The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is a global organisation working for the purchasing and supply professions. CIPS is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation. It is the worldwide centre of excellence on purchasing and supply management issues. It promotes good practice and provides services for the benefit of members and the wider business community. CIPS aims to promote and develop high standards of professional skill, ability and integrity among all those engaged in purchasing and supply chain management. CIPS assists individuals, organisations and the profession as a whole.



CIPS started in 1932, beginning life as the “Purchasing Officers Association” (POA) a small group lead by Leonard Swinbank who met to discuss topics of mutual interest. By the end of 1932 there were 150 members and early branches had begun in Leeds and Birmingham. In 1946 POA had launched the first elements of the education scheme which was delivered through 40 colleges and a membership of almost 1,000 people. Post World War II, many industries were nationalised and buyers began to be seen as little more than those who kept the paperwork clean however POA fought to change this. Also after the war there was a massive expansion in the State provision of services – such as the NHS and the 1940s saw the creation of the Institute of Public Supplies Officers. The Association and the Institute worked closely together until 1967 when the two bodies merged under the title “Institute of Purchasing & Supply” which by this time had around 10,000 members and 39 domestic branches.

Royal Charter

The body was awarded Royal Charter in 1992 and became “The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply”


CIPS has over 65,000 members in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics. The activities of purchasing and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability. There are seven types of CIPS membership, including student, affiliate, certificate, diploma and associate member. The highest forms of membership are Full Member, designated by the letters MCIPS and Fellow designated by the letters FCIPS. To achieve membership to CIPS an individual must have at least 3 years’ experience in a purchasing and supply role along with e ither a CIPS qualification or have completed a recognized experiential route or completed a CIPS accredited qualification or have completed a pre-September 2009 syllabus. Upgrading to Fellowship is application based, an applicant needs to have been a member of CIPS for at least two years, been in a senior position within the purchasing and supply chain and show commitment to CPD, continuing professional development. CIPS has around 500 Fellows worldwide. Benefits for members include access to Regus Business Centres, Legal Helpline and a wide variety of knowledge documents, resources and tools along with access to branches and CIPS events.


Having joined CIPS, members will be allocated a branch network. Branches are run by members and supported by CIPS staff. There are 45 branches throughout the UK and 11 internationally. Members benefit from networking, conferences, awards and other events within their branches. The branch located in South West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 520 Collins Street; Is home to CIPSA (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Australia).

Products and Services

CIPS products and services include:

PROCAT; PROCAT is a sophisticated online category management tool. The highly flexible, intuitive and simple to use toolkit enables all procurement projects, however large or small, to be managed efficiently with an audit trail that’s transparent for those who need to see it.

Propurchaser; Propurchaser is an up to date information database database and a comprehensive suite of tools help strengthen a negotiating position. Propurchaser helps drive down purchase costs by tracking and reporting on the material costs within products bought from suppliers

Sustainable procurement review tool; The Sustainable procurement review is an online tool that can save money, help eliminate waste, develop supplier skills, improve competitiveness, motivate staff and enhance corporate status.

Corporate award; Corporate Award ensures that knowledge and skills have a real and tangible effect in the workplace, and has been proven to deliver ROI and measurable cost benefits from practical projects undertaken during the programme

THEMiS; THEMiS is online subscription-based system from Achilles that provides purchasers with key tools to comply with EU-regulated procurement. THEMiS provides complete, authoritative and up to date information on the implications of EU law for procurement for public and some private bodies.

Passport to supply: supplier management; Passport to supply is a short online training programme focusing on practical tools and skills to help you maximise the value of your supplier relationships. Passport to supply helps individuals who have purchasing responsibilities without a purchasing title.

Executive procurement network; Working with Cranfield School of Management, the Executive Procurement Network provides procurement leaders with access to cutting edge research, world leading knowledge resources and access to a powerful, collaborative peer network.

Certification; CIPS Certification improves processes, policies and practices within an organisation and is generally recognised as the global accreditation for achieving best practice and excellence in purchasing and supply management.


CIPS holds many events throughout the year; this includes training and branch events. CIPS annual events include the Supply Management Awards, CIPS annual dinner, Graduation Ceremony and conferences in Southern Africa, Middle East, Australia, North Africa and the UK.


Supply Management (magazine) is CIPS monthly magazine, published by Redactive for up to the minute news, features and articles. For those in Chief Procurement Officer and other senior roles, Redactive also publishes CPO Agenda. CPO Agenda is a quarterly publication including thought provoking articles and innovative ideas.

External links