Ambassadorial roles and activities

Dear Member 

In my message to you last week, I covered the proposals to open up the recruitment process for the trustees on our Global Board of Trustees which we had already communicated last year. I felt it necessary to do this as we had received feedback from members that previous communications on this had not been read or had not been clear enough. I also referred to the very important forthcoming member consultation when we will outline different options for the process to select trustees. We wish to consult with members on several options, not just the proposal which we communicated last year. These options will be laid out in the consultation document which will be issued by the end of January. Today I would like to share with you more on the forthcoming consultation and also our ideas about future ambassadorial roles and activities.

In the summer of 2021, CIPS Global Board of Trustees decided to proceed with a number of provisional changes - resulting from its Volunteer Review - to increase the voice of members on the Board and to bolster our volunteer network and the support CIPS provides to members and volunteers. 

We will shortly launch a consultation with members to help determine the best long-term approach to achieve these goals.  In the consultation we will provide the rationale, the recommended changes, the pros, and cons, along with alternatives and we look forward to involving you in that process.  

Following the consultation, the findings will be reviewed and considered by the Global Board of Trustees before we finalise the proposals that will be put before the Annual General Meeting for approval by members eligible to vote in the summer.

CIPS future ambassadorial roles and activities 

The consultation with volunteer members which formed the basis of the Volunteer Review recommendations, clearly stated that advocacy for the profession and for the CIPS brand are considered as crucial activities and activities that the CIPS volunteer model and community should contribute to. 

Historically CIPS has appointed a President, typically the outgoing Chair of the Global Board of Trustees, to undertake ambassadorial and representational activities. Such activities were also undertaken by other senior CIPS employees and volunteers.  CIPS is a far more global organisation than when it was granted a Royal Charter in 1992.  The idea of a single President or Patron as a global figurehead is seen by some people as UK centric and there are opportunities to modernise and diversify CIPS’ approach to the promotion of the CIPS brand and the promotion of the profession, globally. 

We need to create new global advocacy related roles within our volunteer community, ensuring we extend our reach and message as wide as possible across the procurement and supply profession.  We strongly believe advocacy of the profession, ambassadorial and representational activities should extend across a variety of roles, including volunteers, the Chair of the Global Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Membership Committee, the CIPS CEO, and members of the CIPS executive rather than have it resting with one individual.  

In terms of modernisation, CIPS also needs to respond to the emergence of different types of ambassadors and advocates, including, for example, digital influencers.  CIPS should also seek to bolster its in-house, executive managed capability in this area including, for example, the establishment of a policy function to support the voice of the profession.  We propose to formally remove the role of CIPS President as CIPS is now a global membership organisation and the ambassadorial roles are far more varied, both geographically and culturally, than they historically were so multiple ambassadors and advocates are needed in line with our global footprint.

There have been some absolutely fantastic CIPS Presidents who were passionate and committed advocates of CIPS and of the profession. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for all that they have done and their continued positive support. This proposed change is nothing to do with the past, it is all about setting CIPS up in the best possible way for the future and to support the modern professionals who are the future of the profession and of CIPS.

Multiple ambassadorial roles performed by multiple people, including CIPS volunteers, means we can achieve far greater reach in terms of the promotion of CIPS and the profession.

We propose to implement a hybrid approach which would cater for the appointment of Regional Ambassadors in geographies where a figurehead is considered to add value, along with a selected group of Ambassadors which will include senior executives and senior volunteers such as the Chair of the Global Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Membership Committee, and other Trustees.  Other Ambassadors could be drawn on an ad hoc basis and this would be managed at a regional level but with global guidelines and support.  Different ambassadorial roles would be developed in recognition of the different types of activities required - from high profile, media activities, to advocating for the CIPS brand to championing the profession as a career choice.

All of this will form part of the forthcoming member consultation, which you will be invited to take part in later this month.  In the meantime, if you would like to share your views on this or any aspect of your CIPS membership, please do get in touch by emailing

We look forward to hearing your views.

Warm regards 

Malcolm Harrison

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