Executive and Professional Development

Consulting, pen, image


Certificate in Consulting and Advisory Skills

This certificate is ideal for professionals in a variety of roles. Whether you work in human resources, education, health care, or are a business professional involved in organizational strategy, planning and development, or process improvement. 

Learning from experience takes time. There is a value in equipping yourself first. The goal in this certificate is to provide that foundational knowledge to have you working your best in your consulting or advisory role.

The Consulting and Advisory Skills Certificate is a six day program consisting of four modules and an applied project.

The Essentials of Consulting module focuses on providing you the full scope of the consulting process. You will be exploring various consulting approaches and tools. Key to most working relationships is finding the fit between you and the client; this is no different. Communication styles and appreciating context and culture are all areas that one needs to be able to understand very quickly, in order to add value and help achieve the goal at hand. 

The remaining three modules, all one day in duration, provide participates with some of the core skills and knowledge necessary to support the client relationship, identify and recommend solutions that maximize benefit, and assist you with building relationships and opportunities over time.

Understanding concepts is the first step, but application of knowledge is key. As part of this certificate you will be asked to complete an applied learning project. A chance to take what you’re learning in class and applying it to a current work activity, client project, or one you’re looking to take on. 


Certificate Requirements

Participants must complete all modules and successfully complete the applied project. 

This certificate is ideal for professionals in a variety of roles. Whether you work in human resources, education, health care, or are a business professional involved in organizational strategy, planning and development, or process improvement.

6 Day Certificate

Fee: $2,995
Facilitators: Sylvie Thibault, MBA
Location: Saint Mary's at the World Trade Centre, 8th Floor, 1800 Argyle Street

4 Required Modules

Module 1
Essentials of Consulting – Understanding the role of a consultant and the important tools used in this role

April 25 - 27, 2018

Module 2
Business Analysis and Needs Assessment for Consulting – Learning to scope the work and collect the information

May 18, 2018

Module 3
Business and Organizational Development - Working for clients requires an understanding of the larger organizations and their priorities.   

June 7, 2018

Module 4
Selling Solutions and Projects – Whether you’re working with internal or external clients you’ll need to understand how to present and promote solutions to your clients

June 28, 2018

Applied Project 
An opportunity to design and execute a project from start to finish while gaining experience into the practical side of consulting/advising work. Participants receive support from the instructor during class time and as they work on the projects and between the modules.   During the final module participants will make a short presentation of their applied project for additional feedback.


Module 1 - Essentials of Consulting

Consultants and advisors are frequently called upon in an organization to identify issues and gaps, analyze problems and solutions, suggest new or improved ways to deliver products and services, develop frameworks and models, or simply facilitate the implementation of processes and plans.

They require good business acumen, objectivity, self-knowledge, excellent communication skills, and an unwavering commitment to client outcomes to perform their tasks effectively.

This 3-day module will expose you to fundamental concepts, techniques, and tools used by consultants and advisors to bring real value to organizations. Each day will build on the previous one so that you can gain a better understanding of the full scope of responsibilities involved in consulting and advising roles.

You will have the opportunity to:


  • Assess yourself and your organization;
  • Discover your unique combination of consulting and advising attributes; and
  • Develop strategies for dealing with the challenges and tensions involved in those roles.


Module Details

Day 1 - Fundamental Concepts and Techniques

  • The Consulting Process and Stages
  • Consulting Approaches, Tools, and Techniques
  • Personality and Communication Styles (fit between you and the client)
  • The Functional Areas of Organizations
  • Understanding Organizational Culture

Day 2 - Toolkit

  • Change Management and Facilitating Change
  • Capacity Building
  • Stakeholder/Public Engagement
  • Strategic Planning
  • Building Trust and Commitment
  • Working with Executives and Boards

Day 3 - Consulting Ethics and Professionalism

  • Professionalism
  • Setting and Maintaining Professional Boundaries
  • Moral and Ethical Dilemmas
  • Confidentiality and Privacy
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Working Within Your Competencies
  • Legal Documents (Contracts and Agreements)
  • Liability and Risk

Program Methodology

In addition to lectures, each course will use a combination of self-evaluation tools, practical individual and group exercises, videos, and case studies to reinforce theoretical concepts and learning.

Guest speakers and co-facilitators will present a variety of micro-topics throughout the certificate program, bringing a real world perspective to the classroom.

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Module 2 - Business Analysis and Needs Assessment 

Have you ever been involved in a project or an initiative that failed because it did not have or, did not meet user requirements or desired outcomes?

This course introduces you to the power of business analysis as a systematic way to identify and assess the needs of the organization, identify its capabilities, evaluate the viability of different solutions, develop test cases, and plan a course of action that meets all stakeholder requirements.

Module Details

  • Needs Assessments / Requirements Gathering and Analysis
  • Diagnosis
  • Action Planning
  • Risk Analysis
  • Implementation, Outcomes Measurement, and Evaluation


Module 3 - Business and Organizational Development 

Business development (BD) is about exploring opportunities for long-term growth from customers, markets, and relationships. Organizational development (OD) is about the systemic change in the beliefs, attitudes and values of employees for individual and company growth. The goal is ultimately the same, but BD approaches opportunities from the outside in and OD approaches opportunities from the inside out.

Because advising an organization in the pursuit of strategic opportunities generally requires an understanding of both BD and OD, this course will introduce you to business development concepts and opportunity identification, as well as to the theories and concepts of organizational development, so that your projects align with business priorities and leverage internal capabilities.

Module Details

  • Business Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Market Development and Product Innovation
  • Strategic Partnerships & Alliances
  • Organizational Evaluation and Diagnostics
  • Organizational Behaviour and Culture
  • Change Management

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Module 4 - Selling Solutions and Projects 

When you work in an advisory capacity, you need to work collaboratively with key decision makers and understand how to present and promote solutions that reflect the actual needs of the organization while achieving customer satisfaction and building strong relationships.

This course will focus on the key steps, skills and techniques involved in consultative selling, from planning your sales activities to closing the deal.

Module Details

  • The Sales Cycle
  • Lead Generation and Prospecting
  • Writing Proposals
  • Presenting Solutions
  • Negotiating and Persuading (Getting Buy-In)
  • Anticipating and Overcoming Objections
  • Closing Techniques

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Applied Project

The objective of the applied project is to provide an opportunity for students to design and execute a project from start to finish while gaining experience into the practical side of consulting/advising work.

The applied project is a mandatory component of the certificate and must be completed by the end of the Certificate Program. Failure to complete the applied project within the established time frame will prevent students from receiving their certificate.


Project Details

At minimum, the applied project will require the following:

  • Conducting a needs analysis to define the scope of the project and deliverables
  • Developing a project proposal
  • Preparing a contract (with terms of agreement) between the consultant/advisor and the client(s)
  • Conducting research (with project stakeholders)
  • Analyzing potential solutions, models or frameworks
  • Preparing a final project report (including recommendations)
  • Delivering a 20-minute presentation


  1. Students will select their proposed applied project idea/topic by the end of Module 1 - Essentials of Consulting.
  2. The project idea/topic will be discussed individually with the instructor during the last hour of the 3rd day of the Essentials of Consulting course.
  3. A project outline will be submitted electronically to the instructor within the following month. The instructor will review the outline to ensure the project covers all the necessary components and fits within the scope and time frame of the certificate program.
  4. Three review opportunities will be provided to each student prior to presenting their project so that they can receive feedback and stay on track.
  5. Students will present their applied project (to a mock client panel) during the last Module of the Certificate Program, “Selling Solutions and Projects”.

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