These “competency based” procurement qualifications are available at QCF Levels 3 to 6 and replace the suite of NVQs (NQF Levels 2 to 5) in Supply Chain Management and provide a significant amount of knowledge, understanding and skills development that underpins occupational competence in the Procurement and Supply Chain Sector.
In the table below CIPS’ qualifications have been listed to the right purely for comparative purposes only. There are other similar academic qualifications available.
It is disappointing that following a so called “mapping” exercise to compare their academic qualifications with the QCF Procurement Diplomas, CIPS have declined to accept (Levels 4,5 & 6) these NVQ replacements for membership. Their decision has effectively disenfranchised many procurement practitioners who are unable for various reasons to take their examination route to obtain professional accreditation. However, the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM) will accept the new QCF Procurement Diplomas for the following grades of membership:
Similarly, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has confirmed they will accept specific QCF levels for certain grades of membership:
Procurement Diploma for Level 3 or 4 plus 3 years relevant experience.
Procurement Diploma Level 5 plus 1 years relevant experience.
Chartered Membership (CMILT)
Procurement Diploma Levels 5 and 6 plus 5 years experience.
The International Institute for Advanced Purchasing & Supply (IIAPS) has confirmed that “after reviewing the comprehensive and extensive materials” submitted to them “someone with the Level 6 Diploma in Procurement (QCF) (assuming they have over three years work related experience) will satisfy the IIAPS entry requirements for participation on the International Green Belt in Advanced Purchasing and Supply programme.”
Whilst professional accreditation is desirable it should not be seen as essential as it is the level of qualification achieved that is relevant. A commitment to continuous professional development (CPD) is now the norm for most people contemplating advancement of their career. It is essential, therefore, that both employers and employees alike choose educational pathways that best suit the individual and also the wider training and development objectives of the organisation. For many individuals and employers work based qualifications offer the ideal solution owing to their flexibility and practical nature which not only confirms knowledge and understanding but also the practical application of procurement skills.