Top 10 Procurement Specialist Certifications
This article provides an overview of the most popular procurement specialist certifications available and their key features.
Published 17 min read
Certifications for procurement specialists demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge in the field that can be attractive to employers. They show that a candidate has taken the initiative to gain additional qualifications, which can indicate their commitment to the profession. Certifications also serve as proof that a procurement specialist is up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices, which can give an employer confidence that they will perform their duties well. Finally, certifications may open up more job opportunities and higher salaries, as employers are often willing to pay more for employees with specialized skillsets.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Procurement Specialists and explains how they can help to advance a career in procurement.
What are Procurement Specialist Certifications?
Procurement specialist certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and expertise in the field of procurement. This certification is designed to help procurement professionals demonstrate their ability to handle the responsibilities of their job and also to show employers that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful.
The certification process typically involves taking an exam which covers topics including supply chain management, contract law, supplier evaluation, inventory control, and risk management. Upon passing the exam, individuals will receive a certification that recognizes their expertise in these areas. This certification can help procurement professionals stand out from the competition when applying for jobs or promotions within their company. It can also provide them with additional credibility when negotiating prices with suppliers or seeking new business opportunities. Additionally, having this certification may give procurement professionals access to professional networks and resources that can help them stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
Pro Tip: Make sure to research the specific requirements for becoming a certified procurement specialist in your area. Different regions may have different requirements, so it is important to understand what you need to do in order to achieve certification. Additionally, explore any available online courses or other educational opportunities that can help you gain the necessary knowledge and skills.
Related: What does a Procurement Specialist do?
Top 10 Procurement Specialist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Procurement Specialists today.
1. Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is a professional certification program for supply chain and procurement professionals. The CPSM is administered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). It is designed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices, and processes of supply management.
The CPSM program consists of three parts: an exam, experience, and continuing education. To become certified, one must pass all three parts within a five-year period.
To get the CPSM certification, you must first meet the eligibility requirements set out by ISM. This includes having at least three years of professional experience in supply chain or procurement and having completed at least 30 hours of approved educational courses related to supply chain or procurement topics. Once you have met these requirements, you can apply to take the CPSM Exam.
The cost of taking the CPSM Exam is $495 for ISM members and $595 for non-members. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. After passing the exam, you will need to submit documentation showing your professional experience in supply chain or procurement as well as evidence that you have completed 30 hours of ISM approved educational courses related to supply chain or procurement topics.
Once you have passed all three parts of the CPSM program within a five-year period, you will receive your official Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) certificate from ISM.
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 achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in purchasing and supply management.
The CPM certification program consists of four courses, each focusing on a different area of purchasing and supply management. The courses are: Principles of Purchasing, Contracting & Negotiation, Strategic Sourcing, and Supply Chain Management. Each course must be completed within two years in order to receive the CPM designation.
In order to become certified as a CPM, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having at least five years of full-time experience in purchasing or supply management; being employed in a managerial or senior-level position; and passing an examination administered by ISM.
The cost for the CPM program varies depending on which option you choose. The standard option costs $2,495 USD and includes all four courses plus the exam fee. The accelerated option costs $3,395 USD and includes all four courses plus the exam fee, but allows you to complete the program in just one year instead of two.
Once you have successfully completed all four courses and passed the exam, you will receive your official Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) certificate from ISM.
3. Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is an international professional body that provides qualifications and training in procurement and supply chain management. It was founded in 1932 and has members in 150 countries. CIPS offers a range of qualifications from entry level to postgraduate and professional, as well as a variety of courses for those seeking to develop their knowledge and skills.
It typically takes between 1-3 years to gain a CIPS qualification, depending on the level being studied for. To get started, you will need to register with CIPS, choose the appropriate qualification or course you wish to study, and then complete the necessary assessments.
The cost of studying for a CIPS qualification varies depending on the level being studied for, but can range from £400-£1,500 per year. There are also additional costs associated with taking exams and assessments which can vary depending on the type of assessment taken.
4. Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO)
A Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) is a professional designation awarded by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). The CPPO designation recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a mastery of public procurement principles, practices, and techniques.
To become a CPPO, an individual must complete at least three years of full-time public procurement experience, pass an examination administered by NIGP, and agree to adhere to the NIGP Code of Ethics. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions on topics such as purchasing law, contract management, and procurement methods.
The cost for taking the CPPO exam varies depending on the state in which you are taking it. Generally speaking, it will cost between $200 and $400. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining your certification if you choose to do so through NIGP.
It usually takes about six months to complete the process of becoming a CPPO once you have obtained all necessary materials and passed your exam. During this time period, you will need to submit your application materials to NIGP for review and then wait for them to approve or deny your application. Once approved, you will receive your official certification from NIGP.
5. Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the expertise of financial managers in the public sector. It is offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).
The CGFM program consists of three parts: an examination, education and experience requirements. The examination covers topics such as government budgeting, accounting and auditing, financial reporting, internal control standards, and financial management systems.
It typically takes several months to prepare for the CGFM exam. Candidates must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits in government-related topics within four years prior to taking the exam. They must also have at least two years of full-time experience in governmental finance or related fields.
To get certified, candidates must pass all three parts of the CGFM program within a five-year period. The cost for taking the exam varies by state but typically ranges from $250-$500 per part.
6. Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM)
Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of contract management professionals. It is offered by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA).
The CPCM certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in contracts management or a related field. Applicants must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge of contracts management principles, practices, and techniques. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as contract law, negotiation strategies, risk assessment, and performance measurement.
To get certified as a CPCM, you must first complete an NCMA-approved training program. There are several online courses available that can help you prepare for the exam. Once you have completed the training program, you can register for the exam through NCMA’s website. The cost for the exam is $395 for members and $495 for non-members.
Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your CPCM certification from NCMA. This certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by completing continuing education credits or retaking the exam.
7. American Purchasing Society’s Certified Professional Purchaser (CPP)
The Certified Professional Purchaser (CPP) is a professional certification program offered by the American Purchasing Society (APS). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and proficiency in purchasing and supply management. The CPP designation is recognized internationally as a mark of excellence in purchasing and supply management.
To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of full-time professional purchasing experience, or equivalent part-time experience. They must also pass an exam administered by the APS. The exam covers topics such as strategic sourcing, contract management, supplier relations, negotiation techniques, and legal aspects of purchasing.
The CPP certification process typically takes about six months to complete. Applicants must first submit their application for review by the APS Certification Board. Once approved, they will be given access to study materials and can register for the exam. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CPP certificate from the APS within two weeks.
The cost of becoming a CPP varies depending on the applicant’s membership status with the APS. Non-members pay $595 for the application fee plus $495 for the exam fee; members pay $395 for the application fee plus $395 for the exam fee.
8. National Contract Management Association’s Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM)
The Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) is a professional certification program offered by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for successful performance in federal contract management.
To become certified, individuals must pass an exam that covers topics such as procurement law, regulations, policies, procedures, and best practices. The program also requires applicants to demonstrate their experience in the field of federal contract management.
The CFCM exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. The exam fee is $400 for NCMA members and $500 for non-members. To qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in federal contract management or related fields.
Once an individual has passed the CFCM exam, they are eligible to apply for recertification every three years by submitting proof of continuing education credits and professional development activities.
Overall, becoming a Certified Federal Contracts Manager requires dedication and hard work but can be extremely rewarding for those looking to advance their career in federal contract management.
9. International Public Procurement Certification Council’s International Public Procurement Certification Program (IPPCP)
The International Public Procurement Certification Program (IPPCP) is an international certification program developed by the International Public Procurement Certification Council (IPPC). The IPPCP is designed to provide a comprehensive and rigorous certification process for public procurement professionals. It provides a way for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in public procurement.
The IPPCP consists of four levels of certification: Certified Public Procurement Professional (CPPP), Advanced Certified Public Procurement Professional (ACPPP), Master Certified Public Procurement Professional (MCAPP), and Senior Certified Public Procurement Professional (SCPPP). Each level requires the successful completion of written examinations that cover topics such as public procurement law, ethics, contracting strategies, and management practices.
