Commercial Procurement & Supply Apprenticeship – Reference Number: ST0313

Who is it for?

The Commercial Procurement and Supply apprenticeship is suitable for those in both junior and senior procurement positions. Upon completion, typical roles can extend to a huge range of related commercial activity such as influencing policy, financial analysis, engaging in contract law, and developing strategy to deliver services. Individuals will be able to position themselves as fully effective, commercially skilled professionals, with transferable skills and career options that span the public, private and charitable sectors. All of this training will be developed within the apprenticeship.

How is the Training Delivered and what can you expect?

Larger cohorts can have training delivered in-house, at a convenient time. For smaller cohorts, training will be delivered at one of 19 study centres throughout the UK. These study centres deliver classes at flexible times outside of work hours therefore not impacting on the day to day business. All apprentices will have access to a virtual learning environment for extra reading, study and communication.

The apprenticeship will take approximately 18-21 months to complete during which time the apprentice will gather evidence that apprenticeship outcomes have been met. During this time, the apprentice will have regular meetings (every 6-8 weeks) with their mentor / assessor to check progress.

Embedded within the Commercial Procurement and Supply apprenticeship is the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply. As an accredited training provider, Oxford College of Procurement and Supply have worked closely with CIPS to deliver this professional qualification for a number of years. With this experience, trainers are able to offer a tailored programme to your organisation to maximise the value of the apprenticeship.

What will be covered?

As part of the apprenticeship, learners will be supported by the attainment of a Level 4 Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, a Commercial Procurement and Supply professional will have knowledge and an understanding of:

Context of Procurement and Supply

  • How an organisation’s money is spent, including the organisation’s own rules on managing budgets.

  • The difference between public and private sector procurement life-cycles and how they fit into the organisation’s structure.

Pre-procurement and Early Market Engagement

  • Show understanding of the market, regulatory environment, supplier and service landscape before beginning the tendering process. Whilst knowing about the ability to utilise market and commodity intelligence, including supplier innovation, customer requirement and how the use of internal and external data can support the development of a robust business case.

  • Cost and pricing models and commercial concepts and how they influence supplier/customer behaviours.

  • Financial awareness that enables a focus on achieving efficiencies and continuous improvement.
    Recognise business needs that shape decisions, for example financial restrictions or time requirements.

  • Show how such business objectives are articulated in procurement specifications using a set of appropriate tools/techniques e.g. LEAN sourcing.

Sourcing and Contract Agreements

  • The principles and purpose of commercial contracting and how contract terms, conditions and obligations affect delivery and supplier performance.

  • Understand sustainability risks and opportunities associated with sourcing decisions. Know that these decisions assist with conducting pre-procurement market engagement to make sure the requirement is deliverable, clear and attractive to suppliers whilst also offering maximum value for money.

  • Different procurement and contractual models e.g. use of SMEs, mutual and joint ventures.

  • The use of the different types of documentation and terminology that frequently form part of the commercial contract process, e.g. the contract and its appendices.

  • The aims of and tactics and techniques for successful negotiation.

Supplier Management

  • The organisation’s commercial strategy and policies, procedures and governance mechanisms.

  • The principles and purpose of contract governance, risk management and the internal controls within their own organisation and conduct work within those frameworks.

  • A range of supplier performance monitoring, management and reporting techniques to ensure that cost, service, quality and sustainability objectives are being achieved.

  • The need to develop strong collaborative relationships with customer, supplier and stakeholders.

  • What techniques to use to add value through building positive commercial relationships and trust.

  • How to forecast and plan requirements with internal stakeholders and suppliers to ensure the supply of goods and services matches demand taking into account actual demand.

  • Both national and international contractual and procedural procurement law. Recognise the use of legal terms that regulate commercial agreements.

Category Management

  • How specific areas of procurement spend can be organised into appropriate categories.

  • The main components, benefits and constraints to taking a category management approach across all stages of the commercial procurement life-cycle.

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, a Commercial Procurement and Supply professional will have and be able to exhibit skills in the following areas:

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Identify approaches to achieve agreements with external and internal organisations and stakeholders including developing the communication skills that can influence positive negotiated outcomes.

Monitoring, Management and Reporting Techniques

  • Use a range of contract and supplier performance monitoring, management and reporting techniques to ensure that cost, service, quality and sustainability objectives are being achieved and maintained.

Cost Management

  • To be able to carry out cost management, including the cost base, and variances from budget.

Systems, Procedures and Processes

  • Use appropriate software, spreadsheet, word processing and presentation packages plus specialist programmes and systems associated with the organisation to convey information.

Supplier/Customer Relationship Management

  • Clearly and concisely raise items for discussion and negotiation in order to resolve an issue that may be with customers, suppliers or colleagues.

  • Confidently display supplier/customer relationship management skills with a range of stakeholders, keeping key stakeholders and customers appropriately informed.

Evaluation and Analysis

  • Evaluate costs by comparison with industry standards or high performers (benchmarking).

  • Recognise the impact that decision-making has on costs and identify opportunities to save money or deliver services in the most effective or efficient way.

Planning and Forecasting