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Top 10 Inventory Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top inventory certifications available to help professionals advance their careers in inventory management.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications in inventory management can be extremely valuable for job seekers in the inventory field, as they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and mastery of industry-specific knowledge. Such credentials are often required or preferred by employers, who recognize them as evidence of an individual’s expertise in the field. Additionally, certifications can help job seekers stand out from their peers, as they provide proof of an individual’s skills and qualifications. Certifications also serve to increase the potential for promotions and career advancement. Finally, having a certification can increase earning potential by demonstrating an individual’s expertise and value to employers.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Inventorys and explain how they can help advance a career in Inventory Management.

What are Inventory Certifications?

Inventory certification is a process that ensures the accuracy and completeness of an organization's inventory records. It involves verifying the physical count of items in the inventory against their recorded amount in the books. This process helps organizations to ensure that their inventory records are accurate and up-to-date, so they can make informed decisions about their stock levels, production planning, and purchasing strategies. Inventory certification also helps to reduce losses due to theft or inaccurate record keeping. Additionally, it can help to improve overall efficiency by eliminating unnecessary purchases or overstocking. Finally, inventory certification allows organizations to track trends in their product sales and adjust their operations accordingly.

Pro Tip: When seeking certification for inventory, make sure to research the certifying body and verify that they have a good reputation. Additionally, consider obtaining multiple certifications from different organizations to ensure the highest level of credibility for your inventory.

Related: What does an Inventory do?

Top 10 Inventory Certifications

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

1. Certified Inventory Manager (CIM)

Certified Inventory Manager (CIM) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The CIM program is designed to help individuals demonstrate their expertise in inventory management and improve their career prospects.

The CIM program consists of three courses: Introduction to Inventory Management, Advanced Inventory Management, and Professional Practices in Inventory Management. Each course must be completed within 12 months. Upon successful completion of all three courses, participants will receive the Certified Inventory Manager designation from ISM.

To enroll in the CIM program, applicants must have at least five years of experience in inventory management or related field. Additionally, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university or have equivalent work experience.

The cost of the CIM program varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of ISM. For members, the total cost is $1,595; for non-members, the total cost is $2,195.

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). The CPSM program is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of supply management professionals. It is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates mastery of the core principles and best practices of supply chain management.

The CPSM certification requires three years of full-time experience in supply management or related field, as well as passing three examinations. The examinations cover topics such as strategic sourcing, contract management, global supply chain management, supplier relationship management, and more.

To get the CPSM certification, you must first apply to take the exams through ISM's website. Once your application is approved, you will be given access to study materials and practice tests. After studying for the exams and passing all three tests with a score of 70% or higher, you will receive your CPSM certification.

The cost of the CPSM program varies depending on whether you are an ISM member or non-member. For members, it costs $1,095 for all three exams; for non-members it costs $1,295. There are also additional fees for late registration and rescheduling exams.

3. Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). The CPIM program is designed to help individuals develop and demonstrate their knowledge of production and inventory management. It covers topics such as demand planning, inventory control, procurement and supplier planning, materials requirements planning, quality control, capacity planning, lean enterprise concepts, and more.

The CPIM program consists of five courses: Basics of Supply Chain Management, Master Planning of Resources, Detailed Scheduling and Planning, Execution and Control of Operations, and Strategic Management of Resources. Each course must be completed within one year in order to receive the certification.

In order to get the CPIM certification, you must pass all five exams with a score of 70% or higher. The exams can be taken online or at an APICS testing center. The cost for each exam is $195 USD ($975 USD total). Once you have passed all five exams within one year's time frame you will receive your CPIM certification from APICS.

4. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a certification program offered by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). The CSCP program is designed to help supply chain professionals gain a comprehensive understanding of the end-to-end supply chain, from product development and sourcing through production, delivery, and customer satisfaction. It covers topics such as demand management, inventory planning and control, procurement, supplier relationship management, logistics operations, and customer service.

To become certified as a CSCP professional, applicants must have at least three years of related work experience in the field of supply chain management or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Applicants must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge on all aspects of the supply chain process.

The CSCP program typically takes about six months to complete. Candidates must attend classes or online courses to learn the material covered in the exam and then take a proctored exam at an APICS testing center.

