CIPS Level 4 - Diploma in Procurement and Supply

Course Information

  • Course Code: EC192
  • Duration: 38 weeks x 4 hours
  • Validated by: Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
  • Study mode: Part Time
  • Price: £1975.00


The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply is the most prominent professional body for those who are developing a career in procurement.  This qualification is a valuable management tool for those moving into junior and middle management procurement roles or those supervising the procurement function.  It focusses on organisational procedures and processes including negotiation, planning, risk management and data analysis


Why come to Blackburn College?

  • Centre of Excellence’ CIPS Study Centre, the top grade awarded by independent auditors
  • Teacher trained, CIPS qualified & Sector specific qualified tutors
  • Purpose built facilities for CIPS business training
  • Small class sizes (max. 15 students) delivered in Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Renowned for providing an excellent student experience with an emphasis on pastoral care throughout
  • Bespoke workbooks to enhance learning
  • Revision sessions
  • Private exam centre on college site
  • 24/7 access to learner materials through Moodle


Typically, this course would be suitable for the following titles:

  • Buyer
  • Procurement / purchasing executive
  • Procurement specialist
  • Contract officer
  • Supply chain / inventory / logistics analyst
  • Supply chain / inventory / logistics planner



The course tuition fee is £2,000 per year excluding exam fees and registration fees (Registration fees are paid directly to CIPS).  Direct Debit options may be available - please contact us for more information. 

Exam fees are £78 per OR exam and £108 per CR exam (therefore £684 for this level and are payable to Blackburn College at enrolment).

This course is also available for Advanced Learner Loan funding.  Details available at maximum value of the loan is £2,573 therefore an additional payment of £111 (which includes exam fees for the year) is required to cover the remainder of our fees upon booking.   This option is NOT available if you are paying for the course modularly or if your employer is funding the course.  

What will I study?

Scope & Influence (L4M1):

On completion of this module, learners will be able to identify the key stakeholders in the application of the sourcing process and analyse the procurement cycle, evaluating the influence that procurement and supply has as a source of added value for the organisation.

Module aim(s): In any organisation, a significant proportion of costs are accounted for by the purchases of products and/or services, hence organisations see procurement and supply as a key contributor to their value added strategies. Equally, any organisation will also be managing the supply of products and/or services to their customers, be they internal or those from other external organisations, consumers or the general public. This module is designed using the CIPS Procurement Cycle as its basis. It will provide those who are interested in developing an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the discipline, an overview of the key stages associated with procurement and supply, and will serve as an introduction for those who are expected to address complex well-defined procurement and supply problems that are non-routine in nature.


Supplier Relationships (L4M6)

On completion of this module, learners will be able to analyse the dynamics of supplier relationships, examine the processes and procedures for working with stakeholders and appreciate the concept of partnering.

Module aim(s): In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around decisions to source activity from external suppliers. Once agreements have been established the relationship established with the supplier is paramount to overall success. At its highest level outsourcing can take the form of a partnership or joint venture. This module is designed for those who have responsibility for maintaining and managing relationships with stakeholders and suppliers and for those who may be faced with establishing and developing formal partnerships.


Ethical and Responsible Sourcing [L4M4]

On completion of this module, learners will be able to explain the options and associated processes available for sourcing with external suppliers. They will also examine the legal and ethical impact and the implications of corporate social responsibility, on the final sourcing decision.

Module aim(s): In any organisation, a significant element of procurement and supply activity is based around decisions to internally conduct activity or to source from an external supplier. Hence, the selection of the correct external suppliers is a vital contributor to overall organisational success. This module enables personnel with roles in procurement and supply to formulate selection criteria and sourcing strategies to ensure that the organisation will make the correct choice of external suppliers. It explains options for sourcing, and examines the key processes that can be applied to the analysis of potential external suppliers and to ensure the development of ethically and socially responsible sourcing agreements.


Defıning Business Need (L4M2)

On completion of this module, learners will be able to devise a business case for requirements to be externally sourced and will understand the role of market management and competitive forces as they specify goods and services in procurement and supply.

