30 March 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
CIPS and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) have teamed up to establish an education and networking association for public-sector purchasers.
The creation of the Public Sector Faculty, which will start in October, was announced at the Government Procurement Service (GPS) conference in York last week.
Provided by CIPS and sponsored by the OGC, the faculty will offer members their own section of the CIPS website, access to continuing professional development, a quarterly newsletter and invitations to events.
The GPS, which offers similar services to purchasers in central government, will become part of the faculty.
Through consultation over the coming months, CIPS hopes to engage with other areas of the public sector to explain the benefits and capabilities of this initiative.
One aspect of it will be the development of specific public-sector units in the new CIPS qualifications ladder, which will support the professional skills for government agenda.
CIPS will be consulting with key stakeholders on the development of these units over the coming months.
Martin Sykes, OGC executive director and head of the GPS, said: "CIPS is well-qualified to provide this service. It will look at best practice so we don't have to look at doing everything twice."
Keith Trower, CIPS deputy chief executive, said: "Procurement professionals have a critical role in effective public services. The Public Sector Faculty is about improving capability."
John Oughton, OGC chief executive, added: "Membership of the faculty is the only means of ensuring you are up to date with professional skills and knowledge in this very demanding time."