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Become a study centre

Join our network of study centres offering CIPS qualifications

CIPS has a network of approximately 75 'Approved' study centres in the UK, and over 100 'Registered' study centres worldwide - the number is growing all the time.

All our study centres provide high-quality opportunities for studying for CIPS qualifications. We are keen to make even more opportunities available to new learners, and welcome applications from new study centres who wish to join our network. 

 

CIPS Royal Charter requires us to:

  • Develop improved methods of purchasing and supply
  • Maintain high standards of skill and integrity
  • Educate, set standards and test skills

In order to achieve this, we work closely with our network of study centres to make sure they provide the best-quality learning environment for our student members.

When an organisation applies to join our study centre network we ask you to provide evidence to show that you can meet the standard of provision that we and our student members expect. Amongst other things we consider the quality of your staff, facilities and resources, as well as the standards of customer care you provide. These standards are clearly set out in the documents you can download as a new applicant.

UK applicants: how to apply

In the UK, applicant study centres need to go through a process of study centre 'Approval'. Prospective learners and their employers can be confident that 'Approved' study centres offer high-quality provision that has met CIPS' exacting standards.

 

Application process:

You can download the application form for study centre approval using the link below. When you have completed the form you should return it to us, along with evidence to show that you meet our criteria, such as details of your teaching staff, your facilities and resources, as well as the standards of learner support you provide. The CIPS criteria for UK Study Centre approval, and information on how to apply, can be found here:

 

Futher guidance for new and existing UK 'Approved' study centres can be found by clicking 'UK study centres: information and guidance' below. 

Once you have gathered all the information we need, email the completed application and all the supporting evidence to CIPS Education Network Support Manager: enm@cips.org

The 'Approval' process can take several weeks to complete, as we need to check the evidence you have sent, and we may need to come back to you for more information. With this in mind you are advised to begin your application well before the date when you expect to start delivering CIPS programmes.

 

Fees:

The current fee for study centre approval applications is £350. This covers the administration of the application process, including an approval visit to your premises. In addition there is an annual approved study centre fee of £500. We invoice you for the total set-up fee of £850 (ie covering approval and the first year of operation) after the approval process is complete.



Rejected applications:

CIPS reserves the right to refuse an application for study centre approval. Applicants have the right to appeal against such a refusal - details can be found here:

UK study centres: Information and guidance

i. Study centre approval

When you apply for study centre approval (UK centres) you must provide evidence to show that you meet ALL the required criteria. Please make sure that you cross-reference each criterion in the application form to the document or other item of evidence you are submitting.

The Guidance Notes below cover each criterion in detail, giving examples of the type of evidence we will be looking for and other useful advice.

The following documents may also be helpful in completing your application.

 

ii. Post-approval

Once you are approved, you will find these documents helpful:

 

If you expand your territory and wish to open a secondary or satellite centre in a new area, you will need to complete a further application form:

 

If you are approved to offer certain levels of CIPS qualfications and subsequently wish to add new levels or qualifications you will need to complete this form:

 

iii. Becoming a CIPS approved examination centre

CIPS provides a network of regional examination centres principally for self-study learners, but UK 'Approved' study centres are expected to provide examination facilities for their own candidates within two years of receiving approval, after which they may be charged for any candidates who continue to use CIPS examination centres or facilities offered via other providers.

There is a separate application process for becoming a CIPS approved examination centre: relevant documents can be downloaded here:

 


iv. Becoming a 'Graded Centre'

UK Study centres that have been approved for two years or more may be awarded an upgrade to a higher-status category, provided that they meet certain criteria. The categories of approval are:

CIPS Approved Centre:

  • New study centres, and those who continue to meet the approval criteria

  

CIPS Centre of Merit:

  • approved for at least two years
  • satisfies a set number of higher-level criteria

  

CIPS Centre of Excellence:

  • a CIPS Centre of Merit for at least two years
  • satisfies a set number of higher-level criteria in addition to those for ‘Centre of Merit’

 

The criteria for upgrading to Centre of Merit or Centre of Excellence can be found here:

 

If you require more information about CIPS Study Centre Approval or Registration processes please contact the Education Network Support Manager:
enm@cips.org

Education Network Manager
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply
Easton House
Easton on the Hill
Stamford
Lincolnshire
PE9 3NZ

International applicants: how to apply

Outside the UK, applicant study centres follow a process leading to ‘Registered International Study Centre' status, based on specified quality standards that each centre is required to meet and maintain. Click below for more information on how to apply:

 

Once you have gathered all the information we need, email the completed application and all supporting evidence to CIPS Education Network Manager: enm@cips.org

The 'Registration' process can take several weeks to complete, as we need to check the evidence you have sent, and we may need to come back to you for more information. With this in mind you are advised to begin your application well before the date when you expect to start delivering CIPS programmes. 

 

Study centre registrations must be renewed annually. The renewal form can be found here:

 

Once you are registered, you will also be expected to complete an Annual Report to CIPS. Click below for the form you will need to complete and return to enm@cips.org:

 

If you are approved to offer certain levels of CIPS qualfications and subsequently wish to add new levels or qualifications you will need to complete this form:

Study Centre monitoring

Once you have joined the CIPS study centre network we continue to monitor standards on a regular basis. We ask you to complete an Annual Report in which you self-assess your centre's performance over the last year, and tell us how this has helped you to improve. We look at your examination and assessment results, and we check on feedback from learners including complaints.

We visit our UK study centres annually, which allows us to assess your suitability for continued approval, or for upgrading to a higher category. Once your study centre has been approved for two years, and if you can meet additional higher-level criteria, you can apply to become a CIPS Centre of Merit; meeting even higher standards allows you to be recognised as a CIPS Centre of Excellence.

Whether you are an 'Approved' or 'Registered' study centres, we undertake monitoring activities each year to check that standards are maintained. Our monitoring activities include:

  • Requiring each centre to produce an Annual Report on their activity, along with a self-assessment of their performance over the year (see below for report forms)
  • Carrying out audit visits to check that systems and procedures are operating effectively (UK study centres)
  • Requiring an annual renewal of registration, providing up-to-date information on systems and procedures (International study centres)
  • Monitoring student retention and achievement at each centre
  • Noting complaints and other feedback from learners 
  • Study Centre Annual Report to CIPS (UK centres)
  • Study Centre Annual Report to CIPS (International centres)

 

If the outcome of the monitoring process is satisfactory, we will issue a new certificate ('Approved' centres) or letter ('Registered' centres) for the following period. We take action where any concerns arise, and in serious cases we may withdraw study centre approval/registration.

 

If an approved centre changes its name, or makes any other significant changes following centre approval, CIPS reserves the right to require the approval process to be repeated. If your centre has made major changes, and you are unsure whether a new approval process will be requried, please complete this form and return it to enm@cips.org: