Certificate in Procurement Management ( Certificate in Procurement Management)

University College Cork (CPM)
Key Programme Details

Certificate (Special Purpose Award)

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



Department of Management and Marketing

General Information

Lorna Moloney






Adult Continuing Education (ACE),
University College Cork,
The Laurels,
Western Road,



UCC Springboard+ Programme Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

UCC's Certificate in Procurement Management is the first university accredited NFQ level 8 award in procurement management in Ireland. The programme is designed to maximise organisational impact and personal effectiveness of participants who either hold the role of or aspire to be buyers, procurement specialists or category managers within SMEs and multinational companies operating in the manufacturing, bio-pharmachem and medical technology sectors.

Delivered using a blend of academic experts and highly experienced practitioners in the field of procurement, the Certificate aims to equip participants with cutting-edge skills and processes directly applicable to the workplace. This unique course is designed to up-skill participants in technical, managerial and people skills, what is known as the "holy trinity" of procurement competence.

Past participants on the programme have come from companies such as Twitter, Pfizer, ALPS, DELL-EMC, Teagasc, Hovione, Novartis and have held roles such as buyer-planner, procurement specialist, and category managers.


On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective procurement practice.
2. Apply and critique practical tools, techniques and conceptual models in order to maximise the value of the procurement process.
3. Communicate and work effectively in groups.
4. Contribute to organisational strategy by designing, implementing and monitoring a strategic procurement plan that reflect the needs of the organisation and stakeholders.
5. Demonstrate an awareness of new knowledge and skills acquired on the programme.
6. Understand the procurement competencies and training and development requirements for career improvement.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold a level 7 undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent professional qualification AND have a minimum of two years' buying, sourcing or comparable professional experience.

Non-graduates with at least three years' professional experience in a relevant senior management role will also be considered for admission.

English language requirement: all applicants whose first language is not English, must have attained an average of IELTS Level 6 across all elements of the test, with no element lower than 5.5 or the equivalent TOEFL score.

Candidates must also have working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet applications.

The programme team may seek to interview applicants in order to ascertain the appropriateness of their experience for this programme.

Long Description

The Certificate in Procurement Management commences with a holistic competency assessment, benchmarked against a role-based procurement framework. This measurement of training and development needs analysis will be repeated at the end of the programme for comparative progression analysis. The programme itself consists of five core modules all of which offer a blend of theoretical and applied procurement. Where appropriate, the modules also equip participants with practical software-oriented skills. All five modules are examined exclusively by continuous assessment and include workplace learning portfolios, presentations and reports which strengthen workplace application and applied learning. Springboard+ participants who are not currently employed will be assisted in sourcing access to organisations where they can conduct work-based research and gain practical experience of addressing procurement issues.

Modules include:
MG5823: Principles of Procurement and Tendering (5 credits)
MG5824: Spend Analysis and Category Management (5 credits)
MG5825: Contract and Supplier Relationship Management (5 credits)
MG5826: KPI Reporting and Procurement Value Dashboards (5 credits)
MG5827: Strategic Procurement Project (10 credits)

Why Choose This Course

This programme was designed in partnership with IDDea, a private sector consulting and training organisation which has a complement of highly experienced staff with 70+ years combined experience in procurement. Working with the programme director, Dr. David McKevitt (an internationally recognised expert in procurement and board member of the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management who in 2016 was awarded the Hans Ovelgönne Research Award from the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM)), the programme team ensures that the programme design incorporates industry best practice.

Students will undergo a diagnostic Quad Core Procurement Competency Assessment (QCC) at the start and end of the programme, as well as a diagnostic Procurement Maturity Assessment (PMA) to demonstrate skill progression.

The programme also directly tests, develops and emphasises transversal, digital and management and leadership skills, along with a focus on the workplace of the future.

Career Opportunities

In addressing the skills needs arising from the implications of Brexit, procurement is regarded as a discipline that is becoming increasingly relevant. The National Skills Bulletin (2020) cites the following procurement roles as "difficult to fill": Procurement Managers; Buyers; Procurement Specialists; and Procurement Administrators. Several studies over the past few years have specifically called out the shortage of procurement skills. The EGFSN report on the ‘Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland’ (2016) highlighted procurement as one of the key supply chain management skills needed for the biologics manufacturing sector at NFQ level 7+. The EGFSN Update on Future Skills Needs in the Food and Drink Sector (2017) also highlights a gap in Procurement skills. Procurement skills were also listed under the current and future skills needs for the engineering sector outlined in both the 2015 and 2016 EGFSN reports on ‘Guidance for Higher Education Providers on Current and Future Skills Needs of Enterprise.’ In addition, Hays Ireland 2020’s top 10 jobs in Ireland included Category Manager and Senior Buyers (Procurement), and also cited 92% of respondents experienced a skills shortage in this area.

This course will assist students in meeting these skills gaps as it will provide students with the opportunity to firstly assess themselves and then examine, apply and critique the main elements of effective procurement and tendering management that are the focus of the programme. It will teach students how to undertake a systematic analysis of organisation expenditure and conduct in-depth market research of suppliers, products and markets. The programme will also examine a systematic framework of contractual value for money (VfM) negotiations and monitor compliance with VfM criteria. It will present the principles of procurement value reporting and outline different procurement key performance indicators (KPIs) that deliver value for the organisation and its stakeholders. Finally, the capstone module will require students to integrate, consolidate and leverage their learning to date into a Strategic Procurement Plan. Upon completion of this programme, students will have gained sufficient experience and exposure to practical procurement management skills that they will be well placed to take up positions as buyers, procurement specialists or category managers.

