It is now over two years since the new version of the NZQA Level 6 NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Procurement Procedures was launched in June 2016. Over that period, we have seen a major expansion of interest in the updated qualification. To date, 23 people have qualified; and more than 100 more people have registered and are working through the qualification.
Many of these candidates have been engaged in procurement in a wider range of public goods and services than the traditional transport sector, which the previous versions of this qualification was restricted to.
This strong upsurge in interest in this qualification is indicative of the importance that public sector organisations are placing on improving practical procurement capability. This Level Six qualification is filling a growing need for qualified and competent procurement practitioners who fully understand and can apply good practice and Government Rules of Sourcing in their tendering activities. It is achievable alongside full-time work; and assessment is based on demonstration of procurement skills within the workplace.
With the insight of working with procurement candidates from many sectors over the past two years, our assessors have requested some minor changes to this qualification. To approve these proposed changes, NZQA requires an indication of industry support for them from key stakeholders like yourself.
We welcome you to comment on this proposal, whether you support those changes or have any concerns about them, by November 30 2018.
- A recommendation to remove the word ‘Infrastructure’ from the title of the qualification; and
- Some minor changes to the four Unit Standards
The relevant marked up documents showing the proposed changes are as follows, and a brief explanation is given below.
- 3179 Revised Qualification Description
- 18927 recommended amendments
- 18928 recommended amendments
- 18930 recommended amendments
- Industry Contract for Procurement Consultation
Title Change for Procurement Qualification
The skills covered by this qualification are Procurement Planning; Developing RFT documents; Processing and Evaluating Tenders, and application of Government Rules of Sourcing to procurement. These skills are relevant not only to infrastructure, but to all of public sector procurement in New Zealand.
Currently, the inclusion of the word ‘Infrastructure’ in the title infers that the qualification is only relevant to infrastructure. However, the competencies that are assessed are important to achieve value for money in all areas of complex procurement (including, for example, Health, Education, Defence, Social Services, Information Technology, and many other contexts where public money is spent using tendering processes).
Changing the title of the qualification to the NZ Certificate in Procurement Procedures will remove barriers to uptake by public sector procurement staff in all sectors. It does not change the content of the qualification, or the skills that area assessed. The only changes are to the graduate profile to no longer limit the profile to those engaged in the infrastructure industry.
This proposed change will potentially provide a single, relevant and consistent standard for practical procurement skills across all of government in New Zealand.
Minor Unit Standard Changes
Minor changes to Version 4 of Unit Standards 18927 (Developing RFX Documents); 18930 (Applying Legal and Ethical Standards); and Unit Standard 18928 (Evaluating Tenders) have been requested by assessors of the qualification. The purpose of these changes is to remove duplication and ease the progression of students through those towards completion.
Currently, final assessment of Unit Standards 18927 and 18930 relies on evidence provided in the evaluation of tenders, which is also covered in Unit Standard 18928. This means that all three of these Unit Standards can only be achieved with evidence of tender evaluations, which is typically at the end of a student’s progression through the qualification.
By reducing duplication through the proposed changes, students will be able to achieve completion of the Unit Standards more readily as their skills in each of the Unit Standards are demonstrated. This will help maintain motivation and a sense of progress.
As a key industry stakeholder with an important role to play in procurement capability improvement, we value your support and/or comments on these changes. Please contact us or call Caroline Boot on 021 722 005 to let us know what you think.
We look forward to hearing your views by November 30th 2018.