Consultants are an individual not employed by the University, of proven professional or technical competence, who provides professional or technical advice to the University. The University does not control either the manner of performance or the result of the service. These services are of an advisory nature, provide a recommended course of action, or personal expertise, and an end product which is basically a transmittal of information either written or verbal.

The California Public Contract Code (Section 10515) and University of California policies prohibit the University from entering into a subsequent contract with a consultant for the performance of services that the consultant previously recommended. This was enacted in 2002, in SB 1467 as a prohibition of "follow-on contracts". If the department contemplates that a consultant might later provide the services that he or she will recommend, this possibility must be included in the initial agreement with that independent consultant.