Level 3 – Purchasing

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The Level 3 Purchasing qualification caters for students with a minimum of 2 years experience in a supply chain related field, who wish to develop key knowledge in business and leadership at supervisory management level. Students can acquire skills in specific areas of supply chain including customer service, purchasing process and improving team performance, to support career development.

Course Delivery

By enrolling with IoSCM, you’ll gain access to a customised learning platform in which you can take mock tests, utilise a huge library of resources and interact with other students across the globe. As well as unlimited first-class materials, there is self-assessments available online show the results immediately to give you direction on what you’re doing well and what you might need to take another look at.

You can take and retake the practise self-tests as many times as you like. By doing this, we’re increasing your confidence in your ability to succeed and therefore, also ensuring you pass the first time.

Because IoSCM qualifications can be studied entirely online, you can study in your own time and in the comfort of your own home. You can revisit materials and resources as often as required, simply log in to your personal learning platform.

We do, however, offer free monthly face to face or online workshops for you to attend if necessary. We understand that every individual is different, so we encourage you to learn at your own pace and in a way that suits you.

Course Requirements

  • For the Award complete 1 core unit
  • For the Certificate complete 1 core and any 2 other units
  • For the Diploma complete 1 core unit and any other 3 units

Core Units

  • Organisations involved in the purchasing role: Manufacture, Distribution, Transport, Warehousing, Inventory Control, Materials Handling, Procurement
  • Relationships: Internal, External, Remote, Cooperative, Partnership
  • Markets: Demand, Competition, Monopoly, Natural Monopoly, Oligopoly, Monopsony, Trade Protectionism, Porter’s Five Forces
  • External factors: PESTLE Analysis, Local, National, Global, Public Sector, Private Sector, Third Sector, Financial, Reputation, Environmental, Health, Safety, Welfare, Lost opportunities
  • Purchasing: Five Rights, Ethics, End to end cycle, Supplier Relationships: Adversarial, Arm’s Length, Transactional, Closer Tactical, Single Sourced, Outsourcing, Strategic Alliance, Partnership, Co-destiny
  • Sourcing suppliers: Planning, Sourcing, Tendering, Contract Award, Contract Management, Receipts & Invoicing, Request for Quote (RFQ)
  • Suppliers Requirements: Capacity, Facilities, Finance
  • Performance: Supplier Scorecards, Weighted Average Supplier Scorecards, Supplier Performance Information, Correcting Poor Performance
  • Law: Common law, Equity, Statute law, European Union laws, Contracts, Sale of Goods Act 1979, International Laws and Global Purchasing, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977, Export Administration Act 1979, Customs Laws, Foreign Laws, International Laws, INCOTERMS, Breach of Contract
  • Strategic development: Terminology; Levels of strategy; Strategic planning techniques; Planning models; Assessment of current business position; Value chain analysis; Product life cycle; Strategy evaluation and selection; Business process modelling
  • Business relationships: Porters Five Forces; Co-ordination, co-operation and collaboration; Stakeholder expectations; Support processes for clients; Collaborative business relationships; Competitive business relationships
  • Human resource management: The role of HR professionals; The role of line managers; Working patterns; Part time, flexitime, annual hours; Legislation; Resolving employee problems
  • Management of finance: Cash flow forecast; Trading and profit and loss account; Balance sheet; Financial ratios; Budgets; Management accounting
  • Government legislation: Contract law; Breach of contract; Free trade vs protectionism; Common market; Political union; Sale of Goods Act 1979; Traders protection and buyers redress; Consumer Credit Act
  • Marketing strategies: The marketing mix; Marketing decision making; Customer’s wants and needs; Developing new products; Globalisation

