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Top 10 Buyer Planner Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for buyer planners to help them increase their professional knowledge and career prospects.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for a buyer planner in the job market because they demonstrate that the candidate has a certain level of expertise and knowledge in the field. A certification can provide evidence that the individual has taken the time to develop their skills and is committed to staying up-to-date with industry standards and best practices. Additionally, certifications can give buyers planners an edge over other candidates when applying for positions, as employers are often looking for individuals who have proven competencies and qualifications through certifications.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Buyer Planners and explain how they can help advance a buyer planner's career.

What are Buyer Planner Certifications?

Buyer planner certification is a credential that demonstrates a professional has the knowledge and skills needed to manage the purchase of goods and services for an organization. The certification covers topics such as procurement processes, contract law, negotiation strategies, supplier selection and management, inventory control, cost analysis, e-commerce, and more. By obtaining buyer planner certification, professionals can demonstrate their proficiency in these areas to employers or customers.

The benefits of earning buyer planner certification include gaining credibility in the field of procurement and supply chain management; learning best practices from experienced professionals; developing a comprehensive understanding of purchasing processes; increasing job opportunities; and boosting salary potential. Additionally, the certification can help individuals stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions.

Pro Tip: Take the time to research different buyer planner certification programs to ensure you are selecting one that meets your individual needs. Look for programs that offer a combination of online and in-person training, as well as access to experienced professionals who can provide personalized guidance and advice.

Related: What does a Buyer Planner do?

Top 10 Buyer Planner Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Buyer Planners today.

1. 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. The CPSM program focuses on the core competencies of supply management, such as strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, and contract management.

To become a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), an individual must complete three levels of assessment. These assessments include an online exam, a written exam, and an oral interview. Each level must be completed within two years of starting the program.

The cost of the CPSM program depends on which type of membership you choose with ISM. For non-members, the cost is $1,295 for all three exams and $995 for each additional exam after that. For members, the cost is $995 for all three exams and $795 for each additional exam after that.

To get started with the CPSM program, individuals must first create an ISM account and then register for the appropriate exams through their account portal. After registering for the exams, individuals will need to prepare for them by studying using ISM’s study materials or attending one of their training courses. Once they have passed all three exams they will be awarded their CPSM certification and can use it to demonstrate their expertise in supply management to employers or clients.

2. Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)

Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) is a certification program offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage purchasing operations. The CPM certification requires individuals to demonstrate their understanding of core supply chain management principles, including strategic sourcing, contract negotiation, supplier relationship management, and cost analysis.

The CPM certification process typically takes about six months to complete. To become certified, applicants must first pass an exam that covers topics such as supply chain management fundamentals, financial analysis, procurement processes and practices, and legal considerations in purchasing. After passing the exam, applicants must also complete two years of professional experience in a purchasing or supply chain role.

The cost of becoming a Certified Purchasing Manager varies depending on the country where you are taking the exam. In the United States, the fee for taking the exam is $495 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. There may be additional costs associated with preparing for the exam or obtaining other certifications required by some employers.

In addition to passing the exam and gaining professional experience in purchasing or supply chain roles, applicants must also adhere to ISM's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. This includes demonstrating ethical behavior at all times while working in a purchasing or supply chain role and maintaining professional standards when dealing with vendors or customers.

3. 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 recognize professionals who demonstrate mastery of supply chain management best practices and principles. The CSCP program provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage global supply chains, including sourcing, procurement, logistics, inventory management, customer service, and other related areas.

The CSCP program consists of three parts: an online learning system, an exam preparation workshop, and a three-hour certification exam. The online learning system includes more than 25 hours of interactive instruction on topics such as supply chain strategy and design; global supply chain operations; customer relationship management; performance measurement; risk management; sustainability; and technology applications. The exam preparation workshop is a two-day intensive session that covers the same material as the online learning system but in greater depth.

The CSCP certification exam is offered twice a year at testing centers around the world. To take the exam, you must have completed both the online learning system and the exam preparation workshop. The cost of taking the CSCP exam is $695 USD for members of ASCM or $995 USD for non-members.

The entire process from start to finish typically takes between four and six months depending on when you register for each part of the program.

4. American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Certification

The American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) is a professional organization that provides certification programs, educational materials, and networking opportunities to help individuals advance their careers in supply chain management and operations. APICS certifications are recognized worldwide as the standard of excellence for supply chain professionals.

