Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsADRIAN KAMELLARD: Is that we need new mechanisms for getting the civil service engaged in this debate, understanding issues, and gaining a level of information that they can't do via other routes. MOOC is a device, a way of bringing many different parties together at the same time, is very attractive. It'll get people engaging with people with whom they're not otherwise used to engaging, hearing issues debated in a way that they're not used to. And it's a very efficient way of developing skills and experience in this space.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsKAI JACOB: The role of contract managers is so diverse and the definition is not really clear. A MOOC, where people around the globe could easily access information and share the same knowledge base, would help us to find a common ground. And from there start a whole new contract management function and build the future.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsPABLO ZARRA: Several times, I have been asked by people working in my organisation about their career development plans. And they're looking at getting into contracts, but they're not working in contracts, they're working other type of tasks. And I think an alternative like this that is not only for contract geeks, it's for people that is out of our profession could be very beneficial.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsMC MCBAIN: I think it's really important. I always say to the sales people I work with that knowledge of contracts pays. So whether you're an individual consumer or whether you're just living out your day-in and day-out life, contracts and commercial relationships touch each and every one of us.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 secondsKATHERINE KAWAMOTO: Good commercial skills are a benefit for everyone in business, whether they're in engineering, project management, finance, all stakeholders in the business could benefit from good commercial skills.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsJIM BERGMAN: But we also want to ensure that through the MOOC that we engage that broader audience and engage them in areas and topics that are of great importance, gives them the insights that they may not have had. It allows them to engage in conversations, hopefully, to interact in ways that, perhaps, they otherwise would not be afforded that opportunity.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsGHISLAINE GUNGE: So the more people understand what's contract, the easiest my job would be.

Skip to 2 minutes and 30 secondsDARREN SIVAPALAN: I think in terms of the gain for civil service to be involved in the MOOC is dissemination of the message. So more and more individuals who may not see commercial capability as core to their job, whilst we are trying to build that awareness and understanding, there is a task for us to localise it, to make it more relevant, to everyone who is a buyer. So if you're a policy maker in the Ministry of Justice or you may be on the front line in the Department of Work and Pensions, you relate to a contract. You relate to a service that may have been bought.

Skip to 3 minutes and 2 secondsAnd for you to have a voice in terms of how that supplier is performing and how that contract is performing is important. And then again, at the front-end in terms of the next genesis of that contract, what worked, what didn't, the intelligence. Have you heard about who's in the market? Who can perform x or y? All of that comes into the mix. Actually, we all have a commercial capability. We possibly don't relate or understand it in that way. And this is about trying to get the understanding out there.

Why is this global online course important?

When we were out filming for this course, a number of very senior executives in the field of contract management were insistent that they were given the opportunity to tell you why they think this type of global online course, also sometimes known as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), is so important in today’s rapidly changing business world.

Watch the video to see what they have to say.


Why this course was created

The University of Southampton and the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) were approached by the UK government (Crown Commercial Service & Civil Service Learning) to design and deliver a course that focuses on how to build successful customer-supplier partner relationships in business.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Head of the UK Civil Service thinks that a global course like this is important as there is a real benefit in civil servants learning alongside people from different sectors where they can identify best practice and learn how other organisations tackle similar challenges.


Who is this course for?

We’ve designed this course for anyone who wants to better understand what is involved in commercial business relationships, and the process of managing contractual agreements.

Whilst it is suitable for those working in the public, private and third sectors it may also be useful for those considering a new career, who would like to add to their skill set or who are simply curious.


Join the global community

We’d love to find out more about you.

Where in the world are you?

Add yourself to our interactive map below. Here is how to do this:

  1. Click on the link.
  2. At the top left of the map click the tab marked ‘Additions’.
  3. Choose ‘Add Marker- Simple’.
  4. Type your name in the Entry Name field. We suggest that you use only your first name for security reasons.
  5. Type your location in the location field (e.g. your city & country). Alternatively you can use the ‘click on map location’ feature. Please don’t put your full address for security reasons.
  6. Hit submit!

Once you have added yourself to the map, please click the ‘back button’ on your browser to come back here. Then introduce yourself in the comments area and tell us about your motivation for joining this course.

Go to the Interactive Map


Communicating online

  • Comments should be brief and to the point; no more than two or three short paragraphs. This is a conversation, not a monologue - no one wants to read essays!

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  • Criticise the idea, not the person – and be polite when you do

  • Don’t write a reply that you wouldn’t say face to face

  • Remember that learners vary in culture, age and experience

  • Not all learners have English as their first language, so always try to write clearly

  • Explain any acronyms you use and avoid jargon if you can

  • If you see a message that you think is offensive click its ‘Report’ flag icon. It will be reviewed by FutureLearn’s moderators and will be removed if they agree with you


Posting your first comments

Share your response in the discussion area. Have a look at other learners’ comments. If you can relate to a comment someone else has made, why not ‘Like’ it or leave a reply? You can filter comments by ‘Following’, ‘Most liked’ and ‘My comments’.

If you want to see recent activity on the course, click the Activity icon at the top of the step. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show the comments of people you’re following, or see if anyone has replied to a comment you’ve made.


When you are ready to move on click the pink ‘Mark as Complete’ button at the bottom of this step. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done.

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This video is from the free online course:

Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

University of Southampton