The Consultancy Process and Timeline

Application Process

Estimated duration: 1 month

Estimated Consultancy Team workload: 2 - 4 hours

Elements of Success for
the Application »
Potential institutional partners can apply for a consultancy with the BTSE consortium. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and are accepted based on merit. BTSE leaders will evaluate the applicants' need for a consultancy, their local support, and their commitment level toward making change. Applications must include a description of a critical and/or important issue facing their institution to be addressed by the BTSE consultancy. More information regarding the application criteria can be found on the Elements of Success page.

Once the application is accepted, a consultancy team is created. The Consultancy Team typically consists of three BTSE Consortium members representing different consortium organizations, including one member (the team lead) who has previous experience as a BTSE consultant. The Consultancy Team will meet prior to interacting with the host institution to make initial plans.

Develop Foundation

Estimated duration: 1-2 months

Estimated Consultancy Team workload: 4 - 8 hours

Elements of Success for
Developing a Foundation »
Understanding the local context and the complexity of the challenges to be addressed through the consultancy is essential to preparing for a consultancy visit. This process begins through pre-visit discussions with the Institutional Coordinator (IC), with a recognition that plans and insights will evolve as the consultancy proceeds.


The Consultancy Team will work with the IC to obtain information and insights that provide a robust initial context for the targeted issue. This process will typically involve one or two virtual meetings, the first of which takes place at least eight weeks prior to the initial consultancy visit. Any additional people (key stakeholders) to include in the planning process should be identified as soon as possible – and no later than the initial virtual meeting.

Initial conversations will be used to:

  • begin to understand the departmental, programmatic, and/or institutional context
  • fully describe the stated issue and determine perceived causal factors
  • identify levers/barriers that would help to promote/hinder the desired change
  • determine specific individuals to include during the consultancy

Prepare for the Visit

Estimated duration: 1-2 months

Estimated Consultancy Team workload: 4 - 8 hours

Elements of Success for
Preparing for the Visit »
Coordination among the Consultancy Team, the Institutional Coordinator, and the Project Coordinator during the planning process is crucial to the success of the initial consultancy visit. Gaining clarity and context on the challenge being addressed and identifying key stakeholders with whom to interact are also essential in planning for a successful visit. However, this planning is done with an explicit acknowledgment that the identified challenge, goals, and success indicators are likely to be clarified and/or modified during the consultancy visit.

Key aspects of the planning process

  • Clarifying further the challenges faced by the institution and causal factors that led to the current situation
  • Identifying the specific goals of the consultancy visit
  • Defining success indicators for the consultancy visit
  • Identifying local stakeholders who could help foster buy-in, as well as identifying the individuals, groups, and academic service offices that could serve as informants during the visit
  • As appropriate, obtaining and considering any relevant program data identified previously and provided by the IC
  • As appropriate, identifying and obtaining other data (e.g., national norms, relevant research findings) that would be useful to share with local stakeholders during the consultancy visit

The Consultancy

Estimated duration: 1 week

Estimated Consultancy Team workload: 2 - 3 days

Elements of Success for
The Consultancy »
The Consultancy Visit is a 2-day in person, virtual, or hybrid meeting where the Consultancy Team meets with the predetermined parties, continues gathering information regarding the institutional priorities, and compiles the gathered information into an Action Plan. During the visit, the Consultancy Team will engage in a range of activities that will typically include:

  • presenting data to elucidate the challenges to local stakeholders,
  • gathering information from a variety of perspectives,
  • rallying local stakeholders' understanding of and interest in the opportunities the consultant team could provide,
  • beginning to develop strategic plans and next steps for professional development,
  • scheduling follow up meetings with those who were absent, and
  • drafting an Action Plan.

The BTSE Action Plan is a consultant report that identifies the appropriate Consortium intervention and resources to address the identified priorities. It describes the consultancy experience and the outcomes of the pre-visit conversations and the on-site visit. In particular, the report addresses

  • institutional strengths
  • areas for improvement
  • how the readiness-for-change data informed their decision-making
  • and insights gained about the consultancy process.

During the Consultancy Visit, the Evaluation Team will collect data to support the evaluation needs. This may take the form of additional surveys or meetings with key stakeholders and/or Institutional Coordinators.

The Consultancy Team will offer follow-up support. Follow-up support may take the form of additional professional development events or consultations with the Consultancy Team.


Estimated duration: dependent on the chosen professional development

Estimated Consultancy Team workload: N/A

The months following the Consultancy Visit are used to complete the Action Plan. The professional development program options vary widely in the time required to plan and in the program length.