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What we do

As an influential professional body, CIPS helps all kinds of organisations achieve all-round excellence in procurement and supply management. We do this by offering a range of products & services to equip you with the knowledge, training, and practical skills you need to derive maximum benefit from your procurement practices.

To view some further information on CIPS successes and goals, take a look at our 'All about CIPS' brochure'. and our 2013 policy document on Licence to Practise in the profession.

How we operate

Developing the ‘art and science’ of procurement and supply management

Everything we do is underpinned by the development of knowledge and understanding around purchasing and supply. This knowledge is integral to our long-term strategy and reputation as a leading authority on procurement issues.

We also support vital academic research into tomorrow’s procurement challenges. In addition to our consultative work with some of the world’s leading organisations, this intelligence enables us to visualise and prepare you for leading-edge practice of the future.

Continuously improving the professional standards of practitioners

A key aspect of our work is to promote and maintain high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among all procurement and supply management practitioners.  We do this through our professional qualifications programme, associated membership standard, public access training and comprehensive learning resources. As a member, you’ll also be bound by a code of ethics and encouraged to make a lifelong commitment to your own professional development. What’s more, we’re custodians of the National Occupational Standards in Supply Chain Management ,  which means we can provide you with authoritative guidance on procurement management issues.

Promoting excellence in organisations

We believe that by enabling you to achieve and maintain high standards in procurement, we can help to improve the effectiveness of your organisation.  To do this, we provide industry-leading staff education and training programmes. We can also improve your staff’s performance through rigorous assessment and accreditation of their purchasing and supply procedures.  What’s more, wherever possible we share best practice between peer groups.

Representing individuals’ interests and views

We represent the interests of the profession and the views of our members. In fact, our special interest groups, online and face-to-face,  encourage members to share their opinions and knowledge with the wider community. We’re also directly involved in shaping procurement policy for the UK Government and European Commission, and our consultative response process allows us to represent members’ views at the highest level.

Royal Charter

As the Charted Institute of Purchasing & Supply, we enjoy a Royal Charter. We were awarded the Charter in 1992 in recognition of our leading role in supporting and furthering the interests of the purchasing and supply industry.

The awarding of a Royal Charter

Royal Charters are only awarded to a select group of professional bodies that can demonstrate excellence in key areas. These include:

  • Being the leading representative of the profession or function in its sector
  • Providing a professional qualification at Honours Degree level, which is the accepted benchmark for the profession
  • Binding members by a code of conduct
  • Serving the public good and providing a platform of stability and permanence which is fostered through the re-investment of revenues

Our Royal Charter defines our objectives as follows:

 “To promote and develop for the public benefit the art and science of purchasing and supply and to encourage the promotion and development of improved methods of purchasing and supply in all organisations;  

To promote and maintain for the benefit of the public high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among all those engaged in purchasing and supply;  

To educate persons engaged in the practice of purchasing and supply and by means of examination and other methods of assessment to test the skill and knowledge of persons desiring to enter the Institute.”

What does this mean in practice:

“To focus on how the theory and practice of purchase and supply may be improved for the benefit of the public;

To encourage the promotion and development of improved methods of purchasing and supply in all organisations;  

To promote and maintain high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among everyone who works within the purchasing and supply sector;  

To provide tailored educational opportunities for people employed in the purchasing and supply industry;

To develop a portfolio of rigorous assessments through examination and other methods to test the skill and knowledge of anyone who wishes to join the Institute.”

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is an organisation incorporated under Royal Charter and is also a registered Charity number 1017938. CIPS Corporate Services Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of CIPS, registered in England under number: 2610367 and is registered at the address shown above. Both organisations operate under a group VAT registration number: 3426 489 42

Code of Conduct

As part of our membership, anyone who wants to join The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply must sign up to our Code of Conduct. The Code is regularly reviewed - the last major review and update was approved by the CIPS Global Board of Trustees on 12 June 2013.


As a member of The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, I will:

Enhance and protect the standing of the profession, by:

  • never engaging in conduct, either professional or personal, which would bring the profession or the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply into disrepute
  • not accepting inducements or gifts (other than any declared gifts of nominal value which have been sanctioned by my employer)
  • not allowing offers of hospitality or those with vested interests to influence, or be perceived to influence, my business decisions
  • being aware that my behaviour outside my professional life may have an effect on how I am perceived as a professional


Maintain the highest standard of integrity in all business relationships, by:

  • rejecting any business practice which might reasonably be deemed improper
  • never using my authority or position for my own financial gain
  • declaring to my line manager any personal interest that might affect, or be seen by others to affect, my impartiality in decision making
  • ensuring that the information I give in the course of my work is accurate and not misleading
  • never breaching the confidentiality of information I receive in a professional capacity
  • striving for genuine, fair and transparent competition
  • being truthful about my skills, experience and qualifications


Enhance the proficiency and stature of the profession, by:

  • continually developing and applying knowledge to increase my personal skills and those of the organisation I work for
  • fostering the highest standards of professional competence amongst those for whom I am responsible
  • optimising the responsible use of resources which I have influence over for the benefit of my organisation


Ensure full compliance with laws and regulations, by:

  • adhering to the laws of countries in which I practise, and in countries where there is no relevant law in place I will apply the standards inherent in this Code
  • fulfilling agreed contractual obligations
  • following CIPS guidance on professional practice


Click here for more information about the Code of Conduct.

Vision & Mission Statement


We will achieve universal recognition that excellence in purchasing and supply management is an imperative for responsible organisational success and hence the public good.


We aim to fulfil the objectives of our Royal Charter, deliver value to our stakeholders and be recognised as a point of reference and authority. Specifically, we will:

  • Promote, represent and explain the business discipline and good practice of purchasing and supply management
  • Research, develop and endorse improved methods in purchasing and supply management
  • Assist all organisations in developing their capability in purchasing and supply management with the right strategies, processes, people and leadership
  • Support individuals in developing, demonstrating and qualifying in the profession of purchasing and supply management

Annual Reports & Accounts

View CIPS Annual Report and Accounts for: