Training for procurement professionals

In today’s health care environment, increased demands and constantly shifting priorities and initiatives have those who work in this field striving to remain top of their game.  Health care procurement and administration professionals must be skilled in many areas – from managing detailed and complex projects to maintaining strong communication skills and balancing well written briefing notes and tight presentations. Factor in the lack of training resources for non-clinical hospital staff, and you’re left with a definite need for a program that fills the gap in helping hospitals develop and retain back office personnel.

In an effort to address this need, Mohawk Medbuy, Canada’s leading national health care shared services organization, is enhancing the skills of people in hospital procurement and other back office functions with the Gold Standard Certification Training Program. The current iteration of the 10-course initiative was co-developed in collaboration with Shared Services West.

“Our Strategic Plan speaks to the importance of enabling, empowering, and developing the  talent and expertise of our people,” says Wendy Murdock, Director of Member Engagement and Organizational Development. “We’re committed to the success of our staff, and by extension, the success of our Members. We’re thrilled to offer an opportunity for professional growth, and due to the resounding success of this program, we anticipate the addition of leadership training opportunities.”

Currently consisting of two modules of industry specific courses plus a section devoted to soft skills, such as effective writing and time management, the entire certification is ideal for professionals who want to strengthen their core business, communication and interpersonal skills.

“The intent of this program is to help our Members round out existing skills and add new ones to meet the changing requirements of our hospital stakeholders,” says Marc Lemaire, Chief Procurement Officer and VP Strategic Sourcing at Mohawk Medbuy. “This collaboration with our Members is another great opportunity to maximize our collective knowledge and experiences to drive greater value for our hospitals, which allows them to direct more resources to frontline patient care.”

Recognized by the Supply Chain Management Association with applicable Continuing Professional Development credits, the Gold Standard Certification Program follows a two-step learning model consisting of an e-learning component and corresponding in-class sessions. Senior management and content experts from Mohawk Medbuy deliver the in-class training component, creating an interactive, dynamic and engaging opportunity for discussion and knowledge sharing.

To date, almost 200 professionals from a wide range of health care organizations have successfully earned their certification. Mohawk Medbuy regularly holds in-class sessions at the company’s Burlington and London offices or on-site at Members’ facilities throughout Ontario and the Maritimes.  “The real-life examples, the dialogue, the interactive nature and engagement of the team really helped enhance the learning,” says Jana Kirkpatrick, Director, Strategic Procurement at Services New Brunswick.

Due to extraordinarily positive feedback, Gold Standard Certification has a busy roster in 2020. Training took place in Thunder Bay in January and is set to be delivered to more organizations across Ontario, including Chatham, Sudbury and Ottawa, as well as in Prince Edward Island. The goal is to offer in-depth, industry specific information and refresh skills that are used every day.

“It’s overwhelming how many requests we’ve had for this program to be delivered,” said Denis Potvin, Senior Category Manager at Mohawk Medbuy. “We anticipated a strong uptake in the beginning, but this has exceeded our expectations.”

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