My title page contents

Talent News

Keep up to date with industry news, general articles and latest research!

How does your salary size up? What are the key challenges facing the profession? How do I recruit the right talent? All answered through the key insights into the CIPS Hays Salary Guide 2023.

Thursday 29th June 2023

The highly anticipated CIPS Hays Salary Guide 2023 is set to be released on the 10th of July. However, The Procurement Academy was fortunate enough to attend the live broadcast and obtain an early copy of the guide. The event featured an esteemed panel, including CIPS CEO Nick Welby and Dr. John Glen, a respected economist. While the CIPS Hays Salary Guide 2023 continues its tradition of providing comprehensive salary information, it goes beyond that by offering valuable insights into the world of procurement. The guide stimulates thought-provoking discussions on various aspects of the profession, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of what the field values, the priorities of its leaders, and the aspirations of professionals. This knowledge is of utmost…

view more »

National Apprenticeship Week - Procurement Apprenticeships

Monday 6th February 2023

Procurement and supply chain management are critical components of many businesses and organisations. The increasing demand for skilled professionals in these fields has led to the growth of procurement apprenticeships, which offer a unique opportunity for individuals to start a career in procurement. In this article, we will explore the benefits and suitability of procurement apprenticeships and why they are an excellent option for individuals looking to start a career in the field of procurement and supply chain management. What are Procurement Apprenticeships? Procurement apprenticeships are programs that offer on-the-job training and education in procurement and supply chain management. These programs typically include hands-on experience, mentorship from experienced professionals, and theoretical education. The goal is to provide individuals with the skills and…

view more »

New Year, New Skills?

Friday 7th January 2022

This time of year we hear lots about New Year's Resolutions. Many people look to have a few resolutions to achieve during the year, these range from fitness based goals, financial goals or professional goals. What many people don't think about is where did the concept of New Year's resolutions come from? New Year resolutions are said to have started with the ancient Babylonians some 4000 years ago and were the first to hold recorded celebrations to mark the new year. Although this was not in January but in mid-March when they planted crops. This practice continued in one form or another until during the ancient Roman period where emperor Julius Caesar introduced the Roman calendar in circa 46 B.C…

view more »

Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard for Commercial Procurement or the stand-alone study programme. Which route is best?

Wednesday 10th July 2019

Which route is best? For over 18 months now there have been two options available for procurement professionals who wish to develop their career further by studying of the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement & Supply. Basically, these are the two approaches. The Level 4 Apprentice Standard for Commercial Procurement and the existing route, which is for the stand alone Level 4 Diploma study which is generally to attend a CIPS approved study centre, carry out examination based assessments, with supported learning, or, if desired through distance learning. The Level 4 Standard for 4 Commercial Procurement encompasses the Level 4 Diploma and requires the learner to have 20% off the job learning, which ideally is structured to support the apprentice into a fully…

view more »

Success continues for our students

Thursday 6th June 2019

Another successful exam period here at The Procurement Academy for our CIPS students. Nearly all of our students have achieved merits or distinctions, which is a huge credit to their hard work. The pass rate at our approved study centres was a fantastic 95%. A special congratulations is needed for our Diploma students at Sheffield who achieved not only a 100% pass rate like Nottingham but a 100% Distinction pass rate. This is down to the hard work of the students and our brilliant tutor, Reg Dyson. The 100% pass rate at Nottingham, is also down to the excellent efforts of the students but the knowledge passed on from our tutor Mike Donnelly certainly helped them on their way. Are…

view more »

Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?

Friday 3rd May 2019

Is it about time we stopped dancing around our handbags? The operations expert is charged with writing a specification for an operational activity that is to be carried out by an external provider. This will be provided to procurement. Procurement will interpret the specification as part of a tender or RFQ, and provide a set of standard contract terms. Following bid submission, the process of bid evaluation will take place. The bid evaluation will result in a contract award that forming a legally building contract between the organisation and the provider. The contract will be handed to the operations expert to manage both operationally and contractually and commercially. Does this sound familiar? Now, according to CIPS, a specification is the means of defining the…

view more »

Apprenticeships, where everyone is a winner.

