Management consultancy is one of the freest professions. Thus, access to the profession is completely free, anyone and everyone who feels called to it can offer consultancy. This makes it all the more important for clients to inform themselves about the quality of a consulting firm and the consulting services it offers. The BDU was founded in 1954 for precisely this reason: To ensure and develop the quality of the service. We are still committed to this goal today. Through a variety of measures and initiatives.


Admission to the BDU only takes place after passing a strict admission procedure, in which we ask for client recommendations, qualified professional experience as a consultant and quality management systems, among other things. The final admission decision is not made by representatives of the BDU office, but by the board of the closest professional association.


Even after admission, the BDU ensures the integrity of the consulting firm and qualified consulting services through various guidelines. For example, the BDU professional principles apply to all member firms. They define the most important requirements for the member, such as the competent execution of the assignment, the independence of the consultancy or confidentiality. There is also an obligation for continuing education. The professional principles are supplemented by the BDU quality standards. They describe the most important cornerstones of an advisory service with integrity and the process of cooperation with the client and are regarded as guidelines for BDU advisory services. In very concrete terms, recommendations are given here on the concrete implementation of projects.


But the BDU also issues guidelines for the performance of certain counselling disciplines. The Principles of Proper and Qualified Personnel Consulting and the Principles of Outplacement Consulting describe two very important services from the field of HR. They do not only help commissioning companies. They also help candidates to get an idea of the professionalism and qualification of a personnel or outplacement consultancy. For the area of business succession, the association has developed the "Standards of Proper Succession Advice". They serve as an orientation checklist for companies and organisations. When companies get into difficulties, they need reorganisation advice or restructuring. In such cases, special care must be taken when selecting and carrying out advice. For these cases, we have developed the Fundamentals of Proper Restructuring and Recovery (GoRS) as a guideline.


Overview of all four guidelines

The personal qualification

In addition to (corporate) membership, the BDU also offers personal quality certificates for management consultants, restructuring consultants and personnel consultants through its subsidiary. As a member of the ICMCI, the worldwide association for quality assurance in management consultancy, the BDU is exclusively entitled in Germany to award the internationally recognised personal title "Management Consultant CMC/BDU". Recertification is required every three years.


In addition to this: The Reorganisation Consultant CMC/BDU. The award is linked to proof of comprehensive specialisation and sustainable success in the field of reorganisation/restructuring.


Finally: Within the framework of our membership in the European umbrella organisation of personnel consultants, the ECSSA, we have been entitled to award the title "Personnel Consultant CERC/BDU" with a unique selling point in Germany since 2009. The title is only awarded to persons whose activities focus on the selection of specialists and executives.


Overview of the title holders

BDU member companies as employers

As an industry association, we are committed not only to ensuring the high level of quality of our member firms, but also to making the consulting profession more attractive. As a supplement to the professional principles, member companies can submit to the BDU Employers' Code of Conduct. In nine points, it describes what consulting companies in the BDU place particular emphasis on in the context of a sustainable employee policy and what future and existing employees can expect from committed BDU member companies. The participating companies express this by including the #Lieblingsarbeitgeber logo on their websites.

The Association Court

How does the BDU ensure compliance with the professional principles and its regulations?


For this purpose, we have an independent association court consisting of a chairman and two assessors. The chairman - a former judge at the Regional Court of Cologne - and two representatives of member firms are elected by the general meeting every two years. They are obliged to exercise their office in a strictly neutral manner. Anyone, in particular clients or competitors, can appeal to the Association Court if a member is found to have violated the professional principles (the BDU quality standards also play a role here, as they serve the Association Court in interpreting the professional principles).

A complaint is possible free of charge. If the accusation is true, the Association Court can recommend penalties up to expulsion from the BDU. You can make a specific complaint at