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Top 10 Retail Operations Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular certifications available for retail operations managers, including requirements, benefits, and costs.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are an important way for retail operations managers to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities in the job market. They can provide a competitive edge when applying for positions as they show that a manager has invested time and resources in learning about the industry and staying up-to-date on best practices. Certifications also demonstrate that a manager has the necessary skills and expertise to manage complex retail operations, such as inventory management, customer service and staffing. In addition to providing a competitive edge, certifications also help employers identify qualified candidates and make informed hiring decisions.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Retail Operations Managers and explains how they can enhance a retail operations manager's career.

What are Retail Operations Manager Certifications?

Retail operations manager certification is a professional credential that recognizes and validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the field of retail operations. This certification is designed to help individuals who are interested in advancing their career in retail management. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of managing a successful retail operation, from setting up stores, stocking shelves and managing customer service to budgeting and forecasting. Certification holders are also able to demonstrate their commitment to the industry by displaying their credentials on job applications, resumes, and other professional documents. With this certification, retail managers can better understand how to run their businesses efficiently while remaining profitable and compliant with relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, they can gain access to resources such as industry-specific training materials, networking opportunities, and job postings with potential employers. Ultimately, those who possess this certification have a greater opportunity for career growth within the retail sector.

Pro Tip: To become a retail operations manager, it is important to obtain certification from a reputable organization. Certification will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage a retail operation. Additionally, certification can help demonstrate your commitment to the profession and provide potential employers with evidence of your qualifications.

Related: What does a Retail Operations Manager do?

Top 10 Retail Operations Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Retail Operations Managers today.

1. Certified Retail Operations Manager (CROM)

Certified Retail Operations Manager (CROM) is a professional credential offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is designed to recognize retail professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in retail operations. The CROM certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the areas of customer service, store operations, inventory management, loss prevention, and human resources.

The certification process takes approximately six months to complete. To become certified, applicants must first pass an online assessment that tests their knowledge and experience in the areas mentioned above. Once they have passed this assessment, they can then apply for the CROM certification exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as customer service, store operations, inventory management, loss prevention, and human resources.

The cost for the CROM certification exam is $395 USD. This fee includes access to study materials and practice exams prior to taking the actual exam. After passing the exam, individuals will receive a certificate from NRF that recognizes them as a Certified Retail Operations Manager (CROM).

2. Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM)

Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM) is a certification program offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is designed to recognize and enhance the skills of retail professionals. The CPRM certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence in retail management and provides a competitive edge for those working in the industry.

The CPRM program consists of three courses: Principles of Retail Management, Advanced Retail Management, and Strategic Retail Management. Each course takes approximately 8-10 weeks to complete, depending on the student’s availability and pace. All courses are offered online with access to an instructor for guidance and support.

To become certified, students must successfully complete all three courses and pass a final exam with a score of 80% or higher. Upon completion, students will receive their CPRM certification from the NRF.

The cost of the program varies depending on which course package you choose. The standard package costs $1,500 USD and includes all three courses plus one year of membership with the NRF.

3. Certified Store Manager (CSM)

Certified Store Manager (CSM) is a certification program designed to help retail store managers gain the skills and knowledge needed to become successful in their roles. The CSM certification program is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The CSM program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person assessment. The online course covers topics such as customer service, operations management, leadership, marketing, and finance. The in-person assessment tests the candidate’s understanding of the material from the online course.

It typically takes four to six weeks to complete the CSM program. Candidates must pass both the online course and in-person assessment with a score of 80% or higher in order to receive their certification.

The cost for the CSM program varies depending on which provider you choose. Generally speaking, it will cost between $500-$1,000 USD for the entire program.

4. Certified Retail Supervisor (CRS)

Certified Retail Supervisor (CRS) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and reward retail professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful in the retail industry. The CRS is awarded by the National Retail Federation (NRF), which is a trade association representing all types of retailers across the United States and its territories.

