The MCA, the Management Consultancies Association, is delighted to announce that 40 of the UK’s leading consulting firms have been shortlisted in the MCA Awards. PwC lead with 11 finalists, followed very closely by EY with 9 and Coeus Consulting with 7. The UK’s specialist SME consulting firms are well represented this year, with 22 firms making it through to the interview stage. Every year the MCA Awards provide a unique opportunity to see the work that consultants are producing across the country for both the public and private sector, providing value to the UK economy and wider society. Finalists have been recognised for the challenging issues and projects they have completed with positive client feedback and support. Many big name firms and organisations are represented in the work carried out by consultancies this year including Network Rail, Dixons Carphone, Transport for London, the NHS, E.on, Thomas Cook Money and Central Government.

For Performance Improvement in the private sector, Atkins has been recognised for the work they have done in helping Europe’s biggest airport, Heathrow, solve how it will deal with stringent new regulatory changes to airport security in the face of a 40% increase in passenger numbers without compromising the traveller experience. Staying in the private sector, PwC is also nominated for helping Europe’s leading specialist electrical retailer Dixons Carphone establish an efficient finance platform and reporting environment.

Consulting plays an important part in finding improvements in the public sector and BAE Systems Applied Intelligence is recognised for the support it delivered with the Home Office which to transform mobile biometrics identification to fight terrorism, strengthen law enforcements and support the immigration system. Meanwhile EY is recognised for its work with NHS emergency care. In its submission EY says there is good clinical evidence to show that the longer patients wait for emergency care, the poorer their health outcomes are likely to be. Over 18 months EY supported 13 NHS trusts to improve their performance against the 4-hour standard. Their work over this time has had the impact of improving access to timely and quality care for over 350,000 patients.

Staying with the public sector, Ealing Council was facing a crisis with a growing budget and overwhelming demand for adult social care services. It partnered with iMPOWER to transform the way it delivered support to its most vulnerable residents and to redefine the way it delivered adult social care. Also nominated Change and Transformation in the Public Sector this key category is ATOS for its recent work with the Metropolitan police. The Met has transformed its local policing model to make better use of officer time and to work in a more efficient joined up and flexible way with reduced budgets.

Best use of Thought Leadership is a very competitive segment and this year covers issues such as the reinvestment in the UK’s crumbling infrastructure (Arcadis) and consulting companies who have played a pivotal role in the thought leadership behind the national health policy (Carnall Farrar). PwC has been nominated for its work with Energy UK on the adoption of Electric vehicles in the UK and for its successful work in assessing the business models needed to develop an effective, efficient and reliable electric charging infrastructure across the UK. Meanwhile PA consulting with the wePROTECT Global Alliance has been nominated as finalist for the work it has done devising a report, the Global Threat Assessment, designed to raise international awareness of sexual exploitation of children online.

Consultancies continue to play a huge role in digital technology transformation for clients. Arcadis has been recognised for its role in helping Network Rail to embrace digital technology to improve capacity, safety and reliability across key routes in its network. The company helped to deliver an innovative procurement and supply chain model to meet the needs of the new Digital Railway programme and for that reason has been nominated for the Commercial Excellence category. Simon-Kucher & Partners have also been nominated for its work with The Economist magazine, helping them define a commercial strategy that delivers long-term sustainable revenue (and profit) growth. Overall there are 6 finalists in the Commercial Excellence category.

Tamzen Isacsson CEO of the Management Consultancies Association said “The MCA Awards provide a rare opportunity to see the impressive results that consultancies deliver around the country with clients driving innovation, efficiency and change. From electric vehicles, to the NHS, the railway network and holiday resorts the subjects of the award nominations are diverse and challenging. For all clients and people thinking of a career in consulting they provide real life examples of why consultancy works and matters.”

In the Customer Engagement and Marketing category there were a wide range of entries, but the finalists are Simon-Kucher and Partners for its work with Center Parcs and PwC and the software giant Sage – for its Customer Success. Decision Technology was nominated in the same category for its work with asset manager Schroders. Consultancy firms are often tasked with creating and implementing Change and Transformation in organisations and OEE Consulting is highlighted for its work with ATOS transforming operations at NS&I, the UK saving institution. The firm was tasked with helping to transform NS&I’s operations to remain competitive following changing customer expectations and updates in financial technology. Bourton Group is shortlisted for its work with Cambridge Assessment, an international exams group which designs and delivers assessments to over 8 million learners in 170 countries across the world. Bourton Group helped to deliver an organisation wide business improvement programme which made significant savings, as well as developing a systematic approach to capability building.

Overall there are 21 award categories with 5 individual awards and 12 project awards. There are also awards for the Best New Consultancy, Consulting Excellence Firm of the Year, The Times Consultant of the Year and Project of the Year. Full details of this year's finalists can be found more