Advanced certificate in
procurement and supply operations

The CIPS Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations introduces candidates to a wide range of essential key skills, providing them with a sound understanding of the challenges facing professionals in the field of purchasing and supply chain management.

Our 10 day classroom programme is delivered over a 12 month period. Classroom based study helps students build confidence as learners and they benefit from the dynamics of being part of a group.

With our classroom based option students are given assignments and studies to complete at home to help prepare for exams. This option is currently available at our Sheffield and Leeds centres.

Our Distance Learning option works in almost the same way as our classroom programme, but offers more flexibility. The study schedule is built around the student, providing the opportunity to balance studies around work commitments and personal life.

We believe one of the most important parts of our Distance Learning programme is the support provided by our tutor, who students have access to throughout their 18 month programme. The tutor will guide the student through the subject matter and provide constructive feedback on their coursework in preparation for exams.

Whether you choose our classroom or distance learning programme, sitting the exams is optional, but to achieve your certificate you must pass all 5 exams (one per module). Exams for the Advanced Certificate are taken in May , July and November.

This course consists of the following five units:

  • CIPS Unit AC1 – Procurement and Supply Environments
  • CIPS Unit AC2 – Procurement and Supply Operations
  • CIPS Unit AC3 – Procurement and Supply Workflow
  • CIPS Unit AC4 – Inventory and Logistics Operations
  • CIPS Unit AC5 – Procurement and Supply Relationships
Download Unit Content Guide


I can say with confidence that other training organisations could learn from Chamber Business Training’s approach to education and student support.”

Entry requirements

No former qualifications or professional experience is necessary to enrol on this programme. It is not necessary to have achieved the CIPS Level 2 Certificate before starting this programme but for people with little or no experience it does aid a smoother transition.

This qualification is designed for those in an operational role who need the capability to carry out procurement and supply tasks. It is ideal for junior buyers and people with under 2 years’ experience. You will develop the knowledge to understand demand management, arrange supply logistics and implement new contracts.


Examination for this level is via four exams of 60 multiple choice questions and one workbook assessment. The required pass mark for AC1, AC2, AC4 and AC5 is 75%. For the AC3 workbook assessment the required pass mark is 50%. All CIPS Level 3 exams are scheduled in May, July and November every year. The cost for exams at this level is currently £78 per unit (subject to change by CIPS at any time). Click here for more information about CIPS Assessments.

CIPS has an excellent Exam Techniques Guide which we would recommend you read. Click here to download it.

As one of our students you can sit your exams at one of our CIPS exam centres in East Lancashire, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield or Birmingham. Alternatively you can take your exams at one of the many CIPS Regional Exam Centres across the UK and the rest of the world.

Your CIPS Level 3 training programme

Your training will be a combination of tutor support and study material over a 12 month period. You will be expected to undertake approximately 30 guided learning hours per unit.

With Distance Learning you don’t have to wait or aim for any particular term date to start. Your training will be a combination of tutor support and self-study material over a 12 month period. The main difference with Distance Learning is that you are in charge of your own timetable, otherwise it is similar to our conventional programmes.

As a Centre of Excellence we operate at the highest possible levels for a CIPS study centre and we believe our training costs are extremely competitive. Training costs are the only fees that you pay to us; you purchase your CIPS Certificate course books, book your exams and enrol for CIPS student membership directly from CIPS.

You will also need to become a CIPS Student Member to enrol for and sit exams. All exams must be booked and paid for directly with CIPS by yourself or your organisation before the exam application deadline.


Successful completion of the Level 3 Advanced Certificate provides a route for progression on to the CIPS Level 4 Diploma, the CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma and finally the CIPS Level 6 Professional Diploma. On successful completion of the Diploma, Advanced and Professional diplomas and in conjunction with three years’ professional experience in a role of responsibility in procurement and supply, you may apply for full membership of CIPS to use the designatory letters MCIPS on your business card. It’s what businesses and employers are looking for. You will also be invited to attend the annual CIPS Graduation Ceremony in Birmingham.

We have study centres across the country with venues in London, Birmingham, Lancashire, Manchester, Liverpool / St Helens, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield and Rotherham. At each of our CIPS training centres we offer professional, flexible, interactive and student-focused training, with access to free wi-fi facilities and unlimited free refreshments.

For a minimum of 8 delegates this programme can be delivered at your premises and tailored to include any specific requirements you may have. If you would like to discuss your options please call us on: 0845 607 1770 or email: