Why join a Livery Company?
Actually there isn't a simple answer. Each member of our company will give you their own view on this: some "want to give back to civil society", others "enjoy the fellowship of like-minded consultants" or "wish to continue their professional education" — or a combination of the three. Modern Livery Companies, those representing the leading present day professions, provide a unique opportunity to engage with those shaping the future of the UK. Our Company is no exception — we are a member of the Financial Services Group (of Companies) and directly brief and advise the Lord Mayor on current commercial matters, particularly prior to one of the many overseas visits that he or she makes each year to promote London and our Financial Services in particular, remembering that the 'square mile' leads the world in this area and is generally recognised as being a leader in corporate governance matters.
Livery Companies are, by their very nature, ancient in tradition — the earliest going back to mediaeval times where as Guilds they controlled their trades or professions. The mediaeval term ‘freeman’ meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free — hence the term ‘Freedom of the City'. Indeed from the Middle Ages to the Victorian era, Freedom of the City of London was the right to trade, enabling members of a Guild or Livery to carry out their trade or craft in the square mile. Of course that has evolved but Freedom remains as a unique part of London’s history to which many people who have lived or worked in the City have been proud to be admitted. Becoming a Freeman of a Livery Company is a route to becoming Free of the City of London. We actively encourage our freemen to follow this tradition and become Free of the City and then become Liverymen of our Company.
WCoMC's evolution in terms of our fellowship, education and charitable activity has advanced since our foundation. We are very proud of the impact of our ProBono work that we undertake, involving many of our freemen as either consultants or mentors to the Third Sector. Through our evolving fellowship, our professional education and learning impact is growing and we are continually looking for ways to improve and become a truly Great Modern Livery Company. So we offer a unique combination for those involved in our profession or industry.
What does our Company expect of our Members?
Like all membership organisations, we all aim to get out more than we put in. We call it "Giving and Gaining". Of course Livery Companies are slightly different from most other membership organisations given the centuries of City tradition. Being a Modern Company, we are drawn from and represent a current profession — and we give back through our ProBono work and support to each other and to newer members of our profession.
So there is an unwritten expectation that members get involved in our ProBono Consultancy, Mentoring, Education and Professional Development — and of course our fellowship through our events, small and large.
Please click on this link to download a short PDF document that answers the questions that prospective members most frequently ask — particularly the cost of membership.
Becoming a Member of WCoMC
Membership of our company is typically 'Freedom by Redemption' — admission by introduction that involves the support of a Proposer and two Seconders, all being existing members of our Company. (Like all Livery Companies, we also share the traditional custom of 'Freedom by Patrimony' - admission by birthright of a child of a Freeman of our Company and of the City.)
We welcome membership applications from all those within the management consultancy profession, particularly consultants who share our values and aims, and our interest in making a difference within the Third Sector.
In detail, our Statutes define membership (becoming a Freeman) as follows: The Freedom of The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants shall be limited to persons who are professionally qualified in a discipline directly connected with or related to the profession and industry or who in the opinion of the Court are or have been engaged, associated or experienced with the fostering and promotion of the profession and industry or practices allied thereto concerned with supporting successful business change and enhancing business performance and who hold or have held senior professional commercial or other positions therein and shall be by Patrimony, Redemption or Servitude as hereinafter provided.
We hold regular admissions ceremonies throughout the year.
The first step in becoming a member is to complete an application form and attach your CV as a Word document where indicated at the end. When completed you should send the form and CV as a Word document to your sponsor, who will then liaise with the Clerk and Membership Chairman to arrange seconders. Please click here to download an application form.
Proposer (Sponsor) and Seconders
Three Members of the Company (your proposer and two seconders) will need to support your application and they will complete the relevant sections of your application form. The whole process is electronic and original signatures are not required. If you have difficulty identifying a proposer or seconders, speak to the Chairman of the Membership Committee.
