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Global delivery of professional supply chain management training evolves during COVID-19

ITC’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) Programme has continued to equip its partner institutions with skills by providing professional training and accreditation despite the challenges to face-to-face interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the SCM Programme had been in the process of broadening the format of its masterclass workshops. Now, a shift to online training of partners has become ‘best practice’ for the rollout of the updated curriculum for the ITC Diploma in Supply Chain Management.

The programme’s goal − to develop sustainable, local, training capacity in supply chain management − remains the same, but with an additional ‘virtual’ institutional training option.

ITC coordinated the first ‘virtual’ training-of-trainers (ToT) series from 27 to 31 July.

Initially focusing on two regions, the training sessions included participants from Africa (Kenya, Sudan, South Africa, Ethiopia and Ghana) and Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, India and Malaysia). More than 30 participants took part across five days.

Partner feedback indicated enthusiasm for the pivot to virtual workshops.

‘It is a great achievement, during the COVID-19 pandemic period, to have an online ToT, and it will help all institutions to start training for the new diploma,’ said one participant.

‘In the COVID-19 situation, when most things are getting postponed, it is an excellent thing to do this training and keep going,’ said another.

A third participant added: ‘I feel fully ready to start delivering excellent training to my trainees.’

Although institutions in some locations had difficulties accessing audio-video content due to internet connectivity problems, the next workshops for Latin America will take into account feedback and apply lessons learned.

The first trainer exams, which coincided with the conclusion of the workshop series, were also completed via the programme’s new learning management system – the SCM Campus – at the end of July 2020.

The trainer, attached to the Malaysian partner institution MAPICS, was able to use the web-based platform to complete the required modules to become an ITC-certified trainer.

This achievement represents a milestone in the global relaunch of the Diploma in Supply Chain Management.

More about the programme

Over the past two decades, the ITC Supply Chain Management Programme has enabled partners around the world to offer local training for supply chain skills development. Since 2003, partner facilitated training has benefited over 45,000 people, including more than 14,000 women. Empowered by ITC, participants have improved their SCM competencies and reduced costs by a total of over $50 million.

As the United Nations initiative for professional certification in supply chain management, partnerships are at the core of ITC’s approach. More than 60 licensed partners deliver the programme’s internationally recognized Diploma in Supply Chain Management and certificate-level courses in more than 50 countries.

Originally established with support from the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the programme’s mission is to engage institutions to offer training locally, to equip partners with teaching approaches/materials and to empower participants to develop solutions to organizational challenges. Course modules are offered by qualified partners, mostly from the private sector, under fee-based licensing arrangements.

Once a local partner has obtained a license, it becomes a registered member of a global network. ITC provides web-based support and administration, course module books and trainer materials. The programme also delivers ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops. It forms strategic partnerships with other teams at ITC, international organizations and donors to provide trade-related technical assistance.

The SCM Programme directly reports on contributions to UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education to ensure people have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

The ITC Supply Chain Management Programme is ISO 9001:2015 certified and delivers leading training material that conforms to the highest standards.

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