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Global CEO blog

Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of procurement and supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.

We change the blog monthly, and I would welcome your comments personally on ceoblog@cips.org

David Noble FCIPS

Strength and transparency

Last year we published a paper on what licensing the profession could look like. There have been a range of responses both for and against which has subsequently helped to shape and develop the position. And we’re still on that journey.

The licensing idea was born some time ago from the realisation that with complex and global supply chains becoming ever more complex and global, there is a sea change around how the profession is viewed and the good, or harm it can do without trained professionals in place.

But, it’s not as simple as that. Trained professionals may not be enough. Can we really align someone in the profession who studied 20 years ago and achieved their MCIPS as their professional licence, to another MCIPS professional who has also spent those 20 years adding to their CPD record, training themselves and others in good procurement practice, being on top of their game with the latest developments and using all the resources they have to hand?

 I think not, and most employers are beginning to think that way too.

So as the Institute for the profession, we are duty bound to be sure that our MCIPS professionals are the best and we must act if they do not meet that high standard. So, to this end, we have strengthened our disciplinary process to eke out rogue members in our profession, making it more robust and equally important, transparent.

The changes include, publishing the outcomes of any actions of the committee on our website, and the Supply Management website. Not only will the profession see these outcomes, but the general public will too. Also, inviting ’lay’ members to become part of the committee will offer wider experience and knowledge from other sectors.

If malpractice is found, members will be removed from the public register of members on the CIPS website and any CIPS ethical marks will also be removed.

Sounds harsh I know, but we should remind ourselves the Institute is here for the public good. It is our mission to enhance the profession, and to increase the level of trust the public has in our members and also offer a level of protection for members themselves. Employers must also have confidence that our professionals are the best professionals.

The Disciplinary Committee is another step on the pathway of strengthening the profession and on our licensing journey. But it should go both ways and we must offer support to our members too. We have resources such as the ethics test, the ethical mark, sustainability resources and knowledge, as well as enhanced learning through Chartered Status. We must give our professionals the confidence they are indeed the best of the best.


Catch up with my column in Supply Management magazine