CIPS Diploma Study Options

Is the Apprenticeship route a good choice?

So you’ve decided that you want to get your CIPS qualifications underway, so what learning options are available to you?

Up until 2018 the only options to take your CIPS Level 4 Diploma were to either: self-study or attend a commercial course where you would go to classroom sessions and then sit your exams. The self-study option was the cheapest way for those learners who perhaps couldn’t get funding from their employer, however the classroom sessions helped to bring the topics to life and gave learners valuable opportunities to ask questions to ensure understanding. If you could get support from your employer then fantastic, you were on to a winner and had a great chance of success. But if you couldn’t, you might have found yourself feeling quite overwhelmed by the thought of sitting exams with no trainer support.

The good news is – things have changed, with the introduction of the Commercial Procurement and Supply Level 4 Apprenticeship in 2018. This now means that organisation’s can access new funding via the Apprenticeship Levy, or gain government funding directly, to enable their procurement employees to undertake their CIPS Level 4 Diploma via the apprenticeship route.

The apprenticeship, which was developed in conjunction with respected procurement professionals from various sectors and industries, includes all the learning you would need to achieve the CIPS Level 4 Diploma plus extra areas of knowledge and skill development such as Category Management, peer networking and softer skills, to assist in your own personal development through practical assignments and assessments.

So how does the Apprenticeship process work?

  • Learners gain access to the Academy LIVE platform where we host group learning sessions online with our trainers giving an interactive learning experience. There is no need to travel to classroom sessions and all the online sessions are recorded to listen back.
  • The Apprenticeship gives the learner the opportunity to practically apply their knowledge, skills and behaviours to their work role and complete a work-based report to evidence their value to their employer.
  • Learners have the support of an experienced, procurement coach who will support and mentor throughout the Apprenticeship.
  • You will gain valuable experience in professional discussions, informal and formal presentations and report writing.

A recent learner Stephen Jackson, who has just completed the apprenticeship said “the apprenticeship route was an excellent way to study towards the Level 4 in Commercial Procurement and Supply. My journey through the apprenticeship was very well planned with key milestones set early in the process between my assigned coach and I, which were reviewed on a frequent basis to ensure they were met. The timescales assigned to each section were realistic and achievable and allowed for my existing day to day workload. Having a coach was particularly helpful, especially with the End Point Assessment report and the presentation, providing great feedback and guidance throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed learning through the apprenticeship route and would recommend for others to consider it as an option for their studies.”

This enhanced learning programme is industry recognised with CIPS stating “achieving this apprenticeship will enable an individual to use their breadth and depth of experience to position themselves as a fully effective commercially skilled practitioner in procurement and supply. These skills will be transferable into other career options and span the public, private and charitable sectors.”

Information on our CIPS Courses can be found here.

Information on our Procurement Apprenticeships can be found here.