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Overview of apprenticeship

The work of procurement and supply professionals includes the process of procurement, or buying goods and services; however, these roles can be much broader than just procurement.  They can extend to a huge range of related commercial activity such as influencing policy, financial analysis, engaging in contract law, and developing strategy to deliver services.

The Level 4 in Procurement and Supply will enable an individual to use their breadth and depth of experience to position themselves as a fully effective commercially skilled professional with transferable skills and career options that span the public, private and charitable sectors.

Typical job roles will include: Procurement Operations Support, Buyer, Assistant Buyer, Framework Management Support, Commercial Support, Commercial Analyst, Sourcing Executive.

Delivery Plan and Assessment

In total, learners have to spend 20% of their time on programme completing Off-The-Job training, this includes their day release, and any shadow shifts. Apprentices will be supported by 1:1 meetings in the workplace by their dedicated Programme Tutor. Additional learning resources and information will be made available online to ensure a fully blended learning experience.

Attendance to complete the CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply is 25 days in total, plus 1 day induction. There will be 5 exams (3 hours each) together with 7 hours per fortnight of additional independent study.

On completion of their training, learners will go through an End Point Assessment (EPA).

Where will this course take me?

As well as ensuring full competence as a procurement and supply professional, the completion of CIPS Level 4 gains eligibility for equivalent membership of the institute.  CIPS Level 4 is a pre-requisite for MCIPS (Level 6) and the full professional license and offers the potential for Chartered status.

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

Your wage is decided by your employer however must meet the National Minimum Wage regulations

Entry requirements

Apprentices should either hold a level 3 in Procurement and Supply or have at least 2 years industry experience in order to complete this Level 4 Apprenticeship standard.

If you do not meet the criteria above, there are other options available to you that will enable you to progress onto this Apprenticeship.  They include:

  • Completion of three CIPS units that provide the learning needed to progress onto the Level 4 Apprenticeship and can be completed directly through CIPS, details below: L3M1, L3M2 and L3M3. This will cost £120 for the units and associated books, also available from 
  • Completion of the Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship standard that will allow you to gain the industry experience needed before progressing onto the Level 4 Apprenticeship.

Individual employers are likely to require 5 GCSEs, including Maths and English, although some employers will accept other relevant qualifications and experience, including a relevant Level 2 qualification. Apprentices without English or Maths at Level 2 must achieve this prior to taking the end point assessment. Applicants currently in post, will need to complete a Skills Scan to ensure they can meet the criteria of the Qualification within their role.


On completion of the apprenticeship, you will have achieved:

  • Full Commercial Procurement and Supply Level 4 Standard
  • Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
  • Skills for Success - This module is designed by West Suffolk College to ensure you have all the personal skills and behaviours to succeed in the workplace.
  • Any required Functional Skills in English or Maths.

How is this funded?


Apprentices are not required to contribute financially towards Apprenticeship training.


If you are an employer with an annual wage bill of £3 million or more, you will pay into an apprenticeship levy. This levy is then used to pay for the full cost of the apprenticeship course which is £9000.  This figure is divided by the duration of the Apprenticeship and you will make monthly payments from your account directly to us.

If you are an employer with an annual wage bill of under £3 million, the Government will fund 95% of the training fee meaning you will be required to contribute 5% (£450).

There are incentives available if you are a small employer (under 50) and if you train/recruit a 16-18 year old.

The initial Examination and Certification costs of the CIPS Diploma is included within the Apprenticeship Levy/Funding however, learners will have to register directly with CIPS which costs £187.  This is not completed by the College and cannot come out of Apprenticeship funding.

Contact us on 01284 716235 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details of costs and how Apprenticeships are funded.

Try out our apprenticeship levy calculator here

I'm interested. What should I do now?

You apply for an Apprenticeship in the same way you would apply for a job: find an apprenticeship vacancy, send in your CV or complete an application. We can help you with applications and give you interview advice. Please view the following page on our website to see our latest Apprenticeship vacancies.

Apprenticeship Vacancies:

Alternatively, you can look on the GOV.UK website to see what other Apprenticeships vacancies may be available:

Employers - Please contact us to speak with a member of the Apprenticeship Team for more information and to organise a face to face visit.

Days & times

Please contact us for dates and further information

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