Building capabilities with CIPS Applied Learning Programmes

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Raising the bar of professional standards

In July 2019, a cohort of nine people from the Woolworths procurement team embarked on a journey to achieve the MCIPS professional designation through the applied learning path: the Corporate Award Programme, Advanced Practitioner level.

The programme, which required all participants to pass an eligibility assessment, featured:

  • ● Five core learning modules, each with a written assignment
  • ● Group classroom-style training delivered by experienced CIPS facilitators
  • ● The delivery of a major project by each student determined at the start of the programme by their line manager

After 18 months of studying and applying the learning on the job, participants had to present the outcomes of their major project to a panel of CIPS facilitators and Woolworths’ senior managers. In March 2021, all nine participants successfully graduated from the programme and a ceremony was held at Woolworths’ head office to celebrate their achievement.


Hear feedback from the Woolworths team

Grant Evans MCIPS   Phil McDonald MCIPS   Sam Popplestone
Category Manager, Packaging & Consumables
General Manager, Procurement
Category Manager, Property Services


Phil McDonald MCIPS

General Manager, Procurement
Woolworths Group

“Giving my team members the opportunity to participate in this programme has allowed me to retain some very talented procurement people”.

Michael Robinson

Lead Facilitator

“I have witnessed many ‘light bulb moments’ of discovery where students have linked theory to practice and that made my facilitator role very enjoyable”.



About Woolworths Group

Woolworths Group Limited is one of ANZ’s largest retailers, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with operations across Australia and New Zealand. In 2020, the Woolworths Group generated over 63 billion in revenue, employed more than 215,000 people and served more than 29 million customers every week across their brands.

 Woolworths logo


What is Corporate Award?

A work-based, applied learning programme designed to develop your team’s procurement and supply management expertise. The programme consists of multiple modules, with an interactive workshop for each, followed by assignments based on live activities encountered by staff in their day-to-day jobs. Every programme is supported by a wide range of resources including interactive forums, webinars, podcasts, e-learning and white papers, for a greater learning experience. Contact our business solutions team to find out how we can help.


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