Sourcing is an integral part of today’s business world and sourcing professionals are in incredibly high demand.  However, most who are in sourcing roles have never been trained on how best to manage or lead strategic sourcing programmes. They have usually learned 'on the job'. Given the significance of sourcing activities in many organisations this is a major risk.

GSA's portfolio of qualifications accommodates all levels of experience and with formats to suit all requirements, including online/distance learning, open workshops, in-house training programs and executive masterclasses. Our qualifications range from the Gateway Award (equivalent to a GCSE) through to the Diploma in Stategic Sourcing (equivalent to a third of a Masters degree).

There are a number of aspects to our professional development, which are completely unique to the GSA:

  • We cover the end-to-end lifecycle of strategic sourcing, including a strong focus on value creation through expert relationship management – in addition to negotiation/procurement
  • We are focused on the entire sourcing eco-system, bringing the buyers, providers and advisors together
  • All of our qualifications are underpinned by the best practice included in the Global Strategic Sourcing Standard
  • GSA Students are given complimentary individual membership of the GSA and so enjoy the benefits of being part of an engaged community for sharing ideas/challenges, as well as access to constant thought leadership across a broad range of topics
  • We follow the work-based learning approach to professional development. So no cramming from manuals and stressful revision for exams, instead you are assessed on the papers you submit which centre around relevant work-related challenges you are facing – bringing great benefits to you and also to your company
  • Our program is modular (with the exception of the GSA Diploma) so you can study as much or as little as you like with the GSA. You can choose to start with the Gateway Award and then progress through to the Professional Certificate in Strategic Sourcing 

Getting qualified with the GSA gives reassurance to:

Students: that they are working to the latest best practice and improving their career prospects

Employers: that individuals with a GSA qualification have practical expertise in strategic sourcing

Buyers: that providers with GSA qualified professionals in their team have/are committed to excellence in sourcing practice

Providers: GSA qualified professionals on the team enhance your proposition and help to differentiate you in an increasingly competitive marketplace, as well as giving you confidence that your team members are delivering to best practice – efficiently and effectively


Below are the qualifications that are currently offered or you can read about all our qualifications in more detail here in our Prospectus:

GSA qualifications have been developed for professionals at every stage of their development from entry to experienced practitioner. They are mapped to the GSA Competencies and Capabilities Framework from the Gateway Award at level 1, for those new to sourcing to the Diploma programme at level 7, for those who are experienced and looking to develop their own capabilities to the next level.

GSA  Awards Qualifications

The assessment criteria is also mapped to generic vocational / academic  frameworks from GCSE standard right up to masters degree standard.

The foundation level of qualification is the Gateway Award. To gain this qualification learners must successfully complete online multiple choice tests for each of the eight core strategic sourcing topics. Learners can choose from range of online video courses, webinars or workshops.

Once the foundation level is completed the focus of GSA programmes is on ‘work-based learning’.  This is an approach recognises that we learn most successfully ‘on the job’.  The qualification that builds on the Gateway is the Practitioner Award.  To gain this award the learner needs to prepare and submit a written paper of around 2,000 words on topics agreed with the GSA course tutor and their organisation.  The papers will need to evidence six of the competencies from the GSA Framework.

The Advanced Practitioner Award is awarded to learners who have the GSA Practitioner Award and submit a further WBL paper, this time of around 3,000 words that evidences three defined capabilities from the GSA Framework. For both Awards learners are assessed against both technical and learning criteria by a GSA assessor and received detailed written feedback.

Qualifications for the most experienced practitioners

The GSA Diploma was first delivered in 2008.  It is assessed at level 7, the same level used for masters degrees.  To gain the full Diploma requires learners to submit one short paper of around 1500 words and 3 further papers each of around 4,000 words.  As with the Awards qualifications the papers report the learner’s work based learning and can be on any relevant topic agreed with the tutor.

Learners have the option of attending a series of webinars and are supported throughout the programme by the programme coach who will provide advice and guidance on how to research and prepare their work-based learning papers.  The Diploma typically takes on year to complete.

Learners who choose to ‘step-off’ the Diploma after submitting one main paper will gain the GSA Certificate, and after two main papers will gain the GSA Advanced Certificate.

The GSA Diploma is accepted by Portsmouth University as approved prior learning for its work based learning masters programme.  This means that holders of the Diploma will receive 60 credits against the 180 credits required to be awarded a masters degree.

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