We've updated our qualifications


The updated qualifications are now available follow the link to our qualifications web page. 

Select the level you are currently studying at to find the updated syllabus and your transfer arrangements.  You can also learn more about our new computer-based exam formats and get an update on the  new learning resources.

    Changing our qualifications

    Procurement is changing and so are we.

    As employers’ demands for talented, qualified professionals continues to grow it’s no surprise that our learners' needs and expectations are also changing.

    At CIPS, we are passionate about procurement and the people that do it. We are the global membership and awarding body, determined to build a profession that can bring ethical procurement and supply to a modern, agile business world. To do that, we want to offer the knowledge and learning that creates highly skilled professionals, whose achievements are globally-recognised.

    Our updated qualifications will help procurement professionals, now and in the future, to become innovators and drivers of change - creative, strategic and influential in their organisations.

    We have reviewed, restructured and refreshed the content of our qualifications to meet the needs of our students in 160 countries across the globe.

    Our learning resources have been completely redesigned and rewritten to support learners throughout their journey. We’re introducing new ebooks* and elearning* modules  to help you learn more flexibly.  With the help of educational experts, knowledge specialists, publishers, creatives, graphic designers and copywriters, we have created a completely refreshed and improved learning experience.

    We’ve changed our exams too – introducing computer based exams (CBE)** and increasing the number of times you can sit exams each year, giving you more opportunities to succeed.

    Find out more about how computer based exams will work in this short video:

    We’re continuing to build our network of 190 approved study centres and 350 exam centres, so you can access the support you need while you become the professional you want to be.

    *only available from March 2019

    **CBE are only available for the updated qualifications.  Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations are available now.  

    Level 4 Diploma, Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply updated qualifications will be available in July 2019.  Until then carry on with the current qualifications as everything you complete will be transferred and will count towards your future qualifications.

    CIPS Global Standard

    CIPS created the Global Standard for Procurement and Supply– we engaged 5,000 procurement professionals and academics across the globe to define what good practice looks like in procurement. The Standard sets out clearly what every procurement professional needs to know and understand. Every year, we revisit and refresh it, to make sure it continues to reflect real life best practice.

    Now it’s the foundation for all of our updated qualifications. We’ve reviewed every aspect of our student’s learning journey, to make sure that we help them to become professionals that embody and deliver to that Standard.

    Our five qualifications now give students a clear, structured learning pathway to help them fully meeting the Global Standard.

    CIPS Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply OperationsCIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply OperationsCIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and SupplyCIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and SupplyCIPS Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply

    A new structured pathway

    Our qualifications now follow a clear, structured learning pathway, from Level 2 Certificate to Level 6 Professional Diploma. At each level there are core modules which are made up of the topics we think you must know. At Level 3 Advanced Certificate, Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Professional Diploma there are elective modules so you can choose a more tailored pathway that’s relevant to you.

    At each level, you must choose the correct modules to give you the credits you need to complete each qualification. Modules can be worth 3, 6 or 12 credits. More details about the elective modules will be available in January 2019.

    What are credits?

    Credits are a way of quantifying the required number of study and exam hours. For example, 1 credit is equivalent to 10 hours of study. This gives you an easy way to see how much time you need to allow yourself to study and take exams.

    The total number of credits you need to complete each qualification is:

    • Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations: 18 credits
     
    • Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations: 30 credits
    • Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply: 60 credits
    • Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply: 60 credits
    • Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply: 60 credits

    New learning resources

    We’ve completely redesigned and rewritten all of our study guides. Each qualification comes with a new guide for each module – with clear layout and all the models and tips you need to complete your course. Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate study guides are available now, (3 credit modules cost £10, 6 credit modules cost £20). Study guides for our higher levels will be available in March 2019. 

    “My students are all impressed with the layout and the presentation of the content and they love the glossary of term and ease of navigation through the book.  Also the end of chapter assessment will better prepare them for the exam.”