The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on the level of certification being sought. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete all the requirements for each level.
To get certified, applicants must first register with the IPPC and pay a fee. This fee covers the cost of materials needed for study, as well as administrative costs associated with taking the exams. Once registered, applicants must then complete all required coursework and pass all examinations in order to be awarded their respective certification level.
The cost of getting certified varies depending on which level you are seeking. The fees range from $200 USD for CPPP to $2,000 USD for SCPPP.
10. American Production and Inventory Control Society’s Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM).
The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is a professional certification program offered by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). The CPSM program is designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of supply chain professionals. It is an internationally recognized certification that demonstrates a mastery of the principles and practices of supply management.
It typically takes about three years to complete the requirements for the CPSM. To earn this certification, individuals must pass three exams: Fundamentals of Supply Management, Master Planning of Resources, and Execution and Control of Operations. Each exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. In addition to passing the exams, applicants must also have at least three years of relevant work experience in supply chain management or related fields.
The cost for taking all three exams is $1,195 for APICS members ($1,295 for non-members). This includes access to study materials such as textbooks and online courses. Applicants may also choose to purchase additional study materials from APICS or other sources at an additional cost.
Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their official CPSM certificate from APICS. The certification is valid for five years from the date it was earned, after which time recertification will be required in order to maintain the credential.
Do You Really Need a Procurement Specialist Certificate?
A procurement specialist certificate is not always necessary to be successful in a procurement role. Many organizations may consider experience and education to be more important than holding a certification. However, the procurement specialist certificate can give you an edge over other applicants when submitting your resume for a job opening.
The procurement specialist certification demonstrates a commitment to professional development and mastery of the field. It also signifies that you have taken the time to learn about industry best practices and gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved in procurement. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions, understand contract terms, and develop strategies that will create value for your organization.
Having a procurement specialist certification can set you apart from other job candidates who may lack the same level of knowledge and expertise. Employers are always looking for employees who are willing to go the extra mile, and having this certification shows that you have done just that. It also helps demonstrate your dedication to staying up-to-date on industry trends and technologies, which employers appreciate as well.
In conclusion, while it is not essential to have a procurement specialist certificate in order to get hired for a job in this field, having one can definitely give you an advantage over other candidates who do not possess one. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to stand out from the competition or want to further advance your career in procurement, obtaining this certification can help give you an edge.
Related: Procurement Specialist Resume Examples
FAQs About Procurement Specialist Certifications
Q1. What is a Procurement Specialist Certification?
A1. A Procurement Specialist Certification is a professional certification that recognizes an individual's knowledge and skills in the area of procurement, which includes buying goods and services for use by a business or organization. The certification demonstrates that the individual has the necessary expertise to perform their job effectively and efficiently.
Q2. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Procurement Specialist?
A2. Becoming certified as a Procurement Specialist provides many benefits, including increased job opportunities, higher salaries, greater respect from employers, and greater credibility with customers and vendors. Additionally, it can help individuals stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments.
Q3. How do I become certified as a Procurement Specialist?
A3. To become certified as a Procurement Specialist, you must first complete an accredited program or course in procurement management or supply chain management. After completing your program or course, you must then pass an exam administered by an accredited certifying body to receive your certification.
Q4. How long does it take to become certified as a Procurement Specialist?
A4. The amount of time it takes to become certified as a Procurement Specialist will vary depending on the specific program or course you choose to take, as well as how quickly you complete the necessary requirements for certification. Generally speaking, however, it should take between one and two years to complete all of the steps involved in obtaining your certification.
Q5. How much does it cost to get certified as a Procurement Specialist?
A5. The cost of getting certified as a Procurement Specialist will depend on which certifying body you choose to go through for your certification process, as well as any additional fees associated with taking courses or exams required for certification eligibility. Generally speaking, however, expect to pay anywhere from $200 – $1000+ depending on all factors involved in obtaining your certification