Setting Standards: IIAPS Brings Competence and Benchmarking Tools to Procurement Training (Part 3)

In the past posts in this series (Part 1 and Part 2) we provided excerpts from our interview with Andrew Cox of IIAPS around the background of the organization and how it's structured. In this final post, we'll conclude by discussing how IIAPS can work with other certification programs, what students can expect in the training, and how they're differentiating their brand in the market. We first wanted to know what IIAPS looked like next to some of the other well-known certifications out there (e.g. ISM, CPSM, CIPS) in terms of overlap.

In response, Andrew said that they don't view other certifications as an "either/or" situation at all -- their entry requirements are an undergraduate degree or equivalent, meaning that they will accept anybody with "CPSM or CIPS (as well as any other basic purchasing and supply qualifications)." He goes on, "Currently, 20% of our students have either MCIPS, CPM or CPSM," but most of their students come from all over the world and aren't confined to just North America and the UK.

For those who go through the training, they can expect a rigorous program that expects extensive knowledge of all 88 tools and techniques that IIAPS recognizes in both theoretical and practical environments. The eLearning environment "provides a simulation experience as well as a real world operationalization and competence assessment process. This is a very, very different approach to current learning and assessment experiences for the profession."

We finally wanted to know how IIAPS intended to enhance their overall brand, reputation, and stature of their program within the global community. Andrew said "Our current approach is to seek out leading practitioners globally who are committed to working with the Institute to establish advanced competence in their own organizations," a tactic that could be quite effective as the supply chain and procurement world moves to higher standardization. Andrew continues, "in the end, our brand and reputation will only grow if the advanced competence of the students who are awarded our Green, Red and Black Belt qualifications is widely recognized as the highest quality standard in the profession. We are confident of achieving that accolade once individuals compare the quality of our training methodologies and processes, and the rigor with which our students are assessed."

If Spend Matters readers are interested in learning more, they can attend an IIAPS Best Practice Roundtable event in Scottsdale (12 May), London (16th June), Shanghai (3 September) by clicking here.

- Jason Busch

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