BACKGROUND: Engineering consultancy organisations provide technical solutions for clients. A typical area is the system design of infrastructure projects such as industrial plant, specialist buildings, commercial offices, airports & docks, transportation (roads), water & waste processing, material handling for mining, oil and gas processing. These organisations typically value their relationships with clients. They seek to deliver value to the client both in the excellence of the technical solution and the quality of service. Consequently these organisations value engineers with client-focussed attitudes. The literature identifies that soft skills, particularly *communication*, are important factors in service quality. PROBLEM: While service-gap models do exist, these are for organisations in general and do not address the specific needs of engineering consultants. Even though service quality is a known point of difference for engineering consultants, the defining nature of such quality is poorly understood.