CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is an international organisation, based in the UK, serving the purchasing and supply profession - they are the leading body representing the field of procurement and supply chain management. Joining a CIPS qualification means you will join the largest Institute in the world for those working in procurement and supply.

The CIPS level 3 certificate is designed for those working in an operational procurement and supply role who need the capability to carry out procurement and supply tasks. No previous qualifications or experience are necessary to undertake this qualification. However, if you have the CIPS Certificate or CIPS International Certificate you'll find this qualification builds on your current professional understanding. This is an industry standard qualification which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), the premier professional body in the industry.

This qualification is suitable for both those working in Purchasing and Supply as well as those wanting a career change into the industry. This qualification is suitable for colleagues in the logistics industry and study is offered through our Northern Logistics Academy. The Northern Logistics Academy is a logistics and transport training specialist delivering sector specific training and qualifications. St Helens College and Knowsley Community College collaboratively launched the Northern Logistics Academy to plug skills gaps and to encourage uptake of careers within the logistics sector. It has received backing and support from key industry bodies and employers across the Northwest region.

St Helens College is recognised as a CIPS Centre of Excellence. We are the only general further education college in the Liverpool City Region to hold the prestigious accolade as Centre of Excellence for procurement and supply qualifications. Centre of excellence status is awarded to centres that can demonstrate exceptional performance across all aspects of their CIPS procurement and supply provision.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

This course has various start dates throughout the year with intakes in January, March, May, September and November.

The course is delivered on a half day release basis, taking place on a Wednesday, 9.00am - 12.00pm at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus. The course takes one year to complete.

Dependent upon demand, this course can be delivered to employees within the workplace. This is done with more intensive study over a shorter period of time. We also offer the option to study individual units with flexible start dates. More information is available upon enquiry.

What will I study?

You will develop the knowledge to understand demand management, arrange supply logistics and implement new contracts.

There are five modules to complete at this level of study which are:

  • Procurement and Supply Environments Gain an understanding of a range of external factors that can impact on procurement and supply operations. This module focuses on the wider environment that impacts on procurement and supply in a range of different types of organisations, the public, private and not for profit or third sector can all be involved in fulfilling organisational needs.

  • Procurement and Supply Operations Gain skills to identify a range of considerations in formulating agreements with external organisations. This unit assesses procurement and supply operations and is structured around the achievement of the five rights namely price, quality, time, quantity and place.

  • Procurement and Supply Workflow Understand how to interpret a range of data to help develop effective administration processes required when dealing with external organisations. This module identifies the typical work flows that procurement and supply personnel can be involved in working on.

  • Inventory and Logistics Operations Upon completion of this module, students will be able to select appropriate techniques to ensure the right inventory can be purchased or supplied. This module focuses on the techniques that can be applied to achieve the availability of inventories through the flow of materials and information.

  • Procurement and Supply Relationships Gain knowledge to explain a range of main principles and techniques that help develop customer and supplier relationships. It is essential for procurement and supply personnel to form effective relationships with suppliers, internal and external customers and other stakeholders. This module introduces the principles of marketing, the importance of cross-functional working and the need to communicate effectively both within the organisation and with people from external organisations.

How is it assessed?

All modules are assessed by marked examinations, externally set by CIPS. There are five exam dates per year following each module.

Candidates must enrol for examinations directly with CIPS and pay an examination fee. Progression onto the next level is dependent on examination success.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification. You don't need any prior experience or qualifications to start your studies at this stage.

What are the course fees?

The total cost of this course is £1,265. There are CIPS membership, administration and exam fees that are additional to your course fee.

If you are aged 19 - 23 years old may be eligible for a fee discount of up to 100%.

If you are aged 19+ you could also choose to apply for a Advanced Learner Loan to cover part of your course fees enabling you to study now, pay later. Loan eligibility isn't dependent on income or employment status and there is no credit check. Loan repayments don't start until you have finished your course and earn over £25,000 per year. For more information on the Advanced Learner Loan, please visit our dedicated pages.

There are a number of flexible payment options including an interest-free payment plan with a monthly direct debit payment. If your company are willing to fund your course, we can help you to arrange this.

If your company are willing to fund your course, we can help you to arrange this.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

The successful completion of this Advanced Certificate in procurement and supply operations will support progression to further learning and you may choose to progress onto our CIPS level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply qualification.

Acquiring this qualification will 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. Demand and career opportunities for skilled buyers is high. You may progress into roles such as; buyer, contract officer, logistics analyst, stock planner and many more.

I'm interested in this course, what do I do next?

If you would like any further information in relation to this course, please contact our enquiries team directly on 0800 99 66 99 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Graham Brookes