Article

Top 11 Director of Purchasing Certifications

This article outlines the most sought-after certifications for directors of purchasing and the benefits they provide.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a director of purchasing are an important way for employers to gauge the professional experience and qualifications of potential candidates. They demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise in the field that is often required for higher-level positions. Certifications also provide recognition and credibility to the individual, which can help them stand out from other job seekers. Additionally, certifications in the field of purchasing can open up opportunities for networking with peers and industry professionals, which can lead to future job opportunities.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain how some of the top certifications for Director of Purchasings can help advance a director of purchasing's career.

What are Director of Purchasing Certifications?

Director of Purchasing Certification is a professional certification offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) to recognize individuals who demonstrate expertise in supply management. This certification is designed to demonstrate that an individual has achieved a high level of knowledge and understanding of purchasing, procurement, and supply chain management principles, processes, and strategies. This certification allows individuals to demonstrate their commitment to professional development and provide evidence of their ability to effectively manage purchasing operations. It also allows them to gain recognition from employers and other industry professionals as having expertise in this field.

The Director of Purchasing Certification provides an objective measure of an individual's knowledge in purchasing, procurement, and supply chain management. It is an important credential for those who want to advance their careers in the field or gain entry into it. This certification can help individuals develop the skills they need to become successful in the profession by providing a comprehensive overview of best practices related to these topics. Additionally, it can provide career opportunities such as higher salaries, increased job security, and even promotions within organizations.

Pro Tip: To become a certified Director of Purchasing, make sure to take the time to research and familiarize yourself with the purchasing industry. Additionally, make sure to get experience in the field and look into certifications offered by professional organizations that specialize in purchasing.

Related: What does a Director of Purchasing do?

Top 11 Director of Purchasing Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Director of Purchasings 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 individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise and knowledge in supply management. The CPSM certification is recognized globally as the standard of excellence for supply management professionals.

To obtain the CPSM certification, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass three exams. The eligibility requirements include having a minimum of two years of full-time professional experience in supply management or related fields, or having a bachelor’s degree in any field plus one year of full-time professional experience in supply management or related fields.

The three exams are: Fundamentals of Supply Management, Strategic Sourcing and Category Management, and Leadership in Supply Management. Each exam consists of multiple-choice questions and must be completed within a three-hour time limit.

The cost to take all three exams is $1,295 for ISM members ($1,595 for nonmembers). However, there may also be additional costs associated with preparing for the exams such as study materials or review courses.

In total it typically takes around 6 months to prepare for and complete all three exams required to obtain the CPSM certification.

2. Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)

Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) is a professional certification offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of purchasing and supply management. The CPM credential is one of the most respected credentials in the field, and it is highly sought after by employers.

The CPM certification requires successful completion of an exam that covers topics such as procurement, contract management, logistics, supplier relations, inventory control, and cost analysis. The exam consists of 165 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours. In order to qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least five years of experience in purchasing or supply chain management.

In order to take the CPM exam, applicants must first register with ISM and pay a fee of $300 USD. After registering for the exam, applicants will receive study materials from ISM that they can use to prepare for their test. Once they feel confident enough to take the exam, they can schedule a time and location for it through ISM’s online portal.

Once applicants pass their exams, they will receive their CPM certification from ISM. This certification is valid for three years before needing to be renewed through continuing education credits or re-taking the exam.

3. Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO)

A Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) is a professional certification offered by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC). This certification is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of individuals who are responsible for managing public procurement activities. The CPPO credential signifies that an individual has met the highest standards of professionalism in public procurement management.

To become certified as a CPPO, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of experience in public procurement and successfully completing the UPPCC's CPPO exam. The exam consists of four parts: Fundamentals of Public Procurement, Contract Law, Contract Management, and Ethics and Professionalism. It typically takes about six months to complete all four parts.

The cost to take the CPPO exam varies depending on the country or region where it is taken. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$1000 USD to take the exam.

4. Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is a professional body for procurement and supply chain management professionals. It was established in 1932 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. The CIPS provides qualifications, training, and membership services to over 140,000 members around the world.

It takes up to two years to gain a CIPS qualification, depending on the level of study you choose. To get started, you must first register with CIPS and then select which level of qualification you would like to pursue. After that, you can begin studying the relevant modules and assessments associated with your chosen qualification.

