Future Strategic Challenges for the Profession (L6M4)

Module purpose

This is a research based module and should be the last core module you complete. On completion of this module, you will be able to evaluate changing needs and requirements for procurement and supply and assess future challenges faced by the profession.

Module aim(s)
The volatile global environment poses a threat to traditional concepts of international trade and presents strategic challenges to the procurement and supply function and profession. Strategic procurement and supply leaders require knowledge of the present challenges for their function and profession, and prepare themselves for the future strategic challenges that they will undoubtedly be faced with. This module is designed to challenge procurement and supply leaders to look ahead and to consider the future strategic challenges for them and their profession.

IMPORTANT UPDATE - Now available 4 times a year in computer-based exam format. The paper-based exams for this module will not be available in March 2022, however you may choose computer-based remote exams in every exam series.

We will release the topic themes one month before the exam. 

Studying and assessment for this modules is different and we strongly recommend that you take this as your final exam. 

We also provide FREE access elearning for all students to help you to prepare for this exam.


Next steps
Joining a CIPS qualification programme means you will join the largest Institute in the world for those working in procurement and supply. You can join as a member online today. Once you've become a CIPS member you can book your examinations online.

    Learning outcomes

    1.0  Understand the changing needs and requirements for procurement and supply

    1.1  Assess what the future strategic procurement and supply function will look like

    • Alignment with the organisation – internally, vertically and horizontally
    • Recognise and exploit supply chain opportunities
    • New approaches and requirements 
    • such as:
    • Agility
    • Flexibility
    • Legality
    • Dealing with complexity - Supply Network Strategies
    • Interpreting the current approach to procurement
    • Formulating objectives on the supply side
    • Determine the basic network strategy
    • Calibrating the strategy
    • Restructuring the supply network
    • Proactive planning and design of supply networks – anticipate, respond and adapt
    • Risk vs. resilient supply chains and networks

    1.2  Contrast the future skills and expectations of strategic procurement and supply leaders

    • Switching focus from internal operational to external customer interface
    • Functional knowledge
    • Interpersonal skills
    • General management and strategic skills – appreciate and promote the strategic value of procurement and supply
    • Internal and external relationship management
    • Ethical and sustainable management and leadership – environmental issues and challenges

    1.3  Contrast the influence of emerging business and markets on the procurement and supply function

    • Volatile global environment – threatens traditional concepts of international trade
    • Wider influence on market identification, development and creation
    • Future risks and challenges

    2.0  Understand the future challenges for the procurement and supply profession

    2.1  Evaluate the emerging role and influence ofinnovation and technology on the profession

    • Disruptive influence on traditional operations
    • Organisational uptake and leveraging opportunity
    • Automation and changing roles for the profession
    • Opportunities that arise and associated skills sets and challenges
    • The profession driving the agenda to realise value adding benefits and competitive edge

    2.2  Assess the changing boundaries and shape of the profession

    • Stretch and blurring of boundaries between traditional organisational disciplines
    • New ways to achieve competitive advantage through the supply chain
    • Interdisciplinary working and knowledge
    • Growing influence of the profession
    • Collaborative and supportive – maintaining the standard
    • Advisors and guardians of the profession

    2.3  Evaluate future challenges for the profession

    • The increased use of common business language across the organisation
    • Develop a greater understanding of other business functions
    • Develop and promote a greater understanding of the profession within other business functions
    • Broaden professional reach to add value where others cannot
    • Embed good practice through collaboration with other professions
    • Cross-skilling those from other disciplines

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    Choose three ELECTIVE module to make up the final 18 remaining credits.

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