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CIPS Levels Explained 2018-06-26T12:46:54+00:00

Whether you work in purchasing or supply chain management, CIPS training can help you to take the next step in your career. Here at Distance Learning College and Training (DLC), we offer Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) courses at levels from 2 to 6, so you can find a course which is just right for you.

We understand that knowing which CIPS level to choose can be confusing, so to help you get started we’ve put together this guide to what CIPS levels mean. Read on below to find out more about the CIPS courses offered at DLC, their entry requirements, and how they can benefit your career.

CIPS Level 2 Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

Studying a CIPS Level 2 Certificate course doesn’t require any prior experience or qualifications in order to enrol. This level is particularly suitable if you have only recently begun a role in purchasing or supply chain management, or if you’re in another role that involves some aspect of procurement and supply.

Throughout the duration of your studies, you will cover the key principles of procurement, as well as basic functions and processes. This will provide a solid foundation of knowledge if you’re starting out a procurement career, for example as a buyer. On completion of CIPS level 2, you will become a qualified Certificate Member, which can roughly be compared to a Level 2 NVQ or GCSE grades A*-C.

CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

You don’t need any formal qualifications to enrol for a CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate course, but you will be expected to have more industry experience than someone operating at Level 2. To give you an idea of levels, a CIPS Level 3 can roughly be compared to an A level, or a Level 3 NVQ. At this stage, your studies will largely involve building on and formalising any existing knowledge. For example, you will have the opportunity to specialise in environments, operations and supply relationships.

Whether you want to progress to a more senior buyer role, or work towards a career as a team leader, CIPS level 3 is an internationally recognised qualification which can help you develop your skills further. As with all CIPS qualifications, level 3 holds the same value as a certification from a college or university. On completion of the course, you will qualify as a CIPS certificate member.

CIPS Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Procurement and Supply

To apply for the CIPS level 4 Foundation Diploma, you will need at least two A-levels (or an international equivalent), or a CIPS Advanced Certificate qualification. If you have two years’ experience in a relevant industry background, then you may also be eligible to apply. In terms of a comparison, a level 4 diploma is roughly similar to the first year of a degree programme.

Studying this qualification can help you to progress to a more senior role within purchasing and supply, and the course can be tailored depending on what your specific aspirations may be. Unlike levels 2 and 3, level 4 has a clear focus on organisational procedures and processes such as negotiation, planning, risk assessment and data analysis. On completion of a CIPS level 4 course, you will become a qualified Diploma Member of CIPS.

CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply

The CIPS level 5 Advanced Diploma course is suitable for individuals in a senior buyer or management position, and is roughly comparable to a foundation degree or higher national diploma. Ideal for those who are seeking to advance into a more senior management role, CIPS level 5 will give you the knowledge base to reduce costs within the organisation, improve quality and timescales, manage the supply chain and competently deal with any legal issues that may arise. A student who completes CIPS level 5 ascends to becoming an Associate Member of CIPS.

CIPS Level 6 Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply

In order to enrol on the CIPS level 6 Professional Diploma, you must have at least three years’ experience in a position of responsibility in purchasing and supply. CIPS Level 6 can be roughly compared to a bachelor’s degree or NVQ level 4, and is aimed at senior procurement professionals or heads of department.

CIPS Level 6 is targeted at building strategic direction, and covers topics such as change management, stakeholder management and team leadership. On completion of CIPS level 6 training, you’ll be eligible to work towards achieving MCIPS status, which is internationally recognised.

Find out more

At DLC, we provide flexible courses which can be tailored to your individual needs, so you can be sure that your studies will support the next steps of your career. Unlike many distance learning providers, we offer students with unlimited support, and our tutors are industry experts with years of experience in their fields.

To apply for a CIPS course, or to get expert advice on the best CIPS course for you, please give our Course Advisors a call on 0800 0126 770 (Freephone). Alternatively, you can contact us online. We will be happy to talk you through the best next steps for you career, and can answer any further questions you might have about CIPS courses.

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