UK government publishes details of new public sector procurement apprenticeship

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
17 March 2015

The UK government has published details of a new public sector procurement apprenticeship.

The two-year apprenticeship standard covers “all three aspects of the commercial life cycle: pre-procurement, sourcing and contract management”, with an assessment at the end and a requirement to achieve the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply.

The apprenticeship covers early market engagement, sourcing, contract agreements, supplier management and category management.

A description of the role of "public sector commercial professional" said: “In the public sector a commercial professional’s role is to support the transformation of the way that the best quality public services are delivered, while securing value for taxpayers’ money. Experience will be gained working on high-profile, high-value, high-risk projects that affect millions of people and are worth billions of pounds each year.”

The government said the standard was not yet ready to use but will replace current apprenticeship frameworks by 2017/18.

The apprenticeship standard, which was developed by a number of government departments including the Crown Commercial Service, the Department for Work and Pensions and Defra, is among more than 50 others that have been approved as part of the government’s Trailblazers programme.

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Apprenticeships play a key role in the success of our long-term economic plan and, with more than two million apprenticeships started since 2010, I am proud to say our reforms are delivering for businesses and young people.”

Emma Scott, representation manager at CIPS, said: “Bringing in a commercial aspect to the apprenticeship scheme means apprenticed individuals will get a good grounding in business and public sector approaches and can get involved in some great projects, making a big difference to the departments they support.

“Encouraging the next generation of professionals is essential not just for the profession but for efficiencies in public sector procurement and is one of the key policy areas where CIPS dedicates time and resource. We’re delighted to support this.”

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