Becoming a contracts professional
The comments on ‘The Role of a Contract Manager’ continue to grow and recently Ben Edwards made the following observation:
“What I’d like to see more of is the professional recognition and development of Contractor side Contract Managers who receive little or no focus. When large contracts are issued, the contractor must have a ‘general manager’ that knows how to deliver to the contract terms etc. This skill set is greatly undervalued and client side Contract Managers would do well to ensure large contracts have this leader in place.”
I agree with Ben’s comment and this belief underpins much of what we do at IACCM. But those who aspire to this professional status must recognize that it depends on their readiness to behave as professionals. In other words, like all other high status disciplines, we need to operate in accordance with an established and consistent body of knowledge; we need some form of certification to confirm our credentials; and we must visibly espouse a commitment to continuous improvement.
The problem I see is that only a minority of practitioners have truly accepted that need and therefore those who should be leaders of a new generation of professionals are in fact setting no example and showing no commitment to raising the bar and training others to follow in their footsteps. As a result, the status of all suffers.
In other words, too often we want recognition, but are not willing to take the steps needed to deserve or achieve it.
On a more optimistic note, a growing number of individuals are undertaking certification with IACCM and many employers are pushing for these credentials. However, the volume of activity tends to be at Associate and Practitioner levels and the more senior staff often stand aloof from the process of professionalization.