Routes to entry

Whether you want to continue with your studies at university or would prefer on the job training then there is a pathway to purchasing for you.

What qualifications do I need?

This can be a tricky subject. It's true that there are no pre-requisite degrees required to join the procurement profession – but what do you say if an employer asks "are you qualified?". More and more, those entering the procurement profession are finding themselves needing to be "qualified". There are many different approaches individuals can take to procurement qualifications, from specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to studying for your professional qualification whilst working.   OBVIOUSLY BUSINESS RELATED DEGREES ARE GOING TO OFFER MAJOR BENEFITS WHEN STARTING IN THE CORPORATE WORLD, BUT PEOPLE ENTER THE PROCUREMENT PROFESSION FROM ALL DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. WHATEVER YOU'VE STUDIED IT SHOULDN'T BE A BARRIER. 

Here’s a quick guide to understanding the qualifications landscape in procurement.


BTEC procurement pathway

Here's where your journey as a buyer can start with a BTEC from CIPS and Pearson Education Ltd.

BTEC programmes of study can help you to get into and on in a career in procurement and supply and are designed for over 16 year olds but some schools do offer them for learners as young as 14. You can either study full or part time, at school or college.

BTECs are always vocational or work-related courses and designed to answer specific employer needs, which means you're gaining skills that employers will find really useful and make you a great prospect in the jobs market. They also allow you to go onto further and higher education, earning you equivalent points to AS and A levels and UCAS points for entry into higher education (at level 3).

View the learning pathway infographic to see where the BTEC programmes fits in with other learning pathways in procurement.

There are currently two BTEC programmes available:
Pearson BTEC First Diploma in Business (Level 1/2)
Pearson BTEC National Diploma in Retail (Level 3)

To find out more about how to join one of these programmes email: Education Network Manager, CIPS


There are a number of degrees where you can specialise in purchasing, a number of them are accredited by The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) so not only do you get a degree, but you also come out with a professional qualification too. Dominic knew he wanted a career in purchasing and is studying Business Studies at Liverpool University.


Staying on at college

Throughout the world CIPS qualifications are recognised as driving leading edge thinking and professionalism in procurement. MCIPS is recognised worldwide as the global standard for top quality procurement professionals, and most job adverts require you to be prepared to study CIPS qualifications.

CIPS offer five qualifications to support your professional development in procurement and supply, the Certificate,  Diploma, Advanced and Professional diplomas. Download our Guide to Qualifications here.

If you are staying on at college or sixth form then you could consider a general business studies course.  In the UK the BTEC Business Studies has purchasing and supply modules. This might be a way for you to keep your options open and still explore what purchasing and supply is all about.


Apprenticeships and on-the-job training

University isn’t for everyone and with the rising costs of tuition fees you may wish to look at an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Dionne took a role in purchasing after her A levels and now her employers are supporting her through the CIPS Graduate Diploma.

Rosie completed a business administration apprenticeship where she worked in different areas of the business but she soon realised that it was the supply chain team that she was really interested in.

However you choose to start your studies, an aspiration to finish with the CIPS professional qualification will really get potential employers attention.


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