Previous Events

  • 3 Jul 2020 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    The GSA Strategic Sourcing Professional Development Webinar unveiled the GSA’s approach to personal development in a virtual environment, hosted by GSA CEO Kerry Hallard and GSA’s Associate Director of Professional Development Chris Halward.

    The GSA recently launched its 2020 manifesto, naming it Rethinking Sourcing: Restarting UK in light of Covid-19. The Strategic Sourcing industry and the delivery of technology and business services was phenomenal in its response to the pandemic. Looking further into the manifesto, it is clear that the importance of strategic sourcing will continue to escalate. Kerry explained that it is of upmost importance, now more than ever, to implement a Strategic Sourcing function, creating a team focused on transcending the business through operations, finance, technology and procurement, and how these areas bring value to the business through partnering with external service providers. Strategic sourcing is front and centre in helping companies drive their recoveries after Covid-19, delivering innovations and transformations, whilst delving into contracting models and operating models – in a different way than ever before. The GSA has created 8 different workstreams within its manifesto, all essential in helping companies in their restart strategies. The talent workstream is focused on both attracting new talent into the industry, as well as upskilling the talent and covers subjects ranging from wellness in the workplace through to Inclusion and Diversity. GSA’s ongoing work in professional development is critical to the talent workstream.

    The GSA has been providing qualifications for the sourcing profession for 15 years, working with over 200 organisations in this time, across both buyers and service providers. The portfolio of qualifications offered is centred around the Global Strategic Sourcing Standard; 160 pages of best practice which is now freely available as a result of Covid-19. This is the only unified view of best practice that both buyers and service providers can be accredited to – all of the GSA qualifications are aligned to the standard. The Global Strategic Sourcing Standard is underpinned by transparency principles as well as GSA’s Competencies and Capabilities framework to help you understand and map out the skills required by yourself and other members of the team.

    The GSA announced its “most flexible approach to professional development ever”, making its previously successful professional development programme completely flexible and available to all levels in the completely virtual environment. The programme is equally available to those wanting to join one webinar to develop their learning and those who want to go the whole way and gain a qualification.

    Chris began by outlining that strategic sourcing success depends upon an integration of four fundamental elements; strategic decisions to make the organisation work (make & buy decision), choosing suppliers or setting up shared service centres, working out how to move current operations into the new solution and ensuring this model works across the arrangement. Joining all these elements together ensures success of the arrangement and, in turn, adds value to the business. The concept of the GSA programmes is ensuring the students have an appreciation of all the elements involved in success, even if they are only involved in one element as part of their role. Understanding the whole sourcing process is fundamental to success, in the GSA’s view.

    The programme is centred around a work-based learning format, which means students aren’t anchored to a classroom, therefore creating the opportunity to bring learning to the workplace, allowing participants to identify challenges they face at work. This format makes learning much more relevant and powerful allowing a return on investment directly. The programme is essentially training programmes and three qualifications in one; beginning with webinars, starting on the 14th July, and running for six weeks. These webinars can be taken in isolation or as a suite and will cover strategy & leadership, contracting, governance and risk, transition transformation and exit, performance management and commercial relationships. Alongside the webinars, those pursuing qualifications will need to write and submit papers for assessment. Basically put, the more papers submitted the higher the level of the qualification. To achieve the highest qualification, the GSA Diploma in Strategic Sourcing and to qualify to use the post nom DipGSA, the student would need to submit a total of 4 papers. This qualification is generally completed with a 12-month period.

    Chris identified a number of challenges associated with the programme as well as many rewards. Challenges include identifying problems to address within the workplace, the ability to conduct wide research, writing in a persuasive manner, planning and organising the project and managing time and priorities of work, home and study. Rewards include, but aren’t limited to, developing a high level of expertise, realising your capabilities, deep diving into a subject, gaining insight into the complex challenges associated with the industry and developing pride in the work you have put together, creating a sense of achievement.

    Help and support is available throughout the programme, whether its through the GSA knowledge centre, attending GSA events or access to the GSA global community, as well as access to GSA tutors – giving you access to a wealth of knowledge to assist you through the course.

    Each webinar is priced at £195+VAT. The Certificate is priced at £1,295+VAT, the Advanced Certificate at £1,595+VAT and the Diploma at £1,895+VAT, these costs include all 8 webinars.

    The GSA also offers bespoke designed workshops, the costs of which range from £1,800+VAT and £2,400+VAT.

    Ascensos’ William Carson, DipGSA, commented on his experience of the Diploma:  ‘there is a real need to understand beyond simply thinking things are best practice or imagining you have taken the best approach to actually having that tested and validated…although we are talking about value back into the industry there is also personal value in terms of career advancement as well, which I have certainly benefitted from’.

    Questions from the floor

    How does this qualification compare to other accreditations such as CIPS and IACCM?

    Chris explained that the major difference is the work-based learning approach. CIPS is still very much exam based, so you will need to sit various exams. CIPS in particular has a focus on content which is based around the procurement domain. The GSA programme is broader as it looks at the end-to-end lifecycle of strategic sourcing and is more flexible, and allowing you to focus your learning around the topics relevant to you.

