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Procurement Senior Manager (Policy and Standards)

Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Procurement
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-31

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Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background information - Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS)

Within UNOPS, Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices. IPS provides thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines (infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources and financial management services).

IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) and the Procurement Group (PG) which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement. In addition, the Portfolio Support (PS) unit aims at building up and managing aspects of the organisational readiness of UNOPS. Last, the IPS is hosting the corporate Knowledge Management initiative.

Background Information - PG

Procurement and Supply Chain Practice Group

The Procurement Group (PG) is part of Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) and is based at UNOPS HQ in Copenhagen. It leads the organization’s procurement practice and is responsible for: articulating strategy, policy positions and innovative solutions for procurement at UNOPS; enabling the operationalization and managerial oversight of UNOPS procurement activities through appropriate systems and reports; strengthening the knowledge, skills and career development of procurement practitioners; leading the implementation of Sustainable Procurement across the organization; and to identify and develop opportunities for the provision of procurement services for partners and clients, ensuring appropriate modalities for service delivery.

PG has three main workstreams: Policy and Standards, Oversight and Analytics and Procurement Advisory Services. In addition, PG hosts the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM).

As a central procurement resource for the United Nations system and its partners, UNOPS emphasizes efficient, transparent, cost-effective and sustainable delivery of goods, services and works, in line with public procurement best practices. On a yearly basis, UNOPS procures over USD 1.2 Bn worth of goods, services and works on behalf of our partners. These include a broad base of categories, including life-saving pharmaceuticals, mine action equipment, vehicles or road construction services. 

UNOPS has over the years, including through PG’s leadership, implemented a series of best practices in procurement including on: procurement policy, ethics and fraud prevention, sustainable procurement, e-Procurement, data analytics and procurement advisory services.


Background Information - Job-specific

PG’s Policy and Standards team is responsible for 5 main areas of work: procurement policy; procurement training; eProcurement; health procurement advisory; sustainable procurement. The team is led by the Procurement Senior Manager - Policy and Standards (the position represented by this Terms of Reference), who is leading a team of 10 procurement practitioners of various levels: Policy and Training Specialist, Procurement Specialist, Procurement Senior Analyst, Pharmaceuticals Advisor, Medical Devices Advisor, and Procurement Manager - Sustainable Procurement. The latter in turn leads a team of three Senior Procurement Analysts.

Due to the nature of the job, the selected candidate is expected to frequently interact and collaborate with other PG teams and key stakeholders, including UNOPS Regions and offices, and other HQ groups such as: Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG), Integrated Practice, Advice and Support (IPAS), Headquarters Contracts and Procurement Committees (HQCPC), Legal Group (LG), Internal Audit and Investigations Group (IAIG), Finance Group (FG), Ethics and Compliance Office (ECO), Information Technology Group (ITG).

The selected candidate is also expected to join and actively contribute to the High Level Committee on Management Procurement Network (HLCM PN) and relevant working groups, in collaboration with other UN organizations.

Due to the nature of the job, the selected candidate may travel occasionally to field offices or to represent UNOPS in relevant events, where virtual attendance is not possible.

Functional Responsibilities

The Procurement Senior Manager (Policy and Standards) will report directly to the Director, PG. S/He will be part of PG’s Management Team, where s/he will contribute to the development and implementation of the PG’ strategy and Business Plan, as well as supporting an enabling working environment for the PG team . The main functional responsibilities of this position are as follows: 

1. Team management
  • Leadership of the Policy and Standards team, including personnel on a retainer contract;

  • Development, planning, and execution of the work plan for the team within the agreed timeline and quality standards;

  • Promote continuous learning within the team and collaboration across the organization;

  • Fostering and enabling a positive environment of trust, transparency and diversity;

  • Identify, attract, recruit and onboard new talent for vacant positions if applicable

2. Maintain and strengthen procurement policies and standards
  • Maintain and strengthen procurement policies (including the UNOPS Procurement Manual), templates, guidelines and PQMS content as relevant, ensuring alignment with UNOPS and IPS strategies, industry standards, best practices and evolving business needs. Ensure alignment with IPMG policies on project management and quality infrastructure. 

