Department for Transport's procurement transformation leads to CIPS certification

The transformation of the procurement function at the Department for Transport (DfT) has resulted in the organisation receiving CIPS Corporate Certification.

The award and overhaul of the function have seen procurement’s profile raised across the DfT and it is “certainly no longer seen as a back office function”, according to Melinda Johnson, director of group commercial services at the department.

The transformation involved the DfT, which comprises the central department, along with its executive agencies and trading funds, establishing a group operating model for procurement, across all agencies.

A "Procurement Centre of Excellence", which operates across the entire department, was also created and procurement governance processes were strengthened, with new guidance issued across the organisation.

The group operating model aims to “ensure the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”, Johnson said. “Professionalism is at the heart of our group operating model, particularly the sharing of best practice and keeping skills up to date,” she added.

The central department went through the certification process to align with Highways England, the first agency in the group to achieve certification three years ago. Alongside these two organisations within the group, the DVLA has also achieved certification for the first time.

“We wanted to take the opportunity for a rigorous assessment of our progress and external validation that we have built a strong foundation for the profession in DfT,” Johnson added.

“So achievement of this certification has enabled us to assure our “best practice” guidance, make changes as necessary and given us pointers for further improvement.”

The department is now moving towards getting external validation from CIPS Corporate Standard for all parts of the group.

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