Celebrating diversity in latest NZQA procurement graduates

Of the five NZQA Procurement graduates who recently completed their NZQA Level 6 Procurement Qualification, three are female and one is originally from Zimbabwe.

We’re celebrating with Fiona Pratt and Casper Kandori (Whangarei DC), Nicola Marvin and Helen Churton from Gisborne DC, and David Somerville (Rationale Group) – on becoming Qualified Tender Evaluators in the past month. For all of them, the process of working through the qualification has been a challenging but satisfying journey in building a personal toolbox and skill level in best practice procurement that applies to all sectors.

For the most part, they were able to complete the assessment tasks within the context of their normal workplace activities. The time invested outside normal work activity ranged between 6 and 40 hours, spread over the assessment period of 10-18 months. Some assessment activities (such as preparing procurement plans and developing RFT documents) can be done using scenarios, which is a great help if no suitable workplace examples are available at the time.

Photo: Recent graduates Nicola Marvin, Fiona Pratt, Casper Kandori, and David Somerville

The assessment process takes the form of coaching and mentoring, with written and verbal feedback, frequent discussions and advice provided by the assessor to develop the candidates’ procurement skills. There’s a strong focus on ensuring organisational procurement strategy is translated into practice – through effective procurement planning, standardising procurement documentation and streamlining tendering processes to make them more cost-efficient for both suppliers and clients.

While the ‘old’ version of this qualification – previously known as the CPP (Competitive Pricing Procedures) certificate – was the sole preserve of NZTA and the transport industry, the updated NZQA Level 6 qualification now is 100% relevant for a wider range of procurement professionals. Uptake from procurement specialists in the water and wastewater sectors is strong, and there is also keen interest from other sectors including the Ministry of Education and District Health Boards.

The skills for managing complex procurement processes (including planning, developing RFTs, processing and evaluating tenders, and applying legal and ethical standards including Government Rules of Sourcing) are not limited to any particular industry context. The NZQA Level 6 procurement qualification can build procurement skills for practitioners in a very wide range of industries. It’s also the only qualification that builds in application of Government Rules of Sourcing.

Feedback from the graduates encourages others to take up the challenge: “It has been a great learning experience” reports Fiona, “I will certainly use this learning in all procurement projects going forward – both easy and complex.”

All the graduates pointed out the value of their progression through the qualification not only for themselves, but also for their organisations. “I can now easily identify or point out any irregularities or non-compliance in the organisation procurement process, particularly any special conditions and standard terms in our tender document templatessaid Casper.

Nicola addsWe have much more robust processes in place now, and we have developed templates to use. There’s greater awareness of what’s required, being thorough, recording everything, writing better documents.”

For more information on becoming an NZQA Qualified Procurement professional, see www.cleverbuying.com/nzqa-procurement-qualification  or phone us on 0800 225 005.