CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement & Supply Operations

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Course Code : N83


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The CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement & Supply Operations is ideal if you're looking to formalise and build on your existing skills in procurement and supply.  

It's an industry standard qualification which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), the premier professional body in the industry.

It'll demonstrate to employers that you have the most up-to-date purchasing skills, and ensure you can prove yourself as a procurement professional in practically any business or industry.

You'll learn about the importance of securing supply, stock scheduling, inventory control, demand management, and the client-supplier relationship. You'll study a range of purchasing procedures and how they're impacted by national and international business environments, and you'll gain the skills to arrange supply logistics and implement new contracts. 

The CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate will allow you to consolidate your knowledge and give you new, contemporary skills that will allow you to take your purchasing career to the next level. You'll also be able to advance to the CIPS Level 4 Diploma course.


You'll study five units on this course. They're listed below, along with the skills and knowledge you'll cover during each.

Procurement and supply environments

  1. You'll consider the impact of the external national and international business environment upon the purchasing function in a range of different organisations and sectors.
  2. You'll consider the skills and duties of purchasing professionals.

 Procurement and supply operations

  1. You'll consider the broad variety of purchasing activities, including the operational objectives of purchasing and the need to balance considerations of cost, lead-time and quality.
  2. You'll learn the key principles of purchasing.

Procurement and supply relationships

  1. You'll consider the nature and scope of operational supplier relationships and how to optimise the performance of key suppliers.
  2. You'll learn how to act as an internal consultant representing the purchasing function.
  3. You'll improve your communication and information seeking skills, and gain the ability to contribute towards improving purchasing efficiency.

Inventory and logistics operations

  1. You'll gain a wide understanding of the requirements of controlling the supply of goods.
  2. You'll study the importance of stores and warehouse management, along with materials handling.
  3. You'll discover how to contribute towards the assessment of stock requirements and assist in the scheduling of the flow of supplies.
  4. You'll consider the implications of effective scheduling of stock and the importance of inventory control as a method of improving efficiency.

Procurement and supply workflow

  1. You'll understand how the purchasing function can make a difference by being involved at an early stage, from identification of need through to contract negotiation.
  2. You'll consider how purchasing can improve operational efficiency through effective management practices.
  3. You'll understand the importance of internal and external analysis.
  4. You'll examine the various methods available for securing supply.

You don't need any previous experience or qualifications to enrol on our Level 3 Advanced Certificate course. That's because we believe in making home study - and a rewarding future - as accessible as possible.

This course is suitable for anyone who wants to be able to understand demand management, arrange supply logistics and implement new contracts. However, experience in purchasing and supply would be an advantage. The course is ideal for junior buyers or those with under two years purchasing experience.

You must be 18 to enrol on this course.

Opportunities and salaries for skilled buyers are outstripping those of many other professions. With a qualification from the leading industry body, you'll be sought after and could be on track for a highly lucrative career. 

You'll be able to apply for the many jobs which require candidates to have, or be working towards, a CIPS qualification.

You could hold roles such as:

  1. Buyer
  2. Assistant buyer
  3. Procurement specialist
  4. Contract officer
  5. Supply chain analyst/planner
  6. Logistics analyst/planners
  7. Assistant contract officer
  8. Stock/inventory planner

Once you've completed this course, you can move on to the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement & Supply. This will allow you to work as a buyer, contract officer, purchasing executive, logistics analyst, and in other similar roles.

You can either pay for your course in full or opt for an interest-free payment plan. You'll pay a small deposit and the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can extend the terms or pay your balance off sooner if you choose.

Speak to our course advisors for more information on our payment plans.

Extensive Resources

Once you enrol, you’ll have access to our Student Community, which will allow you to see your course materials, contact your tutor, submit your assignments and connect with your fellow students. 

Your course materials have been specially designed for online learning by experts in the field. You'll work through step-by-step modules so you can easily keep track of your progress.

You'll have the opportunity to join a live induction webinar when you start your course. It's designed to help you navigate your way around the student community, to offer you help and support, and most importantly to give you a warm and friendly welcome to ICS Learn. We usually hold one a week, and you can attend any one that suits you.

You’ll have access to a huge range of resources that will aid your studies, including:

  1. Interactive Quizzes
  2. Progress Checks
  3. Peer Discussions
  4. Personal Journal
  5. Awarding Body Resources

Unlimited Support

You’ll be assigned an expert academic tutor who'll be with you from enrolment to graduation. Their support is unlimited and you can contact them by phone, email or via the Student Community. They’ll answer any questions you have about coursework, study materials, assessments and exams, and help you work through any part of the course you’re stuck with.

They’ll also give you test papers and mock exams to ensure you’re ready to pass your exams. All your papers will be marked and given constructive feedback so you know exactly what your strengths are and what you can improve.

Our dedicated student support team will be on hand to assist you with administrative tasks, using the Student Community, and any other non-academic queries you may have.

You'll sit five exams for this course, one for each unit you've studied.  All your exams will take 2 hours and will be paper-based. They'll be be marked out of 100%.

Each exam will assess you based on the learning outcomes for that unit. Learning outcomes are the skills, knowledge or attitudes you should have learned during the unit.

The exams will be:

Procurement and Supply Environments

  1. You'll answer 60 multiple-choice questions, split into 3 sections of 20 questions each.
  2. Each section represents a different learning outcome.
  3. You'll select one correct answer from four options for each question.
  4. You have to achieve 75% in each section to pass.

Procurement and Supply Operations

  1. You'll answer 60 multiple-choice questions, split into 3 sections of 20 questions each.
  2. Each section represents a different learning outcome.
  3. You'll select one correct answer from four options for each question.
  4. You have to achieve 75% in each section to pass.

Procurement and Supply Workflow

  1. You'll answer four exam questions each worth 25 marks. 
  2. The questions are designed to simulate tasks you might perform at work.
  3. The pass mark is 50%.

Inventory and Logistics Operations

  1. You'll answer 60 multiple-choice questions, split into 3 sections of 20 questions each.
  2. Each section represents a different learning outcome.
  3. You'll select one correct answer from four options for each question.
  4. You have to achieve 75% in each section to pass.

Procurement and Supply Relationships 

  1. You'll answer 60 multiple-choice questions, split into 3 sections of 20 questions each.
  2. Each section represents a different learning outcome.
  3. You'll select one correct answer from four options for each question.
  4. You have to achieve 75% in each section to pass.

Exams are set by CIPS and take place in the UK five times a year:

  1. January*
  2. March*
  3. May
  4. July*
  5. November

*Only selected exams are available during the January/March/July sessions. All exams can be taken during the May and November sessions.

You'll sit them at an exam centre and you can sit as many exams as you want in one session. However, exam weeks vary so you should check that no exams overlap. It's generally best to spread out your five exams between the five sessions.

Please note that as exams are set by CIPS, their format may change. The details here are intended only as a guide. You can find out more about your exams on the CIPS website.

There are CIPS membership, administration and exam fees that are additional to your course fee:

  1. CIPS UK annual Student membership fee: £166.50 new members, £119 renewal
  2. UK exam fees: £74 per exam (five exams in total)

These exam fees are set by CIPS and so may change in August 2016.




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