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

The Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard in Commercial Procurement & Supply is proving a great success with hundred of Apprentices currently taking endpoint assessments, after starting the programme 12 months ago. So who are the winners? Participants Achieving CIPS Level 4 Diploma supported by applied / action learning in the workplace as well as the support of a qualified coach. Employers Here at The Procurement Academy, nearly half of our Level 4 Diploma candidates, have their tuition funded by the Levy. Is this the solution to the talent pool shortage in Procurement & Supply? It appears to be, as many employers are looking for a cost-effective process to develop their teams in an increasingly uncertain commercial environment. As part of the Level 6 Trailblazer Group, we are…

view more »

Do you want to upskill your procurement function?

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Do you want to upskill your procurement function? In procurement and want to get yourself ready for the next role? Working outside procurement & supply and would like to progress you career in the procurement & supply chain field? • Materials Management • Finance • Stores & warehousing Want to know what 'good' procurement is in other organisations? Want a formal qualification leading to MCIPS? Applied 'best practice' learning in your work environment? Do you tick any of these boxes? If so, the Level 4 Standard in Commercial Procurement & Supply could be the perfect way to taking your next step in your career. The Standard describes the skills,…

view more »

Procurement apprenticeships? How does that work?

Friday 22nd February 2019

Many people still have a pre-existing idea of what an apprenticeship entails but in today's world, they are a completely reformed and exciting method of advancing one's career. No longer just for the 16-18-year-old school leavers but people of all ages looking to develop their skills and capability. This initiative has been produced to improve productivity in the UK by bridging skills gaps identified by British employers. This benefits employers and employees by developing their skills and their careers in Procurement and Supply. This is a new approach to a new syllabus which could land you a new career, how does that sound? For more information, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website with the link below. or speak to us about…

view more »

Where is your next procurement colleague coming from?

Wednesday 9th January 2019

According to the Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report fourth edition 2018, "skills shortages remain prevalent". With 56% of responders facing challenges in finding the right talent, 21% saw a top challenge being competition from other employers. A further insight is that 30% of respondents were looking to change jobs within the next 12 months. With the challenges and opportunities facing UK supply chains following whatever Brexit will be in the end, the last thing we need is unfilled vacancies in procurement and supply chain functions. So where are we looking for soft skills such as communication and relationship management that we advertise as part of a skill set requirement but quite often even with higher salaries and increasing recruitment costs…

view more »

Soft skills to deliver Supply Chain Value Architects

Tuesday 24th April 2018
Mandy Chippindale

I was recently inspired by the work of David Loseby FCIPS, who is leading the way in Behavioural Economics with his soon to be released book on the matter. In this modern Procurement age, the days of squeezing the suppliers out of their last penny to secure that must have ego-fuelled saving target feels somewhat alien to the needs of the business. Hard-faced buyers, who play tough are becoming less desirable in today's high risk, complex procurement and supply chain environment. According to research carried out by David Loseby FCIPS in conjunction with Supply Management. The two most sought-after qualities we demand from our Procurement Leaders are Emotional Intelligence and Influencer-Communicator. So how do we build, nurture and develop these qualities in our…

view more »

What came first the chicken or the pre-contract award phase? (Risk management and supply chain diligence)

Thursday 22nd February 2018

The colonel is working on it was the humorous response from KFC recently when asked when and how they would resolve the supply issue of chicken as the shortages continue. The issue stems from KFC switching its deliveries from Bidvest Logistics to DHL in a deal struck last year. KFC's problem? - They're huge and the press loves a multimillion monumental screw-up. A similar situation happened at Burger King six years ago, so why aren't we learning? Apparently, the issue is software malfunction and a shortage of staff. Doesn't this remind us of the Olympics when there was a dramatic shortage of security staff, as the customer of G4S wouldn't pay for training and development ahead of schedule, thus…

view more »

Two-minute guide to Category Management and its benefits

Wednesday 21st February 2018

What is Category Management? In a nutshell Category Management is the consolidation of different agreements into a single streamline and efficient contract. The Category part is a grouping if items or services available from the same or a similar supplier base. The Management side is to own these areas and ensure the business can monopolise on the best available savings. The benefits to the business. • Expected savings of between 10-30% upon delivery. • Development capability across supply base, especially strategic suppliers. • Shift from a reactive function to a proactive function. • Improvements cross functionally in quality, cost savings, sales forecasts and service levels. • Excellent reputation from customers i.e. on-time delivery. • Reduces risk in the supply chain. • High payback ratio. The Procurement Academy offers a 2-day course in Category Management to bring any…

view more »

It's time to start thinking about your training budget!