The CRS certification program consists of two parts: an online self-paced course, and an exam. The online course covers topics such as customer service, sales techniques, inventory management, store operations, and marketing. The exam tests your knowledge of these topics as well as your ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

It typically takes about 10 weeks to complete the CRS program. During this time you will need to complete the online coursework and prepare for the exam. You can also take advantage of additional resources such as study guides and practice exams offered by NRF or other third-party providers.

To get certified you must first register with NRF and pay a fee of $325 USD. Once registered you will receive access to the online course materials and can begin studying for the exam right away. When you feel ready you can then schedule your exam at a testing center near you or take it online from home. After successfully completing the exam you will become a Certified Retail Supervisor!

The cost for registering for CRS certification is $325 USD plus any additional fees for taking the exam at a testing center or taking it online from home.

5. Certified Retail Analyst (CRA)

Certified Retail Analyst (CRA) is a professional certification program offered by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). It is designed to provide retail professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to excel in the retail industry. The CRA program provides an in-depth understanding of the retail industry, from consumer behavior to store operations, and provides a comprehensive overview of best practices for managing a successful retail business.

The CRA program consists of three courses: Principles of Retail Management, Retail Operations Management and Consumer Behavior. Each course is self-paced and can be completed online within 4-6 weeks. Upon completion of all three courses, participants must pass an exam to become certified.

The cost for the Certified Retail Analyst program varies depending on which option you choose. The full CRA Program costs $1,495 USD, while individual courses are available for $595 USD each. There are also discounts available for ICSC members.

In addition to completing the courses and passing the exam, applicants must also have at least two years of relevant work experience in order to qualify for certification.

6. Certified Merchandising Manager (CMM)

Certified Merchandising Manager (CMM) is a professional certification that recognizes the expertise of individuals in the field of retail merchandising. It is designed to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a retail environment. CMM certification is offered through the National Retail Federation (NRF).

How long does it take to get it? The CMM program includes three levels of certification: Certified Merchandising Professional (CMP), Certified Senior Merchandiser (CSM), and Certified Master Merchandiser (CMM). Each level requires completion of a series of courses and exams, as well as a minimum amount of work experience. Depending on your current level of experience and education, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete all three levels.

How to get it? To become certified, you must first apply for the program online at the NRF website. Once your application has been approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the courses and exams needed for each level. You must successfully complete all coursework and pass all exams before being eligible for certification.

How much does it cost? The cost for CMM certification varies depending on which level you are applying for. The application fee is $50, while each course costs $150-200 per credit hour. The exam fees range from $100-200 per exam depending on which level you are taking.

7. Certified Inventory Control Manager (CICM)

Certified Inventory Control Manager (CICM) is a professional certification offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in inventory management and control.

To obtain the CICM certification, individuals must first pass an exam that covers topics such as inventory planning and control, materials management, and supply chain operations. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is administered by APICS. To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must have at least three years of experience in inventory control or related fields.

The cost for taking the CICM exam varies depending on whether you are an APICS member or non-member. For members, the fee is $250; for non-members, it is $400. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete.

Once you have successfully passed the CICM exam, you will receive your official certificate from APICS recognizing your achievement. This certificate will serve as proof of your expertise in inventory management and control and can be used to demonstrate your qualifications for job opportunities in this field.

8. Certified Loss Prevention Specialist (CLPS)

Certified Loss Prevention Specialist (CLPS) is a professional certification program designed to equip loss prevention professionals with the knowledge and skills required to protect their organizations from financial losses. The CLPS program is offered by the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of loss prevention education and certification.

The CLPS program consists of an online course, an exam, and a practical application component. The online course covers topics such as shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, security systems, and more. Upon completion of the course, students must pass an exam with a score of 70% or higher in order to receive their certification.

The practical application component requires students to demonstrate their understanding of loss prevention concepts by completing two real-world projects within six months of completing the course. These projects include designing a store security system and creating a plan for reducing shoplifting incidents.

It typically takes about three months to complete the entire CLPS program from start to finish. To get started, interested individuals can register for the program on the LPF website. The cost of the program is $299 USD which includes access to all materials needed for successful completion as well as one year of membership in LPF's professional network.