Optional Units

  • The Role of Purchasing: Introduction to Purchasing; What is the Value Chain; The role of Purchasing in the Value Chain; Supply Chain Management; The role of Purchasing and Procurement in Supply Chain Management; The purchasing Process; Elements of the Purchasing function
  • Purchasing and Business Strategy: What is Business Strategy; Strategic Purchasing; The role of Purchasing in relation to Business Strategy; Competitive Advantage; How the purchasing function contributes to competitive advantage; Sourcing Plan; Supplier Performance Monitoring / Supplier Appraisal
  • Purchasing Contexts: Types of Organisational structures and sectors involved in purchasing; Different Market conditions; Perfect and Imperfect competition; Monopolies and Oligopolies
  • The role of Purchasing and Procurement: What is Purchasing; What is Procurement; What is a Supply Chain; The roles of Purchasing and Procurement in a Supply Chain; Private Sector Purchasing and Procurement; Public Sector Purchasing and Procurement
  • The sourcing and Procurement cycle: Sourcing process; Specification development; Market Assessment; Negotiations; Contract Discussions; Sourcing Plan; Market Competitiveness
  • Contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLA): Types of Contracts; Definitions and terms of contracts; Terms of Conditions; Development of Contracts; Service level agreements
  • nternal and External Relationships: Clients and Suppliers; Effective communication between clients and suppliers; Internal and External relationships; Cross-functional teams; Advantages and Disadvantages of cross-functional teams
  • Effective Supplier Relationships: The Purchasing role in obtaining a competitive supplier relationship; Monitoring Supplier Performance; Obtaining Supplier Information; Benefits of maintaining effective supplier relationships; Improving supplier relationships
  • The role of Costing systems in organisations: Internal reporting; Costing system relationships within an organisation; Responsibility Centres; Cost Centres; Profit Centres; Investment Centres; Cost Classifications; Marginal and Absorption Costing
  • Recording and Analysing Cost Information: Recording of Cost information for material, labour and expenses; Calculate cost information for material, labour and expenses; What is Inventory; The value of inventory; Cost Behaviour; Standard Tables
  • Apportion Costs: Overhead Costs in relation to Production and service cost centres; Overhead absorption rates; Over and Under absorption
  • Budget Reports: Budgets and Actual costs; Flexing Budgets
  • Using Costing Information: Estimates of future income using budgeting; Short and Long term budgeting decision making
  • Warehouse Departments: Receipts, Replenishment or put away, Stores, Picking, Packing, Housekeeping, Despatch
  • Bridge Between Supply and Demand: Staging Areas, Cross-docking, Keeping Goods Safe and Secure, Gathering, Temporary Storage
  • Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): (ERP) systems, Radio Frequency Identification, Human Memory Systems
  • Types of Warehouses: Ambient warehouses, Climate-controlled warehouse, Automated warehouse, Private warehouse, Public warehouse, Distribution centre, Bonded warehouse
  • Warehouse Location Factors: Proximity to customers and suppliers, Building, Floors, Structure, Doors, Receipt and Dispatch Docks, Offices, Lighting, Heating, Extensions, Materials Handling, Mezzanine Floors
  • Health and Safety: Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, Reporting of Injuries, Manual Handling, Fire Risk, Loading and Unloading Vehicles, Pedestrian Safety, Site Visitors, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Shift Work, Lighting, Workplace Temperature
  • Industrial Equipment: Industrial trucks, Charging Batteries, Platforms on lift trucks, Conveyors, Mechanical Handling of Waste Materials, Racking, Using Flat Pallets, Loading Pallets
  • Housekeeping: Safety, Loss Control Rules, Orderliness Principle Maintaining warehouse equipment: Equipment Maintenance, Examination of Industrial Trucks, Scheduled Maintenance, Drivers Maintenance Logs
  • Receiving Goods: Goods Receipt Process, Vehicle Arrival, Assigning the Carrier to a Bay, Loading Bays, Relative quantities of goods
  • Contingency plan: Stock and Risk Management, Buffer Stock
  • Role of Transport: Categories of Goods, Perishable Goods, Dangerous/Hazardous Goods, Bulk Liquids/Powders, Livestock
  • Transport: Transport modes, Infrastructure, Vehicles, Operations, Modal Transport, Intermodal Transport, Multimodal Transport
  • Principles of Transport Planning: Linear, Hub, Spoke, Customs, Payment of Charges, Packing and Warehousing, Insurance, Security
  • Legislation & Regulations: UK Central Government Structure, UK Civil Aviation Authority, Overseas Legislation, International Commercial Terms
  • Health & Safety measures: Road Transport, HGV Driver Hours, Air Transport, Transport of Dangerous Goods, UK Health & Safety Legislation
