A Journey to MCIPS: Gemma Mumford, a past student speaks to Nicky Hingston from APA about her journey from Purchasing Assistant to Senior Buyer.

NH: How has your job role changed from when you first started looking at the CIPS qualification?

GM: “I became aware of the CIPS qualification in 2014 whilst employed as a Purchasing Assistant / Sales Co-ordinator. It was 2 years later that I was given the opportunity to enrol on the CIPS Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations Level 3 in 2016 and at this time I was a Purchasing Co-ordinator.  The knowledge and skills I gained from the CIPS qualification enabled me to progress to a position as a Buyer soon after completing my first year. To further my career, I moved to another organisation and after completion of the Advanced Diploma I was promoted to Senior Buyer.  Having successfully completed the Professional Diploma and achieved Chartered Status I am a Senior Buyer managing a Team of Junior Buyer/Administrators and I oversee Strategic Suppler accounts”


NH: Were you always aiming for MCIPS right from the start?

GM: “When I first enrolled, I was not sure how far I would go, but my Tutor Anne helped me realise I had the potential to achieve MCIPS and it quickly became my goal.”


NH: How have you found your journey to MCIPS with APA Procurement and Supply Training?

GM: “The support and direction Anne and Ian at APA have given me over the years has been outstanding and I could not have asked for better guidance. I was offered support and guidance at all levels of the CIPS course. Attending classes with Anne helped me build on my existing knowledge and reaffirmed my skills; the group discussions helped me gain confidence in my abilities.  Ian was always on hand to answer any of my questions or explain the course content and Procurement and Supply Models. He also helped us transition to virtual classrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic.”


NH:  Can you sum up what you have gained through studying for and completing your CIPS qualifications?

GM:  “The process to becoming chartered has developed my skills and knowledge of the profession, from a tactical and administrative level to a strategic view of global supply chain management. It has advanced my negotiation and category management skills and I’ve gained an understanding of the importance of collaboration with supply partners - both internal and external stakeholders.”


NH:  What advice would you give for someone just starting out on their journey at Level 3?

GM: “A 4-year course may seem like a big commitment, but the benefits gained at each level make it worthwhile. APA will be supporting you through each of the exams and once you get used to the format they do become less daunting. My career has progressed at each stage and after the years of study it feels fantastic to achieve MCIPS and be recognised as a professional in the field. Take it a level and a time and reap the rewards.”

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