CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply

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 4 diploma is a valuable management tool which focuses on how organisational procedures and processes perform in purchasing and supply, including negotiating, planning, risk management and data analysis. It is a valuable management tool for those moving into junior and middle management procurement roles or those supervising the procurement function.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 an evening, taking place on a Tuesday, 5.30pm - 8.30pm at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus. The course takes one year to complete.

Dependant 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?

This qualification formalises, consolidates, and extends your purchasing knowledge.

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

  • Contexts of Procurement and Supply - Learn how to apply the fundamental principles of purchasing and supply in a variety of different contexts, including a range of private sector organisations, the public sector, national and local government, the NHS, and the not-for profit sector. You will also consider the procurement cycle as it applies to a diverse range of purchased products and services, both domestically and in an international context.

  • Business Needs in Procurement and Supply - Discover how to measure the effectiveness of the supply chain and its contribution towards aiding the competitiveness and effectiveness of an organisation. Learn how to evaluate supplier performance and how to make suggestions for future improvements.

  • Sourcing in Procurement and Supply - Understand the complexities of both the legalities and commercial issues of contractual arrangements entered into with external organisations. Gain an underpinning knowledge of the legalities of the formation of contracts as well as the key ingredients of any commercial arrangement.

  • Negotiating and Contracting in Procurement and Supply - Understand the complexities of both the legalities and commercial issues of contractual arrangements entered into with external organisations. Gain an underpinning knowledge of the legalities of the formation of contracts as well as the key ingredients of any commercial arrangement.

  • Managing Contracts and Relationships in Procurement and Supply - Discover how to develop and manage effective relationships, old and new, within the supply chain. Consider methods of review, and learn how to identify opportunities for establishing new relationships. Gain the skills to enhance the performance of the supply chain. Explore the benefits and risks of relationships.

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?

In order to enter the course, you should possess a minimum of either; a level 3 qualification, two A levels or two years work experience in the purchasing and supply industry. This course provides a natural progression from the CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate, but it isn't essential to have completed the level 3 before taking this course.

The course is for anyone who wants to understand negotiation, planning, risk management and data analysis, among other things. However, you'll benefit the most if you have some experience in procurement and are looking to take on a junior or middle management role.

What are the course fees?

The total cost of this course is £1975.00. There are CIPS membership, administration and exam fees that are additional to your course fee.

There are a number of payment options including an interest-free payment plan with a monthly direct debit payment. If your employer is 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 5 advanced 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, procurement executive, logistics planner, procurement specialist 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