  • Transport Equipment: Conveyors, Cranes, Industrial Trucks, Importance of Standardised Transport Equipment, Multimodal/TEU/ISO Container
  • Transport planning: Optimum use of Fleet, Driver Productivity, Route Planning Optimisation, Benefits of Transport Planning
  • External Influences: SLEPT Analysis
  • Demand Types: Direct, Indirect, Consumer Demand, Seasonal Demand, Fashion Demand, Supplier Demand, Product Demand
  • Planning with regard to modal choice: Timing, Damage avoidance, Security, Distance, Degree of control
  • The Supply Chain: Upstream and Downstream, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Transportation, Demand planning, Supply planning, Suppliers, Retailers, External Supply Chains, Internal Supply Chains
  • Relationships: Vertical Relationships, Horizontal Relationships, Transactional Relationships, Collaborative Relationships, Strategic Relationships, Customer Satisfaction
  • Supply Chain Components: Customer, Planning, Purchasing, The Supplier, Inventory, The Manufacturer / Production
  • Logistics: Forward and Reverse
  • Integrated systems: Direct Product Profitability (DDP), Materials Requirements Planning (MRP), Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP), Just in Time (JIT), Material Requirements Planning, The Master Production Schedule, The Bill of Materials, The Inventory File
  • Risks to a supply chain: External Drivers, PESTEL, Demand Risk, Supply Risk, Business Risks, Physical Plant Risks, Mitigation and Contingency, Cultural Risks, Environmental Risk, Assigning values
  • Supply Chain Performance Measurement: Productivity, Utilisation, Balanced Scorecard (BSC)
  • Lean: Value and Waste as a Concept, The Creation of Value, The Supply Chain Value Stream, The Lean Supply Chain, Hoshin Planning, Takt Time, Kaizen, Jidoka, Just in Time (JIT), Heijunka Box, Poka Yoke, Muda, 5S, Total Productive Management (TPM)
  • Benchmarking: Functional Benchmarking, Best-in-class Benchmarking, Operational Benchmarking, Process Benchmarking, Financial Benchmarking, Performance Benchmarking
  • Supply Chain Integration: Internal integration, Systems Integration, Relationship Integration, Upstream and Downstream Linkages
  • Types of Ports: A fishing port, An inland port, A dry port, Cruise home ports, Cargo ports
  • Port functions: Transport (circulation) function of ports, Commercial function of ports, Industrial function of ports, Distributional function of ports
  • Seaport connection and transhipment: Maritime access, Maritime interface, Infrastructures and equipment, Land access, Port service (full-service), Tool port (service), Landlord
  • Maritime network considerations: Frequency of service, Fleet and vessel size, Number of port calls, Shipping Conferences, Shipping Alliances, Containerisation
  • Port considerations: Location, Depth, Land availability, Labour costs, Hinterland access, Ownership
  • External factors: Demand Forecasts, Location, Competition, Coastal Shipping, Resilience
  • Infrastructural requirements: Warehousing, Value Added Logistics (VAL), Logistics Centres, Berths, Container Terminals
  • Challenges: Conservancy, Dredging, Navigation aids, Congestion, Customs, Immigration, Port Safety, Marine Safety
  • Organising production: Batch Production, Flexible Manufacturing, Continuous Manufacturing, Intermittent Manufacturing, Custom Manufacturing, Production in relation to the Cost
  • Level of Demand: Demand Management, Data capture, Dealing with day-to-day customer orders, Managing the demand, Order point System, Periodic Review Systems
  • Competitors: Competitive Advantage
  • Sales forecasting: Time Series Analysis, Exponential Smoothing, Linear Trend Line, Executive Judgement, Composite of Sales force Opinion, Expert Opinion, Fixed Order Quantity Systems
  • Production planning: Materials Requirement Planning, Just In Time (JIT), Preventive maintenance, Flexible work force
  • Planning using Buffer Stocks: Inventory as ‘waste’, Advanced Planning and Scheduling APS, Rough Cut Capacity Planning RCCP, Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP), Shop Floor Scheduling, Kanban
  • Productivity: Measures of Output, Financial Value, Labour, Cost of labour, Capital, Intermediate Input, Productivity Indicators, Labour Productivity, Capital Productivity, Automated production techniques
  • Quantity of Inputs: Manufacturing Resource Planning, Monitor Waste and Rejects: Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Total Quality Management (TQM), Quality Benchmarking, BS5750/ISO 9000, Customer Satisfaction
  • Materials Development: Product Lifecycle Management
  • Analysis tools: PESTLE Analysis, SWOT Analysis
  • Lean: Total Productive Maintenance, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Make to order, Streamlined flow, Smaller lot sizes, Doing it right first time, Cellular or group manufacturing
