• Jade Sutton 27/01/2015 03:37PM

    In Commodities

    Hi everyone, I am thinking in investing in studying for the CIPS qualification. I think it will help me in my job role however it is very expensive. Can anyone offer any advice on whether they think the cost is worth it?

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  • Answers (31)

  • Grahame Ball MSc FCIPS

    28/01/2015 09:37AM

    Hi, echo most of the comments but I would not do distance learning unless that is the only option. You will gain a lot more than the qualification itself by attending classes and engaging in the debate. There are some great study centres out there with great teachers but there are also some who simply regurgitate the syllabus so choose wisely.

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  • Stuart Hinde

    02/02/2015 02:15PM

    Have you considered self study? I just bought the study books and read them before exams.

    I can't say whether it's worth it though, personally I didn't learn anything after Level 4 and felt I was just repeating the same things over and over, It may be more useful when looking for a job, however, even that depends on the person interviewing you and how much they value it.

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  • David West (EntireBuyer)

    08/09/2015 08:04AM

    My personal opinion Jade is there are less time-intensive and money-draining ways to enhancing your career in Procurement, without studying CIPS. I think if you're unable to obtain sponsorship via your employer then it really is not an avenue worth exploring. I know that CIPS have revisited the syllabus in recent years but I unfortunately hold the opinion that they over-complicate and pad-out the syllabus. You can get far more for your time & money by simply forging great relationships with colleagues, sitting in on others' negotiations and being mentored through your career. It's rather concerning that your employers are unable to commit to your development but perhaps they have a similar opinion to mine above. Good luck in any case and let us know which way you decide!

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    RP C 1978 I very much agree with David on the comments about padding out and re-working the syllabus quite a few times over the years.

    28/09/2015 12:39PM

    RP C 1978 As an organisation, CIPS don't listen to or consult members and more importantly studying members about syllabus content, although they do a very good job at closing rank and "towing the party line" on this claiming they have consulted openly. Endless re-sits of exams are a tidy revenue stream, and the harder it becomes to get to full MCIPS by examination route, the more revenue they generate.

    28/09/2015 12:41PM

    RP C 1978 Sadly, the problem is that to get on, you need to have it or be working towards it.

    28/09/2015 12:42PM

    Arshad Ayub I agree with your opinion. Now I realized after getting CIPS certificate. Most of the companies don't value CIPS certificate.

    22/07/2019 08:55AM

  • Jeff Taylor

    05/02/2015 04:25PM

    Jade, if you feel that procurement is for you you have to do it. When I did a million years ago it cost about 25% of my annual salary. So long ago my tutors were Cox, Bailey, Longdon et al. Some of the authors of the original core texts. The return? A great, varied and fascinating career to date. The return on my investment has been huge.

    Look for an employer that will sponsor you if yours will not. Many will, they. Recognize the value of cips

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  • Allan Wright

    27/01/2015 09:35PM

    Hi Jade....absolutely: it's a necessity and worth it! CIPS is now a MUST for anyone aspiring to pursue a career in SCM (type) disciplines.To aspire to Professional Diploma however shall take a lot of time and effort; qualification is of degree level in terms of intensity and learning. Like anything else, however, you get nowt for nowt so shall need to cough up as you point out. I don't know what the various Learning Centres in the UK charge for education these days. In any case costs payable by you should be tax refundable so you could get up to 30% tax relief on what you have to spend. If you would/could wish to study via distance learning look up Colin McIntyre, Canban (www.canban.org) Colin can provide details of the ins and outs of graduate study routes.

    Go for it and best of luck!


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  • Dave Fordy BA(Hons) MCIPS

    01/02/2015 10:00PM

    Hi Jade, I passed the CIPS diploma via the examination route in 2003. As I already held a Honours degree in Business I needed a more specialized qualification in order to progress my procurement career.

    I would add that all the positions I have been employed in since asked for the CIPS Diploma as a minimum requirement. In short it opened doors for me & continues to do so.

    I encourage my team to study for CIPS as it is a well rounded qualification which adds value to their existing knowledge & skillset.

    Good luck in whatever route you decide to take.

