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Top 11 Procurement Administrator Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for procurement administrators to help them advance their careers and gain recognition in the field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for a procurement administrator in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise, knowledge, and commitment to the profession. Certifications provide potential employers with an assurance that an individual has been properly trained in the specific area of procurement and is knowledgeable about current industry standards. Additionally, certifications make it easier for employers to find qualified candidates who meet their needs. Finally, certifications provide a sense of credibility and trustworthiness that can help a procurement administrator stand out from other applicants. By demonstrating a commitment to their profession through certification, individuals can show employers that they are serious about their career and willing to invest in their own professional development.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Procurement Administrators and explain how they can help enhance and advance a Procurement Administrator's career.

What are Procurement Administrator Certifications?

Procurement Administrator Certification is a certification program designed to provide professional development and recognition for individuals who work in procurement and supply chain management. This certification demonstrates an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities regarding the fundamentals of procurement and supply chain management. It also provides recognition for those who have achieved a certain level of expertise in the field.

Earning this certification can help individuals gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs or promotions within their current organization. Having this certification shows employers that an individual has the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform their job duties effectively. Additionally, it may give employers peace of mind knowing that they are hiring someone with the right qualifications to handle procurement tasks in their organization. Furthermore, having this certification may open up new opportunities for career advancement as well as access to higher-level positions within organizations. Ultimately, earning this certification can help individuals progress in their careers by showing employers that they are qualified professionals who are capable of handling complex tasks related to procurement.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the different types of procurement administrator certifications available. Each certification has its own set of requirements and responsibilities that you must meet in order to become certified. Additionally, look into any organizations or associations that offer certifications related to procurement administration so that you can network with peers and gain access to helpful resources.

Related: What does a Procurement Administrator do?

Top 11 Procurement Administrator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Procurement Administrators 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 professional competency in the supply management field. The certification demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to manage the procurement and supply chain processes effectively.

The CPSM program consists of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level requires successful completion of a written exam as well as a minimum number of years of experience in the supply management field.

To become certified at the Foundation level, applicants must pass an exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as purchasing fundamentals, supplier relationships and contract law. This exam can be taken online or at an ISM testing center. The cost for this exam is $450 USD for members of ISM and $550 USD for non-members.

To become certified at the Intermediate or Advanced levels, applicants must pass an exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as strategic sourcing, global sourcing and project management. This exam can also be taken online or at an ISM testing center. The cost for this exam is $500 USD for members of ISM and $600 USD for non-members.

In addition to passing the exams, applicants must also meet certain experience requirements in order to receive their certification. For example, applicants seeking certification at the Foundation level must have two years of full-time professional experience in supply management; those seeking certification at the Intermediate level must have five years; and those seeking certification at the Advanced level must have eight years.

Overall, it typically takes between six months to one year to complete all three levels of certification depending on how quickly you are able to study and take the exams.

2. Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM)

Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) 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 knowledge and expertise in purchasing and supply chain management. The CPM certification is one of the most respected credentials in the field, and it demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence.

To become a Certified Purchasing Manager, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least five years of experience in purchasing or supply chain management. They must also pass an exam that covers topics such as procurement processes, contract management, inventory control, supplier selection and evaluation, cost analysis, and more.

The CPM exam takes about four hours to complete and costs $450 for ISM members ($550 for non-members). To prepare for the exam, candidates can take advantage of self-study materials provided by ISM or attend ISM-sponsored review courses. Once they have passed the exam and met all other requirements, they will receive their official CPM certification from ISM.

3. Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO)

A Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) is a professional designation awarded by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC). The CPPO credential is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skill, and experience in public procurement. To become certified, an individual must pass the CPPO exam administered by the UPPCC.

The CPPO exam consists of four components: legal and regulatory issues, best practices and procedures, contract management, and cost/price analysis. The exam covers topics such as public procurement laws and regulations, ethics in public procurement, developing solicitation documents, evaluating bids and proposals, negotiating contracts, managing contracts throughout their lifecycle, and analyzing costs/prices.

It typically takes 6-12 months to prepare for the CPPO exam. During this time period, individuals should familiarize themselves with the content areas covered on the exam and develop their understanding of public procurement principles and practices. Additionally, UPPCC offers study materials that can be purchased to help individuals better prepare for the exam.

The cost of taking the CPPO exam varies depending on whether an individual is a member or non-member of UPPCC. For members of UPPCC, the cost is $225; for non-members it is $325. Additionally, there are other fees associated with becoming certified such as application fees ($50), recertification fees ($100), and late renewal fees ($50).

