Procurement and Supply Assistant Apprenticeship


Colchester Institute have partnered with a CIPS accredited ‘Centre of Excellence’

This programme is aimed at those who are looking to build upon their existing skills in supply chain management and purchasing. Through the apprenticeship, you will develop the knowledge to understand demand management, arrange supply logistics and implement new contracts.

Course Info
How to Apply
Occupation Summary

This occupation is found in all organisations where goods and/or services need to be sourced and purchased in line with national or international procurement laws, or internal governance processes. This occupation is found in the following sectors;

  • public sector such as the NHS, the Emergencies Services, Local Authorities, Central Government and the Education Sector.
  •  private sector such as Finance, Construction, Energy, Utilities, Mining, Facilities, Automotive, Manufacturing, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Fashion, Food, Hotels, Hospitality, Entertainment and IT.
  • Third Sector including charities and other not for profit organisations.

The broad purpose of the occupation is the process of procurement or buying low value goods and services. Procurement and supply assistants are vital for the smooth functioning of the procurement and supply department in any organisation. They are often responsible for ensuring data is correctly administered and maintained in accordance with legislation of the organisation’s own procedures. They will use their knowledge of procurement regulations/policies to support the wider procurement team in tasks such as quotation and/or tender response evaluation, supplier database maintenance, purchase order review and conversion, and stakeholder liaison. The individual will also often have purchasing requests and low risk contracts for which they will develop requests, quotes, or obtain prices and delivery. They will provide support in procurement to enable supplier selection, management and supplier closure and undertake a role in the management of supply delivery and quality assurance.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with their procurement teams as well as colleagues from other internal departments such as operational functions, finance, legal, IT, sales and marketing. This role also includes interaction with external stakeholders such as suppliers. This role may involve off site and supplier visits, however it will be mainly office based.

Role Overview

Responsibilities of Procurement and Supply Assistant Apprentices

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

  •  Contributing to the sourcing of new suppliers using market research for on-going tenders on behalf of the wider team.
  • Challenging the organisational need for the purchase especially where Corporate Social Responsibility or value for money considerations suggest the procurement can be better channeled through existing assets or an existing contract.
  • Support and contribution to higher value activities such as construction projects and capital expenditure
  • Assisting with the monitoring of the commercial benefits and status of procurement projects, for example, spend and trend analysis, cost-benefit analysis saving profile – forecast and actual; and may utilise that information to support procurement decisions, assist with supplier reviews or in developing reports for other parties, such as the Category Manager or Head of Procurement.
  • Supporting a wide range of procurement processes including the conduct of tenders, with the use of e-tendering tools (e.g. managing supplier correspondence).
  • Working with management to develop procurement documents (e.g. ITT templates and T&C’s).
  • Basic understanding of regulations, internal policies and procedures, to educate the wider business areas (helpdesk support) and adopt commercial best practice.
  • Supporting development of consistent procurement processes and procedures.
  • Having strong customer focus, commercial acumen and a pro-active approach striving to meet the demands of customers in a timely manner.
  • Supporting supplier negotiation and help to ensure value for money deals are obtained.
  • Collating relevant management information to report to the wider procurement team and in preparation for internal/external audits.
  • Working with internal and external clients to facilitate a wide range of procurement processes.
  • Ability to set up, facilitate and administer e-tendering and e-evaluation systems, including management of supplier correspondence.
  • Ensuring all procurement systems and databases are managed, maintained and information cleansed for accurate reporting.
  • Adhering to corporate operating procedures – (if in public sector governing public procurement, including compliance with the Public Contracts Regulation).
  • Being responsive to customer enquiries and support contract and supplier management activity across a range of commercial areas.
  • Building excellent working relationships with peers, colleagues, customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders.
  • Providing prompt procurement system advice to buyers, across the business, to enable compliance and best practice.
  • Providing timely returns and accurate statistical data as required ensuring that Commercial data are recorded.
Occupation Duties

Procurement and Supply Assistant Apprentices will be expected to undertake the following occupational duties:



Duty 1 Advise key internal and external stakeholders on the procurement policies and procedures within the organisation.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K10 K11

S1 S5 S6 S7

B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 2 Supporting the raising of purchase orders for the placement of orders or ‘low value’/risk contracts.

