Many people just stumble into procurement and supply operations, but, once they’re in, they’re hooked. There’s something addictive about effectively managing all of those moving pieces. If you’re ready to make the commitment to a career in procurement and supply operations, it’s time to consider getting a certification. It will expose you to the many processes involved and make you a more competitive job prospect.
In the UK, the gold standard for procurement and supply operation is CIPS, the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. CIPS is the leading professional organization for those involved in procurement and supply chain management. When you become a student member of CIPS, you’ll have access to training courses at a reduced rate, and, once you achieve your MCIPS (Member of the CIPS) certification, you’ll be recognized as an accomplished professional throughout the UK and many other countries.
How to study
There are several ways you can do the coursework for your certification.
The most traditional method is to attend one of the CIPS learning centres. There are 90 approved study centres within the UK and 100 more internationally. Some of these centres are at colleges or universities, and others let you study with a CIPS training provider.
The CIPS e-learning option offers over 250 hours of professional training. There are 27 e-learning units that work seamlessly with the exams you have to pass to get your certification. The coursework includes tutorials, interactive questions, case studies, and quizzes to test your readiness. You can pay either by course or by qualification.
With the self-study option, you have the freedom to do things your own way and at your own pace. You can use textbooks and/or online learning resources. The key to success is to make good use of the learning objectives for each course and to make sure you’ve covered them in the manner that works best for you.
While you can study in whatever way works best for you, qualification exams must be taken at a qualified exam centre. Here’s what you need to know:
- Each assessment will be based on that unit’s learning objectives (LOs).
- Each learning objective will be covered by the exam.
- All learning objectives are rated equally when exams are scored.
- A passing grade is 75%.
CIPS members can register online to take an assessment at their regional training centre. If you need help filling out the enrollment form, the Enrollment Guidance page will help you. You can also review the rules under which the assessment will be administered. Other things you need to know include:
Candidates who successfully pass the assessment should receive their certificate within 6-8 weeks of the time results were posted.
If you have a disability, the assessment centre may be able to make reasonable accommodations.
There are procedures in place to guide you if you want to appeal your assessment results.
A certification in procurement and supply operation is a great way to jump-start your career. Once you’ve got the certification, you’re limited only by your own ambition and commitment.
Image source: flickr via Graham Richardson, 2010