The cost of becoming certified as a CSCP professional varies depending on whether you choose to take classes or online courses. Classes typically range from $1,500-$2,000 while online courses can cost up to $1,500. Additionally there is an exam fee of $695 for members of APICS or $895 for non-members.

5. APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP-APICS)

APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP-APICS) is an internationally recognized certification program developed by APICS, the global leader in supply chain education and training. The CSCP certification provides professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage the end-to-end supply chain. The CSCP program focuses on helping organizations optimize their supply chains by improving operational efficiency, customer service, and overall cost savings.

The CSCP program consists of three components: a comprehensive online course, a comprehensive exam, and a professional development plan. The online course includes topics such as supply chain strategy, operations management, inventory management, logistics management, procurement and sourcing strategies, demand planning and forecasting, quality management systems, project management principles, and more.

It typically takes about six months to complete the CSCP program. To get started on your journey towards becoming certified as an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), you must first register for the program through APICS’ website. Once registered, you will be able to access all of the materials needed to complete the program including the online course modules and study guides. You will also have access to a variety of resources such as webinars and practice exams that can help you prepare for the exam.

Once you have completed all of the required coursework and passed the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will officially become an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). You will then receive your official certificate in recognition of your achievement.

The cost for completing the entire CSCP program is $1125 USD which includes all materials needed to complete the coursework as well as access to additional resources such as webinars and practice exams.

6. International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)

The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of logistics professionals. The CPL certification is the highest level of professional recognition for those working in the field of logistics.

To become a SOLE Certified Professional Logistician, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as supply chain management, inventory control, transportation, warehousing, and distribution. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

Applicants must have at least two years of experience in logistics or related fields in order to be eligible for the CPL certification. They must also demonstrate their knowledge by passing the CPL exam with a score of 70% or higher.

The cost to take the CPL exam is $395 USD, which includes all materials needed to prepare for and take the exam. After passing the exam, there is an annual fee of $50 USD to maintain your certification status.

Overall, it typically takes about three months from start to finish to become a SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL).

7. American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)

The American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage the global supply chain. The program provides a comprehensive body of knowledge that covers all aspects of logistics, transportation, and distribution. It also provides recognition for those who have achieved mastery of this body of knowledge.

To obtain the CLTD designation, individuals must pass an exam which consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering eight primary domains:

1. Strategic Logistics Management

2. Global Logistics Considerations

3. Capacity Planning and Demand Management

4. Order Management

5. Inventory and Warehouse Management

6. Transportation Management

7. Reverse Logistics and Sustainability

8. Logistics Network Design and Implementation

The exam typically takes about 3 hours to complete, depending on your individual speed and level of preparedness for the material covered in the exam. To prepare for the exam, APICS offers a variety of self-study materials such as textbooks, practice exams, online courses, webinars, study groups, etc., as well as instructor-led classes at local chapters or through approved providers around the world. The cost for these materials varies depending on which option you choose; however, most people find that they can prepare adequately with just one or two self-study resources at minimal cost. Additionally, there is an application fee of $200 USD required when registering for the exam itself ($100 USD if applying within 90 days after completing an APICS instructor-led course).

8. Institute for Supply Management's Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)

The Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) is a professional certification offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the world’s leading association for supply management professionals. The CPM credential recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of purchasing and supply management.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the requirements for the CPM certification, depending on individual study habits and prior experience in the field. To obtain the CPM certification, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as contract law, inventory control, risk management, supplier relations, and more.

The cost to take the exam is $495 for ISM members and $595 for non-members. This fee includes access to online study materials, practice exams, and other resources to help prepare for the exam. In addition to this fee, applicants may also need to purchase textbooks or other learning materials if they are not already familiar with all of the topics covered in the exam.

9. International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management's Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies Management

The International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies Management is a globally recognized qualification for those working in the procurement, purchasing and supply chain management fields. The diploma is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices and techniques used in modern purchasing and supply management.

The IFPSM Diploma takes approximately six months to complete, depending on the individual’s prior knowledge and experience. It consists of three modules: Introduction to Purchasing & Supply Management; Strategic Sourcing & Contract Management; and Advanced Purchasing & Supply Chain Management. Each module requires an examination at the end of the course.

