Recently VACGEN’s Sourcing Engineer, Seb, completed his first module as part of his Level 4 Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) with a Merit. We caught up with Seb to learn more about why he decided to enrol for this qualification.

1) What made you decide to do your CIPS certification?

In March 2023, I joined VACGEN as an Operations Graduate, eagerly embracing the opportunity to demonstrate my work ethic. After 3 months, I was offered a role in Planning, and I saw this as an opportunity to progress my career in a company I enjoy being a part of. Management recognised my willingness to learn and approached me for the role of Sourcing Engineer. As I knew I didn’t have a lot of experience, I decided to apply for the Level 4 CIPS qualification as it was the most suitable way for me to learn on the job and apply it to working situations.

2) Tell us more about the qualification.

The Level 4 CIPS qualification is a world-renowned qualification that provides plenty of student resources and has a coherent structure. The remote nature of the course allows me to study flexibly to suit my work schedule. I am given 4-6 weeks to complete and submit my essays, which gives me ample opportunity to gain insight from my colleagues to facilitate my learning. The delivery of lectures is engaging and provides detailed insights into the functions of procurement.

I receive comprehensive breakdowns of the strengths and weaknesses of my assignment, with recommendations on how to improve for next time. I enjoy the level of mental stimulation that I receive from studying and I’ve discovered that procurement isn’t just about making it cheaper at the start or more expensive at the end; there are many opportunities between that add value to the supply chain. It’s teaching me to negotiate for better quality and better competencies.

3) How will this qualification progress your career?

By starting this qualification, I have gained an insight into procurement which will help me progress in my career. My first module was on Driving Value and Managing Expenditures, with a focus on Raw Material. This helped me not only consider quality and reducing costs but investigate how to add value into the supply chain. All the modules are designed to help build a solid skill set to engage with new and existing suppliers and create competition. I would like to develop my career with VACGEN, and this qualification has been beneficial in both my professional development and my personal also.

4) How have VACGEN supported you whilst taking your first module?

Due to the essays being company-specific, it has required me to conduct primary research to understand how VACGEN operates. I’ve had guidance from management to understand the nature of how we do business in an intricate way. These conversations have helped me answer questions and identify gaps to see how I can add value and improve my job knowledge. My colleagues have been instrumental in applying my learning at work.