K1 K3 K7 K10 K11 K13 K14

S1 S3 S5 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 3 Undertake market research and benchmarking through desk top activities and stakeholder engagement in order to assist and inform the wider procurement team in their sourcing process in line with the most appropriate policies on corporate and social responsibilities

K11 K12 K13 K14

S5 S6 S8 S10 S12

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 4 Conduct due diligence in supplier sourcing – undertake the pre-qualification of potential suppliers using appropriate tools, including financial stability, insurance levels, technical capacity, sustainability and recycling ensuring that health and safety policies are in place in line with the relevant organisational policies and responsible procurement considerations and record findings.

K1 K2 K3 K7 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14

S2 S4 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12

B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 5 Support the Procurement Team in a wide range of procurement activities, to enable best practice, including running e-tendering, e-evaluations and logging information and data appropriately including; maintaining, keeping and reporting up-to-date statistical and other data, all in line with the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (if appropriate) and local/corporate procurement policies.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K9 K11 K12 K13 K14

S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 6 Analyse quotation responses and assist the team in tender response, evaluating in order to achieve value for money. Assist senior procurement colleagues in implementing new contracts within the organisation.

K2 K3 K8 K9 K13 K14

S2 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 7 Investigate and resolve accounts payable and purchase order queries, ensuring that all necessary internal procedures e.g. goods receipting have been carried out.

K1 K7 K9 K10 K13 K14

S2 S3 S7 S13 S15

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 8 In line with procurement policies, ensure that procurement documents are filed, records maintained and actions are recorded to enable the team to comply with internal and external audit requirements.

K1 K9 K11 K13

S3 S7 S15

B1 B5 B6

Duty 9 Respond promptly to internal and external queries requests for advice for both Procurement and Supply Chain Management activities, building stakeholder relationships across all areas of the organisation in line with the law and local/corporate policies.

K1 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13

S2 S3 S7 S11 S15

B1 B2 B6 B7

Duty 10 Develop and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders and suppliers. Provide in your first line response to procurement-related queries.

K1 K2 K5 K10 K14

S2 S3 S4 S5 S7

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 11 Identify and monitor the demand for goods and services, including historic and future demand/trends and ensuring that deliveries of goods and services meet the organisation needs.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K9 K11 K13 K14

S1 S2 S4 S7 S8 S10 S13 S14 S15

B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 12 Contribute to the procurement decision making processes ensuring that they meet both value for money and environmental and supply chain requirements.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K11 K13 K14

S6 S11 S12 S16

B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 13 Contribute to the negotiations for a contract or mini competition between stakeholder and suppliers showing the 4 processes of negotiation (Preparation, opening, bargaining and closure).

K1 K2 K3 K8 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15

S6 S12 S14 S16 S17

B2 B3 B5 B6 B7

Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

Upon completion of the qualification, apprentices will be able to showcase the following skills, knowledge and behaviours:


K1: The role of Procurement within the organisation and the relevant organisational procurement regulations, policies and processes which must be followed,such as, procedures for obtaining quotes and tenders, purchase order processing and purchase to pay.

K2: Value for money concepts including the balancing of quality, price and sustainable considerations or most economically advantageous tender (meat), whole lifecycle costing, 5 rights of procurement and added value opportunities.

K3: Supplier approval process and the importance of due diligence checks including legal entity checks, financial appraisal, quality checks and relevant sector approvals, certification and policies.

K4: Demand and spend management, analysis and forecasting techniques including quantitative methods such as historical usage, spend and trend analysis, inventory records and re-order levels or qualitative techniques based on stakeholders estimates using internal databases and spreadsheets.

K5: The importance of developing and managing key stakeholder relationships such as the internal customer and supplier and the need for prompt and effective communication to support efficient and effective procurement.

K6: The need for accurate specifications of requirements which reflect the organisations needs and provides equality of opportunity for suppliers when providing quotes and tenders.

K7: Levels of authority and autonomy both for self and other internal stakeholders and how that relates to the relevant procurement procedure and when issues should be escalated to senior procurement colleagues.

K8: Development and evaluation of requests for quotes and tenders and use of appropriate terms, conditions and templates

K9: The importance of maintaining accurate records and files for procurement in line with organisational and regulatory requirements and for audit purposes.

K10: Effective and appropriate communication methods according to organisational requirements, service level agreements and the degree of risk involved and appropriate to the task required e.g. expediting supplies, resolving invoice queries and supplier review meetings.