The cost of obtaining a CIPS qualification varies depending on the level of study and where you are studying from. Generally speaking, it costs between £500-£2,500 for each module or assessment required for a full CIPS qualification.

In addition to qualifications, CIPS also offers membership services which provide access to exclusive resources such as webinars, events and networking opportunities. Membership fees range from £90-£400 per year depending on your level of experience and expertise.

5. Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP)

Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) is an internationally recognized professional certification that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of green purchasing principles and practices. The CGPP credential is awarded by the International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN) to individuals who have successfully completed a rigorous training program in green purchasing and demonstrated their ability to apply the concepts through a comprehensive examination.

The CGPP training program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person workshop. The online course is self-paced and provides an introduction to green purchasing principles, terminology, and tools. The in-person workshop is held over two days and covers advanced topics such as life cycle assessment, product stewardship, green marketing, sustainability metrics, and more.

The entire CGPP program takes approximately 20 hours to complete. To obtain the CGPP credential, applicants must pass both the online course exam and the in-person workshop exam with a score of at least 80%.

The cost of obtaining the CGPP credential varies depending on location but typically ranges from $500-$800 USD. This fee covers the cost of tuition for both the online course and in-person workshop as well as all materials needed for completion of the program.

6. Global Supply Chain Professional (GSCP)

Global Supply Chain Professional (GSCP) is an internationally recognized certification program offered by the Global Supply Chain Council (GSCC). It is designed to help individuals develop and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of global supply chain management principles, processes, and best practices. The GSCP certification enables professionals to gain a competitive edge in their careers.

The GSCP program consists of two parts: the online learning course and the final exam. The online course covers topics such as global supply chain strategy, logistics management, international trade regulations, and customer service. It typically takes about 12 weeks to complete the online course. After completing the course, candidates must pass a final exam to earn their GSCP certification.

To get certified as a Global Supply Chain Professional, you must be at least 18 years old and have at least three years of professional experience in global supply chain management or related fields. You must also have completed the GSCC’s online learning course and passed the final exam with a score of 70% or higher.

The cost of getting certified as a Global Supply Chain Professional varies depending on your country of residence and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 USD for the online learning course plus the cost of taking the final exam ($200 USD).

7. Strategic Sourcing Certification (SSC)

Strategic Sourcing Certification (SSC) is a professional certification program provided by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the area of strategic sourcing.

The program consists of three levels: Certified Strategic Sourcing Professional (CSSP), Advanced Certified Strategic Sourcing Professional (ACSSP), and Master Certified Strategic Sourcing Professional (MCSSP). To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge and skills in the areas of supply chain management, procurement, contract management, supplier relationship management, and strategic sourcing.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all three levels of certification depending on the individual’s experience and study habits. To get started with the program, applicants must first register with ISM and pay the appropriate fees for each level. The cost for each level varies but generally ranges from $495-$995 USD.

Once registered, applicants can access online course materials and practice exams to help them prepare for the certification exam. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official certificate from ISM confirming their status as a certified strategic sourcing professional.

8. Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP)

Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) is a professional certification awarded by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The CPP certification recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the field of purchasing.

The CPP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as procurement, contract management, supply chain management, and organizational strategy. It also requires applicants to have at least five years of purchasing experience or a combination of education and experience.

To get the CPP certification, you must first apply for it through ISM's website. Once your application is approved, you can register for the exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes about three hours to complete.

The cost of the CPP certification varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For members, the cost is $450; for non-members, it is $650. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exam and taking it at a testing center.

9. Global Sourcing Certification Program (GSCP)

The Global Sourcing Certification Program (GSCP) is an online certification program designed to provide individuals with a comprehensive understanding of global sourcing, including the fundamentals of international trade and supply chain management. This program is offered by the Global Supply Chain Council (GSCC), an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to improving global supply chain performance.

The GSCP consists of four modules that cover topics such as global sourcing strategies, risk management, supplier selection and evaluation, and global logistics. Each module includes lectures, case studies, and interactive activities that help students understand the complexities of global sourcing. The program also provides access to industry experts who can provide guidance on specific issues.

The GSCP takes approximately 30 hours to complete and can be completed at your own pace. To get started, you must first register for the program on the GSCC website. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the course materials and begin your studies.

The cost of the GSCP varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of GSCC. For members, the cost is $495 USD; for non-members it is $595 USD.

