Procurement Officer - SPARK Schools Support - 2023

SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools

Customer Service, Operations
Gauteng, South Africa
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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SPARK Schools is a social impact disruptor and is leading change in the education space through its network of affordable private schools. The SPARK Schools network provides transformational education innovation through Africa’s first blended learning model, which elevates student achievement and provides the tools teachers need to serve their students effectively.

The blended learning model, which combines classroom teaching and online instruction, allows teachers to anticipate student needs and equips schools to provide personalized education at an affordable cost. SPARK Schools is pioneering this transformative education model to ensure the accessibility of university and careers for all.

SPARK Schools is a high growth, mission and values-driven entrepreneurial organisation, operating 20 primary schools, 4 high schools and serving over 15,000 families in 2023. We are looking for dynamic people to join our team.

Purpose of Role:

The Procurement Officer is responsible for the efficient acquisition of goods and services to enable SPARK Schools to deliver on its mission and vision. With a good understanding of SPARKs needs, available budget and cash, and market trends, the Procurement Officer is responsible for sourcing suppliers, negotiating contracts, and ensuring timely delivery of goods and materials across the various schools. Their attention to detail must enable them to optimise costs without compromising on quality, and on-time in-full resourcing of the schools. As a vital link between vendors and internal stakeholders, the Procurement Officer's primary objective is to streamline procurement processes, maintain supplier relationships, and foster a transparent and competitive procurement environment. The Procurement Officer is responsible for enforcing rigorous governance standards, adhering to all relevant policies, regulations, and ethical guidelines to ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability throughout the procurement process. Their commitment to robust governance practices helps mitigate risks, prevent conflicts of interest, and foster a trustworthy environment for both internal stakeholders and external suppliers.

Reports To: Procurement Manager/CFO


  • Fully understands and seeks to optimise the resourcing requirements of the schools and support team
  • Works with relevant stakeholders to coordinate and maintain an up-to-date codified school blueprint, product specifications and any other documents that govern the procurement needs of the schools and the broader business
  • Identifies opportunities to improve cost efficiency through adjustments to blueprints / product specifications and works with stakeholders to build alignment on the proposed changes
    • Runs the end-to-end tasks required to efficiently and professionally procure and deliver the resources needed for the business
    • Plans the annual procurement cycle - ensuring that items will be procured to enable cost efficiency and on-time, in-full delivery to all schools and the Support Office
    • Identifies potential suppliers
    • Invites suppliers to submit quotes, proposals and or tenders - depending on the nature and expected value of procurement
    • Evaluates bids
    • Sets in place an objective evaluation rubric for large orders
    • Assesses bids based on commercial terms, delivery terms, governance requirements and other relevant factors
    • Coordinates internal stakeholders who are required to evaluate specific bids
    • Negotiates for better terms for SPARK: price, payment terms, discounts, delivery schedules, etc
    • Arranges for samples, testing, and evaluation of new products.
    • Sets up orders
    • Requests approvals for orders - tracks the timely approval, and responds to queries raised by stakeholders on approvals requested
    • Shares purchase orders with suppliers
    • Tracks delivery of items
    • Ensures deliveries adhere to supplier agreements and contracts and reports non-conformances
    • Liaises with suppliers in order to resolve shortages, missed or late deliveries, and other problems.
    • Works with internal stakeholders to mitigate the impact of late deliveries on scholar learning, stakeholder experience and general operations
    • Collects and submits delivery notes, invoices and statements, and any other documentation that may be required from time to time
    • Supports schools teams, finance and other internal stakeholders in obtaining the required documentation and resolving any administrative and or account queries with suppliers
    • Ensures that internal stakeholders are updated, at all times, on the status of all orders
    • Administers and maintains procurement systems for the business
    • Maintains appropriate user access on procurement related systems
    • Ensures that all changes made to the systems as as per the Procurement policies and rules
    • Runs reports on the procurement systems to ensure that all administration is up to date
    • Develops and maintains an up to date supplier network for SPARK
    • Proactively builds a supplier database - in anticipation of SPARKs future needs - including
    • Supplier company details and governance related documentation
    • Supplier capability, infrastructure and experience (e.g. lead times, logistics solution / fleet size)
    • Supplier track record and performance data in relation to their work with SPARK
    • Builds positive relationships with suppliers: building a network of suppliers who want to give SPARK their best possible commercial terms and service
    • Monitors supplier performance regularly, including delivery timelines, product quality, and adherence to contractual obligations.
    • Puts in place supplier development plans to ensure that for all major procurement categories, always have an adequate number of suppliers available to assist in the various categories
    • Collaborates with stakeholders to address any supplier performance issues and implement improvement plans as needed.
    • Runs a rigorous supplier onboarding process - maintaining the tightest level of governance to ensure that only credible, verified suppliers are loaded as SPARK suppliers
    • Proactively identifies procurement related risks and puts in place risk mitigation and contingency plans to avoid and minimise the identified risks
    • Develops and maintains a set of Procurement guidelines, policies and procedures for SPARK Schools
    • Manages procurement controlled budgets
    • Prepares the annual budgets, in line with the annual budgeting process - estimating an efficient budget for procurement controlled spend
    • Tracks spend against budget to ensure that procurement is within the boundaries of the procurement and other business unit budget
    • Provides reports, as required, from time to time, by the Procurement Manager and the ManCo team on all aspects related to Procurement
    • Seek to enhance the positive impact of procurement - for example on BEE targets, supplier diversity, ethical sourcing, ESG ambitions and the like

Qualifications and Criteria:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and criteria:

  • Matric/Grade 12 Certificate, and
  • Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management (Level 5 Preferred) - or - equivalent relevant Diploma majoring in Procurement and Supply Chain Management (Degree Preferred).


  • A minimum of 3 Years’ experience in the field of procurement - preferably more than 5 years


  • Negotiation
  • Supplier management
  • Contract management
  • Analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Detail orientation
  • Communication: written and verbal
  • Stakeholder management
  • Able to work independently / self-manage

Skills and Mindset:

  • Desire to innovate, problem solve and ultimately save money
  • Takes ownership and accountability for results
  • Consultative - proactively works with stakeholders
  • Results-oriented
  • Ethical conduct at all times

Values: Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, Kindness

SPARK offers:

  • fair market linked remuneration
  • performance-based annual bonuses and increases
  • above average/good annual leave
  • life, disability and funeral cover
  • employee wellness support
  • educational support & study leave
  • individualised professional development, support and mentorship
  • employee discount on school fees
  • opportunities for career growth

Compensation: Commensurate with experience

Position Type: Permanent

Location: Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa

SPARK schools is an equal opportunities employer and preference will be given to candidates from designated groups with due consideration of the company’s Employment Equity goals and targets.

SPARK schools encourages persons with disabilities to apply.

SPARK Schools may expire the posting of this advertisement at their own discretion.

Kindly note that should you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date please consider your application unsuccessful.