CIPS Global Standard for Procurement and Supply

CIPS Global Standard for Procurement and Supply
Supply Chain Digital September 2020
By Matilda Pilkington


The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest professional body for Supply Chain and Procurement with a global network of procurement professionals. They offer a range of professional certificates and opportunities to grow within the procurement and supply industry, as well as releasing their global standard for Procurement and Supply; a comprehensive competency framework.

Primarily, CIPS has an online benchmarking tool, allowing organisations of all types to compare their professionals against the standards, providing them with skills gaps which can be worked into a development programme. This is also available as a PDF download, which details all of the different levels and options.

The competency levels within the standard are broken down into five separate categories:

Level Job Title Examples
Tactical Purchasing Assistant, Contracts Administrator, Assistant Buyer
Operational Buyer, Procurement Executive, Contracting Officer
Managerial Senior Buyer, Contract Manager, Logistics Manager, Supply Chain Executive
Professional Senior Category Manager, Head of Logistics, Operations Manager
Advanced Professional Procurement Director, Supply Chain Director, CPO, Head of Sourcing, Commercial Director

These categories are then compared against the four pillars of the CIPS standard; Infrastructure, Process, Performance and People Development. These are each further broken down into 11 segments of key knowledge which detail the capabilities required to attain that competency level.

For example, examining the pillar of Performance Standards in the section relating to Delivering Outcomes in Procurement and Supply. The capability requirements for Tactical level involve knowledge and use of the 5 rights of procurement and supply.

  • Price/cost
  • Quality
  • Time
  • Quantity
  • Place

Whereas those relating to the Advanced Professional level focus more on applying improvement methodologies and investigating issues through statistical analysis and data.

The benefits of using a benchmarking tool such as the CIPS global standards include:

  • Companies and individuals can identify skill gaps
  • Cost effectiveness and compliance within teams
  • Justification for individuals for pay reviews or raises
  • More targeted recruitment of procurement professionals
  • More detailed performance and development reviews

Whether you are an organisation looking to benchmark your procurement team, or an individual who is hoping to evaluate your performance against industry standards, the CIPS is a good place to start.