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The procurement and supply chain profession needs to be formally licensed to “protect the public and our professionals” and prevent disasters such as contamination of the food chain and slavery in supply chains.
According to a policy statement, published by CIPS, the licence should be backed by government legislation and all employers should self-regulate by implementing the licensing scheme, such as already exists in the accountancy profession.
The statement also calls for “a clear focus on personal accountability in procurement and supply management”, for “modern day procurement and supply to be carried out by professionally qualified personnel” and for “procurement and supply professionals to be able to demonstrate a pre-determined level of competence and understanding that is continually updated”.
Recent tragedies such as the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh and scandals such as the horse meat scandal have put supply chain practices in the spotlight.
“Supply-side risk is getting out of control. There is an acute need for the procurement and supply profession to be formally licensed in order to protect the public and our professionals,” said CIPS group CEO David Noble.
“This was brought into sharp focus earlier this year with the horse meat fiasco in the UK and the Bangladesh factory tragedy, which put a human price on the failure to understand and make provision for risk in the supply chain. The industry must now respond to these risks and ensure professionals managing supply chains are adequately trained to do so and ensure accountability which has been absent for too long. A licence for the profession gives it true professional standing and individuals the knowledge they are adhering to best practice."
CIPS said it is in discussion with CEOs from major multinational organisations who support the idea. And the institute has called on all bodies that represent the profession to support the policy.
CIPS is also keen to hear views on the statement. Those wishing to give their opinion should email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the hashtag #CIPSLicence on social media.