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  • Cristian Martin

    29/01/2015 05:35PM

    A CIPS module shall cost around £3,000 but you do not need to pay this in one go. Each module is £600. Register with CIPS as a student to get the magazine. I see you are in essex in your profile, there is a school in Chelmsford, London Met or one in Greenwich. I did my CIPS level 4 at London Met and I can recommend them, Greenwich I am doing my masters degree there and my tutor does the CIPS classes there and in chelmsford.

    I would first talk to your line manager and look to see if any internal training is available first. My tutor (wayne herring) has done courses at ford in the past so I am sure it could be done again.

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  • Irini Etimou

    28/01/2015 10:09AM

    Good afternoon all,
    I will definetely agree with all the above replies. CIPS and moreover MCIPS is an absolute must in our field and it worths the time and the money that will be invested. For me it's more like an investment rather than spending. Good luck !

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  • Gillian obasiagbon

    03/05/2015 05:31PM

    CIPS is a great Professional qualification to attain. Unlike most of the suggested educational routes prescribed above, I had to do mine on a Self study, self taught basis due to financial constraints. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of sponsorship from my previous employer. It has been a difficult journey especially as I had to invest my spare time studying at length in order to pass my exams and use my annual leave to make up for short falls. However, I was able to build a great support network through LinkedIn which helped me immensely with my studies. I am now please to state that I am one exam away from completing my CIPS level 6 and have been able to secure a job in Procurement at Crown commercial service

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  • Trevor Black

    09/02/2015 05:10PM

    At present there is a global shortage of procurement professionals and the market is looking for those with strategic skills rather than those who are involved with basic order placing. Those who meet this challenge will also be required to commit to Continuous Professional Development if they are to be taken seriously. A good employer should assist you in reaching this goal. I also recommend trying to take the examination route through a college where you can also learn an incredible amount from fellow students who work in different sectors and organisations. When taking the examination, answers always attract higher marks where a wider knowledge is shown rather than the narrow perspective of a single employer. Two tips: 1. Join a good local CIPS Branch and get networking and attend as many of the presentations you can. 2. Avoid working in organisations where procurement is a a second tier function (under Finance or Legal - both non-commercial and risk averse). It is a great profession and the world is your oyster.

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  • Kurt Parker

    28/01/2015 10:53AM

    Hi Jade

    I am in the process of studying CIPS through distance learning. What is really great about Commerce Edge, the institution I use, is that there is an online forum where you can discuss what you have studied with lecturers and other learners. We also have a block session a month before the exams where we cover the entire subject.

    I agree with Graeme, if you are able to do classes it is much better than distance learning (which requires lots of discipline). I am fortunate that my company is funding me, as it is not cheap, but is a worthwhile investment.

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    helen wang Hi Kurt, I want to study this too. May I ask which institution you are learning from?

    13/11/2015 01:31PM

    Kurt Parker The institution is Commerce Edge their details are on http://www.commerce-edge.com/

    19/11/2015 11:50AM

  • Jade Sutton

    28/01/2015 10:52AM

    Thank you all, your answers have been a great help.
    I will certainly look into government sourced funding to see if that can help, as the cost is the main issue I have in getting around at the moment.
    Grahame, definitely agree that classes would be better, however sadly my company does not give holiday time to support self study and I would not have enough holiday time to incorporate the classes.

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  • Euan Granger

    28/01/2015 09:17AM

    Hi Jade. I agree with Allan, it's definitely worth it. I went through the studying route for MCIPS, rather than through the CIPS course itself, and I found it very worthwhile and certainly covering a broader range of topics with more practical application. I've been able to put a lot of the learning into practice and have found the knowledge very useful.

    There are a number of universities that offer courses accredited by CIPS and can be studied part time. It would be worth checking those out. They may also offer loans/grants for studying. Worth checking out what's available from government sources to for student loans if applicable.

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  • RP C 1978

    07/09/2015 04:26PM

    These are current UK costs:

    A) 15 modules = 15 x £450 (approx) = £6,750 - classroom taught
    B) 15 modules = 15 x £144 = £2,160 - E-learning modules individually
    C) 15 modules = 15 x £129 = £1,944 - E-learning 5 modules paid at once

    15 exams = 15 x £116 = £1,740
    15 textbooks = 15 x £35 = £525

    3 associate member annual fees = £119 x 3 = £357

    120 hours study per module = 1800 hours/11.5 hours pw (3 years)

    Classroom taught = £9,372 approx
    E-learning (cheapest) = £4,566
    Self- taught = £2,622

    this wouldn't allow for any examination retakes and assume pass first time. Retakes are £116 every time, increased from £70 in 2011.

