The Apprenticeship Route to Level 4 CIPS

How the Procurement Apprenticeship with APA springboarded Danny Forrest’s career in procurement

NH: How long had you been working in procurement before you looked to start the Level 4 Apprenticeship?

DF: No time at all, I was a chef at beefeater before I started my level 4 Apprenticeship


NH: How did you become aware of the Level 4 procurement apprenticeship and what was it about the apprenticeship route that interested you?

DF: I became aware of the level 4 Apprenticeship through Historic England Public Procurement Apprentice job advert.

Unfortunately, due to illness I was not able to complete my A Levels so I decided I would look at an Apprenticeship as an alternative route to becoming professionally qualified. I have never looked back since; I’ve gained experience in working in a professional environment that I never would have got at Uni. 


NH: How did you find the learning experience with APA?     


  • Really enjoyable
  • The support level from APA was fantastic
  • Ftted to the way I learn, e.g. group work
  • I gained experience from other procurement professionals from other organisations
  • Helped me to understand the CIPS topics 


NH: How has gaining the Level 4 Apprenticeship helped you in your day- to- day role in procurement?

DF: Sourcing suitable suppliers to provide services, goods and works, to help achieve the organisation's business objectives and maintain their portfolio of properties.

  • Running Tendering procedures
  • Bid Evaluation and creating evaluation criteria
  • TUPE, Terms and conditions and Law
  • Public Contract Regulation/ EU laws.
  • Dealing with Stakeholders
  • Understanding budgeting
  • Supplier management
  • Business behaviours
  • Key soft skills
  • Good communication
  • Managing an E-Procurement system
  • Self-Management
  • KPI’s
  • Governance
  • Structuring Decline letters and giving feed-back


NH: How has your career progressed since completing your Level 4 Apprenticeship?

DF: After completing my apprenticeship, I was offered a procurement assistance role at Historic England, which I turned down because to my surprise I was head hunted by English Heritage’s Senior Quantity Surveyor. Who asked me if I’d apply for the Procurements and Contracts Co-ordinator in the Estates Dept. Professional Services Team. Which I did and I was offered the job. I have now been in post for 1 year.

It also currently makes me the only procurement person employed by English Heritage until the new central team is created sometime this year, which I’ll be looking to move into.


NH: What advice would you give for someone considering the Apprenticeship route with APA  to their CIPS qualifications?

DF: Don’t hesitate! It’s by far the best thing to have happened to my working life and possible future.  Not only has my Apprenticeship helped me to find a very good job, it has benefited me in my everyday life too.

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