CIPS Australasia has recently awarded the University of Sydney with Corporate Certification – Standard – after the institution became the first Australian-based University (and only the second world-wide) to achieve a globally-recognised procurement standard.
CIPS Corporate Certification is an accreditation for achieving excellence in organisational procurement and supply chain policies, strategies, procedures and processes. The attainment of CIPS Corporate Certification demonstrates that an organisation is progressive in an ever-changing business environment and embraces continuous improvement.
With the University’s aggregate spend of almost $750m p.a., Procurement Services plays an important role in the selection, acquisition and delivery of goods and services. Driven to manage costs and quality, Procurement Services is dedicated to supporting research, teaching and enhancing the student experience through services such as strategic procurement and transactional procurement operations.
Speaking at the awards presentation ceremony for the University on Wednesday, 30 September, General Manager of CIPS Australasia, Mark Lamb, said the certification demonstrates that the University has reached a milestone on its path to world-class procurement.
“Achieving CIPS Corporate Certification demonstrates that the University of Sydney has robust and professional procurement practices and systems in place well aligned with broader business objectives” said Mr Lamb.
The University of Sydney’s Chief Procurement Officer, Richard Allen, said that the certification demonstrates the commitment of the education body to achieving a world-class procurement operation. It also supported the rationale and framework for wider transformational change within the function.
“This is a major achievement for the University of Sydney. It’s an acknowledgement of the investment that we have made over a number of years with the objective of developing a world-class procurement function” said Mr Allen.
“We can now move forward on our transformation program, reassured that we have a baseline from which we can improve as we move along the maturity curve. This is a validation of the University’s approach to professional procurement, which is especially relevant as we embark on more strategic and collaborative approaches across the sector.”
To achieve the certification, the University of Sydney was assessed against five key dimensions which required documented evidence.
1 - Leadership and Organisation
2 - Strategy
3 - People
4 - Processes and Systems
5 - Performance measurement and management
Working with CIPS and its partners, the University was able to hold a mirror up against its prior processes and be independently evaluated to discover which practices were beneficial or detrimental to the business.
Amongst the benefits identified by the University gained from the CIPS Corporate Certification – Standard were substantial improvements in relation to governance mechanisms for effective supply assurance and compliance, profiling of the procurement function within the organisation and the procurement staff morale.
This achievement was embraced throughout the University, with senior executives providing their endorsement during the awards presentation ceremony.
“Utilising procurement as a strategic function can provide a competitive advantage for an organisation” says Sara Watts, Vice-Principal (Operations).
Mark Easson, the University’s Chief Financial Officer, recognises “The procurement team has captured the complexity of the university spend and set a robust plan to deliver sustainable procurement outcomes”.
The significance of this achievement was further highlighted by the presence of the Vice Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, who during his speech acknowledged the impact procurement has in supporting major research, core facilities and capital works projects.
“I am very proud of the contribution our procurement team makes to the University and congratulate them on this important recognition by CIPS. In 2016, with the University embarking on its next Strategic Plan 2016-20, our procurement team and our procurement procedures and policies will play a critical role in supporting the achievement of the University’s strategic goals”.
In being awarded standard certification, the University of Sydney joins a select group of 200 organisations who have reached the global standard in procurement.