Procurement Associate


Start-date: November 2012

The Challenge Network exists to inspire and connect people to strengthen their community.  We do this by inspiring people from different backgrounds to work together and transform their communities.

In its first four years, The Challenge Network’s has launched two large programmes.  Our first programme – The Challenge – has inspired and connected young people with their communities.  In the space of four years,
The Challenge has grown to work with over 9000 young people per annum from over 1000 secondary schools and around 1000 community partners.  Our second programme, The Challenge Society (TCS), is a year-round community engagement programme for young people that challenges them to play a larger part in their community.

Over the next 2-3 years, we will need to ensure that our programmes are increasingly sustainable and more effective.  In order to achieve this we are centralising our existing procurement responsibilities within a central Procurement Team that is tasked to deliver higher quality and lower cost at greater scale.  The procurement team will take responsibility for areas where The Challenge relies on large-scale procurement: outdoor education provision, residential accommodation, transport, food and equipment.

Reporting to the Procurement Manager, the Procurement Associate is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of procurement requirements that include the procurement of outdoor education provision, residential accommodation, transport, food and equipment.  They will succeed by understanding the needs of the programmes teams across the country and will make great use of exceptional communication skills, strong networking and relationship management as well as excellent negotiation skills and effective data and process management. Entrepreneurial ability and creative thinking skills will also be highly valued.

Key Responsibilities

·        Work with the Procurement Manager on defining procurement requirements and designing contracts.

·        Work alongside the other Associate to procure and negotiate all outdoor education provision, residential accommodation, transport, food and equipment for The Challenge programme.

·        Build and use systems and processes to manage contracts, mitigate risks and facilitate learning.

·        Provide effective internal communications and on-going support to the Programmes team to ensure understanding and use of procured resources is highly effective.

·        Propose and explore business cases for opportunities that raise new funds for TCN through procuring on behalf of other organisations.

·       Manage and maintain supplier relationships in at least 2 areas of TCN procurement.


Role specific: We are looking for an exceptional candidate with the following experience:


·        Successful track-record of using first-rate negotiation skills

.        Ability to use processes and systems in order to track progress on delivery, outputs and outcomes

.        Success in managing logistics and delivering complex projects on time.

.         Ability to give excellent first impression and form valuable relationships with partners.

.         Experience of relationship management with clients or partners.

.         Demonstrated commitment to building stronger communities


·        Existing network in one or more of the key areas of TCN procurement:

·        Outdoor education sector, Residential accommodation, Transport provision, food retailers, media equipment, sports equipment.

·        Budget management experience, working with multiple partners.

.        Experience working in an operational role.

·        Experience negotiating contract variations and compensation mid-delivery.

.        Success managing contract delivery by external partners
.        Pre-existing understanding of one or more of the following:

.        Outdoor education sector, Residential accommodation, Transport provision, food retailers, media equipment,            sports equipment

·        Track record of support and enabling internal staff to use procured resources well.

·        Experience designing and delivering training sessions

·        Understanding and experience working with young people


Remuneration: £21,000.  All staff have access to benefits including ride-to-work scheme, company-run pension scheme and childcare vouchers.



How to Apply

Send a CV and one-page covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role to [email protected]


If you like what you see then spread the word or bookmark it for later! Share