Improving Accountability, Transparency and Professional Practice in Procurement – A Joint Announcement from CIPS, GLA and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioners Office

CIPS 8 October 2015

Building on the on-going work for the protection of vulnerable and exploited workers, today,The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioners Office are jointly announcing their support of a voluntary licence approach to be embedded across the procurement and supply chain management profession. 

Working alongside CIPS (The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) the critical timing of this initiative in support of the Modern Slavery Act, is to ensure momentum is maintained in driving greater accountability and responsibility amongst organisations and individuals in charge of procurement decisions.  In effect, this voluntary licence approach will safeguard the procurement function and the safety of supply chains by ensuring that procurement and supply professionals have the appropriate skills and qualifications to manage the procurement function ethically, and to optimally use the resources of the organisation while supporting its performance.

Kevin Hyland OBE, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner commented; “Slavery in supply chains is an abuse of human rights in the pursuit of profits and it is not only a business malpractice but a criminal practice. As supply chains have globalised and demand for cheaper labour has continued to rise, the need for more rigorous monitoring of supply chains is absolutely vital. I therefore fully support the concept of a voluntary licence to encourage self regulation and change the culture of procurement ensuring businesses are not unwittingly enabling modern slavery in their supply chains.  Changing the way business operates, not just nationally but internationally, will be a major step towards eradicating exploitation of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Paul Broadbent, Chief Executive of the GLA commented:  “I strongly support the new Act which advocates better transparency in supply chains to prevent any mistreatment of workers through slavery and trafficking. We at the GLA strive to ensure the UK’s fresh produce sector is free of such abhorrent practices by requiring all licence-holders comply with our stringent standards. We aim to achieve this through working collaboratively with the industry and we fully support any new initiative that promotes self-regulation.  The CIPS concept will further enhance how we can all play a part in protecting the rights of all vulnerable individuals working in the UK and minimise the risk of exploitative practice.”

David Noble, Group CEO, CIPS said: “As a profession, we need to step forward and be accountable for our actions.  In a world of scarce resources and increasing supply chain risk, we can no longer accept inadequate procurement and supply practices and its dangers.  This profession and all those responsible for buying decisions should be fit for purpose and to move on to the next level of professionalism. A licensing approach will ensure the right structure is in place so this can happen.”

A licence for procurement and supply management professionals will ensure that:

  • Procurement processes are carried out by professionally-qualified personnel;
  • Procurement professionals are able to demonstrate a pre-determined level of competence and understanding that is continually updated;
  • There are formalised standards of practice and ethics, and professionals are held accountable for their actions;
  • Confidence to do the right thing in the profession will rise, along with the ability to meet increasing challenges in a global business world;
  • Employers and enterprises will be able to simultaneously protect the public, and enhance the significance of procurement and its contribution to business and economies;
  • Procurement practice (skills and processes) can be standardised; and
  • The accountability and transparency requirements of International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and others will be purposely addressed across the supply chain.

This announcement follows a similar statement of support for this initiative earlier this year from the United Nations Development Agency.


Notes to editors:

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on procurement and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global community of over 115,000 in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of procurement and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability.; @CIPSNews

Office of The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

0203 513 0476


The Gangmasters Licensing Authority

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority works in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers.

They are Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) governed by an independent Board made up of a chair and six members, who were recruited for their respective knowledge, experience and skills.

Their licensing scheme regulates businesses who provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.

Press contacts:

Liz Lees, CIPS;; +44 (0) 1780 761574; 07917 648564

GLA +44 (0) 115 9597069

Camilla Monckton, Office of the Independent  Anti-Slavery Commissionner +44 (0) 203 513 0476

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