    If you are interested in having further conversations or need further details, please drop an email to and please have a look at our manifesto and the workstreams we are running in the future.

  • 21 Apr 2020 1:31 PM | Francesca Devonshire (Administrator)

    Held on Tuesday 21st April

    The webinar is available for viewing here, should you like a copy of the presentation deck, this can be accessed here

    COVID-19 and the resulting global lock down has put a huge strain on service delivery around the world. Call centres in India, the UK’s biggest delivery destination, almost closed overnight, with limited contingency planning for a wholesale, global close down.

    Some industries, such as travel and tourism, suspended nearly all operations, yet other industries, such as ecommerce have experienced a massive upturn. As a result, some services have effectively been mothballed whilst others asked to ramp up activity significantly overnight. There are ways of doing this correctly.

    The GSA urges companies to follow industry best practice at this time. This is not a time for short termism and knee jerk reactions. Business will come back and companies and individuals will remember how they were treated at this time.

    To help the industry navigate the storm the GSA is held an online tutorial on how to manage relationships to industry best practice even at times of crisis. This covered:

    • Relationship management is a combination of science and art
    • How to grow trust even in times of crisis
    • Governance problems
    • Managing fluctuating performance
    • Review of risk approach
    • Disaster recovery, business continuity and exit plans

    This is the first in a series of at least 4 online tutorials was delivered by GSA's Associate Director of Professional Development, Chris Halward, and featured the below guest speakers:

    • Steve Watson, Principal Consultant, Peru Consulting
    • Mark Crichard, Partner, RPC
    • Ravi Veerasubramanian, GSA Council Member and Managing Consultant, Gibbs Hybrid
    • Mark Devonshire, GSA Chairman and VP and Head of Client Delivery for EMEA/Latam, NTT Data Services
  • 1 Apr 2020 5:03 PM | Debbie Mackay (Administrator)

    Webinar held on Wednesday 1st April

    You can view the webinar here, if you would like a copy of the presentation this can be found here.

    So yes, we are all in a tail spin, but we will come out of this. Here at the GSA we are here to assist our membership and broader community navigate the immediate pressures of this crisis, but also want to help our members keep an eye on the future to be in the best possible shape moving forward.

    Strategic sourcing is playing a pivotal role in helping companies through this. Good partnering, robust tech and a focus on access to talent and employee well-being have never been more important.

    The GSA is bringing together subject matter experts from across the strategic sourcing industry to share insights and best practices on these critical issues in

    a live webinar.

    The expert panel on the webinar will be chaired by Kerry Hallard, CEO of the GSA, and will cover:

    Contract issues at a time of crisis- Tom Bridgford, Partner and Head of Outsourcing, Eversheds Sutherland

    • Key contract challenges caused by Covid 19
    • Force Majeure
    • Immediate steps
    • Long term considerations

    Use of on-demand talent to supplement your workforce – George Gallant, Comms Lead, EMEA,  Topcoder (Wipro)

    • Engaging gig workers to deliver technology 
    • Challenges faced with remote working
    • Business as usual

    Cyber security – the increased threat in COVID-19 - Mathew Newfield, CISO, Unisys

    • Added vulnerabilities with increased working from home
    • New scams from fraudsters
    • BYOD
    • Updating policies into the future

    Wellness in the workplace in these stressful times - Joe Williams, Supplier Governance Manager, Aviva

    • What organisations can do now
    • Actions in the short term to ensure well being
    • Learnings to take from reduced travel and more homeworking to improve how we work going forwards.

    Partnering for the future - Mark Devonshire, VP and Head of Customer Delivery, NTT Data Services

    • Maintaining a healthy relationship in difficul times
    • Fairness in terms of upscaling, down scaling, payment holidays, etc

  • 12 Feb 2020 5:43 PM | Debbie Mackay (Administrator)

    Webinar held on 12th February 2020.

    You can view the full webinar here, the presentation deck can be viewed here.

    The GSA is delighted to announce the launch of the beta version of its Partner Platform

    The objective of the Partner Platform is to present an open and unbiased view of the performance of service providers.

    We wish to eradicate cowboys from our industry and believe the sharing of real-life experiences will help do just that.

    We wish to give our members confidence that they are partnering with quality providers and believe the Partner Platform will provide that reassurance.

    We wish to provide the broader sourcing eco-system with a platform to promote their brands and their capabilities – a broader more blended eco-system can deliver dividends to the community 

    • The Partner Platform will over time build up a rating of the different attributes of service providers
    • The Partner Platform will share open and honest reviews from published customers
    • The Partner Platform will dynamically update leader boards based on latest reviews
    • Those reviewing are committing to be part of an engaged community that are open and willing to share insights
    • All reviews are verified to be from bonafide customers
    • Service providers can be selected on a number of different criteria to assist with the development of long lists: region; size; service lines
    • Matching service providers can be presented by their ranking score, the number of published reviews or by GSA affiliation
    • Every service provider is invited to participate in uploading an insightful and accurate profile of their business and assist in keeping it up to date, working with our content team 
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