Melbourne MicroCert

Foundations of Social Procurement

Equip yourself in social and sustainable procurement to ensure better outcomes for organisations and communities.

Study mode
5 weeks (20.5 hours) + 1 week (22 hours) for assessment
Skills area
Social Procurement

Upcoming sessions

Monday 19 July 2021


There is national and international focus on social and sustainable procurement.

This Melbourne MicroCert provides detailed knowledge of social and sustainable procurement concepts and practices in the Australian setting, and the skills to both design and implement social procurement processes that ensure better outcomes.

With reference to government, corporate and not-for-profit organisations, as well as the community, you will explore contemporary theories of social procurement and examine various elements of the Australian social procurement landscape. This includes key stakeholders, legislative and regulatory frameworks.

Online delivery provides convenient learning, while multidisciplinary course content ensures a range of experts and professionals working in the procurement sector come together, creating rich opportunities for exchange and peer learning.

Who is it for?

Foundations of Social Procurement is for professionals involved in procurement and supply chain management, in either government or non-government settings, and want to upskill in the area of social procurement.

Key topics

Taught over four modules, you will cover a range of key topics and concepts, including:

  • Research and practical perspectives on social and sustainable procurement concepts and definitions
  • Different types of social procurement, including sustainable procurement, procurement addressing labour market disadvantage, and indigenous procurement
  • Policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks related to social procurement
  • Identifying the major stakeholders in social procurement in Australia and their respective roles
  • Social procurement in the public, private and not-for-profit sector.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of Foundations of Social Procurement, you will be able to:

  • Critically assess the rationale of social procurement and explain why governments and organisations choose to participate in social procurement
  • Identify the key participants in the Australian social procurement sphere, and discuss how they intersect
  • Assess and critique policies and legislative frameworks relevant to social procurement

Learning experience

Taught by leading experts from the University and the procurement industry, this highly flexible Melbourne MicroCert will be delivered online with one face-to-face component on campus. This will provide an opportunity to come together with professionals from different sectors and engage in peer learning and networking too.

Who will you learn from?

Dr Warren Staples is Lecturer in Social Procurement in the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. Warren's research interests focus on public procurement and social procurement, specifically the application of, and assessment of social procurement and value for money criteria by public sector managers on construction and infrastructure projects. Warren is presently engaged in research on corporate governance (German codetermination), ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility. Warren is a regular media writer and commentator on corporate governance and business ethics and seeks to inform public debate and policymaking on corporate governance reform to make organisations more accountable and responsible. Warren is currently a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Victoria Sustainability Community of Practice. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, Warren was an academic at RMIT University and has previously worked in Local Government.

Professor John Howe is Director of the Melbourne School of Government and Director of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne. His research interests include labour market policy and regulation, regulatory design, and corporate social responsibility. He has written extensively on the role of the state in regulating employment and labour markets, and on the intersection between state-based regulation and corporate governance. John’s research has included studies of government and corporate procurement as a mechanism for addressing labour market disadvantage, compliance with labour standards and human rights, and sustainability.

He has undertaken commissioned research for both state and commonwealth governments on areas related to public procurement and labour standards, enforcement of minimum employment standards, and regulatory arrangements to support workplace innovation and enterprise bargaining.


This Melbourne MicroCert is taught over five weeks plus one week for assessment. Approximately ten hours will be guided learning, 10.5 hours private study, peer learning, reflective activity and professional reading, and 22 hours for assessment tasks. Assessment includes:

  • Conceptualising social procurement (30%)
  • Case study assessment (70%)

Digital certificate

Upon completion, you will be awarded your Foundations of Social Procurement Melbourne MicroCert. This digital certificate will include information and evidence of your developed and actionable skills, knowledge and capabilities.

Links to industry

Foundations of Social Procurement has been developed in consultation with a range of government, corporate and not-for-profit organisations working in the field of procurement to ensure the course provides learning outcomes that meet real world needs.

Social procurement is an exciting shift in the way businesses and governments spend their money. It opens up enormous potential to create social impact through everyday purchases of goods and services. Social procurement is rapidly gaining traction in Australia and overseas. Anyone wanting to take procurement to the next step will benefit from a deep understanding of what is driving this trend and how to unleash its potential.
Lisa Boothby, Executive Director, Market Development - Social Traders
Social procurement is a rapidly evolving space across the globe. In Australia, government, industry and corporates are recognising the role they can (and need to) play in solving real social challenges through their purchasing power. Many social enterprises offer mainstream products and services but often lack the competitive edge or the budget to compete. As a well established social enterprise, Knoxbrooke is seeing significant commercial opportunities open up that result in more employment hours, more training opportunities and real life changes being achieved through the power of social procurement. But there is still so much more to do. We see courses like the MicroCert being offered by Melbourne University as another significant step forward to create awareness, skill and leadership to continue the journey. So many organisations now are looking for their chance to take the next step. A new industry is evolving and this is your opportunity.
Scott Buckland, Executive GM, Social Enterprises - Knoxbrooke

Pathways to further study

Foundations of Social Procurement is part of the Social Procurement suite. You can take this as a stand-alone Melbourne MicroCert or complement it with the other MicroCert in the suite:

  • Strategic Social Procurement.

Expiry of Melbourne MicroCert

This Melbourne MicroCert has no expiry date.

Eligibility requirements

To take this course you should be currently in the field of procurement, supply chain management, or work for a or work for a not-for-profit organisation or social enterprise that engages in procurement processes.

An undergraduate degree or three years of work experience in the area of procurement or supply chain management is desirable.


If you’re aged between 45–70, employed or recently unemployed (less than 9 months) and not receiving Australian Government employment assistance, you could be eligible for Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers. Skills Checkpoint is an Australian Government funded service that allows eligible individuals to access personalised support programs including one-on-one support with a career advisor.

Find out more

Upcoming sessions

Monday 19 July 2021

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