The Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply is made up of eight core mandatory modules. 

In any organisation, a significant proportion of costs are accounted for by the purchases of products and/or services, hence organisations see procurement and supply as a key contributor to their value added strategies. Equally, any organisation will also be managing the supply of products and/or services to their customers, be they internal or those from other external organisations, consumers or the general public. This module is designed using the CIPS Procurement Cycle as its basis. It will provide those who are interested in developing an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the discipline, an overview of the key stages associated with procurement and supply, and will serve as an introduction for those who are expected to address complex well-defined procurement and supply problems that are non-routine in nature.

The development of a business case and the ability to analyse markets are key if an organisation is to successfully source activity from external suppliers. Similarly, the clear definition of specifications for through life contracts is crucial to overall business achievement. This module is designed for those who are expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate information on the different types of markets utilised by procurement and supply. It explores a variety of elements that underpin the development of business cases and specifications and considers the options that should be explored when procurement and supply personnel are involved in defining requirements.

In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around the contracting process. If they are to be successful, contracts must be clearly defined, be cognisant of legal requirements and contain key clauses and terms. This module is designed for those working in the procurement and supply field, or those who have responsibility for the development of legally binding contracts with suppliers.

In any organisation, a significant element of procurement and supply activity is based around decisions to internally conduct activity or to source from an external supplier. Hence, the selection of the correct external suppliers is a vital contributor to overall organisational success. This module enables personnel with roles in procurement and supply to formulate selection criteria and sourcing strategies to ensure that the organisation will make the correct choice of external suppliers. It explains the main options for sourcing, and examines the key processes that can be applied to the analysis of potential external suppliers and to ensure the development of ethically and socially responsible sourcing agreements.

The creation of formalised agreements is a critical part of the success of any organisation. Those involved in procurement and supply activity will therefore be called upon to effectively negotiate with stakeholders and/or suppliers and to understand the methods associated with preparing for and carrying out commercial negotiations. This module is designed for those who are faced with negotiations. It enables the learner to analyse approaches to the negotiation of agreements made with external parties, how to prepare for them and what techniques are available to ensure successful outcomes.

In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around decisions to source activity from external suppliers. Once agreements have been established the relationship established with the supplier is paramount to overall success. At its highest level outsourcing can take the form of a partnership or joint venture. This module is designed for those who have responsibility for maintaining and managing relationships with stakeholders and suppliers and for those who may be faced with establishing and developing formal partnerships.

Whole life costing takes into account the cost of a product or service over its lifetime, from concept through to disposal including purchase, hire or lease, maintenance, operation, utilities, training and disposal. It is important for those involved in procurement and supply to consider all elements when making decisions and comparing the costs of buying, renting or leasing equipment. In most cases the purchase costs are a small proportion of operating costs, although there are numerous reasons why organisations elect to hold inventory. This module is designed for those who will have responsibility for the whole life management of assets and enables learners to analyse the main methods for inventory movement and control and to analyse the concept of whole life cost.

Procurement is the business function that ensures identification, sourcing, access and management of external resources that an organisation needs or may need to successfully fulfil its strategic objectives. It exists to explore supply market opportunities and to implement resourcing strategies that deliver the best possible supply outcomes to the organisation, its stakeholders and customers. In today’s volatile global trading environments, it is not enough for procurement and supply professionals to simply know the theory behind their profession; they must also be in a position to confidently and effectively apply that knowledge to the benefit of the whole organisation, its stakeholders and customers. This module is designed to test the practical application of procurement and supply concepts and ideas within the practical environments in which professionals are expected to perform.

Eight core mandatory modules make up the required 60 credits

The eight modules are delivered through a combination of morning, afternoon and evening lectures, usually on a Tuesday.

You will learn by a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises. In the revision phase you will learn by attempting exam standard questions follwed by debriefing advice from tutors on how the questions should be approached to maximise marks. It is advised that you attempt one to three papers per sitting.

How you're assessed

Assessment is by sitting external examinations set by the professional body CIPS.