K11: Responsible procurement practices, in making procurement decisions, consideration of the impact of those decisions during the full procurement process on the environment (the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which they operate in) and social (people or groups they work with) elements across the supply chain.

K12: Research methods for Procurement including market, supplier and sector research which may include subscription databases, market reports, internet research, trade bodies, press and events, use of market ‘experts’, supplier engagement events etc.

K13: The legal and regulatory environment effecting procurement, including the supply of goods and services act and/or public contract regulations.

K14: Awareness of the organisation’s contractual obligations towards suppliers e.g. payment terms

K15: Understand the 4 processes of negotiation (preparation, opening, bargaining and closure).


S1: Monitor and order products, stock, equipment and services at appropriate times using the appropriate procurement method.

S2: Communicate to procurement’s internal stakeholders, suppliers and other stakeholders in order to develop effective relationships and networks

S3: Create, maintain and amend purchase order and contract records.

S4: Interpret, evaluate and compare procurement information such as historical spend and usage using databases and spreadsheets.

S5: Present findings and data in all formats e.g. mathematically, written and oral.

S6: Determine value for money (VFM) and added value through the use of Total Cost of Ownership during the evaluation process, and apply the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) criteria to the evaluation of quotes and tenders to support the recommendation at award.

S7: Utilise relevant Procurement computer systems or internal databases.

S8: Select the supplier of the most appropriate products and services for purchases within their remit and place purchase order.

S9: Undertake appraisal of adhoc and low spend suppliers including setting them up on the purchasing system.

S10: Effectively research and analyse demand, spend, trends, potential suppliers and industries utilising qualitative and quantitative methods.

S11: Develop specifications of requirements and requests for quotes/tenders in line with organisational requirements.

S12: Apply considerations of responsible procurement in evaluating potential suppliers, quotes and tenders.

S13: Investigate and resolve purchase order, delivery and invoice queries.

S14: Own low risk value projects such as supply contracts for stationery, personal protective equipment (PPE) or other consumables, and contribute to higher risk activities such as contracts for building services or machinery, and track, log, expedite and review outstanding orders and stock availability where applicable.

S15: Maintain knowledge on all open orders and their status’ and provide assistance to all purchasing staff e.g. expediting and feeding information back to the relevant stakeholders.

S16: Able to consider the impact of the decision making process when interacting with the supply chain.

S17: Able to support the contract negotiations and mini competitions with suppliers.


B1: Be open to change, amend working practices in response to changes in process with a positive attitude.

B2: Establish strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders

B3: Be open, honest, respectful and reliable..

B4: Be enthusiastic and passionate when adhering to company values and engaging in your personal development

B5: Be attentive to the detail in any procurement and negotiation activity.

B6: Be professional, impartial and unbiased in your communication, advice and recommendations to procurement stakeholders or colleagues.

B7: Be self-motivated to develop and learn.

Information for Applicants

What qualifications will I achieve?

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

Level: 3

Ofqual regulated

Professional recognition

Upon commencement, apprentices become student members of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply(CIPS) as the first step of professional membership.

After completing Level 3 you are eligible to enrol on the Level 4 and then progress to the Level 5 and 6, Advance and Professional Diploma to gain the full MCIPS professional licence.

What are the entry requirements?

Desirable: grade C (or equivalent) in English and Maths.

Eligibility: Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages, who are either new to a role or looking to enhance their knowledge and skills within an existing role.

As part of this apprenticeship it is recommended that learners do the CIPS ethical test on-line. This is free to CIPS members and is recognised as an essential aspect of the procurement function in today’s competitive and complex supplier world.

How often do I have to attend college?

College attendance where required and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

What can I do next?

After completing the Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) students are eligible to enrol onto the Level 4 apprenticeship.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

  • Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in a loyal, motivated work force
  • Increase productivity by developing staff skills and expertise
  • Value for money: a cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation
  • Cost saving: we can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs.

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

The Procurement and Supply Assistant apprenticeship is aimed at existing or new members of staff in the procurement and supply chain sector. This qualification is great for anyone starting out in the sector.

