. This makes budgeting and time accounting simpler for you and reflects that often the work is a team effort and is a Needhams product, not the work of an isolated consultant. We also apply a daily rate to in-house training courses which makes it far better value for money than the normal per delegate rate as you can put as many people as you want on the course (within reason).
Do you have adequate insurance cover?
Yes we do. Generally our Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Employee liability cover is higher than many consultancies as we have worked with some particularly high risk clients who have insisted on high levels of cover. Tell us what your requirements might be and we can always obtain additional cover.
How do you select staff?
They must have held a considerable budget in a major organisation otherwise they will not understand the financial pressures on you, the client.
They must have managed operational risk of some description successfully in the past, otherwise they have no credibility to advise you on what to do.
They must have good academic credentials. Needhams expects good clear written reports to be authored without supervision. All the consultants have good first degrees and two are sponsored by Needhams on Master’s degrees.
Do you provide all aspects of BC and risk consultancy?
Yes we believe we do. If your requirements are not within our skill set then we will always tell you and source possible providers.
Do you take commission from companies that you might recommend to us?
No, none at all. We recommend companies that we think are suited to your purposes but our advice is unbiased by any commission arrangements or similar inducements. Similarly they might recommend us but we too pay no commission to them.
How can we be sure that you understand our organisation?
We can never know as much as the client knows about their own organisation. What we do know about is business continuity and risk management and our multi sector experience allows us to assimilate the critical issues quickly and thus become effective in your environment.
References from previous clients
Is all Needhams work bespoke to a client?
Yes it is. All our work is oriented to the client concerned (unless a specific off the shelf package is requested). We always tailor exercises to the locality and the business concerned.
Even training courses are under constant review and change. We estimate that each year 20% of the content is changed to keep pace with development. So in effect it is a new course every five years.
How do you ‘sell’ Needhams 1834, will I be pestered by sales staff?
As we do not employ sales staff you will not be pestered at all. We believe that the consultants are the best sales staff as they understand the role intimately and will not cut corners just to make a sale. You also have the knowledge that this is the person that will do the job for you not just make a sale.
Some clients have understandable misgivings about consultancies, often with good cause. We have offered this FAQ section to reassure you about the way we work. If you have any other questions then please call the Managing Director, Chris Needham-Bennett, on 0207 353 9498.