Employer and apprentices guidance for this apprenticeship programme.
In order to commence the Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship EPA process you must meet the required gateway requirements. You must have minimum level 2 English and Maths qualifications, equivalent to grades A*-C or 9-4 at GCSE. If you have other or international qualifications you will need to check with your training provider to see if they’re acceptable. If not you will have to complete Functional Skills in the required subjects in order to continue with the EPA.
Another requirement is that you must have your CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply.
Finally you must have an agreed Project Title and Scope (what the project will be covering) for your Project Report. You and your employer will complete a ‘Project Title and Scope Agreement’ proposal form and submit this to CIPS as part of your gateway evidence before the gateway deadline.
The forms will be returned to you by the published deadline to confirm your eligibility for the Level 4 Commercial Apprenticeship and will also give you some formative feedback on your title and scope.
If the project title and/or scope are not approved, you’ll be asked to resubmit a new proposal. Resubmitting will mean that you will be transferred into a later opportunity.
After agreeing your Project Scope and Title, you will have 13 weeks to complete your Project Report and submit to CIPS for formal marking. Your project report must be based on an appropriate process or problem within your workplace allowing you to develop solutions and recommendations for improvement. You must apply your theoretical and technical knowledge of procurement and supply, and focus on two elements of the procurement cycle:
- Understanding needs
- Market options
- Developing strategy / plan
- Pre-market engagement
- Developing documentation
- Supplier selection to participate
- Bid evaluation and awarding
- Supplier performance review and management
- End of life / lessons learnt
The final project will be submitted with a ‘Declaration of Authenticity’ from your employer and will then be marked by a CIPS assessor before being moderated.
Further information on the criteria and how you will be assessed can be found here.
Only once you have received either a Pass or Distinction for your Project Report may you proceed to the final element of the process – A Presentation and Questioning Assessment. The window for this will open 3 weeks after Project Report results are released and will span over 2 weeks.
You will be required to give a 10 minute (+/- 1 minute) presentation on your work role and responsibilities relating to commercial procurement and supply. You will be presenting to a panel made up of a CIPS Independent Assessor (IA) and a Technical Expert (TE). The TE will be someone from your work place who is there to provide information on workplace policies and procedures, and create a realistic presentation environment.
The presentation will be followed by questioning from the IA. This will consist of 6 open questions relating to procurement and supply practice, allowing you to exhibit your knowledge of the procurement and supply industry.
Following the Presentation and Questioning, the Independent Assessor will review and mark the assessments. The scores from both the Project Reports and Presentation and Questionings are combined to give an overall grade which is released 3 weeks after the interview window closes.
To achieve a PASS apprentices must achieve a PASS or DISTINCTION in both assessments. In depth marking criteria for each assessment can be found within the EPA assessment pack.
To Achieve a DISTINCTION apprentices must receive a DISTINCTION in both assessments.
Once final results have been confirmed, CIPS will request certificates from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. This will typically take 6-8 weeks to arrive and will be delivered to the apprentice’s place of employment.
Information on re-sits, reviews and appeals can be found within the EPA Policies and Procedures, as well as in the ‘Guide for Training Providers’ you will receive after contracting with CIPS EPAO.
If you fail an assessment, you will be given the opportunity to take a re - sit. If you fail your Project Report, you will be transferred to the next opportunity and submit a new one.
If you fail your Presentation and Questioning, your training provider will arrange with CIPS a date for a resit, however this must be within 6 months of you completing your Project Report.
Information on reviews and appeals can be found under our EPA policies and procedures.