Setting Standards: IIAPS Brings Competence and Benchmarking Tools to Procurement Training (Part 2)

In the last post in this series, we talked about why IIAPS felt the need to establish their program, recognizing several areas that fell short in procurement and supply chain training and certification. Today we'll talk about the structure of the IIAPS program and the somewhat surprising training program it was modeled after. Andrew tells Spend Matters that IIAPS students can attain three levels of certification (similarly named to Six Sigma); a Green, Red, and Black Belt:

  • Green Belt: demonstrates competence in the ability to manage ALL pre and post-contractual activities and tasks for a single global category of spend
  • Red Belt: demonstrates competence in the ability to manage ALL pre and post-contractual activities and tasks for ALL of the multiple categories of spend required to undertake either New Product Development or a Major Project
  • Black Belt: demonstrates competence in the ability to pass a rigorous theoretical examination and operationalize ALL pre and post-contractual activities and tasks for major category of spend in their own organization

Some of the main differences between IIAPS and other seemingly similar programs are that IIAPS is able to cover training and assessment in a much broader and yet more detailed spectrum (with 88 tasks and techniques, to be exact). They also offer a methodology that goes beyond theoretical knowledge and into actual simulations. "Students take their learning to a case study and simulation environment that mirrors the real world of purchasing and supply pre- and post-contractually. In this unique learning environment...students demonstrate their ability...in a highly practically rather than theoretical way," Andrew says.

The program is actually modeled on how airline pilots are trained, a methodology that is actually unique in procurement and supply chain areas. Students are first trained theoretically, and then placed within simulations (to objectively demonstrate tools and techniques). After that, the simulations they are provided represent different situations and levels, demonstrating knowledge that is built-upon and applicable to varied levels of difficulty. Students are only fully certified and qualified when they prove a mastery of "ALL of the tools and techniques in the real world," according to Andrew.

Click here for more information and to learn about upcoming IIAPS events.

In the last post of this series, we'll wrap up some final points about IIAPS, including how they can fit in with other certifications, training, and memberships, as well as bringing their brand to the global community.

- Jason Busch

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