Get accredited for goods and services procurement

To become accredited for goods and services procurement, your agency must undergo a formal assessment.
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What you need to know
  1. To get accredited, you must prove your agency meets 10 minimum criteria.
  2. There is also a 10-step process to getting accredited.
  3. You must appoint an independent assessor to assess whether you meet the criteria.
  4. The assessor will analyse your processes and interview key personnel.
  5. NSW Procurement will send the assessor’s report and its recommendation to the Procurement Board for approval.
  6. The board will make a determination. If you don’t get accredited, you have 6 months to re-submit.

10 accreditation focus areas

To get accredited, you must demonstrate to the NSW Procurement Board that your agency meets minimum requirements across 10 different focus areas.

An independent assessor will assess whether you meet the overall principle of each of these 10 focus areas. In doing so, they’ll use a pragmatic and common-sense-based approach.

The board will then use this assessment as the basis for granting or denying accreditation.

Your agency will keep its accreditation so long as it continues to meet its accreditation responsibilities or unless a trigger event occurs that results in a review or remediation process.

Focus area Principle you must prove
1 Procurement functional strategy Your procurement function has a clear direction and offers the business a value proposition.
2 Procurement policies and procedures Your procurement activities comply with the NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework, as well as relevant Board Directions and policies.
3 Procurement organisation Your procurement function has sufficient and specialist capability and is organised to meet business requirements.
4 Capability You’re continually developing your procurement capability to meet business needs.
5 Performance management You’re measuring procurement’s performance and managing procurement to demonstrate its value to the business.
6 Procurement planning You’ve scheduled significant procurement projects in a way that lets you plan your activity and prepares the market to respond properly.
7 Category management You identify, prioritise and manage your key spend categories strategically and base this on market intelligence.
8 Source to contract including risk management Your source-to-contract process is clearly defined and delivers on your agency’s needs. It also provides value for money and manages risk.
9 Contract management You monitor contract requirements and manage contracts to realise value and manage risk.
10 Supplier relationship management You assess your relationships with top suppliers to deliver more value from existing contracts and identify areas for improvements.

The accreditation assessment process

There are 10 steps involved in becoming accredited.

1. Planning meeting

In the planning meeting, NSW Procurement gives you an overview of the accreditation process. You then provide information on your future procurement.

Together, you’ll consider whether it’s appropriate to apply for accreditation and, if so, which level to target.

2. Statement of intent form

You submit a statement of intent form to formally declare your interest in becoming accredited. The statement needs to be signed by your agency head or Secretary.

3. Application approved

The NSW Procurement Board will formally advise you on whether it’s approved your application for assessment.

4. Prepare for assessment

Ahead of the assessment, you can engage consultants at your own expense to identify and address any gaps.

Be mindful that you’ll be assessed on your ‘business as usual’ practices. Getting accredited means proving you understand your obligations and that you consistently use appropriate processes and documents.

The accreditation assessment tools will help you learn more about how you’ll be assessed and what supporting documentation you’ll need to provide. At a minimum, this will include your agency procurement plan and annual outcomes report.

5. Appoint an independent assessor

You appoint an independent assessor using the ‘Performance and Management Services Prequalification, Program – 9. Procurement and Supply Chain/ C - Procurement Accreditation’.

You must use the Independent Assessor Scope of Work document from the toolkit to request quotes from potential assessors on the scheme.

NSW Procurement must be included on the evaluation panel, and you must also provide them with a copy of the final evaluation report. You'll also need to demonstrate the independence of the recommended assessor to NSW Procurement before you award the contract.

A consultant who helps you prepare for assessment can’t also act as your independent assessor. Consultants can’t act as your independent assessor if, in the previous 6 months:

  • they’ve reviewed your procurement function, or
  • their staff have worked in your procurement function.

6.  Accreditation assessment begins

The independent assessor will work collaboratively with you to complete the accreditation assessment.

In doing so, they’ll assess whether you’re applying procurement practices consistently and comprehensively so that you meet each of the minimum requirements.

You'll need to provide the supporting evidence listed in the Accreditation Assessment Tool so they can complete their assessment.

Each week during the assessment process, the assessor will issue an accreditation weekly status update.

7. Interview selected personnel

The independent assessor conducts interviews with selected personnel from your procurement function.

These interviews will focus on facts and experience and will be based on the accreditation interview guidance form. The assessor will analyse the employee’s understanding of the supporting evidence and how it is used in the agency.

You must provide an adequate sample size for interview by putting forward staff equivalent to the following levels:

  • Procurement Executive, such as Head of Procurement or Chief Procurement Officer
  • Procurement Professional, such as a Category Manager, Contract Manager or Procurement Advisor
  • Senior Procurement Officer
  • Procurement Officer or Procurement Analyst

Where possible, you should put forward multiple people who fit each category and let the assessor select who to interview.

8. Submit draft accreditation assessment

When the independent assessment has finished, you should provide the key assessment documents to NSW Procurement.

This includes your:

  • Accreditation Assessment Tool, including the assessor’s signed-off report
  • Agency Procurement Plan
  • Annual Outcomes Report.

NSW Procurement will check if all the accreditation steps are complete and will also give you and the assessor feedback on your application.

Once NSW Procurement confirms all the documents and accreditation process is complete, you can submit the assessment to your agency head or Secretary for approval.

9. Submit final accreditation assessment

Once the secretary has signed off the assessment, submit the accreditation documents to the Procurement Board. The board will then need to request accreditation using a formal board paper.

10. Accreditation decision

The Procurement Board can make one of 3 determinations:

  • accreditation granted
  • accreditation denied, or
  • further information requested before accreditation can be granted.

If your application is denied, your accreditation assessment will remain valid for 6 months from the independent assessor’s date on the Independent Assessment Tool. During this time, you can re-submit your application, building on the existing assessment to rectify any gaps.

After 6 months, you must start a new assessment process.

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