Keep the faith on the path to Fellowship

Susan Randall
posted by Susan Randall
23 August 2015

I have been clearing boxes from the loft over the summer and among some old CIPS exam notes and study books I found some copies of Pactum Serva, a predecessor of Supply Management, which celebrated membership initiatives, events and awards.

I had forgotten all about this publication and it made marvellous and fascinating re-reading. Some of the articles from May to September 1994 included:

• Sussex branch was pleased to launch an evening of “the theory, practice and art of negotiation".
• Procurement courses in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
• Strategic procurement workshops at Bath and Birmingham
• There were also a few familiar faces, including current CIPS CEO David Noble being awarded Fellowship

The branch events from around 20 years ago seem familiar too:

• Central London branch visit to Wembley Stadium
• North Midlands visit to Bass Brewery, Burton
• A visit from the president to Hereford and Worcester branch. His talk included a resume of issues facing the Institute on the way to charter status, the award process and thoughts on future direction. The talk was followed by a lively discussion.

Reading these as a struggling CIPS student back in the 1990s, I never thought one day I would finally pass all my exams and become a Fellow myself. It just seemed out of my reach. My guess is this is still the case for many students and even mature professionals today who see MCIPS as the goal and FCIPS as unrealistic.

I have learned over the past two years there are many CIPS ‘Fellows of Tomorrow’ out in the working world. There are even more ‘Fellows of the Future’ - bright young professionals on the early rungs of the career ladder who need to be able to see becoming a Fellow is possible and the skills and knowledge to achieve Fellowship are developed now.

However reminiscent Pactum Serva from 20 years ago is today, there was no mention of developing future talent for Fellowship. The Fellows of the Future initiative is ground-breaking and acknowledges those achieving Fellowship have the skills and the responsibility to nurture talent for the future health and development of our profession and its wider influence. We need to keep the faith.

• Join us at the Birmingham and London Fellows of the Future events and support the ‘rising stars’ of the profession.

Susan Randall is a procurement specialist at Silva Strategies

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