Vienna, Berlin, Zurich, 29 July 2020 – The "Consultancy Management Standard" (CMS), a quality management system for Communications Agencies has been initially developed by PRCA in Great Britain in 2004. Today, the most successful agencies and networks in the world use the CMS standard to ensure high-quality services for their clients and to differentiate themselves from "the black sheep" in the industry while proving economically successful agency management in the long term.
The international umbrella organization of the PR and communications industry, ICCO – International Communications Consultancy Organisation – has been continuously developing this standard ever since and, in addition to process quality, also gives great importance to compliance with codes of honour and ethical guidelines.
Independent auditors check agency compliance with the strict CMS criteria every two years to recertify the agencies. The CMS guidelines ensure agencies conduct their business in a strategically comprehensive and sustainable manner. All recurring processes are documented and can be implemented by all employees at a continuously high level of quality.
Large businesses and international clients rely on quality-certified communication agencies
Large businesses and international corporations attribute great importance to compliance with norms, international standards, and independent audits and quality certifications for their suppliers, thus also when selecting PR agencies. A CMS certification gives clients additional security when choosing an agency, since an internationally proven quality management system avoids mistakes, strengthens performance, makes agencies more efficient and more effective, ultimately ensuring more economic success. Therefore, agencies, clients and the entire communications industry benefit when uniform quality standards and high-quality demands are established.
In Switzerland, CMS certification is therefore mandatory today to be accepted as a member of the Association of PR Agencies in Switzerland (BPRA). In Austria, the "Austrian PR Quality Seal", which is based on the CMS standard, distinguishes qualified agencies and also certifies communication departments of companies, NGOs and public institutions.
In Germany, the GPRA, the association of leading PR and communications agencies, recently also decided to introduce the international CMS standard as a distinguishing feature of quality for communications agencies that is clearly recognizable to clients.
Quality for the PR industry: Five new auditors for agency certifications in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH region)
Until now, only two certified, German-speaking CMS auditors were available for the entire DACH region. At a TÜV-accredited auditor training this June in Vienna, five new CMS auditors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were trained and officially certified.
The new auditors are all recognized industry experts and long-time agency managers themselves. Together with the Austrian CMS lead auditor, Anita Mohl, Managing Director of Agency Experts, they will now conduct quality audits and CMS certifications of communication agencies in the entire DACH region. Furthermore, the experts are available to agencies and communication departments to assist with the establishment of quality management systems.
The aim for the coming years is to double the number of quality-certified agencies in the German-speaking region and also to help to manifest the CMS standard even more firmly in other European countries.
The auditors' examination for agency certifications in the communications industry, according to the international "Consultancy Management Standard" was completed by: Jürgen H. Gangoly (CEO, The Skills Group, ICCO Regional President Europe, AT), Alexandra Groß (CEO, Fink & Fuchs, DE), Beate Heinrich (founder, Heinrich - Agency for Communication, DE), Hanning Kempe (General Manager, FleishmanHillard, DE) and Reto Wilhelm (CEO, Panta Rhei PR, CH). TÜV Austria additionally certified the examination.
To obtain agency certification according to the CMS standard and to register for the Austrian PR quality certification, you can contact the respective industry associations BPRA.ch, GPRA.de, PRVA.at. Further information can be found online on the new online platform for PR experts and auditors AgencyExperts. (www.agencyexperts.org). All new CMS auditors are also listed there and can be requested for certification or consulting services.
Jürgen H. Gangoly
ICCO - International Communications Consultancy Organisation
Regional President, Europe, www.iccopr.com
More information is available at
www.prva.at / www.prguetezeichen.at
Press photo (copyright free): Five new PR quality auditors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are now certifying communications agencies according to the international Consultancy Management Standard (CMS) of ICCO: Hanning Kempe, Jürgen H. Gangoly, Sachie Restelica (Audit Commission, TÜV Austria), Alexandra Groß, Beate Heinrich, Reto Wilhelm, Anita Mohl (CMS Lead Auditor, GF AgencyExperts)