A dedicated UCC CAREER COACH will work with students and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with:
• Selecting the most suitable course and transitioning into university;
• The development of their job readiness;
• Their ultimate transition into employment/furthering existing careers.
The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the eligible applicants for the 2021 Springboard+ call: those unemployed and previously self-employed; returners; and those in employment.

The University will provide both online and one-to-one guidance and support to prospective and incoming students in relation to potential career options and outcomes for their course(s) of interest prior to registration. The dedicated Springboard Careers coach will assist individuals in selecting a course that is closely aligned with their own skills, strengths, and personal career goals and objectives.

In terms of job readiness training, main activities will include:
1. ONE TO ONE CAREER COACHING to formulate Individual CAREER ACTION PLANS leading to employment: Individual career coaching will be provided for each participant to reflect on:
• Where they are now in their careers;
• Where they want to be;
• Strategies for gaining employment on completion of their Springboard+ course.
These individual coaching sessions will be customised to the needs of the student within the three categories of Springboard+ 2021 applicants.
2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to compliment individual coaching sessions will be delivered focusing on positioning oneself for job readiness and moving forward into a job. Small group workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, and to develop the people skills and the insights needed to transition to the world of work.
3. Participants will be given the opportunity to MEET EMPLOYERS by:
• Attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students;
• Attending employer-led events on building workplace competencies. Past UCC Springboard students attended talks delivered by Voxpro, Biomarin, Cork Local Enterprise Office, among others.
• Meet with employers for informational interviews.

Students will be enrolled on an online 5 credit module entitled CAREER MANAGEMENT SKILLS. The objective of this module is to provide essential training in professional career management skills to assist students in actively planning and preparing for their future careers – whether that involves returning to the workplace after a period of unemployment/absence, or changing role/company for those who are already in employment. Module Content will include:
• Assessing job readiness;
• Exploring self-awareness and setting realistic career objectives;
• Understanding your strengths, development needs, opportunities and threats;
• Developing a career-management strategy and identifying career goals;
• Creative job-hunting both online and offline;
• Written applications, CVs and interview preparation;
• Implementing career plans.

Timetable Info

Classes are held full day Fridays on a fortnightly basis from end September 2021 to July 2022.

Delivery Location

UCC & Online

Delivery Notes

This programme is delivered via a blended delivery model comprising live online classes and online recordings (approx. 75%), and face-to-face teaching (approx. 25%).

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:
* You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
* Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies. However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
* You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
* We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
* You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software. All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc. once registered.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorna Moloney


Adult Continuing Education (ACE),
University College Cork,
The Laurels,
Western Road,






RPL Information

RPL may be used by Springboard participants applying to this course to gain admission to the programme where an applicant many not otherwise reach the standard educational qualification entry requirements.

Application Procedures

In advance of applying for this course, please familiarise yourself with the programme entry requirements detailed on this page, as well as the Springboard+ eligibility criteria outlined at https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility.

To take a course through Springboard+ you will need to:

1. be living full-time in the Republic of Ireland
2. have your own, valid PPS Number
3. meet the nationality/visa requirement
- You are an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss national or:
- You have permission to remain in Ireland as a family member of an EU citizen or;
- You have Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM on your GNIB residence card or;
- You have official refugee status in Ireland / are here on the basis of refugee family reunification or;
- You have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999) or;
- You have permission to remain following the Minister’s decision not to make a deportation order.
4. have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK or Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
- If you are a Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM holder, residency is calculated from the date you received your stamp. Any time before this cannot be counted.
- If you have refugee status in Ireland, residency is counted from the date you applied for International Protection.

Please ensure that you have ALL of the following documentation available at the time of application:

1. Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous educational qualifications that demonstrate how you meet the programme entry requirements.

2. Application statement - please describe in a maximum of 500 words why you wish to study this course at UCC and explain how you meet the programme entry requirements. Applicants should also reflect on their ability to commit to the course's delivery method - whether on campus in UCC or online.

3. Detailed and up-to-date CV.

4. Proof of selected category of applicant, i.e. employed, self-employed, unemployed, or returner. Please see https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility for acceptable documentation for each category.

5. Copy of IELTS/TOEFL/Duolingo certificate for non-native English speakers demonstrating level required by programme entry requirements.

6. Proof of meeting the nationality/residency requirement if applicable (Relevant applicants must provide evidence of residency for 3 out of the last 5 years).

PLEASE NOTE: Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated. To create a zip file in Windows:
1. Select the files you want to add to the zip file. Selecting files.
2. Right-click one of the files. A menu will appear.
3. In the menu, click Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
4. A zip file will appear. If you want, you can type a new name for the zip file.


No fee applicable for jobseekers (unemployed and formerly self-employed) and returners (homemakers, carers, etc.).

Fee applicable for those currently in employment - €285. This fee will be collected by UCC prior to the commencement of the course.


Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received.

We envisage three rounds of offers for successful applicants on July 14th, July 28th and August 16th. All unsuccessful applicants will be informed asap to afford them the opportunity to apply for alternative courses.

Eligibility for Springboard+ course will be checked at application stage and at course registration - proof of status must be provided on each occasion. Further verification checks will occur at least twice during the year where students will be expected to confirm their registration and status on the Springboard+ website.

UCC Certificate in Procurement Management

Programme Webpage