Licence to thrill – A new level of excellent for Procurement

Since the recovery of our economy the Procurement Profession has risen significantly through the ranks in popularity, with talented individuals about to enter the job market being tempted away from disciplines such as accountancy, medicine and law into the arms of a sector that offers diverse, challenging and rewarding career opportunities, attractive salaries and significant scope for progression.

With great power however comes great responsibility  and Procurement, just like every other high profile, successful profession before has been subject to growing scrutiny, particularly following high profile incidents such as the horsemeat scandal  and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory . Although both cases were related specifically to retail procurement, the sector has responded as one with David Noble, Chief Executive of CIPS expressing a continued desire to see the Procurement Profession licenced, giving it ‘true professional standing and individuals the knowledge they are adhering to best practice.’

Licensing or licensure as it is known is inspired by a need to regulate threatening or dangerous activities where a high level of skill is involved. For Procurement the threat is inadequate or exposed supply chains which lead to major issues such as poor quality food, modern corporate slavery and procurement fraud. The people working within these environments face moral dilemmas as a result of unethical practice and a license would give them a formal platform from which to challenge this behaviour.

CIPS have made licencing of the Procurement Profession their policy statement. Their goal is for a license to be required by anyone tasked with managing an enterprises spend and for all enterprises/employers in the public and private sectors to self-regulate by implementing the license. CIPS have recognised there will be a need for Government legislation to uphold the policy along with the support of any other bodies representing the procurement profession. Not unlike accountancy, the License to Practise in Procurement will formalise senior level skill sets and licence holders will commit to working to high standards of practise and demonstrate impeccable ethics, all of which will be subject to review before the license can be formally renewed.

Licensing of the profession so that it sits in line with other self-regulated occupations is still a work in progress but substantial headway was made when the Queen gave her approval for CIPS to offer Charted Procurement and Supply Professional Status to suitably qualified members. The Chartered Membership Grade will form the basis of the License to Practice moving forward and should serve to make Procurement an even more attractive career path to talented, ambitious and ethically driven individuals.

What do other procurement professionals think about the move towards licencing? Write and let us know.

About the Author

Helen Harling

Office and Marketing Manager for both Procurement Heads and sister brand HR Heads. Graduating with a marketing degree, Helen has continued her passion by leading our marketing function forward. You will see her blogging, tweeting, posting, videoing about Procurement Heads. You can see this on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram page.

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