    It could be possible to just self-teach from the coursebooks and then self enter for the exams, but that would still cost £116+£35 plus 120 hrs for every module.

    Costs of £10k over 3 years plus study time (recommended by CIPS) that works out at 12 hours per week, every week, is a pretty hefty schedule when your have a full-time job and other commitments.

    it can be possible to get exemptions from some modules, if you studied them as part of an undergraduate degree, but you still have to pay an exemption fee equivalent to the exam fee.

    The time commitment is pretty large to be fair. The costs are not insubstantial at all, if you can't get employer funding.

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  • RP C 1978

    06/08/2015 04:08PM

    MCIPS has become the most accepted qualification in the field, but the costs for those who have to self-fund are prohibitive. Also to fund employees as part of provided training, employers sometimes request legal documents be signed about clawback of funding in case you leave your employment.

    Depending on where you are in the country finding a good quality provider who offers classroom courses on Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Professional Diploma can be difficult. Generally taught modules run around £600 each (inc. exam), and you need to pass 15 of these over 3 years to get to MCIPS.

    Much of the content of the modules over D, AD and PD can be heavily repeated and re-presented.
    It is really questionable whether there is 15 modules worth of "genuine" material or not.

    I believe the NVQ route was better value, and you were able to do assignments/coursework as well, which suits some peoples learning style better, but this route was closed down in order to enhance the CIPS Examination route and remove competition.

    E-learning Modules from CIPS are around £600 per 5 if purchased whole level at a time, £200 standalone. Textbook packs are £35 per module.

    It can take up a vast amount of your time and patience outside of work. Every Module (15 needed) is recommended to have 120 hours of study time - classroom + self-study or all self-study. This can be difficult when working full-time professionally.

    There is no doubt that it significantly enhances ones career and employability and has become a "must-have", but the time and cost need to be considered and can make the process unduly drawn out.

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  • Jade Sutton

    10/02/2015 08:42AM

    Thank you everyone, do appreciate the responses so far.
    Richard, Ford used to fund CIPS however no longer does due to training budget restrictions and sadly this is unlikely to change in the future.
    I definitely want to do this course however funding options are limited as there are no government grants etc to help, looks like it will just be a matter of saving enough money!

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    Jack Slade Hi Jade, great question and one that has solicited a lot of answers!

    For future reference you can just click the 'Reply' button under an answer to reply in-line and the person who answered your question will get a notification of your response.

    Glad to have you on Procurious and good luck with the CIPS training.


    10/02/2015 09:06AM

    Matt Farrington-Smith Hey Jade, it generated so many answers in-fact that we turned it into an article all of its own.



    10/02/2015 09:45AM

    Jade Sutton Hi Jack,

    10/02/2015 10:44AM

    Jade Sutton Thank you will remember that in future, and Matt good I'm glad this topic has proved to be interesting!

    10/02/2015 10:45AM

  • Darren Williams

    10/02/2015 04:55AM

    Hi Jade,

    I was sponsored by my employer at the time (Xerox) and gained my MCIPS through a vocational NVQ approach. This took 2 years (part time) and was great as the learning was based on real projects implemented within the business from which they(as well as myself) directly benefited. I am not sure if this option is still available but definately worth looking in to.

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  • Richard Jeffries

    09/02/2015 04:49PM

    Hi Jade,

    I'd be very shocked if a company like Ford wasn't supportive of it's employees' professional development. Have you investigated whether funding is available?

    I got my MCIPS study paid for by a previous employer. It's definitely worthwhile but not an essential requirement at this stage of your career. I can see you only graduated 18 months ago - personally I was happy to have a couple of years' break from studying before I embarked on mine. Also gaining more practical experience will help you pass.

    Hope that helps.


