10 August 2000 | David Arminas
The North Western Universities' Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC) is aiming to give NVQ purchasing training to more than 300 non-professional purchasing staff in 30 institutions.
"We've already got 50 people signed up for courses at all three of the relevant NVQ levels," said Paul Tomany, director of the NWUPC. "I will also train purchasing managers to be assessors."
Tomany expects university staff with buying responsibilities, such as laboratory technicians and faculty administrators, to take the voluntary courses, which are due to start in October.
The courses are the result of a successful bid by the NWUPC for a £200,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), as part of its good management-practice initiative. It plans to give £10 million over three years.
The NWUPC's scheme is part of the education sector's Joint Procurement Policy and Strategy Group's (JPPSG) national training initiative, which was set up last February to establish NVQ schemes in all higher education institutions in England.
Around 170 people are doing NVQs through the initiative, said Howard McCulloch, the JPPSG's deputy director of professional development. "We are hoping that the NWUPC's grant success will be followed by other consortia."
The benefit of the NWUPC scheme is that it recognises the contribution that all staff make to buying, he added. "They are usually the unsung heroes."