Home » Courses » Procurement & Supply: Sourcing (D3) – CIPS Diploma

Procurement & Supply: Sourcing (D3) – CIPS Diploma

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 Diploma in Procurement and Supply is a higher level qualification. It is recommended for individuals with some experience in Procurement or those with at least 2-A-Levels.  It is an `entry’ qualification, so new students may begin their CIPS studies at this level.

Course Content

It consists of five* compulsory units.

– Contexts of Procurement and Supply D1 (YEARS ONE & TWO)
(Exam – 3 Hours, 4 compulsory essay questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to:
A Offer advice and guidance to main stakeholders on the application of the sourcing process
B Understand supply chains which organisations operate in

– Business needs in Procurement and Supply D2 (YEAR ONE)
(Exam – 3 Hours, 4 compulsory essay questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will understand practices that help achieve value for money solutions in procurement. This unit explores a variety of elements that underpin the development of criteria. It also considers the options that should be explored when procurement and supply personnel are involved in defining requirements.

– Sourcing in Procurement and Supply (YEAR TWO)
(Exam – 3 Hours, case study with 4 compulsory questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to apply a set of appropriate tools and techniques that can assess sourcing options available to organisations when procuring goods, services or works from external suppliers. This unit identifies sound approaches to sourcing activities that assess the commercial and technical capabilities of organisations to help achieve the right choice of supplier.

– Negotiating and Contracting in Procurement and Supply D4 (YEAR TWO)
(Exam – 3 Hours, 4 compulsory essay questions)
On completion of this unit, candidates will be able to:
A Identify approaches to achieve negotiated agreements with external organisations
B Recognise the use of legal terms that should regulate commercial agreements
The creation of formalised agreements is a critical part of the work of personnel in procurement and supply. This unit analyses approaches to the negotiation of agreements made with external parties and the formation of legally binding contracts. After contracts have been entered into, there can be conflict over performance issues and on costs, timing and quality of supplies. This should involve negotiation to achieve required outcomes.

*The fifth unit, D5 – Managing Contracts and Relationships will be available in 2016-17.

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?

All units are assessed individually via examination.

Will I need any extra equipment?


What qualifications will I get?


What will it allow me to do in the future?

It qualifies candidates to progress onto the Advanced Diploma.

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:  20/05/2015

Further Information


South Downs College Cookie Warning Cookies are enabled on this site to enhance your browsing experience and usability.