CIPS – Money, Money, Money … and Awards

Here are a few news items with a CIPS connection.

1.  I got my annual membership confirmation the other day. Like many people, I pay by Direct Debit, so I don’t tend to notice the details. But this time, I happened to have the same document from 2013 lying around, so it was interesting to see them side by side. The Fellows’ subscription in 2013 was £169.20.  For 2015 it is £193. That is a 14% increase across a period when inflation has been around 3% cumulatively.

Now I would l like to think that most CIPS members have not allowed too many of their suppliers to increase prices by that much in the last two years. I also know the argument should be about value, and I also know that “employers pay most of the subscriptions”, although that doesn’t stop us caring as procurement people about what our organisations spend generally! But the Institute just needs to be careful. So message to the Congress and Trustees – for what it is worth, I’m going to cancel my direct debit, and then at least next year I will have to make a conscious decision about renewing.

2.  The CIPS Supply Management Awards is coming round again - you can get details about that here, and the deadline for entries is the 10th April. For many organisations, going through the process of applying is very worthwhile, and the event itself is usually a really good evening (on September 9th this year). I must admit however I didn’t know that you have to pay to enter – that wasn’t true back when I was involved from a CIPS point of view. Now it may have been the case for some time, at £110 a shot it is not exactly extortionate, and entry for the individual categories is free. But another example of the CIPS drive to “monetise” wherever possible I guess. (Does the Procurement Leaders Awards charge for entry? That dinner is on 28th May, by the way, and entries are now closed).

3.  Thanks to an old friend, also a CIPS Fellow, for pointing out to me that there are more details now available on the CIPS website about how you can become a Chartered Member. There is an academic route, an “applied learning” route, and then an “experiential” option, which is what people like him (and me) are most likely to consider. But it was the cost that struck him most - £795 to be assessed. That process includes an application completed by the member, an online competency assessment, a “personal and ethical intent statement” (from the detail it looks like it involves five short essays - four on technical topics, and one on ethics), and a “viva interview”.

I also don’t know what the annual membership fee is going to be for Chartered Members, I couldn’t find it on the website, so it will be interesting to see where that is pitched too. I guess the thinking again is that fees both for assessment and ongoing will be paid by firms (employers) in the main, although if you have a few dozen procurement people to put though it, that will certainly add up for the assessments. And we certainly can’t see many interims for instance, or boring old pros like us paying the £795. Now there clearly is a non-trivial cost to CIPS in running the assessment, and the route must be testing enough to deserve the Chartered designation but ... well, we will see.

Voices (2)

  1. bitter and twisted:

    The purpose of CIPS is to perpetuate CIPS, trebles all round!

  2. Dan:

    What exactly do CIPS do for all this money that we are paying them? The MCIPS qualification is well worth having if you are job hunting, but is it worth paying an annual membership if you are happy in your current role?

    The Supply Management magazine doesn’t really add anything of value as I see it, and CIPS don’t seem to make a great effort to represent the profession in the public eye let alone their members. The branch events are useful, but are too inconsistent across the country – my branch only meets a handful of times a year. The website needs a complete overhaul and is difficult to navigate.

    Could anyone illuminate me? CIPS are in a difficult place, as their members are all about getting value for money. CIPS should be making more of an effort to demonstrate this.

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