Certificate in public sector procurement

Essential skills to manage relationships and add value to public bodies

About the programme

The pressure on public bodies to operate even more efficiently has never been greater. Money is tight and will become even tighter over the next few years, which means that public bodies need to spend wisely and make effective purchasing decisions. Central to this imperative is the need for organisations to have staff who have the appropriate procurement skills.

To respond to this need, CIPFA has developed a practical procurement skills training programme dedicated to the needs of the public sector. The programme is underpinned by essential procurement principles and models that will equip staff and their organisations for current and future challenges.

Who is the course aimed at?

The Certificate in Public Sector Procurement is aimed at new staff working in the procurement function as well as experienced staff who have had no formal procurement training or who would like to update their knowledge and skills. Other staff that have responsibility for making purchasing decisions, tendering or contract management would also benefit from the course.

The course specialises in public sector procurement. As such, the course is applicable to staff working at various levels in Central Government, NDPBs, Local Government, Health and Education.

Duration and mode of delivery

The Certificate in Public Sector Procurement is delivered over 11 days in a 6 month period.

Accreditation and assessment

Participants that successfully complete the eight modules and associated assessment will be awarded the Certificate in Management Practice (Procurement Skills) which is equivalent to NQF Level 3.

In addition to completing the modular learning programme, participants have to acquire practical experience of applying the learning in their own organisational environment. Participants are required to submit a portfolio that records evidence of learning during each module and aspects of work which substantiate their ability to undertake specific tasks. The course tutors will assist participants to assess the learning achieved in each module and how this can be transferred to the work situation.

Each participant will also be required to submit a written project (circa 3,500 words). The project outline will be workbased and agreed between the participant and the accrediting body.


  • Introduction to Procurement
  • Procurement in a Strategic and Legal Context
  • Going Out to Tender
  • Financial Skills
  • Effective Communication
  • Contract Management
  • Procurement Effectiveness
  • Procurement in Practice

When and where?

This accredited programme is offered both in-house and at CIPFA's offices in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

For more information about running it at your location, please contact the training team on 020 7543 5600 or by email to customerservices@cipfa.org.

For date and location details, please search our accredited training calendar.

If no dates are currently scheduled, please contact customerservices@cipfa.org to discuss future dates or having the course delivered in-house.

Alternatively you can register your interest in attending this course


The cost of attending this programme is £2,690 plus VAT. This includes all tuition, course materials, assessment and fee of £190.


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