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© 2019 Ian Tait

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View our CIPS brochure below or use the pdf download button
CIPS Online Brochure COVER v7.png

Hello. My name is Ian Tait. 

Since 1990 I have been teaching CIPS subjects to students, most recently at my own classroom-based school in central London, UK.

After 12 years of managing and teaching in my own school (which was a CIPS Centre of Excellence), I decided to launch an online school so that CIPS students anywhere in the world could benefit from my teaching.

Many CIPS students do not have access to good quality classroom tuition, because of geographical location, their budget or their personal circumstances or preferences.

This school is designed to enable you to successfully complete the Diploma examinations of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply – a fully recognised and accredited UK qualification, which is approved, reviewed and audited by the UK government through OFQUAL*.

Using our online Diploma course, you can study at home, in your workplace or anywhere using a laptop, tablet or even your smartphone. But please bear this in mind: you can only succeed in passing the CIPS Diploma assessments if you do the work required – I can’t do your work for you. Learning is a process - you must play your part.


* Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (UK)

I studied nine CIPS subjects at your school, achieving Merits and Distinctions each time. I studied one subject alone and failed. I can think of no better testament to your school and your teaching skills, Ian.


The subjects


There are 8 subjects within the CIPS Diploma.

The subjects are shown in our timetable, and you can see the full content of each subject on the CIPS website at CIPS Diploma Syllabus

You must pass an examination in each of these subjects to gain your Diploma, but you do not necessarily have to pass them in any particular order, and you can re-sit easily if you fail a subject. By following our timetable, you can complete the CIPS Diploma in 10 months.

CIPS recommends that you begin your studies with L4M1 ‘Scope and Influence of Procurement and Supply’, but if you are diligent, our school takes the view that you can successfully complete the Diploma starting with any subject.

You can take your CIPS Diploma examinations at any one of over 100 CIPS assessment centres worldwide.

Click CIPS Exam Centres for your nearest examination centre.



Brief Career History of Ian Tait


1973 : Completed secondary school in Glasgow, Scotland

1977 : Completed BA Hons at University of Lancaster, UK

1977 to 1986 : UK civil service / private sector international trade

1982 : Joined CIPS as student member

1984 : Completed Diploma in Procurement and Supply with Distinction

1987 : Accredited full member of CIPS (MCIPS by examination)

1987 : Completed Masters’ degree at Cranfield School of Management, UK

1987 to 1990 : General management in private sector

1990  to 2019 : Teaching, training and consultancy in commercial negotiation and procurement worldwide, with last 12 years as owner of a CIPS Centre of Excellence in the UK



Oxford University Jan 2019

Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply 1988

CIPS Centre of Excellence

UK Institute of Directors 1998




France, Germany, Jordan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Russia, UK



China (PR), Czech Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Zimbabwe  


• Established in 1932

• 1992 awarded a Royal Charter by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 in recognition of being a centre of excellence and support for the procurement profession

• Over 76,000 members worldwide including leading business people, managers and academics

• CIPS Diplomas internationally recognised




September to November     
L4M1    Scope and Influence of
Procurement & Supply - 12 credits


November to January    
L4M2    Defining Business Need  -  6 credits
L4M3    Commercial Contracting  -  6 credits


January to March    
L4M4     Ethical and Responsible Sourcing  -  6 credits    

L4M5    Commercial Negotiation  -  6 credits


March to May  
L4M6    Supplier Relationships  -  6 credits
L4M7    Whole Life Asset Management  -  6 credits


May to July    
L4M8    Procurement and Supply in Practice  -  12 credits


March to May    
L4M1    Scope and Influence of
Procurement & Supply - 12 credits


May to July     
L4M2    Defining Business Need  -  6 credits
L4M3    Commercial Contracting  -  6 credits


July to September    
L4M4     Ethical and Responsible Sourcing  -  6 credits

L4M5    Commercial Negotiation  -  6 credits


September to November 
L4M6    Supplier Relationships  -  6 credits    
L4M7    Whole Life Asset Management  -  6 credits


November to January   
L4M8    Procurement and Supply in Practice  -  12 credits

CIPS examinations are held in January, March, May, July, September and November each year.

