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Mark Pearson

Learning and Development Lead

Like most procurement professionals, procurement is where I ended up, but the journey started somewhere else. I spent the first 20 years of my career as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, working both in the UK and for two years, overseas in both the far east and then Europe. Transferrable skills led me to my first role in the public sector in 2010 as a client-side project manager with a local authority education setting and it was not long before my procurement skills were noted; the rest is history.

I was lucky enough to then study public procurement law and policy under Professor Sue Arrowsmith at the University of Nottingham before going on to achieve full L6 MCIPS, finally waving goodbye to my previous Chartered QS calling. Interestingly, the professional ethics of both quantity surveying broadly align with the fundamental pillars of public procurement – transparency, equal treatment and proportionality.

I joined CPC in August 2019 and spent the first four and a half years as a procurement consultant for Tenet Education Services, now the CPC procurement consultancy services; fully seconded into FE and HE clients to provide their procurement function. This was a return to the frontline, from a procurement business improvement role within a series of local authorities. The return to active duties allowing me the opportunity to put into practice, that which I had been preaching since 2014. Since handing over the reins to a colleague in February 2024 I’ve taken up my current role and have been able to look back on a journey which had taken my supported institutions from zero to hero in terms of their procurement function and roadmap.

Which leaves me now in the exciting position of leading Learning and Development (L&D) within CPC and for almost 10,000 member institutions, in a year which will see fundamental change to the regulations which govern wider public sector procurement activity. The CPC itself is also going through a major change in its structure, with all divisions (framework provision, on demand procurement support and fully managed service) unifying under a common Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) brand.

The CPC is a charity, owned and managed by the FE sector and part of its raison d'être is ‘giving back’ through the advancement of knowledge and best practice in the sector. Crescent Learning will be the phoenix which rises out of the ashes of FELP, the Further Education and Learning in Procurement platform. FELP was established by CPC as a ground-breaking portal through which to support its members with procurement advice and guidance. I am looking forward to the journey on which I can take Crescent Learning, ably supported by brilliant colleagues across the CPC business.