  • Logistical requirements of a supply chain: What is logistics?, Who is the customer?, The supply chain, The large player, Integration, Networks, Deregulation and privatisation
  • Customer needs: E-logistics, Electronic data interchange (EDI), Scheduling methods & issues, Planning framework, PESTLE analysis, Planning
  • Optimise use of logistics: Inventory management systems, Factors in the use of resources, Measuring and managing logistics performance, The balanced scorecard, The Supply Chain Operations Reference Model, Key performance indicators
  • Modes of transport: Rail, Road, Air, Sea
  • Technology, Information & communication technology, Evolution of technology, Improvements in technology
  • Quality: Outsourcing, Reverse logistics, Green logistics, Total quality management, Quality inspections, Continuous improvement strategy
  • inventory: Raw Materials, Work-in-Progress, Maintenance, Repair and Operational, Anticipation inventory, Investment inventory, Manufacturing Organisations, Service Industries, Military
  • Purpose of Inventory: Variation in Production Demand, Unexpected Customer Demand, Seasonal Demand, Price Discounts, Avoiding Price Increase
  • Inventory Control Process: Goods Receipt, Put-away, Audit Trails, Inventory Accuracy, Training, Monitoring for Compliance, Accuracy Tracking, Lead Time, Inventory Identification and Tracking, Inventory Location and Storage, Inventory Numbering, Safety Inventory
  • Alternatives to holding Inventory: Just-in-Time, Material Requirements Planning, Master Production Schedule (MPS), Bill of Materials, Inventory status, Distribution Requirements Planning, Vendor Managed Inventory
  • Stock: Finished Goods, Stock-outs
  • Customer Service: Competing on Flexibility, Competing on Responsiveness, Fast Delivery, Reliable Delivery, After Sales Service, Supplier Appraisal, Service Level Agreements
  • Describe the alternatives to holding Stock: Direct Ordering, Drop Shipping
  • Financial: Balance Sheet, Assets, Profit and Loss Account, Inventory Trade-offs, Holding Costs
  • Inventory systems: Stock Cover, Backward Scheduling, Forward Scheduling, Pareto Based Ordering, Variable Order Quantity or Periodic Review System, Rolling Schedule, Economic Order Quantity, Fixed Order Quantity, Safety Stock , Average Deviation, Vendor Managed Inventory, Kanban, Reserve Stock (or Brown Bag) System, Perpetual Inventory Systems , Inputs, Outputs, Adjustments, Push and Pull Systems
  • Route Plan: Linear, Hub, Spoke system
  • Environmental: Air pollution, Water pollution, Waste and Recycling
  • External influences: Swot analysis, Pestle analysis, National and International Perspectives
  • Legislative: Customs, Licenses and Permits, Transport documentation, Invoices, Carnet, Certificates of origin, Bill of Lading, Certificate of Insurance, Dock Receipt, Airway Bill, Dangerous goods
  • Freight performance: Key Performance Indicators, SMART, TQM
  • The need and application of business improvement: Introduction to Business Improvement, The need for improvement, Business Improvement Techniques, How to apply Business Improvement Techniques, Lean, How to apply Lean in a Business
  • Improvement Activities: Improvement Activities, Terms of Reference, Roles and Responsibilities, Skill and Knowledge Gaps
  • Improvement Activities Resources: Resource Requirements, Timescales, Impact on organisational performance, Performance measures in Improvement activities
  • Communication: Communicating the Improvement activity, Promoting business improvement activity results within the business, Promoting business improvement activity results to stakeholders

Job title & Salaries

Purchasing Co-ordinator£18,000 – £24,000
Purchasing Assistant£15,000 – £19,000

*Salaries are based on national averages and may vary depending on location

Business Improvements

  • Understanding the need for training and development will ensure that the organisation will have sufficiently trained staff to meet the needs of the business

“I chose level 3 Diploma to increase my knowledge in this field and to progress my career. I felt the course best suited my needs; the flexibility allowed me to tailor the course to exactly the areas I’m interested in and I can fit it around my full-time job.

I find the course material very relevant and applicable to the real business world which is important. The assignments guide you into summarising the research in your own words. Feedback on assignments is quick and the course overview helps you keep track of your progress.

Based on my experience I would definitely recommend the course to others; my knowledge and skills are expanding as my course progresses. I am already able to apply a lot of what I’ve learnt to my role as Stock Controller at Choice Shops. The optional units have allowed me to select the areas with Supply Chain Management in which I see my career developing.”

Penny Sayce, Stock Controller

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