All Candidates are invited to meet with a member of the Membership Committee of the Company, as an informal interview. This meeting provides an opportunity for the Committee to assure the Court that the Candidate understands the objectives and functions of the Company, understands the obligations of Membership, meets the Criteria of Membership and will be a good Member of the Company. Candidates should give some thought before attending the interview as to why they want to join the Company and what they hope to contribute.
All Candidates' names are submitted to the Court, which is the final arbiter on Membership. Once approved for membership by Court and arranged their initial fee payments, new members will be given a username and password to enable them as approved members to log in to the website where they can register for and attend Company events pending their full admission, as well as benefiting from the wealth of information available to our members through our website. They are also able to complete their professional profile in our membership database and engage with our charitable activities.
As soon as practical after approval, new members will be fully admitted to the Company as Freemen at a short formal ceremony, usually held immediately before a Company Event.
The Admission Fine (admission fee) is payable with the application and is non refundable. If a Candidate is approved by Court, the appropriate proportion of quarterage (annual subscription) for the remainder of the current Company year will be requested prior to their becoming approved members or admitted as Freemen. All prospective members are therefore also asked to complete a Direct Debit mandate for future quarterage payments and the donation to the Charitable Fund. Please click here to download a Direct Debit Mandate which should be printed then completed by hand and returned to the Clerk at our office address.
Admission to the Livery
Once admitted as a Freeman of the Company, a Member may proceed to joining the Livery. A one-off Livery Fine is payable and the Member must be a Freeman of the City of London. The Company will assist in this process. New Liverymen will be admitted prior to The Master’s or Installation in April or October of each year.
Membership is strictly limited to those who are of standing in their field and who will promote honourable practice in the profession of management consultancy. In seeking new Members, the Company is mindful of the need to enhance the standing and reputation of the profession. New Members should show willingness to participate, both now and in the future, in the affairs of the City of London. There shall be no more than 250 Liverymen. Membership numbers will be unlimited.
The Chairman of the Membership Committee is the Membership Secretary and is responsible for the administration of Membership. The Chairman of the Membership Committee must be a senior member of the Company. The Membership Committee consists of at least three Members of the Company.
Membership is limited to those who are directly connected with or related to the profession of management consultancy, those who are concerned with supporting successful business change and enhancing business performance or those who have contributed significantly to the business or profession of management consultancy or have held a high public or private office and significantly influenced the practice of management consultancy. In any case of doubt, the Membership Committee will review an application, formally on behalf of Court, and reserve the right to refuse applications without giving a reason.
Many Livery Companies view membership as a lifelong commitment. We are more flexible and, although we would prefer not, members may resign at any time by submitting their resignation in writing to the Chairman of the Membership Committee or to The Clerk.
Any Member who has resigned from the Company may apply to be re-admitted. The application should be sponsored by a member of the Court of Assistants who has ascertained from the Clerk and Chairman of the Membership Committee that there is no impediment to the application, which should be circulated to all members of the Court for approval. If no objection is received by the Chairman of the Membership Committee within 14 days, the Candidate will be informed that the application has been successful, and asked to pay all due fees. If an objection is received, it will be referred to the next meeting of the Court for discussion and final decision.
An individual of outstanding reputation in the consultancy or business community may be invited by the Master to acquire Membership by exemption. The Master will ensure any such individual has a full understanding of the Company's aims and that they are willing to support and participate in the affairs of the Company. The individual will be asked to complete the application form and to pay all due fees, and the Chairman of the Membership Committee will then arrange for formal admission of the individual at the next convenient opportunity.
Honorary Membership may in special circumstances be conferred upon eminent individuals who, in the opinion of the Court, have made an outstanding contribution concerned with supporting successful business change and enhancing business performance. Honorary Membership may be terminated at the unfettered discretion of the Court as well as by death or resignation of the Honorary Member.
The Court may exclude Members who have offended against the rules of the Company. Exclusion will be immediate and without return of monies to the Member. Reasons for exclusion include:
- Failure to pay quarterage within three months of demand
- Criminal or other acts that are likely to bring the Company into disrepute.