APICS offers three levels of certification: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM). CPIM is the most popular certification among APICS members and is designed for those who manage or support production activities. CSCP is designed for those who manage global supply chains, while CFPIM is for experienced professionals who have advanced knowledge in production and inventory control.

It typically takes four to six months to complete the requirements for an APICS certification. To obtain an APICS certification, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics related to production, inventory management, logistics, quality control, and other related areas. The exams are offered at testing centers around the world.

The cost of obtaining an APICS certification varies depending on the type of program chosen. The CPIM exam costs $695 USD for members ($895 USD for non-members) while the CSCP exam costs $795 USD for members ($995 USD for non-members). The CFPIM exam costs $1,295 USD for members ($1,495 USD for non-members). In addition to these fees, there may be additional costs associated with study materials or preparation courses.

5. International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute (IPSCMI) Certification

The International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute (IPSCMI) Certification is an internationally recognized certification that recognizes professionals in the field of purchasing and supply chain management. The IPSCMI certification is designed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices, and strategies associated with global procurement and supply chain management. It is intended to provide assurance to employers that certified individuals have the knowledge necessary to effectively manage their organization’s purchasing and supply chain operations.

It takes approximately three months to complete the IPSCMI Certification program. The program consists of two parts: an online course and an on-site examination. The online course covers topics such as contract law, negotiation techniques, risk management, inventory control, procurement processes, supplier management, logistics planning, quality assurance, and sustainability. Upon completion of the online coursework, candidates must pass a written exam before they can receive their IPSCMI Certification.

To get IPSCMI Certification, you must first register for the program through the IPSCMI website. Once registered, you will be provided with access to all of the materials needed for successful completion of the program. After completing your online coursework and passing your written exam, you will receive your certification from IPSCMI.

The cost of obtaining IPSCMI Certification varies depending on which package you choose; however it typically ranges from $500-$1000 USD.

6. Association for Operations Management (APICS) Certification

The Association for Operations Management (APICS) Certification is a professional certification that recognizes and validates the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals in the field of operations management. It is designed to provide professionals with the tools they need to be successful in their roles as operations managers.

The APICS Certification program consists of three levels: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD). Each level requires a different set of exams which must be passed before certification can be obtained. The CPIM exam covers topics such as production planning and control, inventory management, materials requirements planning, forecasting methods, quality assurance, supply chain management principles, and more. The CSCP exam focuses on global supply chain management topics such as customer relationship management, transportation management systems, international trade regulations, global sourcing strategies, logistics network design strategies, demand planning processes, and more. The CLTD exam covers topics such as warehouse operations, fleet management systems, order fulfillment processes, third-party logistics services providers selection criteria and performance metrics.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete all three levels of the APICS Certification program. To get certified you must first register for an APICS account online or through an approved APICS Training Partner organization. Once registered you can select which level(s) you would like to pursue certification for and then purchase study materials or enroll in a course offered by an approved training partner. After studying for each level you will need to take the corresponding exam at an authorized testing center near you.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on which level(s) you are pursuing certification for as well as if you are purchasing study materials or enrolling in a course offered by an approved training partner organization. Generally speaking it can range anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD depending on your needs.

7. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Certification

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is a professional body that provides qualifications and certifications in procurement and supply chain management. CIPS qualifications are globally recognized, providing assurance of the highest standards in procurement and supply chain management.

CIPS certification is available at four levels: Professional Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Professional Certificate and Foundation Certificate. The Professional Diploma is the highest level of qualification and requires a minimum of three years' experience in procurement or supply chain management. It takes approximately six months to complete the Professional Diploma program, although this may vary depending on individual circumstances.

To get CIPS certification, you must first register with CIPS as a student member. You will then need to complete an application form and provide evidence of your relevant work experience. Once accepted, you will be required to complete the relevant coursework, pass all assessments and exams, and pay the associated fees.

The cost of CIPS certification varies depending on the level of qualification you are pursuing. The cost for the Professional Diploma is £1,800 (GBP), while the cost for the Advanced Diploma is £2,400 (GBP). The cost for the Professional Certificate is £1,200 (GBP), while the cost for the Foundation Certificate is £600 (GBP).

8. Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP)

Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals in the field of purchasing. The CPP program is administered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a leading professional association for supply chain and procurement professionals.

The CPP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that tests their knowledge of purchasing principles and practices. The exam is offered twice a year, typically in April and October. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as supplier selection, contract management, cost analysis, negotiation strategies, ethical considerations, and more. Applicants must also have at least three years of professional experience in purchasing or related fields.

