CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

The second of our three entry level qualifications* it will help you to prepare for a career in procurement and supply and progress onto the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply.

You have four core modules to complete then choose one elective module to make your learning pathway more relevant for you.    

No formal entry requirements required,  join as a Student Member to get started on this qualification.

If you have started this qualification on the previous syllabus your full transfer details will now be available in your MyCIPS account.  Alternatively try our online transfer guidance

* Refers to levels within the UK RQF. Other regulatory bodies may have different corresponding levels.
This is the first of CIPS's two entry level qualifications and is ideal for you
Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

    What will I learn?

    Based on the Tactical and Operational levels of our Global Standard, this qualification will help you to understand the factual and procedural requirements relevant for this profession. You will become a more confident problem solver able to complete new and existing tasks.  Also you will gain a clear understanding about how procurement and supply fits in with the rest of the organisation.

    This is the first of our qualifications where elective modules are introduced. This gives you the choice for a specialist professional pathway such as Procurement or Supply Chain.

    Joining as a student member is your first step towards starting your qualification programme and move forward into an exciting new career. You can then book your exams online.

    What can CIPS qualifications do for your career?

    There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

    Typical job titles:

    • Administrator
    • Assistant buyer
    • Assistant contract officer
    • Contract analyst
    • Stock / inventory controller / planner

    Core skills upon completion of this qualification
    You will have the capability to apply key tasks associated with procurement and supply operations.

    View other CIPS qualifications:

    CIPS Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply OperationsCIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply OperationsCIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and SupplyCIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and SupplyCIPS Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply

    The syllabus

    For this qualification you will need to complete 30 credits. There are four CORE modules which make up 24 of the required credits. Then you can choose one of the ELECTIVE modules to make up the 6 remaining credits.

      What are credits?

    Credits are a way of quantifying the number of study hours you'll need to complete the qualification. We suggest that for each credit you should plan to dedicated 10 hours of study time. For example a 3 credit module you should plan for 30 hours studying and taking the exam

    Four CORE modules make up 24 of the required credits.

    Select a module below for more information:

    Procurement and Supply Environments (L3M1)Ethical Procurement and Supply (L3M2)Contract Administration (L3M3)Team  Dynamics and Change (L3M4)

    Choose one ELECTIVE module to make up the final remaining six credits.

    Socially Responsible Procurement (L3M5)Socially Responsible Warehousing and Distribution (L3M6)

    CIPS Level 3* Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations is a vocationally related professional qualification. Formal recognition is included within the regulatory frameworks of an increasing number of countries such as the UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), UAE (including Dubai) and Africa (including Zambia). Further information on this recognition and the details of corresponding qualifications levels for other international qualifications frameworks are detailed here
    The qualification accreditation number is Ref: 603/3283/9.
    View full specification

    How long does it take?

    Everyone learns at a different pace and you will have your own personal circumstances to consider before deciding to start a qualification.

    Before you start, we strongly recommend you get in touch with one of our 190 approved study centres for advice about the different types of learning programmes available, and how long they take to complete.

    These are the typical amounts of time required to achieve this qualification:

    Your total qualification time (TQT)
    The TQT indicates the overall number of guided learning hours, additional self-study and assessment time that is required.

    Guided Learning Hours (GLH)
    You are expected to undertake 200 GLH. The definition of guided learning hours is: ‘A measure of the amount of input time required to achieve the qualification. This includes lectures, tutorials and practicals, as well as supervised study in, for example, learning centres and workshops’.

    Self-studying requirement (SSR)
    Additionally, we recommend that you also commit to at least 90 SSR hours. This includes wider reading of the subject areas and revision to give yourself the best preparation for successfully achieving the qualification.

    Total exam time
    All of the modules in this qualification are assessed by computer-based exams.

    How much does it cost?

    The cost of studying for a qualification will vary depending on the level of support you need.

    CIPS offers exams globally four time per year in:

    • March
    • May
    • July
    • November

    As a guide, use our online fee finder - just select your country and the module(s) you plan to take. In addition to the CIPS exam fee, a surcharge may be applied by the exam centre. Use our exam centre finder to check for additional fees.