Tuesday 6th February 2018
Mandy Chippindale

If your businesses outflows are far outweighing it's inflows it is easy to opt for cutbacks...and unfortunately one of the first areas to suffer cutbacks is the training budget, this is a crucial mistake and here's why: 1. The right training program will have a plethora of benefits for a company: it increases employee engagement, retention, and productivity; it decreases the need for supervision, reduces absenteeism, improves customer service, and boosts sales. 2. Well-trained employees make less mistakes and, because they feel appreciated the training will increase their loyalty and personal performance. It will improve their own and others perceptions of them. 3. Minimising staff turnaround has to be one of the biggest benefits. If you only have a small training budget utilise this effectively.…

view more »

Succession Planning – Part 3

Thursday 18th January 2018

How can we invest in our existing talent? Investing in our existing talent often requires a cultural change - it can mean altering ingrained attitudes from long-standing members of senior staff. Keeping people in stalemate job situations because they have the monopoly of skills and knowledge to fulfil that role effectively is not acceptable. Having an individual who can fulfil a specific skill is an asset to a manager but keeping them in that role because the prospect of re-training someone to do something which no one else appears to be able to do or want to do - is not the answer. Give that individual a time frame i.e. three months to re-train the prospective candidate and write a…

view more »

Sucession Planning - Part 2

Wednesday 17th January 2018

The move to succession planning must be one bought in from the CEO and cascaded down at every level. Potential leaders should be identified from junior level up. You will not retain junior procurement professionals who are often initially motivated and energetic, if you constantly recruit externally and pay the new candidate twice as much as the junior team member. This is un loyal and disrespectful. If that procurement member is a valued member of the team, invest in them. Invest in their training and up skill them. Try a performance related pay contract with your existing junior procurement individual. incremental pay increases dependent on key milestones achieved. There is no stronger measure of performance than working with someone full time…

view more »

Succession planning in your Procurement team - Part 1

Tuesday 16th January 2018

What is succession planning and why it is important? Succession is defined in the dictionary as; 'A number of people or things of a similar kind following one after the other.' When we hear the term succession we conjure images of royalty following in the footsteps of royals before them or at the very least family succession - in today's world of procurement this archaic description is not what we mean. Succession in procurement means planning which, if any person can fulfil another person's role if that person at best retires or more realistically leaves for pastures new. (Jobs for life are also a thing of the past, with many procurement professionals jumping ship every few years to progress or climb the…

view more »

Top 5 tips to help you smash the upcoming CIPS exams!

Wednesday 10th January 2018

1) Organise your work space This seems a simple one but many times this is the most essential. Is there enough light? Are you warm enough? Too warm? Are all distractions out of sight? (TV, radio and mobile phone etc?) Your study space is important, make sure everyone knows you have an exam and you need time and space to revise in a suitable area. 2) Explain your answers to others Speaking out loud to friends, family, loved ones and even pets can help cermet the information firmly into your brain. If you can't explain it to them thoroughly then you know there are areas which you need to work on. 3) Take regular breaks Devise a revision schedule giving yourself plenty of breaks.…

view more »

What will set the Procurement Academy aside from the rest when it comes to delivering Apprenceships?

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

We deliver excellent training by thoroughly understanding the challenges that face Procurement & Supply Chain leaders today. We are forward thinking; constantly updating our knowledge to keep you and your team ahead of the game in the Procurement profession. We regularly engage with CIPS holding our own talks and conferences on current Procurement & Supply Chain issues such as Modern day slavery. We believe that having a versatile structure by incorporating blended learning through adobe captivate by using iPad's allows the tech savvy apprentices to save time, effort and the environment (all notes from tutorials can be saved on the iPad.) All our tutors have a wealth of academic and on-the-job experience: ( We have a structured feedback and monitoring system…

view more »

The Skills Gap in Procurement

Tuesday 19th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

In today's world of procurement with its ever changing and fast paced nature some professionals are been left behind in an identified Skills Gap. The reasons for this skills gap are as follows: 1) Businesses are not aware there is a skill-gap and are not utilising the apprenticeship levy, educational/training budget effectively. This can be There are some key clues in determining if your organisation is failing to see a skills-gap. These are: • There is not an extensive history of training/qualification in the procurement team or even the business. • There is a victim-culture in the procurement team, (it's not my fault, it's the suppliers etc) • There continuous firefighting and seeing beyond the immediate tender and negotiation process doesn't happen. • Seen as primarily…

view more »

The importance of an Apprenticeship in Procurement and Supply Chain.

