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Qualifications Review 2018

CIPS has embarked on a review of its professional qualifications from Certificate through to Professional Diploma. This review ensures that CIPS qualifications will continue to meet the future challenges and demands of global organisations and the procurement and supply profession as a whole.  

2018 syllabus transfer arrangements

In June 2018 we sent out an email communication to all students who have taken an exam on the 2013 syllabus. The email content explains the transfer arrangements for anyone currently studying for CIPS Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations. More

For those currently on any of the Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply qualifications your last opportunity to take an exam on the current syllabus is May 2019.  There will be no further opportunities therefore only buy any learning resources if you will have time to enter the exams in time for May 2019. We will continue to provide regular updates by email and through CIPS social media channels, you can also check this web page for updates. Read our latest email communications

The future of CIPS exams

of students would prefer to take computer based exams.

In our recent student member survey 90% of respondents said they would prefer to take computer based exams (CBE) rather than on paper.

Following this feedback it is a logical next step for CIPS to focus on transforming exams to become fully computer based. Many people now expect to study and take their exams on screen which reflects our modern day working environment. Read our studying member newsletter March 2018 issue to find out more about the future of CIPS exams.

What happens next?

No immediate changes will happen with your current study plan so don’t stop or delay your studies as everything that you have achieved will remain valid and transfer over when we update our qualifications.

Keeping you informed

To ensure that you recieve all communications about the progress of our qualifications review, please keep your contact details in your MyCIPS account up to date at all times. We will provide information about the review to all students in a timely way.

Speak to your CIPS Study Centre

You can also speak to a CIPS Study Centre about your studies as we provide them with regular updates as the qualifications review progresses.

When will the changes affect me?

Students on CIPS Certificate and Advanced certificate in procurement and supply operations qualifications

The remaining assessment opportunities for the current qualifications is November 2018.

The first opportunity to take the updated 2018 qualifications will be March 2019.  If you are registered with a CIPS approved study centre ask if they are planning to hold exams earlier in January 2019.

Students on Diploma, Advanced diploma and Professional diploma in procurement and supply qualifications

There will be no changes to these qualifications in 2018 so don’t stop or delay your studies.

The last opportunity to take assessments (examinations) for the current qualifications will be May 2019.

The first opportunity to take assessments (examinations) for the updated qualifications will be July 2019.

Please keep your contact details up to date in MyCIPS to ensure you recieve all of communications.

Your questions answered

About your qualifications transfer arrangements

What will the transfer look like from 2013 to 2018 qualifications syllabus?

Anyone who has passed exams for the 2013 Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations qualifications or has been awarded exemptions will be given credits for subjects within the updated 2018 qualifications.

Try the quick qualifications transfer tool for Certificate and Advanced Certificate qualifications.

For all diploma level students transfer information will be ready before the end 2018.

About Computer based exams

What are Computer based exams (CBEs)?

From July 2018 our Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate exams will be available globally as CBEs in selected locations. A full global roll-out for all CIPS qualifications will commence in 2019 and will include the diploma qualifications. Please contact your study and exam centres to check on available locations and to get more information about availability of CBEs.


Exam candidates will sit their exam at an exam centre and will be supervised in-person by an invigilator. Instead of taking a paper-based exam, it will be replaced by a computer.

Candidates will use a locked-down computer, so once the exam commences, candidates cannot navigate away from the exam until it has been securely submitted back to CIPS.

Will I get a my results sooner?

Yes. Candidates will receive their results more quickly than paper-based exams.

Will I get a report on my exam performance?

Yes. Along with the results, candidates will be given access to a personal report based on their performance of learning outcomes of the module. This will provide you with an indication of which learning outcomes you are strong and those that you will need to gain deeper knowledge and understanding.

When will the new exam schedule be released?

We anticipated that the new assessment schedule would be released this April 2018, this has not been possible. The updated exam schedule will be available from June 2018.

How will I access my exam on the day?

Candidates be given clear instructions by the invigilator. 

Will there be time to practise?