    Lucy Addison MCIPS PgCE BSc (hons) Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional,  CIPS Programme Leader & Lecturer in Procurement & Supply, Blackburn College (UK).

    In March 2019, we will also introduce two new learning resources to support our students:

    • ebook study guides will help you to study on the go
    • elearning will supplement the study guides, with interactive exercises, videos, podcasts and more resources for each module

    Our bookshop has all the learning resources you need, along with other recommended reading texts and additional elearning.   

    Our Student Zone now contains all sorts of extra help for you as part of your membership - example answers, links to additional resources on our Knowledge Hub, relevant news articles from Supply Management and more.

     

    New exam formats

    In 2017, we surveyed our global student community and asked what would make our exams more accessible and engaging for them – computer-based exams was the request from 90% of you.

    In March 2019, our Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate students will be the first to sit the new computer-based exams.

    Exams will now be either:

    • Objective response (OR) – these are computer-based, which allow you to select a response from a list of possible answers. 
    • Constructed response (CR) – these exams require a longer, essay-type response to questions. Depending on where you live, you may be able to take these as computer-based exams, however in some areas, they will continue to be paper-based.

    To find out which exam formats are available for Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate for your next exam and where you can sit them, use our Study and Exam Centre finder. More information will be available about the diploma level exams at the end of January 2019.

    Find out more about how computer based exams will work in this short video:

    The great news is that your exam results for OR exams now take only four weeks to arrive, and for CR, eight weeks. Your responses are more secure, with robust marking by our global panel of examiners. You’ll also get better feedback, helping you to improve your next exam performance.

    More frequent exams

    We’re moving from three exam series a year (depending on where you live), to six series in most countries, for most exams, subject to demand, giving you more opportunities to gain your qualifications more quickly. Find out when your next exam series is with our Exam timetable tool.

    Book early to get your preferred time slot

    Booking places for our new exams will be different to how you may have booked in the past.

    If you are a self-study student, you will need to find an exam centre that hosts the new CBE exams. Use our study and exam centre finder to find out where to take your exam. If you're studying with a study centre, they will organise this for you. 

    • When you know your preferred exam location, go to book exams 
    • Choose any of 3 timeslots on any day during the exam week for Objective Response (OR) exams
    • Exam bookings are live, so your place is confirmed as soon as you book
    • Make sure you get the timeslot you want by booking as soon as possible

    Don’t worry if you miss out - with six exam sittings a year in most countries, there will be another slot available soon.

    New Levels 2 and 3 exams are available to book from December 2018
    New Levels 4, 5, 6 exams will be available to book from March 2019

    How to transfer to the new qualifications

    We’re confident you’ll be excited when you see the updated qualifications, learning resources and exam formats. If you’re part-way through our current qualifications, we will automatically transfer any successfully completed units in the 2013 syllabus. Your updated plan will be shown in your MyCIPS account.

    In the meanwhile, we’ve created some handy tools to help you understand the transfer arrangements. These are available now for our Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate qualifications and will be available for each of the updated diploma qualifications at the end of January 2019.

    How and where to study

    Studying with one of our 190 study centres, using our learning support resources, will give you the best chance of exam success.  Many of our study centres offer learning options that can fit around your working life - either face-to-face, or with supported distance learning. Use our Study and Exam Centre finder to find a study centre for you.

    If you choose to self-study route, our Studentzone has full lists of resources and for every level and every module - there are study guides, sample answers, recommended reading, and so much more.

    What it costs

    We’ve made sure we keep the cost of our qualifications at an equivalent level to our previous syllabus. So while you may need to take more frequent exams, the overall price has been designed not to cost you more. Find out more about exam fees, or check prices for learning resources. Remember, if you include an ebook in your order, there are substantial discounts on additional products, whether you’re a member or not. Full costs for diploma levels resources and exams and exam venue fees will be available in January 2019.

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