Course to success

9 April 2013
David Noble, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & SupplyThe launch of the new 
suite of CIPS qualifications on 
2 April was the culmination of two years’ work, representing a huge investment of staff and volunteer time, as well as funds. It has been an institute-wide undertaking, involving thousands of individual consultations of employers, study centres, assessors and members, not to mention a cohort of educationalists and course book authors. This major project has had one clear purpose: to ensure that CIPS qualifications continue to be the benchmark for professional procurement and supply management. To maintain this, we have to continually improve and update the qualifications to keep them relevant to the procurement community – in step with the technical development of the profession – and able to meet the demanding standards of our national qualifications framework. It’s been a mammoth task. Every unit of every qualification we offer has been rigorously assessed to identify where improvements can be made. Our focus has been on creating a universal standard that’s the same whether you are in London or Lesotho. So, one of the changes is that there’s no longer any difference between the UK and the international qualifications. The old international certificate and advanced certificate has now gone, and we’re also withdrawing the UK Level 2 introductory certificate. If you’ve already completed these qualifications, don’t worry: they are still valued and recognised by employers. If you want to progress, we can advise you on the best path for you to continue your learning. Every student will have received a personal study statement 
to help them with the transition to the new qualifications, with information and advice on how their existing qualifications translate across. No learning will be wasted. We have retained a number of ‘core’ units at the higher level units because we believe all procurement people need a thorough grounding in these. The new advanced and professional diplomas will still offer optional units. And while the name of our highest qualification has changed from the CIPS Graduate Diploma to the CIPS Professional Diploma, it remains the ultimate qualification leading to MCIPS (with the requirement for three years’ experience). There’s also a new range of course books and there are sample assessments on the website. We’ve also been carrying out ‘train the trainer’ programmes to ensure our study centres are ready to go. These new qualifications will, I 
believe, confirm CIPS as the globally recognised standard for procurement. ☛ Find out more here Lessons 
to be learned According to the Lord Mayor’s Dragon awards, which recognise local community engagement in the London area, two thirds of small businesses support their 
local community in quite 
a substantial way, without 
even realising it. For instance, research states that 70 per cent of money spent at a local shop stays within the local economy, feeding and supporting other local businesses. Some activities, however, 
do not necessarily bring financial rewards. Having recently set up the CIPS Foundation to support talented, but struggling procurement and supply management students, at CIPS UK we have looked more widely at our social engagement activities 
in the local area. As a successful business 
in a small village, we have supported the local parish, shops and pubs for many years and have now started work with the local primary school – beginning with an Easter Egg Hunt. Over time, we can see that support grows by introducing the school to purchasing and business techniques to staff and children alike, and perhaps grow big oaks from such small acorns.
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