Module aim(s): The development of a business case and the ability to analyse markets are key if an organisation is to successfully source activity from external suppliers. Similarly, the clear definition of specifications for through life contracts is crucial to overall business achievement. This module is designed for those who are expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate information on the different types of markets utilised by procurement and supply. It explores a variety of elements that underpin the development of business cases and specifications and considers the options that should be explored when procurement and supply personnel are involved in defining requirements.


Commercial Negotiation (L4M5)

On completion of this module learners will be able to identify approaches to successfully achieving negotiated commercial agreements with external organisations.

Module aim(s): The creation of formalised agreements is a critical part of the success of any organisation. Those involved in procurement and supply activity will therefore be able to effectively negotiate with stakeholders and/or suppliers and to understand the methods associated with preparing for and carrying out commercial negotiations. This module is designed for those who are faced with negotiations. It enables the learner to analyse approaches to the negotiation of agreements made with external parties, how to prepare for them and what techniques are available to ensure successful outcomes


Whole Life Asset Management (L4M7)

On completion of this module, learners will be able to explain methods of inventory storage and control and analyse the concept of whole life cost from concept through to disposal.

Module aim(s): Whole life costing takes into account the total cost of a product or service over its lifetime, from concept through to disposal including purchase, hire or lease, maintenance, operation, utilities, training and disposal. Hence, it is important for those involved in the procurement and supply function to take all these elements into consideration when making decisions and comparing the costs of buying, renting or leasing equipment. In most cases the purchase costs are a small proportion of the cost of operating it. Although costly, there are numerous reasons why organisations elect to hold inventory. The management and control of such inventory is therefore vital to organisational success. This module is designed for those who will have responsibility for the whole life management of assets and enables learners to analyse methods for inventory movement and control and to analyse the concept of whole life cost.


Commercial Contracting (L4M3)

On completion of this module, learners will be able to describe the key elements and legal aspects of formal commercial contracts, and analyse and interpret the fundamentals of specifications and key performance indicators that are included in contractual arrangements made with suppliers.

Module aim(s): In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around the contracting process. If they are to be successful, contracts must be clearly defined, be cognisant of legal requirements and contain key clauses and terms. This module is designed for those working in the procurement and supply field, or those who have responsibility for the development of legally binding contracts with suppliers.


Procurement and Supply in Practice (L4M8)

On completion of this module, learners will be able to demonstrate the practical application of the key elements of the procurement cycle in an integrated manner, within a workplace context.

Module aim(s): Procurement is the business function that ensures identification, sourcing, access and management of external resources that an organisation needs or may need to successfully fulfil its strategic objectives. It exists to explore supply market opportunities and to implement resourcing strategies that deliver the best possible supply outcomes to the organisation, its stakeholders and customers. In today’s volatile global trading environments, it is not enough for procurement and supply professionals to simply know the theory behind their profession; they must also be in a position to confidently and effectively apply that knowledge to the benefit of the whole organisation, its stakeholders and customers. This module is designed to test the practical application of procurement and supply concepts and ideas within the practical environments which professionals are expected to perform.


TRANSFER ARRANGEMENTS FROM 2013 – 2018 SYLLABUS:  If you are a progressing/continuing student who has completed various units under the 2013 syllabus but you are unsure of the modules you require to complete your qualification under the new 2018 syllabus, use the Transfer Tool on the CIPS website at this link:


CIPS Course Membership:  Once you have been awarded a place on our course, you will need to become a member of CIPS (Fees payable directly to CIPS). Become a member online at  Current cost approx. £187 (subject to change).

Text Books:  CIPS Books are available in our library or alternatively can be purchased from the CIPS bookshop:


Entry Requirements

This is the highest entry point to our diploma qualifications and requires a minimum of at least two A-levels (or international equivalent) or a CIPS Advanced Certificate qualification (Level 3).  Alternatively you need a minimum of two years' experience in a business environment. 


How will I be assessed?

There will be two types of exam for this level.  Objective Response exams are usually 1.5 hours to 2 hours in duration and are usually 6 credits.  Constructive Response exams are usually 3 hours and 12 credits.  All exams at this level other than L4M1 and L4M8 are Objective response.


Latest Blackburn College CIPS Study Centre pass rates benchmarked against CIPS National average

 Blackburn College CIPS Results

What can I do next?

You can progress onto CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply once you have successfully completed your studies.

For more information

For more information about this course, contact our specialist team on 01254 29 25 00 or email