In this first CIPS member focus, graduates welcomed into the MCIPS global community reflect on their journey; CIPS joins forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and how to make the most of your professional network
More than 250 graduates joined us in Peterborough Cathedral in the UK on 29 March at the CIPS Graduation 2019 – some of them from as far as Ghana, Zimbabwe, the UAE and Bangladesh – to celebrate the successful completion of their journey to MCIPS.
Karen Moorhouse, CIPS Young Professional of the Year 2018 addressed graduates as well as graduating herself.
“As Coco Chanel once said: In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different. In a profession that is becoming ever more competitive, we as procurement professionals must find ways to stand out”, she said.
“I have experienced procurement from sourcing through to contract management and all points in-between; and in every role I have looked back and thought, I wish I’d known this when I was in my previous roles.”
Moorhouse went on to advise her fellow graduates: “Firstly, be friendly. Procurement can have a reputation for being a barrier, but being open and honest will help stakeholders get on board; and secondly, never be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes you need to understand the bigger picture to do the best job.”
CIPS group CEO Malcolm Harrison also addressed the graduates, congratulating them on their journey to MCIPS.
“This is a massive milestone,” he said, “But your learning journey does not stop now. I urge you all to commit to keeping your skills and knowledge up to date and work towards Chartered Status.”
His advice included embracing technology, embedding sustainability and ethics, being the go-to place for insights, aligning to business goals and being brilliant in everything you do.
Baboucarr Bojang, assistant procurement officer at the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority joined us on graduation day and we caught up with him to find out more about his journey.
Can you tell us a bit about your job and why you chose to work towards MCIPS?
I joined the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority in 2012 as assistant procurement officer, when it was a team of just three people. As the team expanded to 10, my responsibilities grew and I knew I needed better qualifications to maintain this position or move on to senior roles. Obtaining MCIPS would give me the confidence I needed.
What did you think of the course?
The materials and exams are designed for people who have a practical understanding of procurement. The course covers all important procurement disciplines, which gave me the tools to be prudent and diligent in how I work.
How have the CIPS qualifications helped you with your job?
The pricing methodology, cost transparency and open book methods are some of the best tools to achieve win-win solutions for our strategic and sole suppliers. Levels 5 and 6 on human behaviours and handling emotions during negotiations has been exceptionally useful in my job.
What advice would you give to anyone still going through their exams?
My advice to any student still on their journey would be to answer as many questions in the study guides as possible, as well as studying the language, style and types of questions asked.
Try to read each study guide several times, and three days before the exam concentrate on the study book questions as well as the important points you have highlighted.
I am delighted to celebrate achieving MCIPS after almost four years of hard work and my special thanks go to my wife and family for their support.
CIPS help offered to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded CIPS a grant to develop the CIPS African Healthcare Procurement Community Programme. It will enable us to work with on-the-ground agencies to set up a learning network that will run over three years and will strengthen procurement processes, providing the knowledge to deliver improved spending.
We will start work on developing a community in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and cover all aspects from procurement to supply chain management and logistics, ensuring full end-to-end supply chain analysis and recommendations made. The network will be supported by CIPS training, qualifications, global standard and competency framework as well as our existing regional relationships.
Dr Sedise Moseneke, who is based in South Africa, welcomed the news, saying the network would create “opportunities for more successful supply chain management,” adding that the technology and knowledge of global best practice will also be welcome.
Africa’s healthcare supply chains are prone to disruption such as bribery and corruption, which limit a country’s ability for progress, according to World Bank indicators. This also leads to increased costs with drugs and medical equipment. The aim is to build a sustainable public procurement community in supply chains and to introduce globally-recognised standards to the wider procurement community in Africa.
CIPS Australasia Conference 2019
At the CIPS Australasia Conference & Supply Management Awards 2019 we will be exploring the impact of China’s slowdown on Australasia’s economy; how to maximise opportunities and manage compliance through responsible procurement, and more. “These are exciting times for procurement and supply, whether it’s modern slavery, international trading strategies or cyber security, business leaders are turning to professionals in procurement for the answers,” says CIPS group CEO Malcolm Harrison.
It’s not too late to submit your entry to the Awards. Check out the website for tips on how to put a winning entry together; the deadline is 17 April. Enter here
Congress members across the world act locally as CIPS ambassadors, gathering expectations from members and feeding back to us with recommendations.
John Everett, chair of the Swiss Branch, is Congress Member for Europe, reaching out to members and the wider procurement community in Austria and the Netherlands. This has led to a new branch and LinkedIn groups. “One of the biggest benefits of Congress is being able to network with procurement professionals from around the world, broadening CIPS reach and understanding,” he says.
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Stay on top of your game
Keeping your knowledge and skills relevant in our fast-moving environment is difficult. But CPD doesn’t all have to be formal learning or structured training courses.
If you are working towards upgrading to Chartered Status then why not connect with CIPS member networks in your region to build on your knowledge and add to your CPD? With more than 77 branches across the globe, there are networking opportunities near you, to keep you connected with procurement professionals at all levels.
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