Our entry-level programme into the world of maritime procurement, the Assistant Buyer course is suitable for the assistant maritime buyer who fulfils an operational procurement role in a department involved with procurement or ordering processes in the shipping industry. Delivered across two blocks of eight weeks, the course will introduce you to the different phases of the purchasing process and the different levels of purchasing activities. During this time, you will be trained to perform supporting operational purchasing and logistical activities, including:

  • ordering, expediting and evaluating,
  • basic legal aspects of procurement, reporting, communication, time management and negotiation skills,
  • procurement automation and e-procurement, and
  • the basics of the tactical procurement process, such as specifications, supplier selection and contracting.
Start Date
16 weeks
Study Time
4-6 hours per week
Study Mode
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What we look for

  • You are enthusiastic, committed and would like to learn about marine procurement and supply chain management.
  • You are considering an entry-level position in a procurement department or are now working as an assistant maritime buyer. 
  • You are either just starting to be or not yet familiar with operational purchasing and logistical activities and have not yet built the foundational knowledge to operate in the field of marine procurement and supply chain management. 
  • You have a satisfactory level of English, equivalent to upper-intermediate across writing, listening, speaking and reading bands.


During the programme, you will be studying four different modules that will help you build a solid foundation of knowledge in procurement and supply chain management:

Procurement and Supply Chain Management I

Discover the purchasing process and learn to perform supporting operational purchasing and logistics activities. Take control of order, delivery and receiving, and understand supplier evaluation.

Negotiation Skills I

Become a better communicator by becoming aware how cultural elements come into play when communicating. Get an introduction to the negotiation process; learn about power balance, power position and negotiation styles. Gain practical reporting skills and learn to multitask.

Legal Aspects of Procurement I

Learn about contracts and their purpose. Immerse yourself in the process of contracting, the different legal systems and frame agreements. Get to grasp with market research, e-procurement, and the tender and bid evaluation processes.

Operational Buying, Logistics and Warehouse Management

Get an introduction to Incoterms, packaging and transport costs. Learn why companies maintain inventory, when they need to restock and manage risks associated with too much or shortage of inventory.

Teaching & assessment

All students will be given 24/7 access to our online learning platform. Teaching will be carried out through video seminars that can be watched at your convenience, written lessons, online group discussions and workshops. During our programmes, students learn as much from each other as they learn from the lecturers; as a result, it is expected of you to display commitment and continually get involved in online group discussions.

Assessment will be by a mixture of exams, quizzes, and written coursework. Participation into online workshops will be taken into account for the overall grade.

At the end of the programme, students will be awarded a graduate diploma and invited to an official graduation ceremony at one of IMPA’s main events, either in Singapore or London.


The tuition fee for the Assistant Buyer online programme is GBP 2,750. This includes permanent access to our Moodle online learning management system, all course materials and your own copy of the books required under the course's bibliography. At the moment, at least two of the following books are included:

  • H.M. Visser and A.R. van Goor, Logistics: Principles and Practice (2nd edition)
  • Fred Sollish and John Semanik, The Procurement and Supply Manager's Desk Reference (John Wiley & Sons, 2nd edition, 2012)
  • Margaret Griffiths and Ivor Griffiths, Law for Purchasing and Supply (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2002)
  • John C Tracy Jr, Negotiating Procurement Contracts: The Knowledge to Negotiate (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011)
  • Kees Gelderman, A Portfolio Approach to Purchasing Strategies: A comprehensive study to the theoretical foundations and practical possibilities (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2009)
  • X. Paul Humbert Esq., How to Analyze and Negotiate Warranties for Goods and Services: A Primer For Lawyers And Non-Lawyers Alike (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 1st edition, 2017)

If your company is looking to enrol several employees in this course, please get in touch with us directly, as we are often able to work out a bespoke offer.


The Jan R. Johannessen Scholarship

Each academic year, IMPA offers a place on one of our online programmes to a student who would like to join the course, but is unable to gain the necessary funding. The student who wins this place is known as the Jan R. Johannessen scholar. For this, you need to write a 1000-word essay on the importance of education in maritime procurement and attach it to your application. The IMPA Council will review the essays and select the winning piece. You will then be informed in due course of the outcome. As competition is high, please apply early to avoid disappointment. We recommend applying for the scholarship within no less than one month before the start of the programme in which you plan to enrol.

The Alumni Loyalty Discount 

If you have successfully completed one of our online programmes on or after 2019, you will receive an Alumni Loyalty Discount. The amount of the discount is dependent on the grade you achieved in your previous course. This goes as follows: 

  • 15% if you achieved a “Distinction”,
  • 10% if you achieved a “Merit”, and
  • 5% for successful completion.

Please note that, in order for this discount to be applied, there is no need to do anything. Upon applying for the programme, our admission team will automatically apply the discount if you are one of our alumni.