In summary, becoming a Certified Public Procurement Officer requires passing an examination administered by UPPCC which typically takes 6-12 months to prepare for. The cost of taking the examination varies depending on membership status but generally ranges from $225-$325 plus additional application/renewal fees.

4. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is an internationally recognized professional certification program developed by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). It is designed to recognize professionals with a comprehensive knowledge of supply chain management who are able to effectively manage global supply chains. The CSCP certification is awarded after successful completion of an exam and requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge in areas such as supply chain strategy, design, planning, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, customer service and continuous improvement.

It typically takes between six months and one year to prepare for the CSCP exam. Candidates must have at least three years of relevant work experience in order to be eligible for the certification. Preparation materials include online courses, textbooks and practice exams.

The cost of the CSCP certification varies depending on the country where you take the exam. In the United States, it costs $695 USD to take the exam plus a $50 USD application fee. In other countries, fees may vary but generally range from $500-700 USD.

To get certified as a CSCP professional, you must first register with ASCM and submit an application form along with supporting documents such as proof of work experience and educational qualifications. Once your application has been approved, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your exam date and pay any associated fees. After successfully completing the exam you will be awarded your CSCP certification which is valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

5. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is a professional body that sets standards for the procurement and supply profession. It is the largest professional body of its kind in Europe, with over 60,000 members in 150 countries. CIPS provides qualifications, training and membership services to those working in or studying procurement and supply chain management.

To become a CIPS member, you must have either a relevant degree or at least three years' experience in the field. There are five levels of membership: Affiliate, Member (MCIPS), Associate (ACIPS), Fellow (FCIPS) and Chartered Fellow (CFCIPS). Each level requires different levels of qualification and experience.

It typically takes between one to two years to get your CIPS qualification depending on which route you choose. To obtain an MCIPS qualification, you must pass seven exams covering topics such as legal aspects of procurement, sourcing strategies and project management. You can take these exams online or attend face-to-face classes at one of the CIPS learning centres around the world.

The cost of becoming a CIPS member depends on which level you want to join at. The fees range from £99 for an Affiliate membership to £1,200 for a CFCIPS membership. You will also need to pay exam fees which range from £75 to £150 per exam depending on whether you take them online or in person.

In addition to the cost of becoming a member, there is an annual subscription fee which ranges from £50 for an Affiliate membership up to £250 for CFCIPS memberships.

6. American Purchasing Society (APS)

American Purchasing Society (APS) is a professional organization for purchasing and supply management professionals. It provides members with networking opportunities, educational resources, and certification programs to help them advance in their careers. The APS also offers an online marketplace where members can purchase products and services at discounted rates.

To become an APS member, you must first fill out an application form and submit it along with the required fees. Membership fees vary depending on the type of membership you choose. Once your application is approved, you will receive a welcome email with instructions on how to access your member portal and other resources.

It typically takes two to three weeks to process applications for membership in the American Purchasing Society. Once accepted, members can begin taking advantage of the benefits offered by the society such as discounts on products and services, access to educational materials, networking opportunities, and more.

The cost of membership in the American Purchasing Society varies depending on the type of membership chosen but generally ranges from $50-$200 per year.

7. National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) is a professional organization that provides training and certification to public procurement professionals. It is the leading provider of education, training, and certification in public procurement.

NIGP offers two levels of professional certification: Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) and Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO). The CPPB certification is intended for entry-level government buyers and takes approximately three to six months to complete. The CPPO certification is for experienced government buyers and takes about one year to complete.

To become certified, applicants must complete an approved course of study, pass an examination, and meet other requirements such as having a minimum amount of experience in government purchasing. The cost of the program varies depending on the level of certification sought but can range from $500-$2,000.

8. Association for Operations Management (APICS)

The Association for Operations Management (APICS) is a professional association that provides education, certification, and networking opportunities to enhance the operations management profession. It was founded in 1957 and has over 44,000 members in more than 100 countries.

APICS offers two primary certifications: Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). Both certifications require applicants to pass an exam consisting of multiple-choice questions. The CSCP exam consists of 150 questions that must be completed within four hours, while the CPIM exam consists of 175 questions that must be completed within five hours.

To obtain either certification, applicants must first register with APICS and pay the associated fee. The CSCP certification fee is currently $695 USD for members ($995 USD for non-members), while the CPIM certification fee is currently $495 USD for members ($795 USD for non-members). Once registered, applicants have up to one year to complete their respective exams.

In addition to its certifications, APICS also provides educational resources such as webinars, online courses, books, and conferences. Members receive discounts on all of these services as well as access to exclusive content such as industry news and job postings. Membership fees vary depending on the type of membership selected but generally range from $90 - $400 USD per year.

