Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.
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David Noble FCIPS
A licence too far? - October
At our recent CIPS annual conference we made one of the most important announcements for many years about the aspirations CIPS has for the profession - a licence to practise. A copy of our policy statement about this licence was handed to everyone who attended the conference for their comments and suggestions. And it certainly generated just that.
The responses have been overwhelmingly positive so far and I believe that’s because of the following reasons. The global business world has changed and continues to change at a remarkably fast pace, affecting governments and economies in every region of the globe. Procurement and supply management is at the forefront of this wave of change and as the global professional body, CIPS has the responsibility to do something about those depressing stories we hear around fraud and slave labour in the food supply chain, and fires in clothing factories. It’s fundamentally important that in such an environment our professionals have the protection of ‘a licence’ when asked to do something against their professional judgement.
We do not claim that a licence is the panacea for all ills in the supply chain or that our profession takes full responsibility; far from it. I’m well aware that licensed professions still have demonstrated poor practices with tragic results when it comes to the health profession for example. But, it is a move towards improving on good procurement practice and tightening up any slack in skills and taking responsibility for our part in the bigger whole.
The policy statement is as a result of conversations we’ve had with senior leaders in business, the Global Board of Trustees and the profession itself. You do not need to go too far back into the annals of time to find examples of how this was once a burning platform for other professions as it has now become for our own. Accountants were regulated two hundred years ago, and the earliest reference to medical regulation in the UK goes back to 1421. I believe our profession is just as important, impactful and able to do good or harm as these other professions.
We must be aware of our public good agenda as the professional body for procurement and supply management and not only be aware but act practically to ensure that those that hold a place in the profession deserve to be there. Any professional worth their salt will have nothing to fear from such a move.
Catch up with my column in Supply Management magazine