Think about it. You understand (I hope) situational competence. We all know people who are extraordinarily competent in one area and hopeless incompetents in other areas.
So the question is really, “How do you know the consultant you’re about to engage is competent to assist you with the issue at hand?” Having the world’s greatest consulting brain surgeon working with you on a factory floor reengineering project might not be the wisest thing to do, no matter how competent the consultant was in her field or how nice she was.
What’s the approach you use to determine and verify the competence of the consultants with which you work? From my perspective, it’s less important which approach you use (as long as it works) and more important THAT YOU HAVE AN OBJECTIVE APPROACH that you use with consistency.
So. What’s the name of your approach? How often do you update it? Who is in charge of updating and maintaining it? Is it used consistently throughout your organization?