Wednesday 13th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

We must reinforce to businesses the importance of apprenticeships, never mind apprenticeships in Procurement and Supply Chain, apprenticeships full stop. With today's University Fees skyrocketing, as demonstrated in the Guardian below "It's calculated the average student would leave university with a debt of more than £50,000 - rising to an average of £57,000 for the poorest, who borrow more for their living costs." ( In conjunction to this the government has introduced the apprenticeship levy, a compulsory tax on employers to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available. Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers. Employers with a paybill of more than £3 million…

view more »

Improve the capabilites of your Procurement team.

Wednesday 6th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

In today's transformational Procurement world, it isn't enough to be just a 'YES' person anymore. This will no longer impress stakeholders and if it does, you need to ask yourself; are you working for the right organisation? Are you questioning the status quo, considering risk mitigation/collaborative problem solving and looking beyond the confines of the tender process ' this is all part of the innovation movement within procurement. Certain rules must be adhered to and delegated authority must be respected but empowering your people is paramount in securing and cascading capability in procurement. Invest in your people, invest in your business - here are three ways to improve the capabilities of your Procurement team and a word of warning, it…

view more »

Productivity in Procurement

Wednesday 29th November 2017
Mandy Chippindale

"Until we manage time, we manage nothing else" ~ Peter Drucker As we move into the technological era of procurement, the most innovative amongst us are looking for new ways to maximise productivity. Carrying out activities because it's "what we've always done" and "standard process" just won't cut it with our savvy time saving and efficient procurement contemporaries and demanding stakeholders. Below are just a few of the quick-wins for businesses looking to improve their productivity in procurement: Improve communication: It sounds a simple one but nine out of ten times when beginning skills training within organisations, I observe that the basics are not in place to ensure the communication routes are clear, concise and consistent. If all members of the team are…

view more »

Do you manage contracts – Get the commercial edge – book onto this IACCM course now!

Friday 22nd September 2017

"Poor contract management costs companies 9% loss- bottom line." Tim Cummins There are many weaknesses identified within contract and commercial management in today's world of Procurement. These are: • Third party power imbalance • Lack of soft skills • Lack of cooperation due to supplier relationship breakdown • Influence of corporate governance. • Weakness in change management • Price disputes "10 years ago the formation of IACCM was a leap of faith. Sally Hughes 21.09.17 " Join Mandy Chippindale FCIPS Chartered on our 2 day course on the 4th/5th October 9:30am-4:30 am @ Nottingham Conference Centre. The 2 day course will cover: • Negotiation techniques and styles. • Contract implementation and management. • Ensuring contracts are implemented to be mutually satisfying. • Tried and tested category management tools. • Managing risk. • Leverage and bargaining powers. • Strategic/ transactional contracts and negotiations. • Strategic/practical negotiating. Book…

view more »

Modern Day Slavery with Mandy Chippindale on the 9th November at Sheffield Hallam.

Friday 22nd September 2017

Providing a background and history to the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015, what it means to procurement & Supply Chain professionals. Where it exists, what are the risks and how to ensure that your organisation complies with the law using appropriate supply chain diligence. As a result of attending this talk you will • Understand what slavery is in the modern day context • Appreciate the scale and impact of modern day slavery • Understand the law on modern day slavery • Understand their responsibilities under the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 • Understand the link between supply chain transparency and the Slavery Act • Update on progress in compliance Mandy Chippindale FCIPS Chartered, Director of The Procurement Academy. Mandy has worked as a Direct Associate for the Chartered Institute of…

view more »

EXAM TECHNIQUES - 12th October. Novotel in Leeds with Mandy Chippindale

Friday 22nd September 2017

Mandy Chippindale FCIPS Chartered, Director The Procurement Academy A presentation by The Procurement Academy covering: guidance on exam revision; tips, tools and techniques to help optimise your revision time; an opportunity to interact with the speaker and others attending the event. Furthermore, this is an opportunity to contribute your thoughts regarding potential future events/workshops for students. Mandy has a passion for procurement and a passion for developing people. She now has her dream job working as a tutor with The Procurement Academy. She has worked at a senior level with a number of blue chip companies including Tata Steel and Unipart Group. She has spent the last five years working with clients of CIPS on a global basis delivering qualifications, corporate award,…

view more »

