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Top 11 Associate Buyer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best associate buyer certifications available to help professionals advance their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for an associate buyer in the job market because they provide evidence of a candidate's knowledge and skills. Having certifications gives employers confidence that the candidate is qualified for the job and can handle the tasks associated with it. Additionally, certifications demonstrate that a candidate has taken initiative to learn more about their field and improve their qualifications. This can give an associate buyer an edge over other candidates who may not have similar certifications or professional development experiences. Ultimately, having certifications helps to set an associate buyer apart from other applicants and increases their chances of getting hired.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Associate Buyers and explain how they can help advance an associate buyer's career.

What are Associate Buyer Certifications?

Associate Buyer Certification is a professional certification program designed to help retail buyers and purchasing professionals develop the essential skills needed for success in the retail industry. It provides individuals with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to become a successful buyer. The certification program covers all aspects of buying, from product selection, budgeting and forecasting to negotiations, marketing and merchandising. Associate Buyer Certification can help individuals gain a better understanding of the complexities involved in buying and selling products as well as how to effectively manage inventory levels, create effective purchasing strategies, analyze trends in consumer behaviour and develop relationships with suppliers. It also provides insight into best practices for working with vendors and negotiating contracts. This certification helps buyers stay up-to-date on changing trends within the industry and understand the current market conditions that may affect their decisions. With an Associate Buyer Certification, individuals can demonstrate their commitment to excellence in their field while increasing their potential career opportunities.

Pro Tip: When considering an associate buyer certification, make sure to research and understand the specific requirements and qualifications necessary to obtain the certification. Knowing what is needed ahead of time can help ensure that you are fully prepared when the time comes to apply for the certification.

Related: What does an Associate Buyer do?

Top 11 Associate Buyer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Associate Buyers today.

1. Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM)

Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of purchasing professionals. It is offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The CPPM designation is awarded to those who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles, processes, and techniques related to purchasing management.

It typically takes about three months to complete the requirements for the CPPM designation. To earn this certification, you must pass an exam that covers topics such as procurement strategies, supplier relationships, contract management, and risk management. You must also have at least two years of professional experience in purchasing or supply chain management.

To get started on your path to becoming a Certified Professional Purchasing Manager, you need to become an ISM member and register for the CPPM exam. The cost of membership varies depending on your country of residence; however, it typically costs around $150 USD per year. The cost of taking the exam is $395 USD for ISM members and $495 USD for non-members.

2. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)

Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in supply management and have met the highest standards of professional excellence.

To obtain the CPSM certification, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass three exams: Fundamentals of Supply Management, Professionalism in Supply Management, and Strategic Supply Management. The exams are administered online through ISM's testing partner, Prometric.

The entire process typically takes six to twelve months to complete. To become eligible for the CPSM exam, applicants must have at least two years of full-time experience in supply management or related fields. They must also submit an application with a $50 fee and provide proof of their experience.

The cost for taking the CPSM exam varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For members, each exam costs $225; for non-members, each exam costs $325. In addition to these fees, there may be additional costs associated with studying materials and other resources needed to prepare for the exams.

3. Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP)

Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The CPP program is designed to help purchasing professionals demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of purchasing. It is an internationally recognized credential that signifies a high level of competency in the areas of supply chain management, procurement, and contract management.

The CPP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers five core areas: Strategic Sourcing, Contract Negotiation, Supplier Relationship Management, Supplier Performance Management, and Risk Management. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours.

To become certified as a CPP, applicants must have at least three years of experience in purchasing or related fields. They must also have completed at least 60 hours of approved continuing education courses or training programs within the past five years.

The cost of obtaining the CPP certification varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For ISM members, the cost is $395; for non-members it is $495. Once you have passed the exam and met all other requirements for certification, you will receive your official certificate from ISM.

4. Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP)

Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP) is a professional certification program offered by the National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals (NAPCP). It is designed to recognize purchasing card professionals who have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the purchasing card industry and its best practices. The CPCP program offers an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their expertise in the field of purchasing cards, as well as to gain recognition for their knowledge and experience.

The CPCP program consists of two parts: a written exam and an online course. The written exam covers topics such as card management, fraud prevention, compliance, and analytics. To pass the exam, applicants must achieve a score of at least 70%. The online course covers topics such as best practices in purchasing card usage, risk management, data security, and analytics.

It typically takes around six months to complete the CPCP program. Applicants must first register with NAPCP before they can begin the program. Once registered, applicants must complete both parts of the program within six months in order to receive their certification.

