People that Deliver: Home of the supply chain management professionalisation hub
What is supply chain management professionalisation?
Professionalisation is defined as "The action or process of giving an occupation, activity, or group professional qualities, typically by increasing training or raising required qualifications."
Professionalisation is a social process whereby a trade or occupation transforms itself into a true profession of the highest integrity and competence. This process tends to involve establishing suitable qualifications and a professional body or association to oversee and regulate the affairs and conduct of members of the profession.
The People that Deliver (PtD) coalition advocates supply chain management (SCM) to be a profession that is run by educated and skilled professionals. The coalition goes further by insisting that professionalisation means having the right qualifications and that SCM roles be defined with detailed job descriptions, and categorised by a professional designation for those entering the profession and advancing as leaders in the profession.
Why is professionalisation important?
The coalition's goal is to create a competent, supported and adequately staffed supply chain workforce that is deployed across the public and private sectors within the health system. For a workforce to be competent, supported and adequately staffed, it must be professionalised.
A professionalised supply chain workforce is needed for health supply chain to function efficiently and supply communities with the health commodities they require. Ultimately, professionalisation of the health supply chain workforce will result in greater access to health products.
In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), SCM is not professionalised: this means there is little recognition that technical skills are necessary to perform SCM tasks. Staff often lack formal qualifications or the certification appropriate for supply chain managers and have limited technical expertise. Many LMICs lack a SC professionalised job category, which means that the qualifications demanded for these positions often do not match the duties and responsibilities required.
As health SCM becomes better coordinated, more health programmes are integrated and SC performance improves, and as such capacity development and professionalisation have become recognised as a necessity at country level.
What is PtD's role in professionalisation?
The PtD coalition's central goal is the professionalisation of the health supply chain workforce.
In fact, the creation of PtD in 2011 was a direct result of the necessity for professionalisation, and ever since PtD has been working with its coalition members and partners to advocate the SC workforce's elevated status and empowerment, as well as access to relevant incentives and resources.
The coalition's role goes further than advocacy and into country-level impact:
- The PtD coalition supports ministries of health, NGOs and implementing partners to plan, implement and sustain reforms that strengthen HR for health SCM.
- The PtD coalition member work together to produce and promote the adoption of tools and approaches, such as the SCM professionalisation framework.
The PtD coalition is home to the SCM professionalisation hub.
What is the professionalisation hub?
The SCM professionalisation hub is a platform that unites global SC professionalisation stakeholders and champions to share knowledge and initiate new projects aimed at professionalising the supply chain workforce. It enables partners to network, exchange information and engage practitioners working on or interested in supply chain professionalisation. Specifically:
- The professionalisation hub ensures that global and country-level SC professionalisation initiatives are coordinated, documented, shared and publicly accessible to promote collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts.
- The professionalisation hub highlights and promotes successes in SC professionalisation achieved by countries/regions so that subsequent professionalisation activities can benefit from the experiences of early adopters.
- The professionalisation hub provides a conducive environment to enable PtD to support and coach countries during implementation, track project status, aggregate datapoints for a variety of stakeholders, adjust resources and tools as necessary, and drive PtD's professionalisation agenda.
Resources: The supply chain management professionalisation framework
The professionalisation framework offers a systematic approach to help countries to align career path, education and professional growth in health supply chain management.