Upskilling engineers in procurement Wednesday, 03 October 2018

Engineers Australia's training arm, Engineering Education Australia has launched a new nationally-accredited qualification in procurement.

The Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting* is designed to upskill engineers and related professionals in the purchasing and management of goods and services.

Procurement and contract management expert, and course contributor, Dr Cyril Jankoff believes engineers working in project management need to develop professional procurement practices to be able to deliver projects successfully.

“Engineers need more than technical knowledge, they also need the skills to be able to manage projects or elements of a project”, Dr Jankoff said.

The importance of procurement can be seen in the Project Management Institute’s globally recognised A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), listing Project Procurement Management as one of the ten necessary knowledge areas.

“Best practice procurement is about having capable and engaged staff implementing a clear procurement process."

“This process should include (1) identifying what is needed, (2) planning the purchase, (3) approaching the market, (4) allowing sufficient time for the process, (5) using the correct contract, (6) carefully selecting the supplier, and (7) managing the contract.”

The qualification will deliver specialist skills and knowledge for purchasing, procurement and contracting activities as well as an understanding of the public sector business environment.

Participants will learn how to confidently operate in a procurement or contracting role without supervision through planning, scoping and managing procurement processes; developing and managing contracts; conducting research and analysing information; identifying, planning for and managing risk in the procurement process; and exercising delegations.

“Upon completion, participants will have a clear view of how to manage a project’s contract from end-to-end, and be able to identify, assess and manage contract risks”, Dr Jankoff said.

Sound procurement processes reduce the likelihood and consequence of contract disputes and financial and reputational damage.

“An example where I have seen procurement go wrong was when a buyer’s Site Manager on a construction project asked for additional work to be performed, and the contractor verbally agreed to this. When the contractor invoiced for the variation, the buyer refused to pay because the variation had not been approved by the buyer’s Procurement Officer."

“This mishap could have been avoided by following a thorough and consistent procurement process”, said Dr Jankoff.

Enrolments are now open for the 12 November 2018 intake. Find out more about the Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting.

*Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting PSP40616 is delivered by Engineering Education Australia’s Registered Training Organisation, The Moreland Group (RTO number 6332).