Survey* finds skilled professionals in the UK with full CIPS membership earn almost a quarter more than non-MCIPS staff as the perceived value of strong supply chain management increases following the pandemic

CIPS 7 July 2021

MCIPS professionals (with full membership of CIPS) in the UK collectively reported higher salary levels of 24% more than buyers without the designation which is up from 17% from last year

  • MCIPS procurement professionals earn almost a quarter (24%) more than their non-MCIPS counterparts
  • 67% said procurement is valued in their organisation
  • 96% said technology is an enabler in procurement in the pandemic year
  • 52% said recovery from impacts of the pandemic was their biggest challenge

The findings from The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) and Hays Procurement, are based on research conducted in 2021 as thousands of procurement and supply professionals contributed to the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights Report, an annual publication highlighting the skills, salaries, and rewards in the profession. The report gives insight into the perceptions of procurement, and benchmarks salaries and bonuses for different roles. The survey also highlights career aspirations and offers advice on how to attract the best talent in the profession across sectors and across the world.

As skilled professionals continue to be in short supply, MCIPS professionals (with full membership of CIPS) in the UK collectively reported higher salary levels of 24% more than buyers without the designation which is up from 17% from last year. MCIPS denotes an individual who has achieved an internationally-recognised global standard in the procurement and supply profession. The average pay rise amongst procurement professionals in total, was 5% compared to the national average of 1.1%. MCIPS staff received a significantly higher salary reward as the perception of the value of strong procurement and supply chain management skills increased during the pandemic and the awareness and value of supply chains rose amongst boards and CEOs of organisations and businesses.

The average salary for all procurement and supply professionals at professional level, so with job roles such as supply chain manager or senior category manager or was £53,772 in the UK. MCIPS professionals earned 24% more compared to their non-MCIPS counterparts.

Looking at the regional statistics, London came out top with the highest salaries and an average of £58, 758 with £42,009 in Scotland, £37,718 in Wales and £38,084 in Northern Ireland.

In a pandemic year, fewer professionals overall received a pay rise, but the public sector gave out the highest number of rises (private sector last year) with 60% of procurement professionals receiving a pay rise. 51% in the private sector were rewarded with rises, and only 39% in the not-for-profit (last year 67%). However, the private sector was still offering the highest average salary - £49,945.

Looking at sub-sectors in private business, it was professional and business services that saw the highest salaries and the highest percentage rise of 4.6%. As business and highly-skilled professionals were in demand to manage the impacts of the pandemic, this translated into salary offerings to secure the most skilled professionals. Banking, finance and insurance sector came next in the order of salaries, but with a higher percentage rise at 4.9%. IT procurement salaries may not have been the highest but as companies turned to digital solutions, the sector received the highest salary rises at 8.4%.

The perception of the value of procurement and supply chain management is rising as 73% of those surveyed say the profession’s reputation has improved and similarly across all the sectors (private 72%, public 76%, not-for-profit 74%). The necessity of smooth- running supply chains has been brought into the spotlight during the COVID-19 disruptions. This positive perception has also increase amongst senior colleagues at businesses from 66% last year to 73% this year.

Soft skills in addition to the technical skills were again required at all levels following the trend of the last few years, particular at senior levels. The survey found that in particular communication skills and supplier relationship management were highly-valued. For advanced professionals in senior roles, the pandemic accelerated the need for strong internal stakeholder management skills according to 52% of businesses recruiting, along with 51% seeking influencing skills, and 48% looking for negotiation abilities.

At the operational level, 67% said communication skills were the most important and at tactical level it was 61%.

Just over half of the survey respondents (52%) were eligible to receive a bonus. The average increase based on salary:

-        Advanced professional – 13.5%

-        Professional – 8.7%

-        Managerial – 7.8%

-        Operational – 6%

-        Tactical – 5.7%

Those professionals who were Fellows of the institute, received an average 14.4% of salary bonus which was 6% more compared to non-FCIPS professionals. At MCIPS level, it was 9.6% of salary compared to non-MCIPS, which was 1.8% more.

The differences based on gender continued when bonuses were awarded. There was a 2% disparity in bonus eligibility between women and men.

With other benefits, working from home was the most common benefit across all sectors and levels (72%) though it could be argued this was largely forced by lockdowns and covid restrictions.  Other benefits included private medical insurance, flexible working hours, and professional body membership fees, though working from home was still the top desired benefit amongst 61% of respondents and 41% believed their work-life balance had improved as a result of the impact of the pandemic.

Malcolm Harrison, Group CEO, CIPS said, “The report once again highlights the need for soft skills. Technical skills and procurement qualifications remain important for individuals and their career progression.

“However, it is the soft skills of leadership and stakeholder management that deliver on business goals. This as a theme has been consistent over recent years and will likely remain core in the next few years too. For example, businesses with strong relationships and supportive approaches for suppliers in difficulties were the ‘customer of choice’ when the tables were turned, and when the customer relied on the availability of essential supplies to sustain their organisation.”

Scott Dance, Director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain, said: “Whilst it’s hard to determine if the changes since the onset of the pandemic have altered our way of working irreversibly, it seems likely that attitudes towards flexible working have seen a permanent shift. While flexible working was already a prominent trend in procurement prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 has confirmed teams’ continuing ability to innovate, strategise and navigate challenges together, even when working in different locations - and our findings show the importance professionals place on flexible working strategies.”

A high value continued to be placed on talented, trained professionals as 60% of employers said they requested MCIPS or studying towards in their job vacancies. However almost half at 49% said they still struggled to find the right talent.

The number of procurement and supply chain professionals around the world is expanding. Find out more from the CIPS website and to download the CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights Report 2021, free available for UK, Europe, US, MENA, ANZ, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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