How to move from CIPS Level 4 Diploma to Level 5 Advanced Diploma

How to move from CIPS Level 4 Diploma to Level 5 Advanced Diploma

We are so proud to see that more and more students now successfully get their Level 4 Diploma. A natural next step is to continue with CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply. The good news is according to CIPS result statistics, OR pass rate at Level 5 is significantly higher than of Level 4. However, this result can be interpreted that only more confident students are taking the exam. On the other hand, CR pass rate at L5M1 and L5M4 is lower than of L4M1 and L4M8. This shows that Level 5 is still challenging, even when students are more familiar with CIPS knowledge and exams. In this article, we’ll give you some tips to go on Level 5 Advanced Diploma with ease.

An easy start

First, we should know that Level 4 Diploma and Level 5 Advanced Diploma have distinctive structure. The former one is developed around CIPS Procurement and Supply Cycle, with the opening and closing modules as two summarising efforts. The other modules in the middle (from L4M2 to L4M7) explain what to do at each stage of the Cycle. For example, L4M2 tells you about defining needs, analysing the market and devising specification (equivalent to Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 4), L4M3 tells you how to draft contract and other documents, equivalent to Stage 5. L4M4 shows when to run RFQ or ITT, different types of tendering and how to select supplier, which are equivalent to Stage 3, 6, 7 and 8. And so on.

Level 5 does not have such coherent structure. It is a set of independent modules, each of them instructs students a different skill. L5M1 is about managing people (human resources management), L5M2 dives into supply risks management, L5M3 escalates what we know from L4M3 to a whole new level, L5M4 goes back to contract management, etc. None of them relates closely with each other. There are no summarising modules such as L4M8.

Despite of that, fortunately, modules in Level 5 have closer relationship with the ones in Level 4. If you still remember what you learn from Level 4, starting with L5M2, L5M3, L5M5, L5M6 will be pretty easy. Passing a few first modules will increase your confidence for the harder ones.

Learning new skills: Moving slowly

But not all Level 5 modules have an equivalent at Level 4. We still face new knowledge and challenges at L5M1, L5M7, L5M8, L5M9, L5M10 and L5M15. I often hear students complaining that L5M1 is quite difficult to read and incomprehensible.

I hope that you have better study skills after Level 4. With the harder modules in Level 5, you may try the following tips:

  • Read the book slowly, and try to read as extensively as possible. For example, L5M1 is about HRM, then you may read blog posts and LinkedIn articles about HRM. You may also read free books from open access library such as that of University of Minnesota.
  • If you are not a good reader, then subscribe to Procurement Buddy on Youtube and listen.
  • Divide the module into problems, and try to understand each problem presented.

And finally, you are a great warrior, no challenge can stop you, they can only slow you down!

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