CIPS Chartered Status: 'A tough gig but well worth it'

14 October 2015

CIPS has awarded Chartered Status to two more professionals, following two initial awards this summer.

Natalie Henfrey, PA Consulting Group’s procurement expert, and Steve Johnson, director at Simply Joined Consulting, can now refer to themselves as ‘Chartered procurement and supply chain professionals’.

Both took the experiential route to Chartered Status, completing an online competency assessment, providing personal statements and undertaking a viva interview.

Johnson said: “It was a tough gig but well worth the effort. It meant many months spent answering online academic and practitioner-based questions, writing thousands of words in a number of papers that gave evidence of putting professional and ethical procurement principles into practice at a senior level, followed by a 90-minute interview to verify it as all my own work.”

Henfrey agreed that it was challenging. “The competency assessment meant I had to study to ensure I really do have the advanced professional skills and, like most people, I was stronger in some areas than others. That said, it was a very positive process and a great refresher of my theory skills.

“I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the assessor, a senior industry figure, in the viva and I really appreciated the flexibility of doing it by Skype on a Sunday afternoon,” she added.

Both said the process had given them confidence in their profession. Johnson said: “The procurement profession is a great place to be. We can make a significant contribution to a wide range of challenges faced by organisations.

Henfrey added that Chartered Status recognises the fundamental importance of procurement’s role in an organisation. “It sends a clear signal that you need qualified people managing your spend, just as you do in the finance department.

“It’s a good time for procurement professionals to talk to their employers about gaining the qualification. If employers aren’t willing to do this, people should move somewhere which will, or run the risk of being at the lower end of a potentially two-tier profession,” she said.

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