Top 10 Buyer Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top buyer certifications available for those looking to improve their purchasing skills.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are important for buyers in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has a certain level of knowledge, experience and expertise in their field. They also indicate that the individual is committed to staying up-to-date on industry trends and standards. Having certifications can give employers confidence that the buyer is knowledgeable and capable of doing the job well. Additionally, certifications can help buyers stand out from other applicants who lack certification credentials. Ultimately, having certifications gives buyers an edge when it comes to competing for jobs.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Buyers and explains how they can help to enhance a buyer's career.
What are Buyer Certifications?
Buyer certification is a process that helps buyers determine whether or not a product or service meets their needs and requirements. The certification process typically involves an independent third-party organization conducting an evaluation of the product or service against established criteria. This evaluation may include analyzing the product’s features and performance, comparing it to competitors, verifying the quality of materials used in its construction, and testing its compliance with relevant safety regulations. The goal of buyer certification is to ensure that buyers get the best value for their money by purchasing products or services that meet their expectations. It can also help buyers make informed decisions when selecting a particular provider, as certified products are generally more reliable and trustworthy than non-certified ones. Furthermore, certifications can provide peace of mind that the product will perform as expected and be safe for use.
Pro Tip: When considering a buyer certification, look for programs that are accredited by a recognized association or organization and have a record of providing quality training. Be sure to read the program's curriculum and ensure it meets your needs before committing to any program.
Related: What does a Buyer do?
Top 10 Buyer Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Buyers today.
1. Certified Professional Buyer (CPB)
Certified Professional Buyer (CPB) is a professional certification offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of purchasing. The CPB credential is intended to differentiate those individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the areas of purchasing, supply chain management, and related disciplines.
The CPB exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. To be eligible for the CPB certification, an individual must have at least two years' experience in purchasing or supply chain management, or must hold a bachelor's degree in business or related field.
In order to obtain the CPB certification, an individual must pass the CPB exam administered by ISM. The exam fee is $450 USD for ISM members and $650 USD for non-members. Additionally, there are study materials available from ISM that can help prepare individuals for the exam.
2. Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)
Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of purchasing management. It is awarded by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of purchasing and supply chain management professionals. The CPM certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of procurement, contract negotiation, supplier selection and evaluation, cost analysis and control, inventory management, quality assurance, and more.
The CPM program consists of four courses: Purchasing Fundamentals; Contracting & Negotiations; Supplier Selection & Evaluation; and Cost Analysis & Control. To earn the CPM designation, candidates must complete all four courses within one year or less. Each course requires approximately 100 hours of study time.
To be eligible for the CPM program, applicants must have at least five years of full-time experience in purchasing or related fields such as supply chain management or logistics. Candidates must also pass an exam administered by ISM prior to enrolling in any coursework.
The cost for the CPM program varies depending on which courses are taken and how they are taken (e.g., online or in person). Generally speaking, it can range from $2,000-$4,000 USD for all four courses combined.
3. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is an internationally recognized certification program designed to help supply chain professionals demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field. The CSCP program is offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the supply chain industry.
The CSCP certification requires a comprehensive understanding of end-to-end supply chain management, from strategy and design through implementation and improvement. It takes approximately six months to complete the program, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying.
To become certified, candidates must complete an online application process that includes submitting a professional resume and taking an online assessment. Candidates must also attend a three-day workshop or participate in an online course covering all aspects of supply chain management. Upon successful completion of both components, candidates will receive their CSCP certification.
The cost of the CSCP program varies depending on which route you take to earn your certification. The three-day workshop costs $2,595 USD while the online course costs $1,495 USD. Both routes include access to study materials and practice exams as well as one year of ASCM membership with additional benefits such as discounts on conferences and publications.
4. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is a professional body that represents and serves the procurement and supply profession. It provides qualifications, training, membership benefits, events and publications for those in the profession.
It takes around 18 months to two years to become a fully qualified member of CIPS. This involves passing five exams which cover topics such as procurement law, contracts management and business strategy. The exams can be taken at any time during the year, although it is recommended that they are taken in sequence.
