The qualification that’s served procurement managers in New Zealand’s roading sector for decades is currently under review; and a working group comprising industry representatives and contributors from the NZ Transport Agency and MBIE have been working on the updates for several months. The review has been led by Connexis, (formerly the Infrastructure ITO), the organisation that administers the qualification.
The National Certificate in Infrastructure Civil Engineering (Procurement Procedures) is the certification that’s been keenly sought by tender evaluators, as it’s required for at least one member of every Tender Evaluation Team who is engaged in evaluating tenders that seek NZTA funding of more than $200k.
Council and NZTA Procurement personnel and Consulting Engineers have made up the majority of graduates of this diploma-based Level 6 qualification.
The primary focus of the updates reflects widespread recognition of the increasing importance of procurement planning to delivery of best value for money procurement. The working group has also worked towards broadening the qualification. The aim is to widen its application so that it is useful for procurement practitioners who are undertaking projects not only in the roading sector, but throughout physical works and professional services associated with infrastructure. The revised qualification will be applicable to procurement across all kind s of infrastructure construction and maintenance, ranging from water and wastewater to telecommunications, vertical infrastructure, power and gas services, passenger transport, and more.
The qualification will undergo a tweak to its name, reflecting its wider industry application beyond the roading sector.
Clever Buying’s Caroline Boot has contributed to the working groups which have been focused on revising the Graduate Profile Outcomes, and amending the Unit Standards to reflect current best practice in procurement.
“It’s been exciting to see that the very strong framework for procurement that has traditionally applied to NZTA projects, can be extended into a wide range of other industries”, she says. “The principles of best practice procurement – transparency, consistency, cost-efficiency and fit-for-purpose tools – are applicable to all types of procurement. This qualification has the potential to support and provide assurance of best practice in a very broad range of practical procurement contexts.”
Work on the qualification review is continuing; and consultation is under way with the aim of finalising the review this year.
The new qualification is expected to come into effect early next year. For those procurement personnel who have already achieved their National Certificate, nothing will change. Those who are part way through will have all of next year to complete their qualification under the old Unit Standard structure; however those enrolling new from next year will have the choice of the new or the old Unit Standard structure.
The review promises to put qualified New Zealand Infrastructure Procurement personnel at the leading edge of international procurement practice. It’s an exciting development that reflects and supports the very best in procurement practice, with a particular emphasis on infrastructure.
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A reminder to all those working through their National Certificate qualification using the Clever Buying™ process: If you wish to fast-track achievement of the qualification by using evidence from participating on the Clever Buying course, then you’ll need to get started on that pathway immediately after attending the course. Send in your workbook and course materials immediately after the course, and we’ll organise assessment of the first two Unit Standards within three months of the course. The remaining Unit Standards can then be assessed when you are ready.
If you leave it longer than three months before being assessed for the first two Unit Standards, you will need to attend a refresher course to provide the evidence needed.