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?
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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 !
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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