The Next Level Purchasing Association – welcome to our new associate sponsors

We’re excited to announce a new Associate Sponsor for our site, and it is a first for us for several reasons.

The most pleasing is that Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) is an organisation that is very much in the field of procurement skills, training and development, rather than software, consulting or outsourcing – sectors we have worked with previously. Nothing wrong with all the lovely people within those firms, but as I’ve personally had a huge interest in procurement people and skills over the years, it’s great to have NLPA on board.

Next Level Purchasing was founded by Charles Dominick in 2000. Now if you were starting a business in the procurement field, you might have looked at potential sectors for your new firm. When you came to the area of training, education and certification of individuals, you might have said to yourself “well, that’s pretty well stitched up by the major professional Institutes. Not much chance for us there”.

But that wasn’t how Dominick saw it. He felt that there was a gap in the market, for procurement training, education and a procurement qualification that was focused on real-life requirements, and would be more accessible than some of the Institutes’ offerings. So he launched the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM®) certification, later followed by the SPSM2 and SPSM3 for higher level accreditation.

It’s also unusual for us to work with a firm who really don’t have much real physical presence in Europe, but on the other hand, in some sense this may be the most international organisation of all those we’ve worked with here. NLPA has worked with organisations in over 100 countries and the certifications have been earned by individuals in over 85 countries.

We will look at the products in more detail at a later date, but we should applaud Dominick for providing some serious competition to the likes of CIPS and ISM. As an ex CIPS President, I’ve always been positive about the MCIPS award – but I wouldn’t want it to be the only qualification available around the world for the aspiring procurement professional. Competition keeps markets healthy, inspires change and improvement – even in markets where professional bodies operate.

Dominick also claims that the Next Level Purchasing Association is also the world’s largest professional procurement association with “over 263,000 purchasing professionals from around the globe”. I guess that comes down to how you define “membership”, but there is no doubt the organisation has reached hundreds and thousands of people all over the world, and with its free basic membership, provides useful content to members, all free of charge.

Dominick also co-wrote a book titled  “The Procurement Game Plan” in 2012. I didn’t review it at the time, in the main because it is quite US focused in its style, but we’ll come back to that now and give you our (honest as always) opinion before too long. And look out soon for our interview with Dominick – I think that will be fun, as he has some strong and interesting views!

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