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Developing Outsourcing as a Profession

by Paul Corrall, sourcingfocus.com

The government’s forthcoming white paper on public services has been delayed while the plan to use more charities, social enterprises and employee owned mutuals is incorporated into the report.
With outsourcing set to broaden its reach from traditional private sector partnerships, it’s worth asking whether there has ever been a more important time to develop talent, standardise practices and encourage professionalism in the outsourcing sector?

The NOA Pathway is a set of accredited qualifications designed to support the development of competency and provide professional recognition in the outsourcing industry. The programmes are flexible to allow the participants to shape the programme around their own agenda and are framework based but not prescriptive.

Chris Halward, Programmes Director, NOA Pathway, said: “To develop outsourcing as a profession, it seems sensible that a talent programme should reflect that outsourcing is part of everyday business now. Talented individuals who do not understand outsourcing will struggle unless they realise the process. This process can be demonstrated through knowledge of the NOA Lifecycle which provides a recognised flexible framework to guide companies and individuals through the outsourcing process.”

NOA Pathway offers the following awards:

NOAC: NOA Professional Certificate
NOAAPC: NOA Advanced Professional Certificate
NOAD: NOA Diploma in Strategic Global Outsourcing

These qualifications are accredited by Middlesex University; one of the UK’s leading work-based academic institutions.

The NOAC and the NOAAPC are both undergraduate level courses and the NOAD is accredited at post-graduate (masters degree) level. Participants can follow the programmes from entry-level right through to diploma level, or complete one of the three qualifications. The NOA Gateway can be taken as a standalone module but it is also the first step towards completing the NOAC, the NOA Professional Certificate.

Dr.Richard Hale, Director of Studies, NOA Pathway, said: “The aim of the Certificate is to give a professional working in the industry, the ability to put their work into the context of the larger outsourcing arena and gain an accreditation. With the Diploma, we are dealing with people at a strategic level. Using Outsourcing Questions, participants need to reflect critically on their experiences and also demonstrate that they are able to undertake in-depth research and develop insightful analysis.

Based on post-grad research which I have conducted , rather than teaching, it is vital to develop professionalism through innovative knowledge sharing and development. The outsourcing industry offers a unique opportunity to professionals to develop new systems of best practice and create their own successful career path in an emerging market.”

The NOA also award post nominals for the Diploma and Professional Certificate and believe that the titles will enable individuals, who have invested in their professional development, to be more easily recognised. Post nominals after an ‘outsourcers’ name may go some way to solve the issue of self-promotion in the industry.
market.

As outsourcing continues to mature and evolve with the ‘Big Society’ vision, standardising practices in the industry will also be vital to its success.
The publication of the British Standard (BS) 11000 is a landmark for the world of business. It is the world’s first standard for collaborative business relationships and rather than representing a one-size solution for all it provides a consistent framework that can be scaled and adapted to meet particular business needs.

Adrian Quayle, NOA Board Member, took on the responsibility, on behalf on the NOA Board, of representing the outsourcing industry on the BSI panel.

Adrian said: “The broad aim of the standard is to support organisations across all industry sectors to participate in successful collaborative relationships by establishing a framework which allows those organisations to incorporate industry good practice in their approach to working with other parties.”

By standardising practices, developing talent and encouraging professional recognition, the outsource industry should only go from strength to strength.

For more information on the NOA Pathway and the BS 11000 – please visit http://www.noa.co.uk/


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