Typical job titles include:

Procurement contracts officer
Procurement coordinator
Purchasing assistant

Procurement apprenticeships are delivered in partnership with ABA Procurement and incorporate:

  • CIPS internationally recognised qualifications
  • A blended delivery model on-line and on-campus with venues in either Norwich or Colchester
  • A Professional Development Coach who visits your workplace to guide and assist in your development and progress
  • Building an electronic portfolio of work-related evidence
  • 20% of time at work to be spent working towards the apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their apprenticeship

What will this cost my business?

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year.
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee.

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Speak to an Advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance where required will be communicated post-enrolment and sign-up.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work- based tasks and build a portfolio.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business – and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical trainers.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.

This section sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Procurement & Supply Assistant apprenticeship standard. It is for end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) who need to know how EPA for this apprenticeship must operate. It will also be of interest to Procurement & Supply Assistant apprentices, their employers and training providers.

Full time apprentices will typically spend 18 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. All apprentices must spend a minimum of 12 months on-programme.

The EPA period should only start, and the EPA be arranged, once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is deemed to be consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, all of the pre-requisite gateway requirements for EPA have been met and can be evidenced to an EPAO.

As a gateway requirement and prior to taking the EPA, apprentices must achieve all approved qualifications mandated in the Procurement & Supply Assistant standard.

These are:
• Advanced Certificate in Procurement & Supply Operations

For level 3 apprenticeships and above apprentices without English and mathematics at level 2 must achieve level 2 prior to taking their EPA.

The EPA must be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 6 month(s), after the EPA gateway.

The EPA consists of 2 discrete assessment methods.

The individual assessment methods will have the following grades:

Assessment method 1: Work-based project followed by a presentation with questions and answers

· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Assessment method 2: Interview underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Performance in the EPA will determine the overall apprenticeship standard grade of:

· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

To apply for an apprenticeship please read through the information below and then select the correct application button from the menu located further down the page.

Aged between 15 and 18

The application window for joint applications for full-time courses and apprenticeships starting in September 2023 opened on Monday 3rd October at 12pm.

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and have an offer of employment in place by September, ready for enrolment.

The information below applies to those:

  • currently in year 11 and looking to study on an apprenticeship upon finishing school
  • currently in year 11 and looking to make a joint full-time and apprenticeship application, so that both options are available to be pursued upon finishing school (although you can apply for both options you will eventually need to choose between a full-time programme or apprenticeship, you cannot do both at the same time)
  • currently in year 12* on a full-time course and looking to find an apprenticeship to start after the end of the summer term

If you are interested in an Apprenticeship but do not yet have a contract of employment from an employer, we strongly advise you to apply for a full-time programme as well so you have a back-up. We will process both your full-time application and apprenticeship application until you inform us that you have secured an employer and have an Apprenticeship contract in place, at which point your apprenticeship application will take priority.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place, we still strongly advise that you apply for a full-time programme as well so you that you have a back-up in case this falls through.

Once you have read the above please click the button ’15 – 18 Years – Apply Online’ in the menu underneath this section and you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

*If you are currently in year 12 and 13, but looking to find an apprenticeship and switch mid-year then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will advise you on suitable vacancies.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

Aged 19+

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and with an offer of employment in place.

Please read through the information below and follow the information that applies to your current status.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place then please click the button ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ located in the menu underneath this section, where you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

I am already in employment and my employer would like to put me through an apprenticeship

If you are already in employment then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will work with you and your employer to complete the sign-up and enrolment onto the programme.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

I don’t have an employer

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there are other options available to you:

Apply for a vacancy

Employers can recruit for apprentice positions all year round. We have apprenticeship vacancies listed on our website throughout the year in a variety of industries and with employers small, medium and large.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected for interview, and send you guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

Employer Enquiries

If you would be interested to find out more about how this apprenticeship can work for your business or already have a member of staff who this apprenticeship would be perfect for please contact us using the ‘Hire an Apprentice: Enquire Here’ button in the menu below.

Procurement and Supply Assistant Level 3 Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Aimed at existing or new members of staff in the procurement and supply chain sector.

Starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year. However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

LevelLevel 3
DurationTypically 12 - 15 months.
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
AttendanceA blended delivery model online and on-campus with venues in either Norwich or Colchester.
Additional Cost Information

CIPS Membership: £ 187 year
(Membership fees are to be paid direct to CIPS by the
Employer/Learner, fees are subject to change)

Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£6,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£300

What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee. Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.