Get CIPS Chartered Status to stand out from the crowd

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
12 October 2015

Achieving CIPS Chartered Status is an excellent way to differentiate yourself and demonstrate your achievements, an audience of procurement professionals heard.

Two of the first four individuals to achieve the status, Mandy Chippindale, director of MC2 Procurement and Steve Johnson, founding director of Simply Joined Consulting, were speaking in a session at the CIPS Annual Conference in London.

Chippindale said you have to be the best if your role involves telling others what to do and Johnson said having the status enabled him to stand out from the likes of big competitors.

As seasoned procurement professionals both went through the ‘experiential route’, one of three pathways to achieving Chartered Status. Other options are the applied learning or academic route, which were outlined by group professional development director at CIPS, Amanda O’Brien. She also gave the context in which the status was developed – to enable procurement professionals to prove they are up to the complex challenges faced by their organisations.

Permission for CIPS to offer Chartered Status to its full members and fellows was granted by the Queen in October 2014 and within hours of the announcement hundreds had registered their interest. Gaining the status demonstrates a level of skill, ability and experience above MCIPS, which remains the globally recognised professional standard for all procurement and supply professionals.

Johnson said he has “suffered with self-doubt all his life” which has driven him to ensure he is good enough and achieving Chartered Status enabled him to prove that to himself. He added: “If you don’t achieve it, at least you know where the gaps are”.

He described the process as “frightening” but said it gave a sense of achievement at each stage. “It’s genuinely one of the scariest but most rewarding things I’ve ever done – more so than my masters, the spotlight was on me.”

Both he and Chippindale advised those considering undertaking the process to prepare beforehand, to read the CIPS Global Standard for Procurement and Supply, to refresh their academic knowledge and be prepared to be tested on their hard and soft skills.

Since the status has to be worked at to be retained, Johnson said he will be driven to keep attending branch events, to get out to speak to peers and practitioners, to keep learning and record it all as part of his continuing professional development.

“It’s like an MOT,” said O’Brien, “every year you have to do something to retain it.”

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