Supply Chain Academy

Supply Chain Academy

Imperial Health Sciences Supply Chain Academy

With a vision to expand into Africa through focusing consistently on training and skills development for African countries. The Academy, Imperial Health Sciences Supply Chain Academy, builds capacity in state-of-the-art warehousing and supply chain management of health commodities in Africa. It provides training and skills development to health and logistics practitioners in Public Health Facilities, Government Health Departments and Private Logistics Companies.

Effective supply chain management is crucial to efficient health care delivery. In OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, supply chains rely heavily on the private sector for supply, distribution and provision of products and services, particularly when the health system is largely or exclusively housed in the public sector. In LMI (Low and Middle Income) countries health supply chains perform poorly and have less private sector involvement.

When it comes to health care supplies, OECD countries have an average of 95% availability. Comparatively, public sector health facilities in LMI countries have around 38% availability while private outlets, where products are often unaffordable, report availability of less than 60%. Private sector assistance is therefore critical to improve supply chain performance in ensuring availability of products and services where it matters most.

This is where the Supply Chain Academy of Imperial Health Science takes action.

Imperial Health Science (previously known as PhD/RTT) is a major distributor of medicines and health commodities in Africa. The company identified a dire need in supply chain management skills and knowledge in the public health environment, especially in warehousing best practice. Qualified pharmacists and warehouse employees often do not understand basic supply chain strategy and methodologies. Historically, poor pharmaceutical warehouse management, including cold chain management, has resulted in medicinal product and vaccine decay and subsequent in-efficiencies and loss of product. As a result, much needed medicines and vaccines do not reach patients in time, leading to poor health services and unnecessarily high death rates.

Warehouse Management Operations Course

In 2005, the Imperial Health Science Supply Chain Academy introduced a Warehouse Management Operations (WOM) course for warehouse managers and supply chain management practitioners in governmental, public and private sector organisations in African countries.

The course is internationally recognised and designed to equip delegates with an in-depth understanding of warehouse operations and best practice, promoting a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach in line with warehousing trends. The course material covers elements of warehousing, from operations and procurement to distribution and other key components of managing the health supply chain system.

It has the following objectives:

*       Build skills in the management and performance of warehouse operations

*       Improve participants’ knowledge, allowing them to implement skills development in their own           facilities

*       Improve participants’ decision-making and problem-solving abilities

*       Improve participants’ abilities in project planning

*       Provide participants with practical tools to improve job performance levels

*       Help teams work together more effectively


The three-week WOM programme is hosted in South Africa. This has provided delegates with the opportunity to learn from local subject matter experts, gain on-the-job warehouse experience and to visit world-class, ISO:9001 certified warehousing facilities.

The initial course featured two instructors and 20 participants from three countries. To date, more than 200  learners have attended the WOM course.

The WOM programme was initially developed to meet the ARV (Antiretroviral drugs) delivery programme challenges in Africa and was only offered in English. Over time, however the benefits of training were applied within participants’ local supply chains. In response to an increasing need the programme was translated into French and Portuguese.

The Academy also recently developed add-on qualifications to ensure not only the understanding, but the successful implementation of pharmaceutical warehouse best practice. These qualifications are:

Certificate in Supply Chain and Logistics

*       2 year qualification

*       Developed in co-operation with the DaVinci Institute

Aimed at developing people earmarked for management positions, candidates are provided with the basic concepts of managing innovation, technology, people and systems within a health care working environment.

Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management (Customised for Supply Chain Employees)

*       3 year qualification

*       Developed in cooperation with CIPS and DaVinci Institute

The B Degree level qualification is developed to provide managers with an understanding of the importance of socio-economic transformation within a health care environment.

Masters Diploma in Supply Chain Management (Health Logistics)

*       16 Days  programme

*       In cooperation with  University of Stellenbosch Business School

With the objective to accelerate the development of managers and specialists by providing insights needed for more professional and high-impact management, this post graduate qualification provides a thorough overview of strategic aspects of business. It covers the way in which each function interlinks with business operations.

Imperial Health Science Supply Chain Academy training has proved beneficial to learners in terms of on-the-job skills and improved logistics performance. The Academy has also served as a change catalyst for career development within the industry. Improved knowledge and skills enhance learners’ confidence, allowing them to take on greater responsibilities that broaden their scope of work within their respective supply chain management environments.


Imperial Health Sciences Supply Chain Academy
IHS Certificate
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