Yes. You will be given lots of opportunity to familiarise yourself with the system leading up to the exam allowing you to focus on the exam questions on the day. 

What happens if we lose internet connection during an exam?

Our computer based exams can be run at test centres without the need for internet connectivity, so there is no need to be concerned about this. 

Will CBEs be available at all CIPS exam centres?

85% of our exam centres can currently accommodate CBEs. For those that can’t we are working with them to ensure that they will have the required facilities. 

What will the new system look like?

We will be able to provide candidates with a preview of what the system will look like over the coming weeks. Please keep your email address up to date in your MyCIPS account to make sure you receive your updates. You can also check this webpage and join our social media groups.

How will CIPS maintain the standards and rigour of exams?

Our system will hold many different questions based on the learning outcomes for each of our qualifications. Each CBE will consist of randomised questions pulled from these question banks which minimises the chances of any candidate getting the same set of questions.

Will my exam answers be secure?

Yes. CIPS is not alone in moving to CBE. We will be using a tried and tested system that is currently being used by many other professional bodies.

About CIPS Qualifications Review 2018

Why has there been a review?

The review is undertaken to ensure we continue to offer leading–edge thinking within our syllabus content. As employers demand for talented, qualified professionals continues to grow it’s no surprise to us that the needs and expectations of our learners also evolves.  

CIPS regularly reviews the structure and content of it’s qualifications.  Part of the reason for this is the commitment we have to our regulator, Ofqual.

Where do I get further information and who should I contact to discuss how the updated qualifications might impact upon my studies?

This is the dedicated webpage for updating communications to students about the Qualifications Review 2018. All relevant and up-to-date information can be found here. You should regard this page as your primary source for up to date information about the review.

You can also speak to a CIPS Study Centre about continuing your studies as we provide them with regular updates as the qualifications review progresses.

Another way of keeping up to date will be to read your monthly online student newsletter 'Knowledge Update' and look out for CIPS posts in our social media channels. 

We will also be providing regular email updates so it’s important to keep your email address up-to-date in your MyCIPS account.

When will the new learning resources be available?      

All of these resources are currently in production and will be released in time for studying towards the updated qualifications.

Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Advanced Certificate learning resources including coursebooks, ebooks and elearning will be available in September 2018. 

There will be no changes to the Diploma, Advanced diploma and Professional diploma resources in 2018.  We will give you more details about these resources in forthcoming communications scheduled throughout 2018.

All of the current resources in the Student Zone will continue to be a membership benefit for any of CIPS studying members.

Why are the updated Certificate qualifications available before Diploma level qualifications?

This is to give CIPS time to create all of the new resources for CIPS Study Centres and students.  CIPS has committed to producing new resources for tutors and learners in plenty of time before the updated qualifications are available.   

How much will the new Coursebooks cost?

We anticipated that a new price structure would be available during August 2018.  Please make sure you keep your contact details up to date to ensure you receive communications. 

Will books be available online?              

We are currently developing paper based and e-books. We’ve listened to your feedback and our intention is to provide options for the updated 2018 syllabus.

How much will e-books cost?   

A new price structure will be available at the same time as course books. Please make sure you keep your contact details up to date to ensure you receive communications.  

I’m halfway through my studies – what do the changes mean to me?

There is no need to stop what you are doing as everything already achieved will remain valid. We anticipated that the transfer arrangements would be available during April 2018, this has not been possible.These will now be available in June 2018.

Further information about how personal transitional arrangements will be provided in plenty of time for anyone partway through studies. It’s important to keep your contact details up to date in MyCIPS to ensure you receive update communications.

Will the way in which I am assessed change?    

Yes, we’ve listened to your feedback and there will be changes to the way you are assessed. Such as increased opportuntities for assessments throughout the year, giving the potential to speed up the time it takes produce results. These are all positive changes and will take into account the latest thinking and practice in terms of assessment.  

When will I take the new exams?              

A new exam schedule to follow the November 2018 exam series is currently in development and we will provide this schedule during June 2018. We anticipated that the schedule would be available during April 2018, this has not been possible.