Procurement training for public service graduates

Each year Queensland Government spends billions of dollars on goods and services. This includes:

  • more than 14 billion on goods and services to support frontline service delivery for Queenslanders
  • 4 billion used to build and maintain infrastructure.

All government employees will need to work with procurement or contract management at some stage in their careers. Everyone, regardless of level or position, can help to support the objectives of the Queensland Procurement Policy.

Take advantage of these resources to build on your procurement and contract management skills.

What is procurement?

Procurement encompasses the whole process of obtaining goods and services to solve business problems across all classes of resources—human, material, facilities and services.

This can include:

  • planning
  • design
  • standards determination
  • specification writing
  • selecting suppliers
  • financing
  • contract administration
  • disposals.

What are the risks?

A poor procurement process can result in the business problem:

  • not being solved (not an effective solution)
  • being solved in an inefficient way
  • being solved without delivering overall value for money.

Why is it important?

Agency business success can be impacted by how it procures goods and services and how it manages its supplier contracts.

Supplier selection and contract management most often occurs within the business areas using those goods or services, so understanding the basics of procurement and contract management is knowledge all graduates need.

Procurement policy

The importance of building procurement awareness, maturing specialist procurement and contract management capability, and sustaining a mature procurement function is identified in five key Queensland Government documents:

The Queensland Procurement Policy drives action in practical ways by:

  • adopting a principles-based approach to policy design, to give agencies flexibility
  • recognising that overall value for money is about more than just price
  • setting targets for agencies to meet economic, social, and environmental objectives, providing a clear standard for integrity, probity, and accountability
  • committing agencies to building procurement and contract management capability
  • encouraging cross-agency collaboration to deliver the benefits of our category approach to managing government spend
  • establishing a clear governance framework which underpins whole-of-Government planning
  • measuring agency procurement performance against agreed targets.

How does government make good commercial decisions?

We follow a ‘category management’ approach to how we spend public funds. This approach groups types of procurement into categories and provides policy and guidance based on the characteristics of those categories over their lifecycles. It also helps us better track where money is being spent, which then supports our decision making, so we can ensure public money is spent effectively. This occurs at both the agency level but also across agencies who are buying the same types of goods and services.

The six categories of government procurement and their lead agencies are:

  • Building construction and maintenance—Department of Housing and Public Works
  • General goods and services—Department of Housing and Public Works (with certain agencies leading subcategories)
  • Information and communication technology—Department of Housing and Public Works (with certain agencies leading subcategories)
  • Medical—Department of Health
  • Social services—Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors
  • Transport infrastructure and services—Department of Transport and Main Roads.

As a non-procurement graduate, where do I start?

A non-procurement graduate needs to start with awareness level training. The following short introductory eLearning modules should be available on your agency’s learning management system (if they’re not available, please email skills2procure@hpw.qld.gov.au):

  • Procurement 101
  • A Beginner’s Guide to the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP)
  • An Introduction to Good Practice Contract Management (due for release in Dec 2019)
  • An Introduction to Good Practice Social Procurement (due for release in Dec 2019).

What if I need more than just awareness training?

As a government graduate, you may work in areas where you are involved in spending public

funds for low value/low risk procurements. If so, you may need to undertake further skills training. The Procurement Certification Program Level 1 and Level 2 are the two most useful courses in this instance—see the table below.

Once completed, you will be issued a procurement certification for that level. Agency procurement procedures and tools will then guide you in applying this knowledge. You can find further resources through liaising with your agency procurement team and by accessing the whole-of-Government resources on the Queensland ForGov website.

Procurement Certification Program (PCP) training

Training Audience Length Cost Access

Procurement Fundamentals

Procurement Certification Program (PCP) Level 1

All graduates 3 hours $100/person IPAA PCP Link
Intermediate Procurement (PCP Level 2)

First year Procurement Graduates

Second year non-Procurement Graduates

2 days $950/person IPAA PCP Link

Helpful procurement and contract management links and resources

Each agency has their own procurement procedures and guidelines. It the first instance, follow your agency’s procedures and guidelines. However, when you need additional tools or guidance, consider these resources available to all agencies:

More information

For more information, please email Skills2Procure@hpw.qld.gov.au or call 07 3215 3604.