GM Update From Sharon Morris

CIPS 15 October 2019

So much has changed since my last update. Our new norm has humbled the majority of us to the confines of our home, as many of us manage busy households while working and for some of us, also navigating the prospect of job losses and an uncertain future. No matter your situation, please let me start by saying that we are all in this together and CIPS as your professional body is here for you. As your 'Professional partner for Life', we're ready to support, empower, equip and encourage you throughout your career journey.

Please reach out and let us know how we can help you - P: +613 - 9629 6000 or E:   

During this unprecedented time, our thoughts are with all those affected by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) around the world. Like any family, we must stick together, have hope and do what we can to look after one another. For us, that means continuing to engage with our CIPS community; by increasing our presence through virtual platforms, accelerating our digital and e-Learning capabilities and highlighting our key knowledge offerings from local and global experts to help procurement professionals during this time.

We want to express our gratitude to all CIPS volunteers and staff for their ongoing support, passion and dedication during these challenging times. I feel it’s never been a more important time, to connect with people - our virtual connections have never been so critical, and I believe our role as your professional body is to amplify our connectedness and support procurement professionals at this time.

Like all other organisations in the current climate, CIPS is moving swiftly towards our digital transformation. We understand, that right now, we also need to be more agile and to bring people on a transformational journey – which takes understanding, leadership, risk and the continuous evolution of our capabilities. Never before has procurement had such an opportunity to be in the spotlight and lead their organisations as we do today. We are here to help you lean in, raise the level procurement competency and to continue to build the profile of the profession for all.

Below is an update on some our CIPS activities to keep you informed: 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) and CIPS May Exam Cancellations. Following global public health and safety advice about social distancing, CIPS made the difficult decision to cancel our May exam series.

All cancelled bookings will transfer to July exam series. If your exams were cancelled in March or May, we will transfer your booking to our 13 – 24 July exams series.

You don’t need to do anything – your exam will be transferred to July as a priority booking. If your CIPS study centre booked your exam, we will contact them to rearrange your exams, keep in touch with your study centre about your availability for July. Your updated July exam booking will be in your account by 8 May 2020. Revised exam timetables for all future series will be available imminently in the Student Zone.

For the most up to date information on CIPS Exams and COVID-19, visit our dedicated website page here.

Extension for submission of the CIPS Profession Steering Committee (CPSC) - The CPSC has been created to help the Institute better support its community and to provide counsel, guidance and advocacy to drive the procurement and supply chain profession forward in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This support and formation of this Committee has never been more relevant than in this current climate.

The committee will be made of 12 practicing professionals and will be outcome driven. Applications to join the CPSC are open to all current MCIPS & FCIPS

If you have a passion for the profession and want to give back and drive the profession forward in the region, then consider applying to join the CPSC. You can review the full Terms of Reference and apply via completing this form - applications closing date has been extended to 15 April 2020 on request from many professionals who have been busy managing Covid-19 implications for their business. For questions and info, please contact

Extended application closing to 15 April 2020. 


Knowledge and Podcast - We have some helpful resources including the CIPS Risk & Resilience in the Supply Chain model guide for your benefit. This guide is an introduction to the work CIPS is continuing to do to produce a good practice guide and an online tool that can be used to help develop an organisations’ end-to-end supply chain resilience. This is the time to put resilience in the forefront of our minds.

We also have a recent podcast on the Coronavirus featuring Lucie Chami, CPO at Vitex Pharmaceuticals in Australia as she learned one of her suppliers had a “medical problem” delaying production. Within days she was in the thick of a procurement crisis. Seshagopal Kannan, a Beroe, Inc. consultant in Bangladore, India who leads the crisis management analysis of the impact of Coronavirus for his firm, also joins the discussion.

CIPS Risk & Resilience Model

Keep the community inspired - Share stories of heroes during this challenging times of supply chain shocks. Procurement and supply management professionals have a huge opportunity to play a part in supporting businesses, health services and all organisations. We know the profession is helping to keep the global economy and supply moving. Help keep others motivated and inspired with your stories of resilience, innovation and courage. Share them with us.

We also plan to continue sharing knowledge resources and good practice to support and  inspire CIPS members. Please share some real examples of the critical role the profession is playing to inspire us all in such unprecedented times. Please share via email to

Share your procurement hero stories with us 


Last but not least, let me leave with an excerpt of a poem from Laura Kelly Fanucci which feels apt at this time. I feel it is important to be hopeful for our future and to be grateful for our present. 

'When this is over, may we never again take for granted a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbours, a crowded theater, Friday night out... the school rush each morning, the stadium roaring, a boring Tuesday.

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be and may we stay that way, better for each other because of the worst."

All the best,


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