9. Certified Sales and Operations Planning Professional (CSOPP)

Certified Sales and Operations Planning Professional (CSOPP) is a certification program that provides recognition to professionals who demonstrate expertise in the area of sales and operations planning (S&OP). It is designed to assess a professional's knowledge, skills, and abilities related to S&OP processes.

The CSOPP certification is offered through the Association for Operations Management (APICS). To be eligible for the certification, applicants must have at least two years of relevant experience in S&OP or supply chain management. They must also pass an exam administered by APICS.

To get the CSOPP certification, applicants must first register with APICS and pay a fee of $495 USD. After registration, they will be able to access study materials and practice exams. Applicants should plan to spend approximately 40-60 hours studying before taking the exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours.

Once applicants have passed the exam, they will receive their CSOPP certificate from APICS. The certification is valid for five years and can be renewed by taking additional courses or passing a recertification exam every five years.

10. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is an internationally recognized certification offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). It is designed to help professionals demonstrate their mastery of supply chain management best practices and provide a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

The CSCP program consists of three components: an online learning system, an exam, and a professional development program. The online learning system includes 12 modules that cover topics such as demand planning, customer relationship management, supply chain visibility, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. To receive the CSCP designation, candidates must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete the CSCP program depending on how quickly you are able to work through the material. However, some people have been able to complete it in as little as three months.

To get started with the CSCP program, you will need to register and pay for it through ASCM's website. The cost for the entire program is $995 USD plus applicable taxes and fees.

Do You Really Need a Retail Operations Manager Certificate?

When it comes to managing a retail store, there are many skills and competencies that are required. A Retail Operations Manager Certificate is one way to demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary knowledge and experience in order to be successful in this role. However, it is important to consider whether or not having such a certificate is actually necessary for success.

The truth is that having a Retail Operations Manager Certificate can be beneficial if you already possess the skills and knowledge necessary for the job. It may give employers an indication of your commitment to the role, as well as help demonstrate your qualifications and experience. Additionally, having a certificate may help open up opportunities with certain companies or organizations, as they may prefer applicants who have one.

However, it is also important to note that having a certificate does not guarantee success in the role of a retail operations manager. While having one can certainly be beneficial, it is still important to possess the necessary skills and knowledge in order to be successful in this role. Employers will likely look at your past work experience and successes when considering you for the position, so make sure you have those things on your resume if you don’t have a certificate.

In conclusion, while having a Retail Operations Manager Certificate can be beneficial, it is not necessarily required in order to be successful in this role. Having the right skills and knowledge should always come first when applying for any position within retail operations management - so make sure you focus on developing those first before considering investing time and money into obtaining such a certificate.

Related: Retail Operations Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Retail Operations Manager Certifications

Q1: What is a Retail Operations Manager Certification?

A1: A Retail Operations Manager Certification is a professional certification that verifies an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities in overseeing the operations of a retail business. It demonstrates the ability to manage personnel, inventory, sales, customer service and other aspects of managing a retail store or chain.

Q2: What are the benefits of having a Retail Operations Manager Certification?

A2: Having a Retail Operations Manager Certification can help demonstrate your expertise in retail management to potential employers. It can also help boost your career growth by providing you with greater job opportunities, as well as higher salaries and promotions.

Q3: How do I become certified?

A3: To obtain a Retail Operations Manager Certification, you must pass an examination administered by an accredited organization such as the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), National Retail Federation (NRF) or American Society for Quality (ASQ). The exam will assess your knowledge and experience in retail operations management.

Q4: What topics are covered on the exam?

A4: The topics covered on the exam vary depending on which certification you choose to pursue but generally include areas such as personnel management, store layout and design, inventory control, customer service and sales strategies.

Q5: How long does it take to get certified?

A5: Generally it takes about four weeks to complete all requirements for certification. This includes studying for and taking the exam, completing any necessary paperwork or applications and receiving your certificate after passing the exam.