CIPS (the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) recently announced major changes to their qualification structure and syllabus. These are the most significant for many years, and follow a wide consultation process. The new qualification structure will take effect from March 2013, but there are transitional arrangements in place to ensure no-one currently studying will be disadvantaged. The five levels will be:
- Professional diploma in procurement and supply
- Advanced diploma in procurement and supply
- Diploma in procurement and supply
- Advanced certificate in procurement and supply operations
- Certificate in procurement and supply operations
There are a number of major changes from the previous set-up that are worth highlighting.
The Graduate Diploma is now the Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply. CIPS says: “Feedback received from the consultation suggested that the Graduate Diploma was not reflecting the professional nature of the qualification. CIPS have benchmarked with other professional institutes before making this change”.
I’m not sure this is that big a deal, but I wouldn’t argue – Graduate Diploma maybe sounded a bit lightweight. All the qualifications now refer to Procurement rather than Purchasing. Again, that seems sensible, and I wonder whether this presages a change in the Institutes name – the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, anyone?
The new syllabus has been designed to be more standardised globally. “The existing International certificate and International advanced certificate will cease and be replaced by new and up-to-date qualifications, which will be the same for everyone around the world. There will no longer be a distinction between UK and international qualifications”.
On one level, that again seems very sensible. However, might it lose something in the process? (See the comments below on the public sector issue).
Each level has three compulsory modules and candidates choose two more modules from a choice of three. There will be less choice within exams. “ There will be no optional questions in examinations and to improve accessibility there will be fewer case study formats”.
I guess case studies tend to be culturally specific, an issue if you’re seeking a truly global approach, and the lack of choice probably increases rigour, although that’s only my interpretation.
Specific UK public sector modules (units) have been discontinued. So goodbye to these units:
- The machinery of government
- Contracting in the public sector
- Public sector stakeholders and governance
- Strategic public sector programme management
There’s a passing mention of public procurement law in the “Legal aspects in procurement and supply (UK)” optional module at level 6, but no specific public sector modules at any level.
Interesting – how does the UK public sector itself feel about this, we wondered? We’ll have some answers to that question tomorrow...!