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CIPS - MCG Centre Number - 005031578


Overview - CIPS Qualifications

International Certificate

For Non-UK Students

International Advanced Certificate

For Non-UK Students

Level 3 Certificate

For UK Students only

Level 4 Foundation Diploma

Level 5 Advanced Diploma

Level 6 Graduate Diploma

Level 7 Executive Diploma

Entry Requirements


CIPS - Transition

Glossary of Terms

Sample Study Schedule


CIPS Qualifications

CIPS  'ladder' of qualifications provides benchmark education programmes for the purchasing and supply profession throughout the world. There are six levels of qualifications, ranging from Level 2 to Level 7.

UK students who are new to the profession should consider the Level 3 Certificate in Purchasing and Supply as an ideal entry point to CIPS qualification. Download the CIPS official guide to qualification for UK students. [PDF;1.7 MB;New Window]
The International Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Purchasing and Supply is an appropriate starting point for non UK based students. Download the CIPS official guide to qualification for non UK students.[PDF;1.2 MB;New Window]


Successful completion of our Level 4 Foundation Diploma, Level 5 Advanced Diploma and Level 6 Graduate Diploma provide a progression to degree level which results in full membership of CIPS and the designatory letters, MCIPS (providing you also have three years' experience in a purchasing and supply role). 

You will gain an advanced understanding of purchasing and supply management as well as cover essential issues which affect business. All of the CIPS qualifications are Ofqual (the office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulator) accredited and appear on the Register of Regulated Qualifications

Detailed guides to the content of each unit

Each unit content guide details the characteristics and learning outcomes for each of the study units.  The Level 3 Certificate, Level 4 Foundation diploma, Level 5 Advanced diploma and Level 6 Graduate diploma qualifications each have five units.

For Levels 3 and 6, one of the unit is an integrative one. An integrative unit is designed to draw together the knowledge and understanding achieved in the core units within the qualification and to demonstrate how these units should combine and integrate in a working environment.

Which qualification?

The illustration below shows the structure of CIPS ladder of qualifications. You can use the diagram to see the six qualifications from Levels 2 to 7 and the units you will need to study in order to achieve each qualification.  Learners are able to enter the ladder of qualifications at an appropriate point according to their previous qualifications or experience.

Level 7 Executive diploma in purchasing and supply

A self-managed learning programme.

Level 6 Graduate diploma in purchasing and supply

L6-01 Leading and influencing in purchasing
L6-02 Strategic supply chain management
L6-03 Supply chain management in practice - integrative unit

Plus any two units from the following options:

L6-10 Legal aspects in purchasing and supply
L6-11 Advanced project management
L6-12 Finance for purchasers
L6-13 Strategic public sector programme management
L6-14 Public sector stakeholders and governance.

Level 5 Advanced diploma in purchasing and supply

L5-01 Management in the purchasing function
L5-02 Risk management & supply chain vulnerability
L5-03 Improving supply chain performance

Plus any two units from the following options:

L5-10 Marketing for purchasers
L5-11 Storage and distribution
L5-12 Operations management in the supply chain
L5-13 The machinery of government
L5-14 Contracting in the public sector
L5-15 Sustainable procurement - from September 2009, with first assessment opportunity in November 2009.

Level 4 Foundation diploma in purchasing and supply

L4-01 Effective negotiation in purchasing and supply
L4-02 Developing contracts in purchasing and supply
L4-03 Measuring purchasing performance
L4-04 Managing purchasing and supply relationships
L4-05 Purchasing contexts.

Level 3 Certificate in purchasing and supply

L3-01 Understanding the purchasing environment
L3-02 Purchasing operations
L3-03 Client and supplier relationships
L3-04 Securing supply
L3-05 Purchasing in action - integrative unit

Level 2 Introductory certificate in purchasing and supply

This qualification is available at UK study centres approved by CIPS to offer e-assessment.

Element 1 The role and scope of purchasing
Element 2 Systems and procedures in purchasing
Element 3 Working with suppliers
Element 4 The importance of purchasing contracts.

International qualification in purchasing and supply

This qualification is only available to learners outside of the UK and sits alongside the Level 3 Certificate and Level 4 Diploma within CIPS ladder of qualifications.

C1 Understanding Purchasing Principles
C2 Selecting the Right Supplier
C3 Effective Negotiation in P&S
C4 Managing Inventory
C5 The Business Environment for P&S.

Advanced Certificate

A6 Analysing the Supply Market
A7 Introduction to Purchasing Strategy
A8 Preparing and Managing Contracts
A9 International Logistics
A10 Measuring Performance in P&S.

CIPS - MCG Centre Number - 005031578