Procurement, like many other professions, has made huge strides in supporting and providing accreditation to the many professionals that make up its membership.
So, the big questions are what is CIPS? How do I get accredited? And how could becoming chartered help turn the tide on global ethics?
Let jump right into it…
What is CIPS?
Originally the Purchasing Officers’ Association, it wasn’t until 1992 that the Association was granted a Royal Charter to become the Chartered Institute of Procurement (Purchasing) and Supply (CIPS) that we know today.
With a membership of over 200,000 professionals globally, the Institute is putting the profession on the front foot when it comes to providing accreditation for its members.
What does CIPS mean to us?
CIPS is seen as the voice of the procurement profession, a champion of the profession globally, led by current CIPS CEO Malcolm Harrison, while still retaining local roots in its many national associations and member-led branches.
The benefits of being a CIPS member are considerable. From connections to a network of over 200,000 global professionals, in as many varied industries and sectors as you can think of, to a constantly updating knowledge hub, with everything from the basics of procurement, right up to specialist subject areas. And that’s not to mention the webinars, podcasts and YouTube channel.
The core of the CIPS offering for procurement and supply chain professionals is in the professional accreditation that the organisation offers and supports.
Who can become a CIPS member?
The designation of MCIPS represents the gold standard for procurement professionals and is an internationally recognised award that brings the individual holder a number of benefits.
The qualifications are open to anyone working in the procurement and supply chain profession, taking them from Studying Members all the way to MCIPS, and potentially even a fellowship (FCIPS) for the senior advocates of the profession.
Will having CIPS accreditation advance my career?
In recent years, CIPS has brought its qualifications in line with other professional bodies and offers its members a chance to become chartered through its programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Joining CIPS and taking a full part in its activities as a member is no small investment, and the qualifications should not be undertaken lightly.
But, as a fully paid up member of the procurement profession, why wouldn’t you want to invest in your career and your future in this way?
As with other qualifications, achieving MCIPS does provide benefits to individuals.
Many global businesses see CIPS qualifications as the minimum standard for their procurement teams.
Due to the regard in which they are held, and the trust of the standard that they produce, many employers choose to support their staff by funding their studies.
You may not need MCIPS to work in procurement and supply chain, but having the qualification allows current and prospective employers to see that you have applicable training in your arsenal.
The annual CIPS/Hays Salary Survey and Guide helps to highlight just how important these qualifications can be. In 2020, 64 per cent of survey respondents stated that they requested MCIPS or studying towards it as a requirement for people applying for jobs with them.
It’s not only going to help you get through the door either. Professionals with MCIPS earn, on average, 17 per cent more than peers without the qualifications.
And at a time where the expertise of procurement and supply chain professionals is becoming more widely sought, having these qualifications could be the key to unlocking the full potential of your future career.
CIPS Chartership & the ethics exam
One of the key elements that CIPS has brought in along with its accreditation and, now, chartership, is its Ethics exam for individual members.
Any member, from student all the way up to FCIPS, is required to take the exam annually in order to keep their qualifications and membership up to date. The eLearning test covers the three key pillars of the ethical procurement and supply:
- Environmental Procurement
- Human Rights
- Fraud, Bribery and Corruptions
The test is free for all members and can be purchased by non-members too. This works alongside the CIPS Code of Ethics, which organisations can sign up to as a public commitment to proper work practices in the field of procurement.
Over the past few years there have been several high-profile global events linked to poor ethical procurement practices.
At a time where global supply chains, and by association procurement, are in the spotlight, having a widely agreed and signed Code of Ethics, backed up by an annual ethics exam for individuals is crucial.
Supporting the ethical agenda is something all procurement and supply chain professionals should be doing.
Accreditation and Chartership provide the foundation for developing a profession that operates within these bounds and is something that should be an expectation for all professionals in the coming years.
Play your part and take the first steps on your chartership journey by joining CIPS today.