19 December 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor
Council staff who have buying responsibilities but no qualifications will have access to a free training tool from mid-January.
The e-tool, Passport to Procurement, has been developed by the Improvement and Development Agency (IdeA).
David Geere, principal procurement consultant at IDeA, told SM
: "It's aimed at administration officers who have to do some purchasing and gives them an idea of what procurement is about.
"It tells them everything they need to know about procurement but were afraid to ask."
The service, which was designed for the public sector, explains the procurement cycle and covers policy including the National Procurement Strategy for Local Government and the efficiency programme.
"We recognise that, within councils, someone who is not a trained purchaser could be asked to buy a photocopier and they need information on how to go about it. The tool also explains procurement and legal expertise."
The modular-based system includes two hours of learning and incorporates a self-assessment section.
If successful, it could be rolled out across the public sector.