POD consultant resources
Table of Contents
Welcome! These consultant resource pages are designed for private organizational development consultants who are or aspire to be part of the University Consulting Alliance.
The Alliance is part of Professional & Organizational Development (POD), which is a division of UW Human Resources.
What POD does
Through the Alliance, we help connect UW clients with experienced consultants .
When a University client needs help with a project, we refer them to multiple Alliance consultants who have the necessary expertise. Once the client selects a consultant, we manage the contract, reconcile invoices and billings with applicable proposals, and work with UW Purchasing to pay you in a timely manner.
POD and the University Consulting Alliance are self-sustaining. Because we don’t receive University or State funds, we must charge UW clients a 15 percent administrative fee. This fee is in addition to consultants’ fees.
Apply to the Alliance
If you are interested in joining the University Consulting Alliance, contact us.
If you are interested in applying to join the Alliance, you should have:
- A minimum of five years of experience providing organizational consulting services as an external consultant
- Experience with clients in higher education. We will also consider public sector client experience as well.
- Demonstrated history of performance on previous projects
Get selected for consulting work
Word of mouth works best for advertising consultant services to UW clients. The majority of contracts are opened because a client wants to hire a particular consultant for a project. Often the client has used the same consultant before, or that consultant has been recommended to the client by someone else at the University.
When a client asks us for a consultant recommendation, we typically provide the names of three to six consultants who meet that client’s needs. We recommend consultants who have the right expertise for the project and who can meet the project scope and budget.
We also refer clients to our website. On our site, each member of the Alliance has a profile page that highlights expertise, experience, and credentials. Consultant profiles also include a list of past clients and a short philosophy statement about work style. Some clients visit our website first; then they contact us with a short list of consultants that they are considering.
In addition to providing recommendations and website marketing, we also conduct various types of outreach marketing to promote the services offered by Alliance consultants. This includes promotion in The Leading Edge, a quarterly e-newsletter for UW leaders.
Strategies for success
Planning a project has many challenges, and clients always want to hire the best consultant they can. Help clients make an informed decision and increase your chances of getting hired by being accessible and professional.
Provide detailed information about yourself and your services. Our website is an easy way for a client to learn about you, so please provide us with the necessary information to create your consultant profile. This includes sending us a professional quality headshot photo.
When a client contacts you, promptly respond. We require that Alliance consultants offer informal interviews or initial meetings for up to one hour at no charge. This can help ensure that the project is a good fit for both you and the client.
Before beginning a project
Once a client selects you to work on a project, three steps must occur before you can begin working on the project:
- You submit a proposal
- POD creates a budget agreement
- The client authorizes the work
We’ll work along with you during these steps to ensure a smooth process. Please help us by being prompt in creating the proposal and providing additional information as needed.
1. You submit a proposal
Typically, you’ll submit a proposal to the client that includes details about the work/project, timeframe, and scope, as well as anticipated expenses (including parking, mileage, reports, materials, assessments, etc.). In some cases, the initial proposal may be verbal or informal.
You will then send the proposal, or an abbreviated form of it, to the consultation services coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposal you send to POD may be less detailed than what you send to the client. POD does not need or want to know confidential information about the client.
In other cases, you may send a proposal to the client and to POD at the same time.
2. POD creates a budget agreement
Based on the proposal and related information received from you, POD will create a budget agreement. The information we need to create the agreement includes:
- Department name
- Contact person, phone number, and email address
- Sponsor’s name and email address (the sponsor is the person approving the budget; the sponsor and the contact person might be the same.)
- Brief description of the job
- The proposed number of hours, the not-to-exceed amount for the project, and an itemization of all anticipated expenses (separate checks will be issued for some expenses)
- Approximate timeframe for the project, along with the expected end date
3. The client authorizes the work
POD sends the budget agreement to the client and asks for the client’s budget number. To approve the project, the client sends us a budget number.
Do not begin work on the project until we send you notice that it has been approved. You will not receive payment for hours worked that have not been approved by the department.
Policies for consultants
When you consult for a UW client, you are acting as an agent of both the University and the State of Washington. Follow the policies below. Please let us know if you have questions, as violating these policies may result in termination of the contract or expulsion from the Alliance.
You must keep client information confidential. Do not use, publish, or share any information about the client without first getting the client’s permission. Details are described in the Confidentiality Statement, which must be reviewed and signed by all contractors before joining the University Consulting Alliance.
You must abide by the Washington State Public Records Act. Any records or material you produce while working as a UW consultant may become public. No records are private, and no client information is exempt from public records.
The definition of a public record is very broad. You should presume that anything documented, both physically and digitally, is a public record. It does not matter where these documents are stored. Documents on your personal devices or at your home are subject to public record.
If you receive a request for any record pertaining to your work with a UW client, contact us immediately.
While it’s important that you’re aware of the Public Record Acts, you should still keep professional records of any project. If you’re unsure whether or not to document something, speak to someone about it either in person or over the phone.
You must keep information about UW employees private. Do not produce any material that contains identifying information about past or present UW employees. To use employee information, you must get written consent from that employee. Please contact us if you have questions about employee privacy.
Requirement to work with the Alliance
You are not required to be a member of the University Consulting Alliance to do work for the UW. However, if you are a member, then all your consulting work at the UW must go through the Alliance.
Invoices and payment
To get paid for your consulting services, you’ll send us an invoice detailing the work you’ve done.
Before your first invoice
Before sending us your first invoice, complete the online supplier registration form. This form is required for anyone doing business with the UW.
Submit an invoice
Send your invoices to POD, not to the client. We will bill the client internally.
Due to a federal mandate, effective January 2018 the University of Washington implemented a new billing policy stating vendors must bill within 45 days of the date the goods/services were provided. If invoices are not submitted within this time period, they may not be paid.
To allow time for POD to review and process invoices, we are now requiring you to submit invoices within 30 days of the work being completed.
Your invoices should include:
- Your company name and business address.
- An invoice number (use a different number for each invoice)
- Your business tax ID number
- Date(s) of service
- An itemized list of your services and hourly fees
How often you invoice us may vary depending on the project. However, invoicing on a monthly basis is standard. Keep in mind you may only invoice for work that has been completed.
Please note that the hourly rate you charge cannot exceed the rate you quoted in your RFQQ proposal. You may increase your rate during the next contract renewal period, which occurs biannually.
If you have never worked with UW before, it may take up to six weeks to receive your first payment due to the extra processing necessary. After that, payment typically arrives in less than a week.
Per state law, we cannot pay you for services or other work that you have not yet completed.
Changes to the budget
Adhere to the not-to-exceed amount shown on the proposal and budget agreement. If the project scope changes after work begins, contact us. We will work with you and the client to adjust the budget agreement, making sure your pay reflects your project duties.