  • Provide authoritative advice on procurement policy, key stakeholders, including: the Director,PG,  HQCPC, IPAS, IAIG and field offices.

  • Provide technical input during the review of bid protests.

  • Act as member of the Vendor Review Committee (VRC) and lead the coordination of  its secretariat; Coordinate the processing of cases to suspend suppliers due to unsatisfactory performance.

  • Ensure the timely coordination of procurement input to certifications and audits, including IAIG, JIU, UNBOA, etc.

  • Ensure timely process of nominations for Procurement Reviewers and procurement DOA requests.

  • Oversee PG’s contributions to UNOPS Knowledge Management practice.

3. Manage the professionalization  of  UNOPS procurement personnel
  • Identify training gaps and develop new courses and/or revise existing courses in coordination with internal stakeholders

  • Coordinate the delivery of face-to-face or virtual Procurement Operations Training when required.

  • Manage UNOPS external professional certification programmes (CIPS and ISM), in collaboration with PCG.

  • Ensure the effective management of the budget allocated within the Corporate Learning Budget for procurement learning activities. 

  • Coordinate and manage learning opportunities to UNOPS vendors, including through the participation in UN International Procurement Seminars.

4. Lead the development and implementation of e-Procurement initiatives
  • Act as PG’s focal point for e-Procurement for ITG and other key stakeholders, including users in HQ and field locations.

  • Maintain and enhance UNOPS eProcurement initiatives, including: the UNOPS eSourcing system, and relevant modules within the ERP system: P2P, Supplier Performance Evaluation,, Contract Management.

  • Lead the development of new tools in alignment with the UNOPS Digital Strategy and roadmap.

5. Lead and provide oversight to the health procurement advisors
  • Provide guidance and advice to the Pharmaceuticals Advisor and the Medical Devices Advisor.

  • Develop and continuously improve policies, standards, guidelines, tools and systems related to health procurement, including the Quality Assurance Policy for the Procurement of Medicines, Medical Devices and other Health Products.

  • Advise the Directors of PG and IPS when UNOPS considers new engagements involving the procurement and supply chain of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

  • Review and advise on procurement strategies and plans involving the acquisition of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including the potential establishment of global or regional Long Term Agreements (LTAs).

  • Contribute to the strategic positioning of UNOPS in the health procurement domain.

6. Lead and provide oversight to the Sustainable Procurement team

  • Provide guidance and advice to the Procurement Manager, Sustainable Procurement.

  • Develop and continuously improve policies, standards, guidelines, tools and systems related to sustainable procurement, including the Sustainable Procurement Framework, gender mainstreaming in procurement, disability inclusion, total cost of ownership, etc.;

  • Monitor UNOPS procurement processes to verify compliance with said policies;

  • Provide advice and support to UNOPS procurement practitioners and other key stakeholders in sustainable procurement implementation matters.

  • Ensure that key initiatives are constantly enhanced and meet the desired objectives, including the supplier sustainability programme (DRiVE) and the supplier diversity programme (UNOPS Possibilities), as well as other initiatives supporting sustainable, resilient and inclusive development, and enabling public procurement to be an agent of change promoting social inclusion while ensuring fairness and value for money.

7. Knowledge sharing & Contributions to PG
  • Support the application of procurement policy, best-practices and standards;

  • Support, strengthen and improve change initiatives that will lead to enhanced knowledge, and effective application of UNOPS’ procurement processes and tools;

  • Keep abreast of and be adept in contemporary procurement techniques and industry practices as they impact UNOPS to implement projects;

  • Provide technical inputs to PG publications, especially in relation to procurement management and strategic positioning papers;

  • Show leadership within and contribute to  the procurement community of practice, by maintaining contact and building relationships by addressing questions, providing support and acting as an available resource.