To become a CIPS member, you must first register with the institute. There is an annual fee of £90 for registration and then an additional fee for each exam you take. Exam fees vary depending on your location but typically range from £100-£200 per exam.
Once you have passed all five exams, you will be eligible to apply for full membership of CIPS. This requires an additional application fee of £50 and an annual subscription fee of £150-£400 depending on your level of experience in the field.
5. Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP)
Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of green purchasing. The CGPP designation is awarded by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable purchasing practices.
The CGPP program is designed for professionals with at least two years of experience in green purchasing and/or sustainability, and provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to lead their organizations in developing sustainable purchasing strategies. Through a combination of online learning modules, self-study, and an exam, participants learn how to identify and evaluate sustainable products and services, develop criteria for selecting suppliers, and create effective green procurement policies.
It typically takes around 6 months to complete the CGPP program. To get certified, applicants must first register for the course online at the SPLC website. Once registered, they will be provided with access to all course materials including online learning modules and study guides. After completing all required coursework, applicants must submit their application for certification along with proof of completion of all course requirements. Upon successful completion of the exam and submission of all required documentation, applicants will receive their CGPP certification from SPLC.
The cost of obtaining a Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) certification varies depending on factors such as geographic location and membership status with SPLC. Generally speaking however, it costs between $500 - $1000 USD to become certified.
6. Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP)
Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) is a certification program designed to recognize and reward professionals who have demonstrated expertise in sourcing, procurement, and supply chain management. The CSP certification is offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and professional development opportunities in the supply management field.
The CSP certification program consists of two parts: an online self-study course and a comprehensive exam. The online self-study course covers topics such as strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, contract management, risk management, and total cost of ownership. It takes approximately 40 hours to complete the coursework.
To get the CSP certification, applicants must pass the comprehensive exam with a score of 70% or higher. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering all aspects of sourcing and procurement. It takes about three hours to complete the exam.
The cost for the CSP certification program varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or not. For non-members, it costs $1,150 for both the coursework and exam fees; for members, it costs $850 for both fees.
7. Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO)
A Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) is a professional designation earned by individuals who have demonstrated expertise in public procurement. The CPPO designation is awarded by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), and it signifies that an individual has completed the necessary coursework, passed the certification exam, and met all other requirements to become a certified public procurement officer.
It typically takes between three and six months to complete the process of becoming a CPPO. The process begins with completing an online application, which includes providing information about your educational background, work experience, and professional references. After submitting your application, you must then take and pass the UPPCC certification exam. Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your official CPPO credential from UPPCC.
The cost of becoming a CPPO varies depending on where you live and how much preparation you need for the certification exam. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more for all associated expenses (including registration fees, study materials, etc.).
In addition to passing the UPPCC certification exam, there are several other requirements that must be met in order to earn your CPPO credential. These include completing at least two years of full-time public procurement experience or four years of part-time experience; maintaining a certain level of continuing education credits; and adhering to UPPCC's Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct.
8. Global Sourcing Professional Certification (GSPC)
Global Sourcing Professional Certification (GSPC) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in global sourcing, supply chain management, and procurement. The GSPC certification is offered by the Global Sourcing Council (GSC), an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting best practices in global sourcing.
The GSPC certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the areas of global sourcing, supply chain management, and procurement. Applicants must pass a series of exams that assess their understanding of global sourcing principles and processes. The exams are administered online and can be taken at any time.
The GSPC certification process typically takes about three months to complete. Applicants must first register for the program and pay the associated fees ($1,500 USD). After registration, applicants will receive access to the online exam portal where they can take the exams at their own pace. Once all required exams have been passed, applicants will receive their GSPC certification.
In addition to passing the exams, applicants must also meet certain eligibility requirements such as having a minimum of five years of professional experience in global sourcing or related fields. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they are knowledgeable in areas such as international trade regulations, customs procedures, logistics operations, supplier selection criteria, and contract negotiation strategies.
