On October 4th & 5th of 2018, NECI’s President “Maureen Sullivan” was delivering in-house procurement planning training PSPP 201 to a group of procurement professionals at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) in Fort McMurray, when it was noticed by a participant that someone was hiding outside the classroom window trying to get free procurement training.

Before we talk about our class freeloader, we’re going to cover who the RMWB is, what they needed training in, and what they liked most about the course.


The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is a specialized municipality located in northeastern Alberta.

Formed as a result of the amalgamation of the City of Fort McMurray and Improvement District No. 143 on April 1, 1995, it is the largest municipality in Canada by area.

It is home to vast oil sand deposits, also known as the Athabasca oil sands.

Why the PSPP 201 Planning Course?

“To expand my knowledge and perform better in my job.”

Some comments from attendees about why they chose to attend the Public Sector Procurement Program training include:

  • To learn more about Public Sector Procurement and become more proficient at my job.
  • It will benefit my role in the organization to better understand procurement.
  • There is an increase of procurement related questions posed by Council. My increased knowledge will assist in providing appropriate responses.

What Was Learned?

How to ensure adequate planning is done for procurement and contracting processes.

Over the course of the two days, the participants:

  • Learned the steps to obtain approvals to issue the solicitation
  • Practiced conducting a needs assessment, cost benefit analysis and risk assessment
  • Reviewed and discuss how to design a procurement strategy and process
  • Understood how to define the solicitation terms
  • Discussed how to draft the Contract B framework
  • Identified best practices and legal obligations in the planning phase of procurement
  • Identified document retention requirements and other requirements to comply with corporate policy

What Were the Best Parts?

“Lessons learned in regards to planning and contract management”

Many found the best parts to be:

  • The case studies. They brought the course to “life”.
  • Learning cohesively as a group/department.
  • Working in groups and the discussions.
  • So many amazing parts – thinking about performance management, functionality and copyright and moral rights. This was really awesome! I can not say enough, honestly. I will recommend it to others.
  • Case studies gave real life examples of situations.

All-in-all we had a great time with the RMWB, and are confident that true procurement training value was delivered.

All claims about this course were sourced from actual comments made by participants.

Exposing the Freeloader

About half way through the course, it was noticed by one of our participants that there was someone outside the classroom window trying to get some free procurement training!

Turns out the course crasher was a young fox!

Fox sitting attentively in garden bed outside classroom window listening to training

Fox considers retraining in procurement

Perhaps our fox friend found that catching mice was a difficult way to support himself, and is considering some retraining.

PSPP 201 Planning Starts January 14

If you’re interested in upgrading your procurement planning knowledge, you should consider our PSPP 201 online course starting January 14th, 2019. Click below to learn more.