Central Government spends £45bn on goods and services. Excellent procurement is a fundamental contributor to deficit reduction and economic growth. This contribution will only be maximised if the capability of government procurement professionals is continuously recognised, valued and improved. Procurement professionals will be performing in a range of roles including engaging with suppliers to shape requirements, developing commercial/procurement strategies, running a LEAN procurement process, managing a contract, settling a dispute, disposing of assets or re-competing for a service. The profession is a varied and exciting one.
The Government’s Chief Procurement Officer is Bill Crothers, Head of the Crown Commercial Service. He said:
“Continuous professional development and improving commercial capability sits at the heart of Civil Service Reform and the Capabilities Plan. As the Government’s Chief Procurement Officer I urge you to view the material available via CSL, the procurement skills framework and the professional curriculum.
Given the size of the prize from better management of total procurement spend, in support of the Government’s priorities, there is an opportunity to ensure the UK Civil Service procurement profession, through delivery, is valued and appreciated at the very highest levels of office, now and for the future. Whether you are starting a career in procurement or are an established professional, please have a look at this site.”
About Government Procurement and Capability
Improving the capability and confidence of procurement staff is critical to the successful delivery of the Government Procurement reform strategy and is at the heart of the Procurement Profession. There is an expectation to have a higher percentage of trained, skilled and qualified staff.
Government Procurement reform’s primary purpose: Improving Capability, Supporting Growth and Reducing the Deficit
Key areas of focus and outcomes over the next two years for Government Procurement include:
- Increase in spend managed through CCS
- Sustainable savings through CSR 10
- Reduction in sourcing time and cost, with unnecessary barriers removed
- More spend with SMEs
- Higher percentage of trained and qualified staff
- Deployment and use of enabling technology
- Sectoral pipelines to support supply chain management
- Better perception of Procurement
You can find more information on the Government Procurement website. There, you will also find a link to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). On the CCS site under the ‘Information’ section you will find details on LEAN and Capability, including how to book onto LEAN Sourcing Training.
Procurement Professional Curriculum
A key tool to support you in your development is the Procurement Professional Curriculum. This curriculum will contain learning that is relevant to everyone working within the profession, wherever you work within central government. Other professional learning and development opportunities are available through your Department’s own formal training arrangements or through informal on the job training, coaching and mentoring.
Departments are currently working together to design the curriculum for the profession. Learning products will be added in phases as they are developed, so they are available to you as soon as possible. The curriculum will develop and change over time to reflect the changing needs of the profession. A baseline curriculum which is currently being populated is available via the Procurement Profession section on Civil Service Learning which is available for central government civil servants.
There is also a generic suite of training contained within the Civil Service common curriculum that you can use to supplement your learning. There are e-learning packages and workshops on project management, finance, commercial awareness and negotiation skills in addition to products designed to help you develop your interpersonal skills.
Select to access the Common curriculum
Select to access Core Skills
Procurement Professional Skills and Competency Framework
Integral to Civil Service Reform is the development of a Civil Service Competency Framework, which will go live in early 2013. Supplementary to that will be the integrated Procurement Professional Skills and Competency Framework. The integrated Procurement Profession Skills and Competency Framework sets out the skills, new behaviours and competencies which Civil Service procurement professionals should demonstrate in delivering highly efficient, dynamic and professional procurement and commercial operations.
The Framework covers the three key components of procurement that are generally applicable to all central government departments and ALBs – Sourcing, Contract and Supplier Management and Category Management. The Framework incorporates three expertise levels of integrated procurement skills and competencies. The Framework is designed to be used flexibly by departments to assist in the design of job descriptions, part of the recruitment processes and to assess the performance of staff within the appraisal process. The Framework can also be used as a source document for the development of career pathways for those entering the procurement profession at all levels below Commercial Director.
To ensure a common approach to public procurement all departments are expected to adopt this procurement skills framework. This will allow flexible deployment of recognised common skills and resources across all departments. Departmental-specific competence frameworks that are being used should supplement this framework – i.e. where the nature of the business requires specialist competences that are not widely available to other government departments.
Key Website Links
Government Procurement is part of the Efficiency and Reform Group in the Cabinet Office. You will be able to find out the latest news and information on the SME and Growth Agenda, Policy Development and LEAN and Capability on the Crown Commercial Service website.
Crown Commercial Service
The CCS overall priority is to provide procurement savings for the UK Public Sector as a whole and specifically to deliver centralised procurement for Central Government Departments.
The CCS is also rolling out training across Central Government to support new developments in the profession, the first stage of this will comprise:
- 1 day LEAN Sourcing Awareness Course
- 3 day LEAN Sourcing Simulation Workshop
Initially both course types will be classroom based but an e- learning package is being developed to replace the one day course. This should be available from May 2012.
Details about the courses and who should attend are available from GPS by phoning the service desk on 0345 410 2222 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crown Commercial Service works in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) to support the understanding and further development of the procurement profession.
- The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) is the home of the widely recognised qualification route to professional status. Government Procurement is working with Departments to support CIPS in the development of refreshed qualifications.
Careers in Procurement
Jobs available only to existing Civil Servants, log in to the Civil Service Jobs online website at http://www.civilservice.gov.