Learning & Development


Professional Development post MCIPS for Procurement Leaders

A guest article by Debbie Shore - NEUPC Responsible Procurement and Training Manager and member of the HEPA L&D Group

Many procurement professionals ask me ‘what next’ after achieving their CIPS L6 Advanced Diploma and MCIPS accreditation and currently CIPS do not offer a Masters’ level qualification for further development and to support their middle or senior management role. In this article, I will look at opportunities for achieving further CIPS accreditation, additional strategic management qualifications, with some funded via your institution’s apprenticeship levy, and continuing professional development.

A step up from MCIPS

Did you know that with a little bit of work, you can enhance those useful ‘MCIPS’ designated letters after your name and enhance your personal brand in various ways:

MCIPS (Chartered)

Once you have achieved MCIPS, if you can evidence 30 hours CPD and undertake the CIPS annual ethics e-learning and test, you can upgrade to ‘Chartered’ status. This also will be shown on the CIPS Professional Register. Please visit your ‘My CIPS’ on the CIPS website after logging in to start the upgrade process


A CIPS Fellowship is the highest grade of CIPS membership which recognises outstanding knowledge, skills and experience in strategic procurement and supply chain management, as well as a demonstrable contribution to supporting and raising the profile of the profession. You will have to provide evidence and references and there is a fee for your submission to be reviewed by the independent fellowship panel. For further details, please see here

Please remember these designatory letters can only be used if you continue to maintain your CIPS membership through payment of annual membership fees.

Undertaking further studies

Whilst there are post-graduate courses in Supply Chain Management available, the vast majority focus very heavily on logistics and international supply chains which may not be that relevant to Procurement Leaders in our sector. As many senior leaders often need wider strategic business knowledge and skills to more effectively contribute to their organisation, they look towards an MBA or Msc in Strategic Management and Leadership or a Level 7 professional qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institution(CMI) or Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) which often offers Fellowship status membership on completion.

Both Masters and Professional qualifications may be available for delivery through your own institution for part-time study and as there is an Apprenticeship Standard for Strategic Leadership, if the University has mapped their programme to it and offer it as an apprenticeship, there is also the benefits of it being fully funded by your apprenticeship levy fund with guaranteed study time off built into it. Have a word with your Business School to find out more.

Continuing Professional Development

Whilst much CPD is quite unconsciously achieved as we never stop learning with the day to day challenges that our work life presents, actively seeking out CPD opportunities will ensure you remain current. There are many different methods of achieving this depending on the time available

Quick fixes

Online browsing on a reasonably regular basis and subscribing to updates can be a quick fix. For instance, I always do a quick review of the BBC business, political and economics news whilst eating my lunch to identify any topics that might impact procurement. You can subscribe to a daily update from Supply Management for Procurement focus and the Procurement Leaders website also has lots of free resources and updates. Let’s not also forget the BUFDG and HEPA websites and their discussion forums are well worth signing up to and provide the opportunity for collaborative learning.

Sector and Consortia Conferences

We are very lucky in the HE sector as we often have annual regional consortia conferences where there is the opportunity to attend CPD workshops, taster sessions and listen to key note speakers. They are usually free to attend, only need a day out of the office and are a great opportunity to network with your regional peers and swop ideas and tips.

There are also the biennial COUP and HEPA conferences which is an opportunity to meet with national peers from university procurement. Whilst there is a small cost charge attached to this to cover food and accommodation, it provides a much greater breadth of CPD workshops, taster sessions, keynote speakers and opportunities to network over a 2-3 day period.

For a more general procurement conferences, PROCUREX is free to attend and is very much focused on public sector procurement and both CIPS and Procurement Leaders have annual conferences but they can be quite expensive to attend

Training Courses

Your own institution may well have a leadership development programme or CPD workshops that may be useful for you to attend. Nationally the HEPA/UKUPC Learning and Development Group are working on a programme of day workshops to be delivered regionally. CIPS and specialist procurement training providers and consultants all offer Procurement Training programmes. If you would like any help or guidance, please contact Debbie Shore of NEUPC. 


All HEPA e-learning is now available free of charge to all HEPA and BUFDG members. Some of the Modules available are:

  • Intro to HE Procurement

  • The Bribery Act

  • Supplier Due Diligence and Risk Management

  • Spend Analysis

  • Cost Modelling

  • Introduction to Sustainable Procurement

Although not specifically procurement focussed, the following courses will be useful to anyone in HE finance:

  • Introduction to Counter Fraud

  • Criminal Finance Act

  • Introduction to HE Finance

Members can access HEPA online e-learning here.

Register to become a new member of HEPA here.