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What Qualifications Do You Need to Work in Procurement?

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​Procurement is a critical function within any organisation, involving the acquisition of goods and services at the best possible cost to meet the needs of the purchaser in terms of quality, quantity, time, and location. As businesses increasingly recognise the strategic value of effective procurement practices, the demand for skilled procurement professionals continues to rise. But what qualifications do you need to break into this field and excel? In this blog, Associate Director Puja Ladva explores the key qualifications required for a career in Procurement.

Understanding Procurement

Before diving into the qualifications, it's essential to understand what procurement involves. Procurement professionals are responsible for developing purchasing strategies, conducting research to ascertain the best products and suppliers in terms of value, delivery schedules, and quality. They negotiate contracts, review product quality, and often work closely with the legal team to ensure contract terms are favorable.

Educational Qualifications
  1. Bachelor's Degree: Many employers require at least a bachelor's degree in business, finance, supply chain management, or a related field. These programs offer foundational knowledge in business principles, supply chain management, and financial analysis, which are crucial in procurement roles.

  2. Master's Degree: For higher-level positions, a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or a master's degree specialising in procurement, supply chain management, or logistics can be highly beneficial. These advanced degrees can provide deeper insights into strategic sourcing, contract management, and global procurement practices.

Professional Certifications

Professional certifications can significantly enhance your qualifications and job prospects in the procurement field:

  1. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS): CIPS offers various levels of certification, from Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations (Level 2) to Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply (Level 6), catering to professionals at different stages of their careers.

  2. Institute for Supply Management (ISM): ISM's Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is recognized globally and covers critical areas such as finance, supplier relationship management, organisational global strategy, and risk compliance.

  3. APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP): The CSCP designation is offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) and focuses on improving supply chain efficiency.

Essential Skills and Experience

In addition to formal education and certifications, certain skills and experiences are invaluable in procurement:

  • Negotiation Skills: The ability to negotiate effectively with suppliers to secure the best deals is fundamental.

  • Analytical Skills: Proficiency in analysing market trends, supplier performance, and cost analysis is crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Communication Skills: Clear communication with suppliers, team members, and internal stakeholders is essential for successful procurement operations.

  • Experience: Hands-on experience through internships or work placements in procurement, supply chain management, or a related field can provide practical insights and a competitive edge in the job market.

Continuing Professional Development

The procurement landscape is continually evolving, driven by technological advancements and global market changes. Staying abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies like AI and blockchain, and sustainable procurement practices is essential for ongoing professional development.

A career in procurement can be both challenging and rewarding, offering opportunities to impact an organisation's bottom line significantly. While a bachelor's degree in a relevant field forms the foundation, professional certifications and skills development are key to advancing in this field. Aspiring procurement professionals should focus on continuous learning and practical experience to stay competitive and effective in their roles. Whether you're just starting out or looking to advance your career, the right mix of education, certification, and experience can open doors to exciting opportunities in procurement.

To find your next role within the Procurement sector, or to discuss your hiring or recruitment requirements, contact Puja at You can also view all our live vacancies here.