To obtain the diploma, individuals must successfully pass all three examinations with a minimum score of 70%. The cost of the diploma varies depending on the country or region where it is taken. Generally speaking, it costs approximately €2,500-€3,000 (or equivalent currency).

10. American Purchasing Society's Certified Professional Purchaser Program

The American Purchasing Society's Certified Professional Purchaser Program (CPP) is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise and knowledge of those working in the purchasing field. It is designed to provide purchasers with recognition for their experience and education, as well as demonstrate their commitment to the profession.

The CPP program consists of three parts: an online exam, a work experience portfolio, and a personal interview. The online exam covers topics such as purchasing principles, contract management, supplier selection, negotiation strategies, and more. The work experience portfolio requires applicants to submit evidence of their purchasing-related work experience over the past five years. Finally, the personal interview assesses the applicant’s knowledge and skills related to purchasing.

In order to be eligible for the CPP program, applicants must have at least five years of full-time purchasing-related work experience or a combination of seven years part-time/full-time work experience plus a bachelor’s degree in business or related field from an accredited college or university.

The entire process typically takes about six months from start to finish. Applicants can expect to spend several weeks studying for the online exam and preparing their work experience portfolio before submitting it for review. Once accepted into the program, applicants will be scheduled for an interview with a panel of certified professionals who will assess their knowledge and skills related to purchasing.

The cost of applying for the CPP program varies depending on whether you are an American Purchasing Society member or non-member. For members, it costs $450; for non-members it costs $550 (which includes one year membership).

Do You Really Need a Inventory Certificate?

An inventory certificate is a document issued by a business or organization which certifies the ownership of physical or tangible assets. It is typically used to prove that an individual holds a certain amount of stock, equipment, machinery, or other items of value. While this type of certification may be necessary in some cases, it is not required for everyone.

The need for an inventory certificate will depend on the type of business that you are running and the nature of the assets that you need to track. For example, if you are a retail store owner who needs to keep track of all your merchandise, then having an inventory certificate may be essential. Having this document can help protect your business from theft and ensure that all transactions are properly recorded. On the other hand, if you are simply running a small service-based business with no physical goods to track, then an inventory certificate may not be necessary.

In some cases, having an inventory certificate can also provide additional protection for your assets in case of legal disputes. If someone claims that they have been wrongfully deprived of their property due to negligence on your part, they may be able to use the certificate as evidence in court proceedings. This could help prevent costly litigation and help protect your business from financial losses due to lawsuits.

In conclusion, whether or not you need an inventory certificate will depend on the type of business that you run and what kind of assets you need to track. If you do decide to get one, make sure it is properly documented and kept up-to-date so that it can provide maximum protection for your assets in case any legal issues arise.

Related: Inventory Resume Examples

FAQs About Inventory Certifications

1. What are the benefits of an inventory certification?

Answer: An inventory certification can help improve the accuracy and efficiency of your inventory processes, increase customer confidence in your business, and provide evidence for audits. It can also help you stay compliant with industry regulations, reduce costs associated with overstocking or understocking, and provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

2. How long does it take to get an inventory certification?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get an inventory certification varies depending on the specific type of certification you are seeking and which organization is providing it. Generally speaking, most certifications can be completed in a few weeks or months.

3. What are the requirements to get an inventory certification?

Answer: Requirements vary depending on the type of certification you are seeking and which organization is providing it, but generally speaking they may include having knowledge of industry standards and regulations related to inventory management, completing a set number of hours of continuing education courses, passing a written exam or practical test, and/or providing proof that you have experience working with different types of inventory systems.

4. How much does an inventory certification cost?

Answer: The cost of an inventory certification depends on several factors including which type of certification you are seeking and which organization is providing it. Generally speaking, certifications can range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars for more advanced certifications like Certified Inventory Manager (CIM).

5. Is there any way to prepare for an inventory certification exam?

Answer: Yes! You can prepare for an inventory certification exam by familiarizing yourself with industry standards and regulations related to inventory management, taking courses or attending seminars related to the subject matter covered on the exam, reading books or articles about best practices in inventory management, and/or getting hands-on experience working with different types of inventory systems.