Management Entry Route (MER)

The Management Entry Route (MER) is designed for procurement professionals who are already operating in a senior strategic role within procurement or supply chain management with extensive on-the-job experience.

You will be assessed for your experienceknowledge and responsibility through an online questionnaire and a telephone interview. It is a robust, rigorous and transparent process designed for senior professionals in upper management roles, usually with at least five years’ experience at a strategic level.

The first step to starting MER is to join CIPS as an Affiliate Member.

    Stage 1: Application

    Once you are a member you can begin your MER application by submitting the following documents:

    1. A CV that clearly demonstrates the depth and breadth of your procurement and supply chain management experiences, especially over the last 10 years.
    2. A full job description of your current role.
    3. A testimonial letter from your line manager confirming that you work in the role described in your job description. This letter needs to be signed and on corporate headed paper.
    4. Ethics is at the heart of all procurement and supply activities. A mandatory requirement for all candidates is that they undertake the E-learning and pass the Ethics test, confirmation of which must be submitted prior to payment with your application. The E-learning and test is free for all members and can be found by simply logging in to My CIPS and accessing it from the "My Learning & Development" tab. Confirmation that your Ethical Procurement and Supply E-Learning and Test is up to date.

    Once these documents have been received we will carry out a desk top assessment to determine if the MER is the most appropriate route for you to achieve MCIPS.

    If the MER is a suitable route for you to follow to MCIPS we will then contact you confirm acceptance onto the route, and to invite you to make payment of the assessment fee.

    Select your country to view the assessment fee:

    In the event that we advise MER is not the right route for you, we will help you with alternative options for your learning and development journey towards achieving MCIPS.

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    Terms and Conditions
    Please note the terms relating to the Management Entry Route and the CIPS policies and conditions of application.

    Stage 2a: CIPS Online Competency Assessment

    11 Themes of CIPS Global StandardThe first mandatory stage of the assessment process is to undertake the CIPS Competency assessment.

    This is an online competency questionnaire assessment and it must be completed within 15 calendar days of us sending you the link. 

    Assessment content
    The CIPS Competency Assessment tests your level of knowledge against the themes in the CIPS Global Standard for Procurement and Supply at the Professional Level.

    The assessment will take approximately 90 minutes.   

    You will need to set aside at least this amount of uninterrupted time with reliable internet access to complete the assessment. You will need to undertake the whole assessment in one sitting.

    Your results from the assessment will give us a clear insight into your knowledge at the Professional Level of the CIPS Global Standard and this will help the assessor in the next stage of your MER assessment .

    Getting started with the Assessment
    The CIPS Competency Assessment access details will be sent to you by email.

    Please note:

    • All questions require an answer.
    • The questionnaire must be completed in full and in one sitting.
    • You cannot save answers and go back to them later.
    • If you lose connection or have to stop part way through, you will need to start from the beginning.
    • If you are having issues accessing your assessment you should contact CIPS by email: or phone: +44 (0)1780 756777 and ask for the MER team.

    What happens after the CIPS Competency Assessment?
    Upon completion of this part of the assessment, we will contact you to invite you to arrange a time for your interview assessment. You will receive the results from the CIPS competency assessment as part of your final outcome report sent at stage 3. 

    Stage 2b: The Interview Assessment

    The MER interview assessment is a 90 minute (approximately) competency interview.  You will be offered interview dates by CIPS usually between 15 and 60 calendar days from completing the online CIPS competency assessment and the CIPS Ethics test.

    The Interview Assessment
    This will take place via Skype. You will need a Skype account for this. Your interview may be recorded for quality and training purposes.  You are not permitted to record the interview in any way.

    The interviewer will ask you a range of questions based around themes of the Global Standard at the professional level. Full details of the assessment structure, content and guidance for this are available in the ‘CIPS MER Candidate Guide’ document.  

    Stage 3: Results and Outcome Report

    Your results and final report will be sent to you within 30 calendar days of you completing the MER interview assessment.    

    Pass: If you successfully pass all stages of the MER assessment process, and have passed the CIPS ethics test, then CIPS will upgrade you to MCIPS grade of membership. We will send you an email with your outcome report, and then you will receive a welcome pack and certificate in the post within 60 calendar days of your outcome email. (Note – this timescale may depend on your country of residence).

    Fail: If you are unsuccessful you will have a detailed report outlining areas for development and advice on suggested next steps for you.

    Development Plan
    One outcome from the MER assessment is the offer of undertaking a development plan. This offer is made if there is a small shortfall in up to three of the ten themes of the Global Standard at professional level.

    CIPS will make this offer to candidates. If they wish to continue on their MER journey, candidates need to take up the offer of a development plan by contacting CIPS and making a payment of the fee.

    CIPS will then set the development plan, tailored to the candidate, and give a 90 calendar day deadline for its submission. The submission can include appendices.  Full instructions, guidance and assessment criteria are available for each of the tasks outlined and there is also a ‘Development Plan writing guidance’

    You must submit your completed development plan to us electronically as a ‘pdf’ by emailing your documents to us at We will then send your work for assessment. If it meets the requirements and standard required, we will then upgrade you to MCIPS and confirm this to you. If you have not met the standard or requirement, you may at CIPS discretion be offered a reattempt. If you fail to meet the requirements of the development plan, you will fail the MER assessment and be withdrawn from the MER route.

    What if I fail to meet the 90 day deadline?
    If you fail to meet the deadline, we will consider this as a fail. If you are subject to extenuating personal circumstances, then a formal application for an extension must be submitted to CIPS will review any requests and provide a response at its own discretion (see term 16 which also applies to all MER assessment related deadlines).

    If you are unsuccessful at meeting the required standard for the development plan CIPS, at its own discretion, may choose to offer you one resubmission opportunity.

    If this is the case you will receive a message from us making that offer, and providing you with a deadline for completion of your reattempt. 

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