    Learning resources
    To support your studies CIPS publishes a complete set of study guides [link] with an optional ebook version and a suite of e-learning  to compliment your learning for each module. All are available to buy online.

    Learning resources
    To support your studies, CIPS publishes a complete set of study guides. An eBook version and a suite of eLearning will be available from the end of March 2019 to complement your learning for each module. Study Guides are available to buy online now.

    Study guides, ebooks and elearning
    3 credit modules

    10.00 each 170 each 20.00 each 20.00 each

    Study guides, ebooks and elearning
    6 credit modules

    20.00 each 340 each 35.00 each 40.00 each

    What format are the exams?

    All exams for this qualification are computer-based

    Objective Response exam format (OR)
    These questions allow you to select a response from a list of possible answers. You will find these types of exams across all our qualifications levels; they are marked by computer and then moderated by CIPS examiners.

    Book OR exams early to get your preferred timeslot
    If you are a self-study student, you will need to find an exam centre that hosts the new CBE exams. Use our study and exam centre finder to find out where to take your exam. If you're studying with a study centre, they will organise this for you.

    When you know your preferred exam location, go to book exams

    • Choose any of 3 timeslots on any day during the exam week for Objective Response (OR) exams
    • Exam bookings are live, so your place is confirmed as soon as you book
    • Make sure you get the timeslot you want by booking as soon as possible
    Don’t worry if you miss out - with six exam sittings a year in most countries, there will be another slot available soon.

    Find out more about our new computer-based exams in this short video:

    The following principles are applied when we develop our exam papers:

    • For each module we will examine your knowledge through the use of every learning outcome (LO) in the syllabus. 
    • Using the learning resources you can check your understanding of each LO
    • All LOs within a module will have the same amount of coverage. 
    • You must answer all questions within an exam there are no optional questions. All exams are marked out of 100%. 

    Objectove responseExam format
    All exams in this qualification will be Objective Response.

    The questions in these exams allow you to select a response from a list of possible answers. You will find these types of exams across all our qualifications levels; they are marked by computer and then moderated by CIPS examiners.

    Exam pass mark for all modules
    You must achieve 70% to pass the exam.

    All Objective Response exam questions for Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma are worth 1 mark each.

    Sample question and answer exams are available in the Student Zone

    What support can I get for my studies?

    Each of our qualifications has a full list of supporting study resources in the student zone.

    Each module has a study guide, an ebook version and elearning to test the knowedge you've gained in the study guides. 

    You can view a sample of our new elearning below:

    Other resources which form part of your membership benefits will support you as you learn:

    CIPS Knowledge and Intellgence Hub
    Access a wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and resources, including guidelines, white papers, tools and templates.

    Supply Management
    This free online magazine includes latest news, job opportunities and current developments in procurement and supply.

    Guidance on answering exam questions
    Exam guidance documents to help to understand what examiners look for when marking exam papers.

    Stay connected with other like-minded professionals 

    Next steps

    Interested in studying the CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations?
    CIPS has a network of over 190 approved study centres globally offering a range of flexible courses. Get in touch to talk about getting started.

    Completed CIPS Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations?

    Progress to the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply, depending upon your experience.

    Level 4

    Transfer arrangements from previous syllabus

    If you have previously started but not completed this qualification your full transfer information is available in MyCIPS.  If you remember which units you have completed on the previous syllabus. Here's a quick online guide to find out what your transfer will look like.

    Transfer tips

    1. The qualification title has stayed the same.
    2. We automatically transfer any successfully completed units in the 2013 syllabus and your updated qualifications plan will show this in your MyCIPS account.
    3. You will never be expected to repeat learning already achieved.
    4. You will be expected to complete the required number of credits to complete the award.
    5. Anyone who has passed exams or has been awarded exemptions on 2013 syllabus will be given credits for subjects within the updated 2018 syllabus.

    Download transfer arrangements table for CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations 

    Page Loading
    Page Loading
    Page Loading
    Page Loading


    This may take up to 30 seconds