The cost of the CPCP program varies depending on whether or not you are a member of NAPCP. For non-members, the cost is $1,495 USD; for members, it is $995 USD.

5. Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP)

Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) is a certification program designed to help individuals and organizations develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions when purchasing green products. The CGPP program is offered by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), a global association for supply chain professionals.

The CGPP certification is earned through a combination of online learning, self-study, and an exam. The online learning component includes four modules that cover topics such as green product selection, environmental regulations, green procurement strategies, and sustainability metrics. This component takes approximately 10 hours to complete. After completing the online learning component, candidates must take a 90-minute proctored exam at an approved testing center.

To be eligible for the CGPP certification, applicants must have at least two years of professional experience in purchasing or related fields. In addition, applicants must pay an application fee of $250 USD and an exam fee of $150 USD.

Once certified, individuals can use their CGPP credentials to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable purchasing practices and increase their value in the job market.

6. Certified Strategic Sourcing Professional (CSSP)

Certified Strategic Sourcing Professional (CSSP) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in strategic sourcing and supply chain management. The CSSP certification is offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the profession of supply management.

The CSSP certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the areas of strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, cost analysis, negotiations, risk management, and total cost of ownership. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers these topics. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

To be eligible for the CSSP certification, applicants must have at least five years of experience in supply chain or procurement roles and must have completed at least 40 hours of continuing education related to strategic sourcing or supply chain management within the past three years.

The cost of taking the CSSP exam varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For ISM members, the cost is $395 USD; for non-members it is $495 USD.

7. Certified Supplier Diversity Professional (CSDP)

Certified Supplier Diversity Professional (CSDP) is an accreditation program offered by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). It is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity in the supply chain.

The CSDP program consists of a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on developing skills and knowledge in supplier diversity management, including how to identify and engage diverse suppliers, create inclusive supplier policies, develop partnerships with minority-owned businesses, and evaluate supplier diversity performance.

The CSDP program typically takes between 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual's availability and dedication. The program consists of three components: online self-study modules, an online exam, and a one-day workshop. Upon successful completion of all three components, individuals will receive their official CSDP certification from NMSDC.

The cost for the CSDP program varies depending on whether you are an NMSDC member or nonmember. For members, the cost is $2,500; for nonmembers it is $3,000. This cost includes access to all course materials as well as registration fees for the workshop and exam.

8. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a certification program offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). It is designed to give professionals in the supply chain field a comprehensive understanding of the best practices and processes used in managing global supply chains. The CSCP credential demonstrates an individual’s ability to understand and apply supply chain principles across a variety of industries.

The CSCP program consists of three parts: an online course, an exam, and a professional development program. The online course provides a comprehensive overview of global supply chain management strategies, concepts, and tools. It includes topics such as customer relationship management, inventory management, logistics and transportation, procurement, production planning and control, quality assurance, risk management, sustainability, technology enablement, and more.

To become certified as a CSCP professional you must complete the online course within 12 months of registering for it. After completing the course you must pass an exam administered by ASCM. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover all aspects of global supply chain management. You must score at least 70% on the exam to receive your certification.

The cost for the CSCP program varies depending on how you register for it. If you register through ASCM’s website then it will cost $995 USD plus applicable taxes. If you register through one of ASCM’s authorized training partners then it will cost $1125 USD plus applicable taxes.

9. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is an international professional body for procurement and supply chain management. It was founded in 1932 and has over 200,000 members in 150 countries. CIPS offers qualifications, training, and resources to help individuals become successful professionals in the field of procurement and supply chain management.

To become a CIPS member, you must have at least three years of experience working in the field or have completed a CIPS qualification. To obtain a CIPS qualification, you must complete either the Level 3 Certificate or the Level 6 Diploma. The Level 3 Certificate takes approximately nine months to complete while the Level 6 Diploma can take up to two years.

You can apply for membership online through the CIPS website. The cost of membership varies depending on your level of qualification and experience. For example, if you are applying with a Level 3 Certificate, it will cost £120 per year plus an initial joining fee of £50; however, if you are applying with a Level 6 Diploma it will cost £210 per year plus an initial joining fee of £100.

In addition to membership fees, there are also costs associated with completing the qualifications such as exam fees and course materials which range from £200-£1,000 depending on which qualification you choose to pursue.

