Professional development for procurement 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.

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, giving agencies flexibility
  • recognising that 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 and Disability Services
  • Transport infrastructure and services—Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Where do procurement and contract management specialists work?

If you specialise in government procurement or contract management, you have a unique opportunity to implement change across government, while you develop a diverse range of technical and soft skills.

Specialists work across all divisions of an agency, such as:

  • Category management
  • Contract management
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Purchasing
  • Policy development
  • Data, performance and analytics.

We’re investing in training procurement graduates because we want to drive innovation and ensure we have the right people to meet future needs.

Every public-sector procurement graduate can access a diverse career path in procurement and contract management. This is driven by increasing pressure to:

  • deliver comprehensive, tailored and timely government services
  • achieve overall value for money from government buying power
  • support positive social change through procurement planning.

Those buying for government have an opportunity to drive better outcomes for the community through how they decide where to spend government money.

Benefits of procurement certification and continuing professional development

For procurement and contract management specialists, procurement certification (PCP) and CPD are vital—giving them the foundation and expertise on which to build and specialise.

For agencies, investing in training procurement professionals ensures compliance with Principle 4 of the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP)—Leaders in Procurement Practice, as well as better management of procurement and business risk by ensuring:

  • accountability, integrity and probity for significant procurements
  • a transparent, independently assessed, competency-based training program that delivers the required level of expertise
  • due consideration given to the value, risk and complexity of procurement activities when determining the level of expertise needed by the nominated Procurement Confirmation Officer (PCO)
  • staff are aware of emerging issues in the industry, allowing them to effectively respond to contemporary issues.

I am a recently appointed procurement graduate—where do I start?

These short introductory eLearning modules should be available on your agency’s learning management systems (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 Social Procurement (due for release in Dec 2019).

Skills2Procure Program

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is any activity or program which develops a graduate’s knowledge, experience, skill, understanding or contributes to the professionalism of the procurement discipline.

The Skills2Procure program offers a range of formal training opportunities as part of CPD. These are shown in the table below: 

Training Audience Length Cost Access

A beginner’s guide to the QPP

Procurement 101

An Introduction to Good Practice Social Procurement *

An Introduction to Good Practice Contract Management *

*To be developed

All graduates 20 minutes Free Agency LMS

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
Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PCP Level 3) Procurement Graduates about to exit the program and take up a mainstream procurement or contract management role $5250/person 11 days (over 3 months, + formal assessment) $5250/person IPAA PCP Link
eLearning (online) learning packages in niche skill areas across the procurement lifecycle All graduates seeking skill development in a specific aspect of procurement or contract management

Various ½–2 2 days

Competency based

Purchased by an agency for groups via QGP002-2018 Provided by agency

Opportunities for procurement graduates

Besides training and CPD opportunities listed above, procurement graduates can access:

  • Short term placement in HPW:
    • Office of the Chief Procurement Officer—policy/data/systems
    • Information and communication technology—category management
    • Building and construction management—category management
    • General goods and services—category management
  • Free access to procurement and contract management ‘communities of practice’ events
  • Free access to high-quality guest speaker events and other CPD opportunities.

Professional bodies

The Queensland Government has established relationships with several procurement professional bodies in Australia. Three of these offer learning and development services to public sector staff needing short course training in procurement or contract management, which you can access through Procurement and Contract Management Learning and Development Arrangement (QGP002-2018).

Organisation What they offer Training supplier
CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement Suppliers) Thought leadership, professional development, pathway to professional certification and member status (MCIPS) ArcBlue
IACCM Thought leadership, professional development, pathway to professional certification QUT
IFPSM Thought leadership, professional development, pathway to professional certification Compara

Smaller local professional bodies may also be relevant to specialist areas—ask your line manager.

More information

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