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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

Entry Requirements


CIPS - Transition

Glossary of Terms

Sample Study Schedule


CIPS - Transition

CIPS have announced that their current structure of qualifications, the Professional Stage, Foundation Stage, Advanced Certificate, and Certificate, will be examined for the last time in November 2006.

They will be replaced by a new structure known as “FutureQuals 2006”, which CIPS will support by Distance Learning starting in September 2006, and have its first exams in May 2007.

What the new structure will look like

The new structure will be made up of four qualifications. Each qualification is made up of five units, and each unit has one exam which you need to pass.

The four qualifications for UK students are:
• Certificate in Purchasing and Supply (Level 3)
• Foundation Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Level 4)
• Advanced Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Level 5)
• Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Level 6)

The qualifications/experience needed to start studying the new Certificate are the same as those for the current Certificate, and the standard reached by the end of the new Graduate Diploma is the same as that at the end of the current Professional Stage, but the steps in between have been evened out, and the topics which you should be studying at each level have been rethought.

The Level numbers in brackets indicate how the qualification fits in with the Government’s National Qualifications Framework, which make it easier to compare CIPS qualifications with academic ones, and ones gained in other professions.


If you have not completed the Professional Stage by the November 2006 exams, you will need to complete your studies under the FutureQuals structure.

CIPS have made sure that no-one will need to do more work to gain full CIPS membership (MCIPS) because of the changes; nor will they need to do less.

Moving between the current qualifications and the new ones is called transition. The process is different depending on whether you are currently studying the Professional Stage, Foundation Stage, Advanced Certificate, or Certificate.

Professional Stage and Foundation Stage students

Under the current structure, a student starting at the Foundation Stage has to pass (or be exempted from) six units, and then pass eight units at Professional Stage to earn MCIPS status. That’s a total of fourteen passes (including any exemptions).

The same will be true in the new structure: you will still need fourteen passes.

Any passes (and exemptions) that you get on the current structure will be carried over as credit. For example, if you earn five passes and exemptions on the current structure before making your transition, you will have only nine passes to get in the new structure (fourteen minus five).

To figure out what you need to do under the new structure, you count backwards from the top. Continuing with CIPS example, if you have nine passes to get, you will have to do all five Graduate Diploma units and four from the Advanced Diploma (five plus four makes the nine passes).

If, as in the example, you only need part of a level in order to complete it, you will have a free choice of which units you do at that level.

This does mean that you might be able to take the “new” version of a unit which you have already passed, but be careful in doing this: every unit syllabus has been rewritten and the style of assessment will be sufficiently different that it won’t be just a matter of retaking a unit, you will need to do some work in preparing for it.

Advanced Certificate and Certificate students (UK)

The Advanced Certificate and Certificate are being replaced after the November 2006 exams, and any current student who is part way through a level will lose any passes which they have earned.

Transition will take place, then, when a student has completed a level. Students completing the Advanced Certificate go on to next level the Advanced Diploma; students completing the Certificate go on to study the Foundation Diploma.

Advanced Certificate and Certificate students (outside the UK)

The CIPS Level 4 and 3 qualifications outside the UK will continue to be the Advanced Certificate and Certificate in their current forms. There are no changes planned in near future as far as CIPS know. Students completing the Advanced Certificate will next study the Advanced Diploma instead of the Foundation Stage, and then the Graduate Diploma after that.

CIPS Transition Statement

CIPS will send a transition statement to all registered students explaining what you will need to do to complete your CIPS studies under the new FutureQuals 2006.


CIPS - MCG Centre Number - 005031578