10. International Association for Contract & Commercial Management Certification Program

The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) Certification Program is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful contract and commercial managers. It is designed to help professionals in the field of contract and commercial management to develop their expertise, enhance their career prospects, and increase their earning potential.

The IACCM Certification Program consists of four levels: Associate, Professional, Expert and Master. Each level requires a different amount of experience and knowledge in order to be eligible for certification. The program also requires applicants to pass an online assessment in order to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered by the course.

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on which level you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for the Associate Level, it typically takes around 6-12 months to complete the program. If you are applying for the Professional Level, it usually takes around 12-18 months to complete the program. The Expert Level typically takes 18-24 months to complete, while the Master Level may take up to 36 months or more depending on your experience level.

To get certified through IACCM, applicants must first register online at www.iaccmcertification.org/register/. Once registered, applicants will need to complete an online application form which includes details about their background and experience in contract and commercial management as well as any relevant qualifications they may have obtained previously. Applicants must then submit a fee along with their application form in order for it to be processed by IACCM’s Certification Board.

The cost of getting certified through IACCM varies depending on which level you are applying for. The cost of registering for the Associate Level is $1,500 USD; Professional Level is $2,500 USD; Expert Level is $3,500 USD; and Master Level is $5,000 USD.

11. National Institute of Governmental Purchasing Certification Program

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) Certification Program is a voluntary professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the public procurement profession. It is designed to enhance the professionalism of public sector procurement personnel, promote the highest ethical standards, and provide recognition for those who meet established criteria.

To become certified, an individual must pass a comprehensive exam that tests their knowledge in all areas of public procurement including contract law, purchasing principles, ethics and professional practices. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of public procurement and takes approximately three hours to complete.

To get certified, individuals must first apply for certification through NIGP’s website. After submitting an application and paying a fee, applicants will receive study materials from NIGP that will help them prepare for the exam. Once they are ready to take the exam, they can register online or by mail. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their certificate in the mail within four weeks.

The cost of certification varies based on membership status with NIGP. Non-members pay $395 while members pay $295 for certification. In addition, there is a $50 fee for re-testing if an applicant does not pass on their first attempt.

Do You Really Need a Associate Buyer Certificate?

Whether or not you need an associate buyer certificate depends on your career goals and aspirations. If you want to become an associate buyer, then an associate buyer certificate would be beneficial to your career. It would demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary for the job.

An associate buyer certificate may also provide you with additional job opportunities, as employers may prefer to hire candidates who have completed such a program. This is because it shows that you have taken the time and effort to learn about the industry and understand what is required of a successful associate buyer. It also shows that you have a commitment to the field and are willing to stay up-to-date with new developments in the industry.

However, if your goal is simply to gain more experience in this field or if you are looking for a specific position, then an associate buyer certificate may not be necessary. You can still gain valuable experience by working in other roles related to buying and merchandising, such as sales or product development. In addition, many companies offer on-the-job training and mentoring programs which can provide you with some of the same skills and knowledge as those obtained through a formal program.

Ultimately, whether or not an associate buyer certificate is needed depends on your individual goals and objectives. If becoming an associate buyer is important to you, then completing such a program can be beneficial for both your career prospects and overall industry knowledge.

Related: Associate Buyer Resume Examples

FAQs About Associate Buyer Certifications

Q1: What is an Associate Buyer Certification?

A1: An Associate Buyer Certification is a certificate that demonstrates knowledge and proficiency in the field of purchasing and procurement. It validates an individual’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and negotiate purchases at a professional level.

Q2: Who should pursue an Associate Buyer Certification?

A2: Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in purchasing or procurement should consider obtaining an Associate Buyer Certification. The certification can help individuals gain the necessary skills and qualifications needed for a successful career in this field.

Q3: How long does it take to obtain an Associate Buyer Certification?

A3: The amount of time required to complete the certification process will vary depending on the program you choose. Generally, most programs require approximately 12-15 months to complete all requirements for the certification.

Q4: What topics are covered in the Associate Buyer Certification exam?

A4: Topics covered on the exam include Purchasing & Procurement Processes & Procedures, Cost Analysis & Negotiation Strategies, Supply Chain Management, Risk Management & Quality Control, Contract Law & Regulations, and Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Relationships.

Q5: Are there any prerequisites for taking the Associate Buyer Certification exam?

A5: Yes, many programs require applicants to have prior experience working with purchasing or procurement and/or hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field before taking the exam.