To apply for the CPP certification, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their relevant work experience and pay a non-refundable fee of $395 USD. After submitting the application form and fee, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the exam. Once they have successfully passed the exam, they will be awarded their CPP certification.

The CPP certification is valid for three years from the date it was awarded and can be renewed by taking continuing education courses or retaking the exam every three years.

9. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Certification

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) is a global professional organization that provides certification programs and educational services to supply chain and procurement professionals. The ISM offers three certifications: Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), and Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM).

The CPSM is the most comprehensive of the three certifications, requiring candidates to have at least five years of professional experience in the field of supply chain management. The certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers topics such as strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, and supply chain analytics. It typically takes six months to one year to complete the requirements for the CPSM certification.

The CPSD certification is designed for professionals who work with diverse suppliers or who are responsible for managing supplier diversity initiatives. This certification requires candidates to have at least two years of professional experience working with diverse suppliers and pass an exam that covers topics such as supplier diversity best practices, legal compliance, and cultural competency. It typically takes four months to one year to complete the requirements for the CPSD certification.

The CPPM certification is designed for purchasing professionals who manage purchasing operations within their organizations. This certification requires candidates to have at least two years of professional experience in purchasing operations and pass an exam that covers topics such as procurement processes, contract management, and cost analysis. It typically takes four months to one year to complete the requirements for the CPPM certification.

The cost of each ISM Certification varies depending on your membership status with ISM; however, it typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD per exam plus any applicable application fees or membership dues.

10. International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) Certification

The International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) is a global organization that provides certifications to purchasing and supply management professionals. The IFPSM certification program recognizes individuals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field. It is designed to help individuals advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

To get an IFPSM certification, applicants must have at least three years of experience in the field, or have completed a recognized educational program in purchasing or supply chain management. They must also pass an examination that covers topics such as procurement processes, supplier selection, risk management, and contract negotiation. Once certified, individuals are eligible for membership with the IFPSM and can use the designation “Certified Purchasing Professional” (CPP) after their name.

The IFPSM certification process typically takes about six months to complete. Applicants must first submit an application form and supporting documents to the IFPSM board of directors for review and approval. Upon approval, they will be required to take the exam which consists of multiple-choice questions based on the topics covered in the application material. After passing the exam, they will receive their CPP certificate from the IFPSM board of directors.

The cost of obtaining an IFPSM certification varies depending on factors such as country of residence and whether you are taking the exam online or in person. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 USD to become certified by the IFPSM board of directors.

Do You Really Need a Buyer Planner Certificate?

Yes, a Buyer Planner Certificate can be beneficial for those looking to break into the field of retail and supply chain management. The certificate provides an individual with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful in this career path. This includes understanding the principles of inventory management, pricing strategies, product selection, supplier negotiations and more. Additionally, it offers a comprehensive overview of the industry which is essential for those who are new to this field.

Having a Buyer Planner Certificate also gives employers an indication that you have the qualifications necessary to succeed in their organization. With this certification, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in order to stand out from other job applicants. Furthermore, potential employers may consider you as someone who is serious about pursuing a career in retail and supply chain management since you have taken the initiative to get certified in this area.

Overall, getting a Buyer Planner Certificate can open up many opportunities for those interested in entering into this field. It provides the foundation needed to build a successful career in retail and supply chain management while also giving employers an indication of your dedication towards achieving success in this industry.

Related: Buyer Planner Resume Examples

FAQs About Buyer Planner Certifications

1. What are the benefits of becoming a buyer planner?

Answer: Benefits of becoming a buyer planner include enhanced job security, increased earning potential, and increased knowledge of the purchasing process and industry. Additionally, buyer planners can develop relationships with suppliers to ensure better pricing and quality products.

2. What qualifications do I need to become a buyer planner?

Answer: Generally, a bachelor's degree in business, economics or finance is required to become a buyer planner. In addition to this educational qualification, many employers also require experience in procurement or supply chain management.

3. How long does it take to get certified as a buyer planner?

Answer: Generally it takes between 6-12 months to complete the certification process depending on the program you choose and your level of commitment.

4. Are there any online courses available for buyers planners?

Answer: Yes, there are several online courses available that provide comprehensive training for those looking to become certified buyers planners. Most programs offer self-paced learning options so you can work around your own schedule and learn at your own pace.

5. Do I need to be an expert in procurement before I take the certification exam?

Answer: While prior experience in procurement is not required, having an understanding of the basics will help you better prepare for the exam and increase your chances of success on test day.