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Supply management training will instill confidence in others

OPINION
By Chris Oanda | May 12th 2019 | 3 min read
By Chris Oanda | May 12th 2019
OPINION

The growing recognition of certified officers in supply chain management has been all too apparent in recent months as the need to embed professionalism begins to be more widely acknowledged and appreciated.

Through robust campaigns by the Kenya Institute of Supplies Management (KISM), the number of those seeking certification to practise has grown considerably. We will and we must remain in the vanguard of ensuring that prudent fiscal management and processes underpin procurement operations.

Regrettably, high-profile arrests in 2018 partly contributed to the mischaracterisation that procurement practitioners may be lacking in integrity. However, over time many of these perceptions have largely been dispelled, borne out by the fact that almost all procurement officers asked to step aside during the vetting exercise were found to have conducted themselves prudently. This tells the true story about the character of supply chain management professionals.

To step up the fight against corruption, we must more aggressively support lobbies that want to promote professionalism and firmly enforce the licensing of practitioners to embed best practices. In the last 12 months, the number of licensed practitioners trebled to 961. In the same period numerous organisations approached KISM to provide them with lists of licensed professionals who are available for engagements as individual consultants.

Not only does this illustrate the institute’s growing influence, it also underscores the desire by stakeholders to get the right advice in the hiring of procurement experts to take up sensitive positions.  

Requirement

This is the reason all practitioners must be certified. It is a requirement under the Supplies Practitioners Management Act 2017, operationalised by the 2015 regulations, for procurement practitioners to be certified to practise.

Therefore, we will be more active in advising state agencies, non-governmental, profit and not-for-profit organisations to ensure their procurement staff are certified and continuously trained as we believe this introduces greater efficiencies in procurement processes. More organisations are appreciating the merits of such training programmes and increasingly business schools of top universities are seeking KISM’s help to develop academic programmes that will produce well rounded procurement professionals.

Such support has been rendered to the Commission for University Education, for instance, in the review of curricula submitted for accreditation from local institutions and others.    

Besides the Certified Procurement and Supply Professional of Kenya award, training workshops have increased at a steady pace to the extent that more than 20 courses are mounted annually, raising the number of attendees in our workshops from 1,170 in 2017 to 1,614 in 2018.  All this is driven by the institute’s desire to see more professionals taking up roles in supply chain management.

Public officers have come under intense scrutiny as the fight against corruption gathers momentum, therefore, the need to adopt professionalism becomes more essential. 

This is the new reality procurement practitioners must come to terms with ? the onus is on us procurement practitioners to ensure that the integrity of the profession is safeguarded at a time negative profiling of public servants has dominated the national discourse. 

In essence, the need to continuously embed professionalism and ensure that the fight against corruption is driven by a national ethos to promote good governance must be repeatedly emphasised.

- The writer is the chairman of Kenya Institute of Supplies Management.

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