CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply

If you are a more experienced person, with 2+ years relevant experience in a business environment start here. You'll develop the technical skills, knowedge and competencies employers are looking for.

Based on the operational and managerial levels of our Global Standard,you'll need to complete all 8 core modules.  

Join as a Student Member to get started on this qualificationWe recommend you start on L4M1 Scope and Influence of Procurement and Supply and finish on L4M8 Procurement and Supply in Practice. The other modules can be done in any order.

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

* Refers to levels within the UK RQF. Other regulatory bodies may have different corresponding levels.

    What will I learn?

    Power up your career with the right skills from the start

    Developed using the Procurement Cycle as its focus, you will:

    • Learn about the core principles, concepts and practical applications when procuring goods or services 
    • Gain essential knowledge and practical skills in contracting, negotiation, supplier relationships, ethics and asset management
    • Understand how procurement fits within the rest of your organisation and how it can help to shape key future business decisions

    Based at the same level as a first year of an undergraduate degree course, you will be equipped with essential knowledge and tools that you can apply immediately in your workplace.

    Joining CIPS as a student member is your first step towards starting your qualification programme and move forward into an exciting new career. Once you've become a member you can book your examinations online.

    What can CIPS qualifications do for your career?

    Entry requirements

    This is the highest entry point onto our diploma qualifications. You will need a minimum of at least two A-levels (or international equivalent) or a CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate qualification is required. Alternatively, you will need a minimum of two years’ relevant experience in a business environment.

    Typical job titles:

    • Buyer
    • Procurement/Purchasing Executive
    • Procurement Specialist
    • Contracting Officer
    • Supply Chain Analyst

    Core skills upon completion of this qualification
    You will gain a solid understanding of procurement and supply fundamentals and you will be able to apply this immediately back into your workplace. 

    View other CIPS qualifications:

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

    The syllabus

    You are required to complete 60 credits to achieve this qualification.

      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 6 credit module you should plan for 60 hours studying and taking the exam.

    Eight CORE modules make up the required 60 credits

    Select a module below for more information:

    CIPS Level 4* Diploma 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: 603/3924/X.
    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 that you contact one of our approved study centres for advice about 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)
    It is expected that you will undertake 250 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-study requirement (SSR)
    Additionally, we recommend that you also commit to at least 335 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 the modules in CIPS qualifications are assessed by an examination.
    All the modules in CIPS qualifications are assessed by 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 four times per year in most areas:

    • 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, each module will have a study guide. There is also an eBook version and new eLearning available to order now.

    If you buy all three items per module you get the ebook for half price. 

    Study guides, eBooks and eLearning
    6 credit modules

    20.00 each 340 each 35.00 each 40.00 each


    Study guides, ebooks and elearning
    12 credits modules

    40.00 each 690 each 75.00 each 80.00 each


    All study guide, eBooks and eLearning are zero VAT/ GST/ sales tax rated and prices exclude shipping costs. These learning resources are available for sale in CIPS online shop now.

    We have dedicated resources for this qualification in the student zone

    Try the eLearning demo:

    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.


    Constructed Response exam format (CR)

    These questions require you to create, or ‘construct’, a response to the question, such as an essay or case study. You will find this type of exam in our diploma level qualifications and they will be marked by subject expert examiners.


    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, you can expect no optional questions. All exams are marked out of 100%. 

    Exam formats 

    There will be two different types of exam answers across each of our diploma level qualifications. They are known as Objective Response (OR) and Constructed Response (CR)

    Exam pass marks and grades

    For Objective Response exams the pass mark is 70%. Objective Response questions in the Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma are worth 1 mark each.

    For Constructed Response exams are graded:

    • 50% Pass
    • 60% Merit
    • 75% Distinction

    Sample questions for Objective and Constructed Response 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 will have a study guide. There is also an eBook version and new eLearning available now.

    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
    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 assessors look for when marking exam papers.

    Stay connected with other like-minded professionals 

    What next?

    Interested in studying the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply?
    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 Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply?

    Progress to the CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply  

    Level 5

    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 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply.

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