MDQ Associates (previously known as Clutterbuck Associates South Africa) draws on both international expertise from a leading global authority through our David Clutterbuck Partnership as well as Coaching and Mentoring International and local expertise. Our well-known and highly experienced partners offer talent management consulting and workshops incorporating best practice in managing in-house coaching and mentoring programmes.

Our business is helping organisations to create systemic and modern talent management approaches and to set up in-house coaching and structured mentoring programmes.

What we do


Coaching is a real time intervention by another person (coach) designed to raise the awareness of an individual (coachee) so that s/he can improve performance in a defined task. The two prevalent models of coaching are defined as the following:

Traditional coaching & Developmental coaching


Mentoring in its most basic form is the transfer of knowledge and experience for mutual benefit. It is one of the most powerful methods of developing skills and talent and has become a cornerstone of growth and efficiency within organisations. The two main models of mentoring are:

Sponsorship mentoring & Developmental mentoring

How do we work?

We are client-focused; we believe in offering sound solutions and measuring the success of what we do. We ensure our knowledge, methodologies and processes are leading edge yet accessible. We deliver both consulting and training ourselves – we do not outsource any aspect of these. By preference we transfer the skills into the client company.

We are founder members of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA), an umbrella body working towards improving professional standards in these areas.

Our history

David Clutterbuck formed Clutterbuck Associates in 1984 as a business research and consultancy organisation, specialising in people development. It has evolved to become one of the world’s leading specialists in mentoring and coaching programme design and implementation.

During 2002, the founding partners of Clutterbuck Associates South Africa recognised that David’s work could be of great value in helping South African organisations meet the challenges of transformation and accelerated skills development – working at the personal level and thereby building up to organisational transformation.. A franchise agreement was reached and the company launched in August 2002. Since then, a prestigious client list of leading South African organisations has been built up. We have helped to implement mentoring schemes with companies in the mining, financial services, telecommunications, utility and chemical industries and have also worked with organisations in the public and voluntary sectors. Company references are available on request. In 2012, the company became an independent consultancy,

The relationship with David remains close, with David visiting every 2 or 3 years to bring out his latest work. The South African partners also contribute to David’s global network of people working in the mentoring and coaching field.


Clutterbuck Associates South Africa has seven key principles:

  • We do not offer services unless we can offer unique and leading edge solutions.
  • We maintain a constant programme of research into both fundamentals and good practice in each area of our service offerings.
  • We always offer an opportunity to transfer to our clients both knowledge and the capability to run CA-generated programmes using their own in-house resources.
  • No change takes place in isolation – it is part of an existing and often powerful system. We expect to work with clients to identify and manage the context in which a programme will operate.
  • Wherever possible, we avoid the “sheep-dip” approach – most of our programmes involve continued support to maintain sustainability.
  • Measurement and evaluation are essential.
  • We abide by the International Standard for Mentoring Programmes in Employment (ISMPE).