9. International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)

The International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) is a non-profit organization that provides training, certification, and resources to professionals in the field of contract and commercial management. It was founded in 1999 with the mission to “improve the performance of contracting organizations worldwide.”

To become an IACCM certified professional, you must first complete the IACCM Certification Program. The program consists of four courses: Contract Management Fundamentals, Negotiation Skills, Advanced Contract Management, and eCommerce & Digital Contracts. Each course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete and can be taken online or through an accredited instructor-led program. Once all four courses have been completed, you will receive your certification from IACCM.

The cost of the IACCM Certification Program varies depending on which option you choose. Online courses typically range from $500-$1,000 USD per course while instructor-led programs can cost up to $3,000 USD for all four courses combined.

Once certified by IACCM, members have access to a variety of resources including webinars, conferences, white papers, tools & templates, job postings and more. They also receive discounts on products and services related to contract and commercial management as well as exclusive access to industry experts who can provide guidance on best practices in this field.

10. Project Management Institute - Certified Associate in Project Management (PMI-CAPM)

The Project Management Institute-Certified Associate in Project Management (PMI-CAPM) is a certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and understanding of project management principles, processes, and tools.

The PMI-CAPM certification requires applicants to have at least 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 hours of formal education in project management. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and must be completed within three hours.

In order to obtain the PMI-CAPM certification, applicants must first register with the PMI and pay the associated fee. After registration, applicants must then schedule their exam with a Prometric Testing Center. Upon completion of the exam, applicants will receive their results within five business days.

The cost for the PMI-CAPM certification is $225 for members of the PMI and $300 for non-members. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with scheduling an exam with a Prometric Testing Center.

11. International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM).

The International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) is an international non-profit organization that promotes the development of the purchasing and supply management profession. It was founded in 1974 and currently has more than 20,000 members in over 80 countries. The IFPSM is dedicated to advancing the practice of purchasing and supply management by providing education, resources, and networking opportunities to its members.

It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to get certified as a Certified Purchasing and Supply Manager (CPSM) through the IFPSM. To become certified, individuals must pass three exams: Fundamentals of Supply Management (FOSM), Professional Practices in Supply Management (PPSM), and Strategic Sourcing & Procurement (SSP). Each exam costs $395 USD and can be taken online or at a testing center. In addition to passing the exams, applicants must also have at least two years of professional experience in purchasing or supply management.

Once certified, CPSMs are required to maintain their certification by earning continuing education credits every three years. This can be done through attending seminars, conferences, webinars, or other approved activities. The cost for recertification is $200 USD every three years.

Overall, the cost for becoming a Certified Purchasing and Supply Manager through the IFPSM is approximately $995 USD plus any additional fees for continuing education credits every three years.

Do You Really Need a Procurement Administrator Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual career goals. If you are looking to break into the field of procurement and need a way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, then a procurement administrator certificate could be beneficial. A certification can show employers that you have taken the time to learn the basics of procurement, which can help you stand out from other job applicants.

Having a certificate in procurement administration can also give you an edge when it comes to salary negotiations or promotions. Certification can prove that you have a good understanding of how procurement works in order to help an organization streamline their processes and save money.

However, obtaining a certificate is not necessary for everyone. If you already have years of experience as a procurement administrator or think that your current skills are enough, then there may not be any need for additional certifications. It is important to evaluate your individual situation and decide if getting certified would truly benefit your career path.

Related: Procurement Administrator Resume Examples

FAQs About Procurement Administrator Certifications

1. What is a Procurement Administrator Certification?

A Procurement Administrator Certification is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities in the procurement field. It demonstrates that the individual has achieved a level of competency in procurement processes, procedures and best practices.

2. How do I become certified as a Procurement Administrator?

In order to become certified as a Procurement Administrator, you must complete an approved course of study from an accredited institution or organization such as the American Purchasing Society (APS) or the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). You may also be required to pass an exam demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of procurement principles and practices.

3. What are the benefits of obtaining a Procurement Administrator Certification?

Earning a Procurement Administrator Certification can help you stand out from other job applicants by demonstrating your commitment to continuing education and professional development in the field of procurement. Additionally, it can provide you with recognition from employers and peers for having achieved a certain level of expertise in this field.

4. How long does it take to get certified as a Procurement Administrator?

The length of time it takes to obtain certification varies depending on the preparation required for each individual applicant, but typically it takes between six months and one year to complete all necessary coursework, exams and other requirements needed for certification.

5. Is there any cost associated with becoming certified as a Procurement Administrator?

Yes, there may be costs associated with obtaining certification including tuition fees, registration fees, materials costs, exam fees and other related expenses.