The Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s office have pledged their support for a self-regulatory licence for the procurement profession, as advocated by CIPS.
The aim of the voluntary licensing scheme is to drive greater accountability and responsibility among procurement and supply chain professionals, to help tackle slavery in the supply chain. Licensing will demonstrate procurement processes are carried out by professionally qualified practitioners, that these professionals can demonstrate a pre-determined level of competence, and they can be held accountable to formalised standards of practice and ethics.
Kevin Hyland, the UK independent anti-slavery commissioner, said: “Slavery in supply chains is an abuse of human rights in the pursuit of profits and it is not only a business malpractice but a criminal practice. As supply chains have globalised and demand for cheaper labour has continued to rise, the need for more rigorous monitoring of supply chains is absolutely vital.
"I therefore fully support the concept of a voluntary licence to encourage self-regulation and change the culture of procurement ensuring businesses are not unwittingly enabling modern slavery in their supply chains.”
Paul Broadbent, chief executive of the GLA, added: “We at the GLA strive to ensure the UK’s fresh produce sector is free of such abhorrent practices by requiring all licence-holders comply with our stringent standards. We aim to achieve this through working collaboratively with the industry and we fully support any new initiative that promotes self-regulation. The CIPS concept will further enhance how we can all play a part in protecting the rights of all vulnerable individuals working in the UK and minimise the risk of exploitative practice.”
David Noble, group CEO, CIPS, said the profession can no longer accept inadequate procurement and supply practices in a world of scarce resources, and a licensing structure would allow that to happen.
In July the United Nations Development Programme backed CIPS’ call for a self-regulatory licensing regime to boost the status of the profession.