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  • Jade Sutton

    28/01/2015 08:39AM

    Hi Allan,

    Thank you very much for the advice. To do distance learning (Internet Lectures etc) for everything is costing around £5000 per year of Study. I'll definitely look into it further to investigate funding options,


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    Keith Bird Hi Jade, investing in yourself is mandatory in the business world we now live in. The future and the economy can change dramatically and sometimes the only tangible things we have is our integrity and our skill set. CIPS is a great education and given it is now recognized Chartered institute standard it will be nice to have this in your CV. Additionally, I would also be looking at completing a MBA with a flavor of international trade to give you a global perspective. Hope this helps. cheers, Keith

    24/02/2015 01:55AM

  • Samantha D.

    09/11/2016 05:33PM

    Some organizations care while others are more concerned about the value you've *proven* you add.

    However, it's definitely important to have the body of knowledge contained in the qual.

    I say do it, but don't spend too much money on it or give up valuable time you could be using for real professional development.

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  • Roshan Dhopari

    05/06/2016 04:52AM

    Please go ahead to do CIPS. Don't think about money

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  • Iain Wicking

    04/06/2016 07:28AM

    Depends if you want to be a professional and have a long term career in procurement. If so its a worthwhile investment by you in you. If not pick another career.

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  • Chris Cliffe FCIPS MIoD

    03/06/2016 12:48PM

    It is worth it. How serious a conversation have you had with your employer? Have you looked at alternative employers who might fund you, and have you let your current employer know that you've considered that as an option. You might be surprised that they would like to keep you, and that this is the cost? And - there's your own personal example for the negotiation exam questions!

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  • Mark Lewis

    03/06/2016 12:29PM

    I would definitely recommend to do it. Agree with others, if you can, go through the taught learning rather than e-learning and use CIPS website to find the better centres (I recommend SR Supply Chain, very well ran and I do intensive courses (3 days per module) due to work travel making weekly commitments difficult).

    Apart from the personal development side of things it is a necessity to progress. I have completed other procurement qualifications in industry specific / company specific and they are not recognised outside of the industry/company (or rarely). You will find as you want to progress and step up (externally) that CIPS/MCIPS are a check list item for most recruiters for the more senior procurement roles and you will struggle to get to interview without it, its not impossible but will definitely help and open your options.

    Don't be put off with the 120 hours per module, this is massively over stated if you have experience in the sector.



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  • helen wang

    13/11/2015 01:36PM

    I am considering to study CIPS or quite my job to study Supply Chain Management Master degree. As a non-EU student, the tuition fee in the UK for the Master is more than £15,000. If I learn CIPS, will be it more worthwhile? Will it be helpful to get more job opportunities?

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    RP C 1978 Hi Helen,

    04/05/2016 09:59PM

    RP C 1978 Hi Helen, MCIPS is worthwhile in the supply chain profession, but if you are studying for a Masters in SCM, as long as you pass from a Validated Masters course (check with CIPS) you can automatically apply for and be awarded MCIPs status after having achieved your MSc in supply chain management.

    04/05/2016 10:01PM

  • Sarah Lees

    07/09/2015 10:18PM

    Jade, YES. Simple answer is yes, CIPS is worth the expense to assist your career.

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  • Alan Robertson

    07/09/2015 09:45PM

    It shows to me again that professional development questions should be asked at an interview too. Many people end up taking a role because the company is a big name then move on again because their needs for CPD are not met. Not an easy one in tough times.

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  • Muhammad Usman Malik

    26/08/2015 07:50AM

    Yes absolutely. This is the age of specialization. Though Certifications do not compensate for On-Campus full time study but these can not be neglected as well. CIPS can come handy in lots of situations and is a better solution if you are looking for a quick boost in your career.

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  • martyna koleczko

    25/08/2015 02:16PM

    I am doing self study CIPS level4 as its the cheapest option. As a CIPS member you have access to past papers and other sources. I am full time working mum so i dont have time to go to a college, Self study its only my option. I can study during my lunch time and when my daughter goes to sleep from 8 pm. I have my little study timetable so i can see how many hours study a day/week adn spread through the whole months. you need to be well discpline.. good luck

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  • ajmal shahna

    01/02/2015 06:15AM

    it worth to be studied.

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  • Anas Ahmed

    31/01/2015 08:08AM

    if you study CIPS it will be your great acid specially for the market of middle east .

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