Located in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo provides materials management and contract services to the citizens of the 10 communities in the region. Covering 68,454 square kilometers, Wood Buffalo is the largest municipality in Canada.
In 2013 the Regional Municipality was in the process of implementing new procurement policies, procedures and procurement systems. At the same time, it was in the early planning stages for some major capital and operational projects estimated at approximately $500M per year for the coming 4-5 years. In order to enhance the capacity of the Supply Chain Management department in preparation for these initiatives, the Regional Municipality began to search for suitable, affordable and timely procurement training.
Like all municipal organizations, the Regional Municipality faced competing pressures of budget restrictions and increased scrutiny from taxpayers and the media. In short, it needed to find a way to do more with less, while not sacrificing the superior, consistent, integrated customer service and support it had become known for. Time was of the essence given the aggressive infrastructure plans in the works, and consistency among and between the departments with respect to the procurement process was of paramount concern.
After exploring different training options and programs, the Regional Municipality settled on NECI’s Public Sector Procurement Program as the most suitable fit. Working closely with Supply Chain Management staff, NECI was able to ensure the training would be directly relevant to their unique operating environment and immediately applicable, by embedding specific policies, templates and real life examples directly into the material for delivery. A major benefit was the option of having NECI instructors come in-house to its offices in Fort McMurray for delivery of the classroom portions of the Program, which meant that costs and loss of productivity related to travel were minimized. And by maintaining the competency framework in the face of such customization, NECI was able to ensure that the PSPP national accreditation provided by the Supply Chain Sector Council remained intact.
NECI delivered the Public Sector Procurement Program to the 15 core Supply Chain Management staff from 2013 – 2014, including the Director. PSPP 101 (Public Sector Procurement Essentials) and PSPP 301 (Procurement Practice – Putting it all Together) were completed by learners in an online format and the three 200 level classroom courses were delivered face to face at the Regional District Municipal Hall building in Fort McMurray.
With the majority of the Supply Chain Management department completing the PSPP Certificate, the Municipality of Wood Buffalo was able to position itself for success as it moves to implement the ambitious programs and projects over the coming years.
Comments from learners about the Program include:
The best part of the PSPP program was…
“It gave a very good overview of public procurement and provided good tips for managing the procurement process.”
“Great refresher and excellent tool for team members who are new to public procurement”
“Hearing about and delving into real life cases.”
“Best Part of this course was the interactions with instructors and fellow staff.”
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NECI offers customizable training based on the unique needs of the organization and the current procurement legal and business landscape. Value is delivered through courses, curriculum consulting, and ongoing communications such as our newsletter which now incorporates The Legal Edge.