A COLLEGE is celebrating after being awarded a prestigious quality mark by a national organisation.
Darlington College has been made a Centre of Excellence for its work with students studying diplomas, advanced diplomas and masters in procurement and supply.
An audit by Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply looked at a host of criteria including the college’s facilities, students’ opinions and its support network. It had to achieve high marks in at least 10 areas but managed an impressive 14 to again CIPS’ highest status.
Darlington College’s programme leader for CIPS Janine Crowther was delighted with the award. She said: “The college has been delivering the CIPS programme for the past decade and it has become a growth area.
“It focuses on the whole supply chain, not just to obtain quality and value for money but also to ensure ethics. There has been a lot of hard work by the team which will stand us in good stead for the future.”
Masters student Nick Gilpin, the European central warehouse leader and analyst for Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation, based in Darlington, said: “The CIPs training has had massive benefits for us helping us win hearts and minds and drive the business forward.
“Sometimes it might be cheaper but ethically it might not be the right thing to do and socially responsibility is a huge part of business nowadays.”
The course gives students an insight into local and international supply chains and procurement. It explains how careful buying can affect profits but also influence the culture of many nations who might be tempted to exploit their workforces.
Middlesbrough-based materials controller for Inter-Continental Brands Simon Harbinson said: “The course has been a real eye-opener for me and resulted in me being given more project work. Being in the classroom with students from the public sector as well as the private also broadens your perspective.”
Darlington College curriculum manager Mike Chapman added: “We are the only college to offer the CIPS qualifications in the region. The awarding of centre of excellence makes us the premier provider and is something we are all immensely proud of.”