The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply calls for a professional licence to practise to avert future crises and protect the public

CIPS 14 October 2013

CIPS calls for licence to protect public.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply has today called for procurement and supply chain professionals to earn a licence to practise to protect the public. This call comes in the wake of recent supply chain and procurement failures which have seen food chain contamination and loss of lives, leading to a public outcry for change and improved accountability.

CIPS, the leading international body representing purchasing and supply management professionals, has also published a policy statement setting out the guiding principles of the licence to be launched at their annual conference in London. The licence to practise would ensure that senior procurement and supply chain managers would be required to have a professionally recognised licence, in a manner akin to the licencing of the accountancy profession. The licence is seen as fundamental to the stability of the global economy as multinational companies are increasingly exposed to international risks which can cause seismic shocks to their earnings, reputation  and share prices when a supply malfunction occurs.

Unprecedented events in recent years, from natural disasters such as the tsunami in Japan, to political unrest in the Middle East, not to mention fraud and modern slavery in corporate supply chains, underline the prevalence of risk in supply chains. Each new, emerging risk impacts consumers negatively in a different way. It is because of this, a licence to practise is so critical in ensuring trained and skilled professionals are in place as supply chain protectors.

Calling for a licence to practise, David Noble, Global Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said:

"Supply-side risk is getting out of control. There is an acute need for the procurement and supply profession to be formally licenced in order to protect the public. This was brought into sharp focus earlier this year with the horsemeat fiasco in the UK and the Bangladesh factory tragedy, which put a human price on the failure to understand and make provision for risk in the supply chain. The industry must now respond to these risks and ensure professionals managing supply chains are adequately trained to do so and ensure accountability which has been absent for too long. A licence for the profession gives it true professional standing and individuals the knowledge they are adhering to best practise."

Trudy Salandiak, PR Manager, on 01780 761576 or 0755 4400 731 Edward Jones, H+K Strategies,, 020 7413 3217

Notes to editors:

In conjunction with the call for a licence to practise, CIPS has published the following policy statement:

CIPS has a Royal Charter to deliver the following imperatives:

*        'To promote and develop for the public benefit the art and science of purchasing and supply and to encourage the promotion and development of improved methods of purchasing and supply in all organisations'.

*        'To promote and maintain for the benefit of the public high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among those engaged in purchasing and supply'.

*        'To educate persons engaged in the practise of purchasing and supply by means of examination and other methods of assessment to test the skill and knowledge of persons desiring to enter the Institute'.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is the leading international body representing purchasing and supply management professionals.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on purchasing and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global membership of almost 100,000 in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of purchasing 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.

CIPS Policy Statement

The procurement and supply profession must be formally licensed both to protect the public good and to enhance and underpin its significance. This Licence is required by all professionals who are tasked with managing an enterprise's spend. We are calling for:

We are calling for:

*        A clear focus on personal accountability in procurement and supply management

*        Modern day procurement and supply to be carried out by professionally qualified personnel

*        Procurement and supply professionals to be able to demonstrate a pre-determined level of competence and understanding that is continually updated

*        All enterprises/employers - whether in the public or private sectors - to self-regulate by implementing the Licence

*        Government legislation to support this policy

*        All bodies representing the profession (NGOs, professional institutes, consultancies etc) to support this policy

Survey Results

The survey results were as follows: 

1. Are you taking supply chain risk more seriously following the horse meat scandal and the Rana Plaza factory disaster?

Yes                                               67.5%

No                                                 32.5%

2. Which of these instances had the biggest impact on attitudes towards supply chain in your business?

Horse meat scandal                      35.0%

Rana Plaza factory disaster          29%

Neither                                          36%

3. Has your CEO and/or board taken a more proactive role engaging with your procurement team on supply chain risk?

Yes                                                47.5%

No                                                  52.5%

4. Do you have a supply chain risk mitigation strategy all the way down your supply chain?

Yes                                                 46%

No                                                   54%

5. In your opinion, have the horse meat and Bangladesh factory collapse issues changed treatment of suppliers (in your business or in the wider world)?

Unchanged                                     45.0%

Changed for the better                   52.5%

Changed for the worse                   2.5%

6. Do you think there should be more regulation of supply chains?

Yes                                                 71%

No                                                   29%

7. Do you think a code of conduct would improve accountability in supply chains?

Yes                                                 79%

No                                                   21%

NB: The survey is based on responses from 80 senior supply chain managers.

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