Home » Courses » Procurement & Supply: Procurement & Supply Environments (AC1) – CIPS Advanced Certificate

Procurement & Supply: Procurement & Supply Environments (AC1) – CIPS Advanced Certificate

Procurement and supply is all about ensuring organisations obtain the resources required to operate effectively and efficiently. In the difficult economic circumstances experienced recently, procurement has gained profile as the function that can really make a difference in enabling organisations to maximise added value for their customers and maintain competitive advantage to survive through difficult times. When recession makes it so difficult to achieve increased sales, business success may be preserved through excellent sourcing practice. This saves businesses, saves jobs and saves the economy. This is why CIPS training is crucial. CIPS offers a suite of qualifications aimed at procurement staff of all levels from the most junior to very senior. The lower levels are suitable for junior staff and those wishing to begin a career in procurement and are also valuable for managers in any business discipline who may benefit from a working knowledge of procurement principles. The higher levels are aimed at procurement professionals with industry experience wishing to consolidate their practical knowledge and experience with a deeper understanding of their role in a wider organisational context. CIPS is not simply a course in `how to be a buyer' - it is a course in business strategy with a specialist leaning towards procurement practice. The highest level of qualification offered equates to a Masters degree and leads to the respected MCIPS status. CIPS qualifications are widely recognised as the global industry standard. Increasingly, procurement positions require candidates with CIPS qualifications so this course is a wise investment in continuing professional development for anyone wishing to advance their career in procurement. Candidates study the theory behind procurement practice and its rise in strategic importance. The theory is applied to a wide range of business organisations across all industries in both the public and private sectors. More general business topics are covered as well to build a sound base of knowledge for procurement practitioners to operate more effectively within the context of their professional environment. South Downs College offers four of the qualifications in the suite: - Advanced Certificate - Diploma - Advanced Diploma - Professional Diploma Each level of study results in a recognised qualification so you can progress as far as you wish, confident that your achievement will be recognised within your industry. Each qualification within the suite has been accredited by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in the UK and appears on the Register of Regulated Qualifications. Please refer to http://register.ofqual.gov.uk.

Entry Requirements

The CIPS Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations is a vocationally related qualification. It is aimed at junior Procurement staff, those wishing to embark a Procurement career and managers in any business discipline who will benefit from an awareness of the Procurement function. It is an `entry¿ level qualification, so new students may begin their CIPS studies at this level. It consists of five compulsory units. Assessment for each unit is by examination. South Downs College offers this course over one year, with attendance at weekly evening classes.

Course Content

– Procurement and Supply Environments AC1
(Exam – 2 Hours, 60 Multiple Choice Questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will understand a range of external factors that can impact on procurement and supply operations. This unit focuses on the wider environment that impacts on procurement and supply in a range of different types of organisations, the public, private and not for profit or third sector can all be involved in fulfilling organisational needs.

– Procurement and Supply Operations AC2
(Exam – 2 Hours, 60 Multiple Choice Questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to identify a range of considerations in formulating agreements with external organisations. This unit assesses procurement and supply operations and is structured around the achievement of the five rights namely price, quality, time, quantity and place.

– Procurement and Supply Workflow AC3
Exam – 2 Hours, Written Paper)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to interpret a range of data to help develop effective administration processes required when dealing with external organisations. This unit identifies the typical work flows that procurement and supply personnel can be involved in working on.

– Inventory and Logistics Operations AC4
(Exam – 2 Hours, 60 Multiple Choice Questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to select appropriate techniques to ensure the right inventory can be purchased or supplied. This unit focuses on the techniques that can be applied to achieve the availability of inventories through the flow of materials and information.

– Procurement and Supply Relationships AC5
(Exam – 2 Hours, 60 Multiple Choice Questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to explain a range of main principles and techniques that help develop customer and supplier relationships. It is essential for procurement and supply personnel to form effective relationships with suppliers, internal and external customers and other stakeholders.  This unit introduces the principles of marketing, the importance of cross functional working and the need to communicate effectively both within the organisation and with people from external organisations.

How will I be taught?

The course will be taught to the Institute’s specifications by experienced and well-qualified staff. Students will be prepared for the Institute’s examinations (May or November) through a series of lectures, coursework, regular feedback and mock examinations. All units are assessed by a two-hour exam.

The College offers a pleasant and modern learning environment with high quality classroom and support facilities. Our CIPS courses are staffed by enthusiastic and well-qualified tutors who enjoy teaching on the CIPS programme. Examination results at South Downs are good with pass rates exceeding the UK national average. CIPS accredit South Downs as a registered CIPS centre and we are currently rated as a CIPS Centre of Excellence, a status which is currently only enjoyed by 12% of UK CIPS centres.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for each unit is by examination.

Will I need any extra equipment?


What qualifications will I get?


What will it allow me to do in the future?


Course Information

The College is an accredited Institute tuition centre. All queries concerning student registration, examination entry / fees and application for exemptions should be addressed directly to the Institute at:

Easton House, Easton-on-the-Hill, Lincolnshire PE6 3NZ
Telephone: 01780 756777; fax 01780 751610
Email: exams@cips.org Web: www.cips.org

Deadlines for student registration – as soon as possible after enrolment.

Deadlines for examination entry:
Please refer to www.cips.org and discuss with tutor upon enrolment.

Still interested?
Contact Claire Andrews: email ceandrews@southdowns.ac.uk
or Pauline Lincoln: email plincoln@southdowns.ac.uk

This course information is accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change.
Office Use: 21/05/2015

Further Information


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