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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 Procurement 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.

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.

Please note that the current course will be replaced with the new CIPS Level 3 course when it’s released in September 2018.

If you enrol before the 30th March 2018, you’ll complete the first two modules on this course, then transfer to the new course to complete the remaining modules.

After 30th March, you will not be able to enrol for this course until September.

You'll study five units in total.

You'll study the first two on the current course, then complete the final three units on the new CIPS Level 3 course that will be released in September 2018.

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 procurement 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.

If you have any disabilities which you believe may impact your studies or assessments, please inform your Course Advisor before enrolment so that we can advise you on whether reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs.

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.

We believe in making learning accessible and affordable for all, so you'll have the option to pay for your course through an interest-free payment plan. You'll be able to get started right away with a small deposit and pay the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can pay your balance off sooner if you choose.

If your company will fund your course, we can help you arrange this.

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


When you enrol, you’ll receive two e-textbooks covering the first two modules on this course. You’ll receive the remaining textbooks once you’ve been transferred to the new course in September 2018.

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 units 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 Resources
  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 or via the Student Community. They’ll answer any questions you have about coursework, study materials, and assessments, 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 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.

You’ll be able to sit your exams for the first two units on this course during:

  1. May 2018 sitting (bookings close 16th March)
  2. July 2018 sitting (bookings close 25th May)
  3. November 2018 final re-sit opportunity

After that, there will be no more exams for the current course. You’ll complete the remaining 3 modules and exams on the new CIPS Level 3 course, released in September 2018.

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

  1. CIPS UK annual Student membership fee: £180 new members, £130 renewal
  2. UK exam fees: £99 per exam (five exams in total)

These fees are set by CIPS and change at least annually.