Training and awareness
We want responsible procurement to be part of normal business practice at AstraZeneca. Employees and suppliers need to understand the benefits, what we expect from them and what will happen if a supplier doesn’t meet our standards.
What training have you provided for employees on the responsible procurement process?
All our procurement professionals receive detailed training on responsible procurement. The training gives them an overview of the process and examines each step, including the tasks and tools they need. Employees must complete every module in the training programme to receive the required course certification.
We also use a practical reference tool to help them apply the standard in practice: the Responsible Procurement Assurance Guide. The Guide is designed for anyone in the organisation to use to refresh their knowledge on the key points from each of the responsible procurement steps. It complements and uses information contained within the responsible procurement e-learning modules.
Do your employees understand the responsible procurement audit requirements?
Audits are conducted either by a specially trained team of AstraZeneca auditors or by a third party specialist auditor. We make sure our procurement team fully understands the auditing process and the importance of monitoring suppliers. We do this by encouraging team members to join audits, so they develop a detailed understanding of how these are conducted and the issues that can arise.
How can you be sure that your employees apply your standards?
We use a mix of training, incentives and monitoring. For example, responsible procurement is included in individual and team scorecards for our procurement professionals which are linked to remuneration and bonus levels.
We monitor a random sample of supplier assessments to check that buyers are applying our standards correctly. If an employee or a supplier has any concerns, they can report these confidentially using a range of options, as described in our Code of Conduct.
Are employees outside the procurement team ever involved in buying decisions? How do you make sure they apply your standards?
Not all purchasing decisions are made by our Procurement teams. This is particularly true in new or smaller markets where we may not have full time supplier managers or buyers. We need to make sure that everyone at AstraZeneca is familiar with responsible procurement and, to facilitate this, we have added a module to our annual Code of Conduct training which is compulsory for all our employees.