Procurement and Modern Day Slavery Part 2

Tuesday 5th September 2017

CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) state there is no official template but that the statement should contain: 1. An outline of an organisation's structure, business and supply chains. 2. Policies and due diligence in relation to slavery and human trafficking. 3. An identification of parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk. 4. An assessment of its effectiveness in ensuring slavery and trafficking are not taking place in its business or supply chains measured against performance indicators it considers appropriate. 5. Information about training concerning slavery and human trafficking that's available to staff. Whilst this is now law, it should be common place practice anyway within procurement and…

view more »

Procurement and the Modern Day Slavery Act - Part 1

Thursday 31st August 2017

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, cannot long retain it." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others" (April 6, 1858), p. 376. The Modern Day Slavery Act is primarily concerned with targeting slavery - particularly linked with the trafficking of human beings. The act was originally introduced to the House of Commons as a draft form in October 2013 by James Brokenshire. Finally on the 26th March 2015 it gained royal assent and became law. The law refers to current provisions in the following three areas: •Creating two new civil orders to prevent modern slavery. •Established an Anti-Slavery Commissioner. •Makes…

view more »

Building Soft Skills in Procurement Part 3

Wednesday 9th August 2017

Exceptional people and relationship management skills Communication and negotiation are an interchangeable skill set and a foundation for people and relationship management skills. As human beings we communicate and negotiate on a daily basis and how effective individuals are in this area determines their ability to motivate people to achieve the organisations and their personal goals. This is never more applicable than to supplier relationships; as every occurrence of communication prior to and post nomination equates to the final supplier relationship you are left with. This needs to be a strong relationship to ensure it is performance driven post nomination and the longevity in securing the supplier; as a strategic and reliable one. Execution of ideas and strategy There are always so many…

view more »

Building Soft Skills in Procurement Part 2

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

Strategic procurement and logical thinking Individuals who possess strategic and logical thinking as part of their working procedure have the innate ability to plan effectively, aligning their own aspirations and goals with that of the organisation. They help give clear direction for managers, outline longer term planning, and identify risk and opportunities (supply chain and risk analysis). Effective communication The ability to communicate across all levels is key to a successful procurement professional. Effectiveness in communication also means trust. Do your stakeholders trust you can maintain and deliver? Individuals who remain calm in emotional situations earn trust and can be relied upon. Communication goes beyond speaking, it is essential the individual can listen and interpret these requirements before ultimately executing them. Understanding emotional and…

view more »

Building Soft Skills in Procurement

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Building Soft Skills in Procurement There is nothing soft about successfully building up a soft skill set within procurement. In soft skills, the word "soft" is used loosely. "Over the past three years the role that procurement plays has evolved and the result is an increased demand for procurement professionals with a more strategic outlook." (Law (July 2017) Six of the best procurement skills to have for the future :(http// It is important to give soft skills the attention they deserve - holding them in the same regard as the more traditional skills linked with procurement - usually the more technical solid skills. There is confusion about which skills fall under the blanket term soft skills to be clear soft skills are primarily…

view more »

The real cost of replacing lost talent

Monday 3rd July 2017

In a recent Hays Survey, 51% of organisations faced challenges in finding the right staff over the last 12 months; 47% found recruiting challenges being a lack of sector skills and experience. Retaining talent is much easier and less costly than replacing talent, it is also less risky and time-consuming. If you even have a Procurement Department of around 20 people and you lose 10%, it will still cost you in the region of £8,000-£12,000 in recruitment agency fees to replace them. That is £12,000 out of a budget that probably doesn't actually exist, not to mention the time taken in: • Reviewing CVs. • 1st interviews, • 2nd interviews • …

view more »

Strategy Deployment in the Supply Chain

Friday 16th June 2017

This is how you get your team to: Be aligned to the business; Start to create value for the customer Drive competitive advantage through supplier led innovation Tried & Tested. Strategy Deployment has been around in lean thinking organisations for a number of years as a way of getting employees aligned and delivering value for the business. However, what we are seeing today is the need for supplier resources to be engaged in this process in order enhance the alignment and capability of our Supply Chain and therefore be ahead of our competitors. So, how can I say this is tried and tested? Well because it is. In the past I have worked on numerous Strategy Deployment events in many organisations, they have driven change and improved…

view more »