I started my CIPS Diploma Level 4 qualification with Ian Tait in March 2018, he personally taught 3 of those units for the group of students I learnt with and I thoroughly enjoyed every class. His teaching style and methods are comprehensive yet concise, and I went into every exam for the modules he had taught feeling confident that I had learned and prepared as best I could. I passed my Level 4 with a high Merit and I’m very grateful to Ian for all of the support and feedback he provided for all of the students, me included, during the first part of the CIPS journey. Ian is a great educator, very supportive but also expects the same about of time and investment from his students and that collaborative approach has helped students achieve great passes for years, myself included. Thanks for everything Ian!


Materials your school provided were/are of far better quality, but real difference is in delivery, knowledge and genuine experience from lecturers. My fellow students agreed with this assertion on quality of lecturers we had. The other providers, in my opinion, had materials that were standard PowerPoint slides full of cut & paste from textbook. Lectures were delivered by nice people who just used jargon and textbook repeats – no insight, no linking of theory and practice or pointers on exam requirements. In short, very average course oriented towards quantity rather than quality. The difference is quality and it shows. I’ve also shared my experience of other providers with fellow Diploma students which should expunge any notion they might harbour of changing school for the next level but I made a solid case of quality over convenience.




In the workplace:

Investment in the CIPS Diploma provides procurement professionals with tools, skills, technique and understanding of almost everything to do with procurement.

For the employer:

Investment in the CIPS Diploma not only helps create cost reduction which is so often sought after, but also opportunities for enhanced quality, service, relationships, strengthened contracts and legal protection, on-time delivery, improved project completion rates; adding value to a more confident competent capable workforce.

For the individual:

Procurement professional CIPS qualifications offer the tools and techniques referred to above but also greater confidence and competence stemming from a better understanding of what procurement and supply chain management is really about. This growing confidence is visible, almost tangible, in our students. In dozens of cases we have seen our students rise inside their employing organisation, as well as sometimes having impressive career development across organisations.

Ian Teaches on World Bank Project, Moscow 1996

Ian at INTAN Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1994

Credit: UNRWA RL/Tyre/8


Q:   Are CIPS Diplomas internationally recognised?

A:    Yes, the CIPS Diploma is globally recognised. CIPS is the world’s leading representative body for procurement professionals.


Q:   Do I need to be a member of CIPS to study?

A:    Yes, you do. You will need to be a CIPS member to take the examinations.


Q:   Is the CIPS Diploma just for certain sectors?
A:    No, it is appropriate for all sectors of the economy, in all countries.


Q:   Do your tuition fees include CIPS membership, textbooks or exams?
A:    No. You should budget separately for these costs, which may vary depending on your location.


Q:   Why should I enrol at your school, rather than at another study centre?
A:    We offer good quality learning materials, designed by an experienced long-standing CIPS tutor, for a very affordable price. Our business is entirely focussed on getting you through your CIPS exams.


Q:   When can I enrol and start the course?
A:    You can enrol anytime, and you may take the next available subject when it starts – see timetable.


Q:   Is there an upfront joining fee for your school?
A:    No. CIPS charges an upfront joining fee for membership, but we do not. 


Q:   Can I pay for one subject at a time?
A:    Yes, you can, but it is much cheaper to pay for all of the Diploma subjects together. Check out our prices, especially in comparison to other schools, and other study methods.


Q:   Which books do I need for these courses?
A:    You will need the appropriate course book for each subject, which will have the same name as your subject. We will advise which edition you should use prior to the start of each subject.


Q:   My employer is paying. What do I have to do to enrol and make payment?
A:    Complete the enrolment form, and make payment by card.


Q:   I’m paying for myself - is there any support funding available?
A:    You should approach CIPS – the CIPS Foundation has grants available to help students in need. Click CIPS Foundation


Q:   What is your school’s pass rate?
A:    For our online school we have no figures yet – the school is too new. However, for our classroom-based teaching, we routinely achieved over 90% pass rate.


Q:   Do many students drop out of your school?
A:    When we delivered classroom-based teaching, fewer than 5% of students dropped out of a level.


Q:   What happens if I am struggling with a subject?
A:    Contact your tutor.


Q:   Why should I study all units of the Diploma?
A:    Not only will you enhance your knowledge of procurement, you will receive an official Diploma from the Institute which you can use to further your career, or your further studies. The CIPS Diploma is recognised worldwide.


Q:   Is it possible to be exempted from a level / subject?
A:    Exceptionally CIPS will grant an exemption from a subject, but this is very unusual. Click Exemptions for details.


Q:   What happens if I fail an exam?
A:    We don’t like to think of you failing, but you can re-sit an exam at any of the six CIPS exam sessions each year.



Museo Larco, Peru