Competencies ES

Desarrolla e implementa estrategias operacionales sostenibles, piensa a largo plazo y tiene en cuenta el contexto exterior con el objetivo de conformar la estructura de la organización. Anticipa y percibe el impacto y las implicaciones de actividades y decisiones futuras en otras partes de la organización.
Demuestra comprender el impacto que tiene su función en todos los asociados y siempre pone al beneficiario en primer lugar. Desarrolla y mantiene relaciones externas sólidas y es un asociado competente para otros (si entra en sus funciones).
Evalúa los datos y los procedimientos que se deben seguir para lograr decisiones lógicas y pragmáticas. Adopta un enfoque imparcial y racional con riesgos calculados. Aplica la innovación y la creatividad al proceso de resolución de problemas.
Establece de forma eficaz una línea de acción propia y/o para otros con el objetivo de alcanzar una meta. Las acciones desembocan en la correcta consecución de la tarea con especial atención a la calidad en todas las áreas. Identifica las oportunidades y toma la iniciativa para actuar. Comprende que el uso responsable de los recursos maximiza el impacto que podemos tener en nuestros beneficiarios.
Trata a todos los individuos con respeto, responde con tacto a las diferencias y anima a los demás a hacer lo mismo. Defiende las normas éticas y de la organización. Mantiene altos estándares de confianza. Es un modelo para la diversidad y la inclusión.
Está abierto al cambio y es flexible en un entorno con un elevado ritmo de trabajo. Adapta su perspectiva a las circunstancias o los requisitos cambiantes. Reflexiona sobre las experiencias pasadas y modifica su propio comportamiento. El desempeño es constante, incluso bajo presión. Siempre persigue mejoras continuas.
Expresa ideas o hechos de forma clara, concisa y abierta. La comunicación indica una consideración por los sentimientos y las necesidades de los demás. Escucha de forma activa y comparte de manera proactiva el conocimiento. Gestiona los conflictos de manera eficaz mediante la superación de las diferencias de opinión y la búsqueda de un denominador común.
Actúa como modelo positivo que contribuye al espíritu de equipo. Colabora y apoya el desarrollo de otros. Solo para administradores de personal: mediante el uso de estilos de liderazgo apropiados, actúa como modelo de liderazgo positivo, motiva, dirige e inspira a los demás para que tengan éxito.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject (i.e. Procurement, Supply Management, Finance, Business, Law or other) is required.

  • Bachelor’s degree combined with additional 2 years of relevant experience in a similar position may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree.


  • A professional certification in Procurement (for example CIPS) is highly desirable


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in public procurement and supply chain management, including operational experience with procurement, preferably in the public sector, is required.

  •  Two (2) years in a supervisory role is required (and can be included in the above experience).

  • In-depth expertise in the field of procurement and supply chain management is required.

  • Experience in representing your own  organization at external events is an asset.

  • Knowledge and experience in the application of UNOPS/UN procurement policies and procedures will be considered an asset.

  • Experience working at UN/UNOPS field offices will be considered an asset.

  • Experience in the development of procurement policies or standards will be advantageous.

  • Experience in the development of procurement systems or modules will be considered an asset.

  • Understanding of health  procurement will be considered an asset.

  • Understanding of infrastructure procurement will be considered an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required.

  • Fluency in French or Spanish is desirable.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Work environment:

IPS offers a unique work environment in UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, located in the UN City building, one of Copenhagen’s landmarks. UNOPS HQ offers a safe, family-friendly environment with multiple opportunities for networking and an active lifestyle in a city known for its excellent urban design and planning.

The IPS team is a diverse team in terms of age, nationalities and family situations.  The team is inclusive and values social and athletic activities like team breakfast, Friday evening networking or sports such as sailing, climbing, running and squash. IPS is very dynamic and welcomes agility, autonomy and self-drive. The work of IPS is oriented towards exciting opportunities which have a corporate, global impact and is in touch with the whole of UNOPS. UNOPS has a hosting agreement with the Government of Denmark under which both national and international candidates are eligible for HQ-based positions. UNOPS officials are exempt from Danish taxes on UN incomes. EU citizens in particular may opt to be registered with the Danish State Administration as an EU migrant worker, and keep the rights associated with that status, or register through UNOPS with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. EU citizens may apply for the free public Danish health insurance or special health card depending on their choice of registration. Non-EU citizens will be registered by UNOPS under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and must purchase their own private health insurance. 

IPS is very respectful of the UNOPS approach to work-life balance, including flexible working hours and remote working arrangements. IPS is keen on improving diversity in the team with a current focus on gender equality and equal representation.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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