10. International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) is a global professional association that provides training, certification, and resources to help individuals and organizations improve their contract and commercial management capabilities. IACCM was founded in 1999 with the mission of transforming the way organizations manage contracts and relationships.

IACCM offers several levels of certification including Certified Contract Manager (CCM), Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM), Certified Negotiator (CN), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP). Each certification requires successful completion of an exam and associated coursework. The exams are administered online or at designated testing centers.

It typically takes 6-12 months to complete the required coursework for each level of certification, depending on the individual’s experience level. To get started, an individual must first join IACCM as a member. Membership is free but requires an application process that includes verifying qualifications such as educational background, work experience, etc. Once accepted as a member, individuals can register for the appropriate courses and exams needed to obtain their desired certification level.

The cost for each level of certification varies depending on whether an individual opts for self-study or instructor-led courses. Self-study courses range from $495-$995 while instructor-led courses range from $1,195-$2,195 per course plus exam fees which are typically around $200-$300 per exam.

11. American Purchasing Society's Certified Professional Purchaser Program (CPP).

The Certified Professional Purchaser (CPP) Program is a professional certification offered by the American Purchasing Society (APS). It is designed to recognize purchasing professionals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and competence in the field of procurement. The CPP program provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of purchasing, including negotiation, contract management, supply chain management, and pricing strategies.

The CPP program consists of four modules: Foundations of Purchasing, Advanced Purchasing Strategies, Negotiations and Contract Management, and Supply Chain Management. Each module consists of at least six hours of web-based instruction and an exam. Participants must pass all four modules in order to earn their CPP certification.

In order to qualify for the CPP program, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the field of purchasing or related disciplines such as logistics or supply chain management. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation from current or former employers.

The cost for the CPP program is $1,495 for APS members and $1,795 for non-members. This fee includes access to all four modules as well as registration fees and study materials. The entire program typically takes about six months to complete depending on individual learning styles and schedules.

Once participants successfully complete the CPP program they will be awarded their certificate from APS which will be valid for five years before needing to be renewed. Renewal requires successful completion of continuing education courses offered through APS or other approved providers.

Do You Really Need a Director of Purchasing Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a Director of Purchasing Certificate to be successful in the purchasing industry. A certificate can certainly help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate that you have taken the initiative to gain additional skills and knowledge in this field. However, a certificate alone will not guarantee success.

In order to be successful as a Director of Purchasing, you need experience and an understanding of the purchasing industry, along with strong leadership and communication skills. A certification program can provide an excellent foundation for these skills, but it cannot replace hands-on experience. You must also have a good understanding of the market forces that drive prices and be able to negotiate favorable deals for your organization.

Having said that, if you are looking to advance your career or break into the purchasing field, a Director of Purchasing Certificate may be beneficial. It can give employers confidence that you possess the requisite knowledge and skills required for this position. It can also demonstrate your commitment to continuing education, which employers value greatly. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not the investment in time and money is worth it for your particular situation.

Related: Director of Purchasing Resume Examples

FAQs About Director of Purchasing Certifications

Q1. What is a Director of Purchasing Certification?

A1. A Director of Purchasing Certification is a professional certification that recognizes an individual's expertise in purchasing, procurement and supply chain management processes. It is awarded by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and demonstrates an individual's knowledge and skills in this area.

Q2. How do I become certified as a Director of Purchasing?

A2. To become certified as a Director of Purchasing, you must meet the ISM's educational requirements, pass their certification exam, and demonstrate several years of relevant experience in the field. You also need to maintain your certification through continuing education credits each year.

Q3. How much does it cost to become certified?

A3. The cost to become certified varies depending on the type of certification you are pursuing and whether or not you are already an ISM member. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$600 for the exam alone, plus additional fees for study materials and other related costs such as travel expenses if needed.

Q4. What are the benefits of becoming certified?

A4: Becoming certified as a Director of Purchasing can have many benefits including increased job opportunities with higher salaries, greater credibility within the industry, access to networking opportunities, and more respect from colleagues and peers. Additionally, certifications are often required for certain positions within organizations so having one may be necessary in order to qualify for certain jobs or promotions.

Q5: How long does it take to get certified?

A5: The amount of time it takes to become certified depends on how quickly you can complete all the necessary requirements (such as passing the exam). Generally speaking, most people can expect to complete the process within 4-6 months if they dedicate enough time to studying and preparing for the test.