The cost for the GSPC certification is $1,500 USD which includes access to all required materials as well as one year of membership with the Global Sourcing Council. This fee may be paid via credit card or PayPal account.
Overall, obtaining Global Sourcing Professional Certification (GSPC) is a great way for individuals to demonstrate their expertise in global sourcing principles and processes while also gaining recognition from peers within their industry.
9. Strategic Sourcing Professional Certification (SSPC)
The Strategic Sourcing Professional Certification (SSPC) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a level of expertise in the field of strategic sourcing. It is administered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The certification is intended to demonstrate that the individual has a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of strategic sourcing.
To receive the certification, individuals must complete an online course and pass an exam. The course covers topics such as supplier selection and evaluation, contract management, negotiation strategies, cost analysis, and performance management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and requires a passing score of 70%.
The certification process typically takes about two months to complete. To get started, applicants must register for the online course at ISM’s website. Once registered, they will receive access to the course materials which include videos, readings, quizzes, and practice exams. After completing the coursework and passing the exam, they will be awarded their SSPC certification.
The cost for taking the SSPC exam is $350 USD for ISM members or $450 USD for non-members. This fee includes access to all course materials as well as one attempt at taking the exam. Additional attempts are available for an additional fee of $150 USD each.
10. Certified Purchasing and Materials Management Specialist (CPMMS)
Certified Purchasing and Materials Management Specialist (CPMMS) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The CPMMS certification is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of purchasing and materials management.
The CPMMS program requires applicants to have at least five years of relevant work experience in purchasing and materials management, as well as a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Applicants must also pass an online exam that covers topics such as procurement strategies, inventory control, supplier selection and contract negotiation.
It usually takes about six months to complete the CPMMS program. After completing the program, applicants receive a certificate from ISM that recognizes their achievement.
The cost of the CPMMS program varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For ISM members, it costs $1,395 while non-members must pay $1,595.
Do You Really Need a Buyer Certificate?
Whether or not you need a buyer certificate depends on the type of transaction you are engaging in. Generally, a buyer certificate is required for transactions that involve any kind of goods or services being exchanged between two parties. In some cases, such as when buying from an online retailer, the certificate may not be necessary since the transaction will be handled through the retailer’s payment system.
In other cases, however, such as when buying from an individual seller or at an auction, a buyer certificate may be necessary to prove that you have permission to purchase the item and to show that you understand the terms of the sale. This is especially important if you are purchasing something valuable or if there is potential for fraud involved in the transaction.
A buyer certificate also helps protect both parties in a transaction by making sure that all terms and conditions are agreed upon before money changes hands. In addition, it can provide evidence should any legal issues arise after the sale has been completed. For these reasons, it is important to remember that a buyer certificate can help ensure a safe and successful transaction and should be considered whenever engaging in any type of purchase.
Related: Buyer Resume Examples
FAQs About Buyer Certifications
Q1. What is a Buyer Certification?
A1. A Buyer Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a buyer’s knowledge and expertise in purchasing goods and services for an organization. It provides employers with assurance that the buyer has the skills needed to make sound purchasing decisions.
Q2. How do I become certified?
A2. To become certified, you must pass an exam administered by a recognized certification body such as the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) or the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM). The exams cover topics such as procurement law, financial analysis, supplier selection, and contract management.
Q3. What are the benefits of being certified?
A3. Certified buyers have access to higher positions within organizations and greater earning potential due to their specialized knowledge and skillset. Additionally, they may be eligible for discounts on professional development courses or other educational resources related to their field of study.
Q4. How long does it take to become certified?
A4. The length of time it takes to become certified depends on your level of preparedness for the exam and how much time you can dedicate to studying for it. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to one year to prepare for and pass an exam.
Q5. Is certification required for buyers?
A5: While certification is not required in all industries or organizations, many employers prefer candidates who are certified because it shows that they possess the skills necessary for success in their role as a buyer. Additionally, certification may open doors to higher-level positions or increased earning potential within an organization