CIPS Award for School Business Professionals


This award is a procurement and supply learning programme based on CIPS Global Standard and adapted for the education sector. It has been designed to incorporate terminology, practices and unique challenges specific to school business professionals.

The successful completion of the programme results in Diploma membership of CIPS.

This programme is underpinned by the ISBL Professional Standards and is recognised by the Department for Education.


What will you study?

You will study the following five modules:

  • Module 1 – Driving Value through procurement and supply
  • Module 2 – Managing Expenditures with Suppliers
  • Module 3 – Developing Contracts in procurement and supply
  • Module 4 – Sourcing Essentials in procurement and supply
  • Module 5 – Effective Negotiation


How long is the programme?

12 months, with an average of 100 hours of self-study required.


“With ever increasing pressure on schools to ‘do more for less’, it is essential SBPs develop their skills to undertake procurement as effectively as possible to offer their organisation best value. Best value is not just about money. Procurement is a complex process which must consider the cost of the product/service to the end of its life in relation to regulatory frameworks and international law. To be able to develop my skills and knowledge online to fully understand the procurement regulations without travelling to London is too good an opportunity to miss ” 

Linda Lucas


How is the programme delivered?

It is delivered online, using interactive webinars and learning sessions, practical assessed assignments and remote tutor support.

The programme starts with an introductory webinar and each module starts with a day of online sessions.


How is the programme assessed?

Each module is assessed through completing written assignments.


What are the benefits of completing the programme?

The benefits to schools include:

  • Value: This practical, applied learning approach delivers proven return on investment. 
  • Business improvement and savings: Work-based assignments drive improvements directly back into your workplace.  
  • Talent: Investing in the development of staff unlocks potential and boosts expertise leading to improved productivity and efficiency. 
  • Professionalism: Helps bring about positive changes in performance and behaviour that benefit your school.

The benefits to schools business professionals include:

  • Be the best you can be: Supports you to demonstrate your value to your school by helping you realise efficiencies and savings through high-quality procurement.
  • Opportunities: Successful completion of the programme can help unlock career advancement and specialist opportunities.
  • Accreditation: The programme provides a route to CIPS Diploma professional membership status and is a step towards MCIPS status.
  • Network: Participation provides knowledge sharing and networking across the education sector.


Do I need any procurement experience to complete this programme?

The programme is aimed at giving you the specialist procurement knowledge and skills to use during your role.

The completion of any procurement activities at your school/trust will help you to prepare for completing the programme and gaining accreditation. These activities will provide you with real life case studies whilst also demonstrating how high quality procurement can drive improvements and efficiencies back into your school.


How is the programme funded?

The programme is either paid for directly by your school/trust or it can be self-funded. It is separate from the apprenticeship scheme and unfortunately is not eligible for apprenticeship funding.


ISBL Professional Development Fund

Through the ISBL Professional Development Fund, we are providing 10% towards the cost of the programme for the first 12 bookings on the November 2020 cohort*. All you have to do is book onto the November cohort and the 10% funding will be applied automatically.


SBC Online

SBC Online has partnered with ISBL to help take your procurement knowledge and experience one step further by contributing towards the cost of your CIPS Award for School Business Professionals*.






*The ISBL Professional Development Fund and SBC Online offer can be used together, giving you a combined 20% towards the cost of this CIPS Award for School Business Professionals.


How much does it cost?

There is an ISBL member rate and a Non member rate for all our training programmes.

  • ISBL member rate: £2,999 + VAT
  • Non member rate: £3,540 +VAT

One of the benefits of being an ISBL member is being able to access the member rates for training and conferences. If you are not a member, you can find out more about joining ISBL here.

To be able to access the ISBL member rate, your membership needs to be active before you book your place on the programme.

We do not offer any payment plans. The full cost must be paid in full before you start the programme. Our Terms & Conditions can be found here.


How can I book my place?

The next cohort starts on in November 2020. You can view a draft time timetable for the programme here.

To book your place and take advantage of the funding from the ISBL Professional Development Fund, visit our Training Calendar.


Click here for more information about the programme