A global resource

David Noble, Group CEO, Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
7 July 2014

10 July 2014 | David Noble

David Noble, CIPS CEOThe globalisation trend
in the world’s economy is only likely to increase in the coming decades and supply chains will continue to be the beating heart of global business. We have only to remember recent disasters such as fraud in food chains and other difficulties in sourcing, to be reminded of how fragile business can be if supply chains aren’t managed well.

I’m preaching to the converted of course. But I say this as a reminder because international boundaries are being broken down so quickly that commonality in procurement and supply management practices between trading countries is becoming increasingly vital and urgent. There is no time to lose if we are to meet our desire to source more cost effectively, find creative solutions and develop strong relationships with partners who can bring a rich source of ideas and developments to our organisations.

Good practice in procurement and supply management should be common across all borders. There is no difference whether we work in the UK, in China or in Australia, whether we source ethically, purge our supply chains of modern slavery or get the best value from the company purse, the standards are the same.

MCIPS has always been globally recognised as the standard for the profession and your licence to practise. But now we offer the definitive Global Standard for Procurement and Supply as the recognised ‘home’ of standards in our profession.

Available not only to members, it will benefit anyone who procures and manages supply chains. Access to the Standard is free, it exists for the benefit of the profession and will be reviewed and updated annually.

In its simplest form, it identifies the skills, knowledge and capabilities needed by individuals and teams to work at all levels within the profession, or indeed outside of the profession and on the path to professionalism. As part of the 2011 qualifications review, a project in which CIPS engaged 5,000 stakeholders, predominately CIPS members, representatives from industry in a range of sectors and leading academics, to help inform the content of the qualification syllabus was the beginning of the Standard. This global activity resulted in 27 focus groups, 19 stakeholder groups and 8,000 comments. It was from this that the Global Standard was produced. The Standard is a benchmark of best practice and not just our qualifications. It coherently brings together the outcomes, behaviours and knowledge required to deliver identified procurement activity into a tool, which can be used by individual managers and their employers, recruiters and individuals themselves. It spans the entire reach of responsibility from tactical through to advanced professional and we’re launching the next interactive version soon.

The Global Standard is also not just about the practicalities and efficiencies in practice in the profession but about transparency and visibility too. I’m not saying it is a panacea for all ills, but common standards across borders and nationalities available to all, everyone wins.

Building on a strong foundation

I have really enjoyed reading the new stories from beneficiaries of the CIPS Foundation grants and bursaries. Some of the struggles these new professionals have had to overcome to even get started on a career path are deeply humbling indeed.

Some have coped with illness, 
grief and redundancy, some are bringing up families and supporting extended families in regions of the world that are deeply disadvantaged, 
as well as in the UK.

The Foundation is also moving into other areas of support. This includes setting up procurement challenges for schools to widen knowledge about the profession as a career of choice so we attract the best and the brightest to make procurement and supply an early career choice. There’s lots you can do in support of this or if you’re reading this as a possible beneficiary, the deadline for applications is the end of July. Either way, please get in touch cipsfoundation.org

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