Developing procurement skills

Des-Crowther Des Crowther, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (IIPMM), discusses the importance of developing skills in procurement management and how the professional body is encouraging SMEs to tender for public sector contracts.

The procurement and supply management profession is, like many functions in today’s organisation, facing significant challenges in ensuring that organisations prosper and grow. The key challenges facing the profession in the coming years include the need for more education and training along with recognition amongst procurement professionals that they are some of the key professionals in an organisation. We are beginning to see more procurement professionals at senior and director level. However, both the IIPMM and the profession need to ensure that this trend is maintained so that the full range of management functions is represented around the boardroom table.

The Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management aims to promote excellence in all aspects of procurement and supply chain management. We recognised that formal education qualifications were essential to the profession and to that end we sought and achieved formal recognition on the National Framework for Qualifications for our education programmes.

Today, our suite of recognised education programmes up to honours degree level ensures that our graduates have access to the highest quality education and training that is recognised internationally. We will continue to invest in education and training for the profession. These programmes form the basis for professional membership of the IIPMM for our graduates.

Membership of the professional body is an important step for any procurement professional. It demonstrates that you have not only achieved your academic credentials but that you are also recognised as having achieved professional competence in the procurement profession. This recognition is critical to the development of procurement in the years ahead. As the representative body for procurement and supply management in Ireland we continue to promote the profession both nationally and internationally.

As part of this promotion we are involved in an EU Interregional project with both Dublin City University and Bangor University (Wales). The key aim of the project is to engage with both the public sector and the SMEs to encourage SMEs to tender for public sector contracts. The project uses a number of approaches including education, training and one-to-one review sessions to achieve its aims. The work from this project will continue beyond the life of the project and work is ongoing in this area.

The institute has continued to work on behalf of its members in the profession at both national and international level. As members of the International Federation for Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) we have been at the forefront of development of the IFPSM’s Global Standard for professional development and our expertise in education has been recognised by the federation by the inclusion of an Irish member on both the Global Standards Board and the main board of the federation itself.

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