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Applying for Certification
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Membership in the American Purchasing Society implies a serious concern about the profession and a dedication to the improvement of "purchasing" and "supply chain management". Obtaining a purchasing certification further implies that the person is interested in advancing his or her career in the purchasing and supply chain function and in business.
There are now five worldwide American Purchasing Society certification programs, the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), the Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW), and the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).
View this company list featuring companies that have had employees apply for American Purchasing Society’s procurement certification programs.
Obtain the certification application as a PDF.
Apply for our professional purchasing certification programs online.
Benefits of Certification
These purchasing certification programs are important to people in purchasing and supply chain management in both private business and the public sector for a number of valid reasons.
Business and government management recognizes the growing complexity and heavy demands of the purchasing and supply chain operation. Executives need the assurance that their purchasing and supply chain managers and buyers are adequately trained, reliable, and dedicated to their professions.
There is a growing realization in the business world that only professionals can get the job done in a professional manner. The American Purchasing Society award of certification provides general management a high degree of confidence in the ability and integrity of the people who have been or will be selected to do the job.
Also, there is ample precedent reflecting the benefits of professional certification in the history of other areas of business operation, such as engineering, accounting, law, computer engineering, etc.
Other facts supporting the need for certified supply chain managers and certified purchasing professionals include a marked degree of improvement in personal confidence, satisfaction, and pride, which results from certification - and it is manifested by improved performance on the part of the certified individual. Also, purchasing management certification permits closer control of spurious purchasing and supply chain practices and offers opportunities for increased earning levels in purchasing and supply chain operations based on recognition of professional competence and performance. A nationwide survey conducted by the Society indicated that those who earned the CPP from APS earned an average of 23.4% more than other purchasing and supply chain professionals.
The area of distribution, logistics and warehousing is a quickly blossoming type of business in the U.S. and other places. Warehouses and distribution centers are popping up everywhere as competition for immediate delivery increases. As this quickly growing business advances, the need for professionals in this field increases. The Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW) program is designed to educate and train people in distribution, logistics, and warehousing management. Students who take this program will be prepared for professional jobs in distribution centers and warehouses and will be more likely to earn jobs, promotions, and higher salaries than those who are not certified.
Who is Eligible?
CPP, CPPM, CGPP, CPPC candidacy is open to all persons in purchasing, materials management or in an executive position who are members of the American Purchasing Society or who work for a company or government that holds a valid membership in the Society. All members who qualify are encouraged to apply for procurement professional certification although certification is not necessary to maintain a membership.
CPP, CPPM, CGPP, CPPC candidacy is also open to nonmembers who are in purchasing, materials management or in an executive position; however, these individuals will not receive any price discounts offered only to members in good standing with the Society.
CPDW candidacy is open to all members and nonmembers.
A prerequisite for eligibility for CPP certification is a minimum of two years purchasing related experience. Purchasing related experience refers to interaction with suppliers or managing those who have interaction with suppliers. All applicants are required to provide supplier contacts except for very high-level executives employed at Fortune 500 firms. Additionally, applicants must meet the requirements outlined herein. In special circumstances, certification may be awarded to an individual who has not met the minimum requirements of formal education, but who has contributed significantly to the profession and who meets all other requirements.
With becoming a certified procurement professional, applicants must be able to write properly using correct spelling and grammar. Written communication is a very important part of purchasing professionals' responsibilities. An applicant may be disqualified from certification if unable to write using proper grammar.
Applicants must read, understand, and agree to all rules and conditions of the buyer certification programs as listed below.
Requirements for the Purchasing Certification Programs
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Beginning January 1st, 2018, all CPPs, CPPMs, CGPPs, and CPPCs who are nonmembers of the American Purchasing Society or have let their membership lapse will be required to apply for an update every two years. Members will still only be required to update every five years. Lifetime certification can be applied for at the age of 50. No further updates will then be required.
CPP applicants are first evaluated on their ethical standards and maturity as demonstrated by their reputation, financial responsibility record, and their ability to communicate. Friends, coworkers, and suppliers are contacted and asked general questions about their relationship with the candidate. A number of positive responses must be acquired. Negative reference responses could disqualify an applicant from certification. Supplier references are required. All reference information is kept confidential and is not released to anyone outside of APS certification services.
All CPP applicants are required to take and complete the "Preparation for Certified Purchasing Professional Exam" 3 week online course, which includes the CPP examination. Please visit the Courses and Seminars page for more information on the prep course.
Finally, a review of their academic achievements, experience and contributions to the purchasing profession is made to award points in each of these categories. A minimum total of 100 points is required for the Certified Purchasing Professional classification (see the point guide below to estimate your standing).
Those applying for CPPM, CGPP and/or CPPC certification must already have earned and received the CPP award or be applying for both programs simultaneously. CPPM applicants must take the 3 week online course "Preparation for the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager Exam" and pass the examination given at the end. Applicants for the CGPP must complete the course/exam prep book "Preparation for the CGPP Exam" and pass an examination. For the CPPC, they must have a business or related subject degree from an accredited college, consulting experience and score at least 85% on the CPP exam.
Procurement certification requirements may change without prior notice.
Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing
The area of distribution, logistics and warehousing is a quickly blossoming type of business in the U.S. and other places. Warehouses and distribution centers are popping up everywhere as competition for immediate delivery increases. As this quickly growing business advances, the need for professionals in this field increases. The Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW) program is designed to educate and train people in distribution, logistics, and warehousing management. Students who take this course will be prepared for professional jobs in distribution centers and warehouses.
Anyone may apply for the CPDW. The CPP is not a requirement for this certification, and there is a separate application for the CPDW. The requirements for the CPDW are three online courses and an examination. The courses may be taken separately or through the CPDW prep course. The three courses are Distribution and Warehousing, Inventory for Distribution and Warehousing, and Management Operations and Logistics. Once the courses are completed an examination must be taken and passed. The passing grade for the CPDW examination is 75%.
The courses can be registered for on our purchasing and supply courses page.
Apply for purchasing certifications online or download the PDF version of the CPDW application.
The process for this certification is submit application with processing fee, take all courses, pass examination. Once these are completed the application is reviewed for final approval.
All people awarded the CPDW will receive a formal award letter, a plaque, will be announced on the Society's website, and put CPDW after their name.
Certification Expiration & Updating
All certifications must be updated every five years for members and every two years for either non-members or those who let their membership expire in order to keep certifications valid. At the age of 50 lifetime status can be applied for, and after the successful update no further updates will be required. A minimum of 15 additional points is needed for an approved updated CPP status. Also, anyone who has not taken and completed the self-running online courses "Business Ethics for Buyers and Sellers", "Essential Law for Buyers and Sellers", "Managing Inventory - Maintaining the Proper Level", "Math for Purchasing and Business", "The Science and Art of Negotiation" and "Accounting, Finance, and Cost Management for Buyers and Managers" will be required to do so.
"Forecasting for Buyers, Managers, and Business Executives" is the required online course for anyone applying for a CPPM update.
"The Evolution of Sustainability" is the required online course for anyone applying for a CGPP update.
"Managing Inventory - Maintaining the Proper Level" is required for anyone applying for the CPDW update (unless already taken). Download the PDF version of the CPDW update application.
CPPM, CPPC, CGPP are only valid if all CPP requirements have been met and the CPP is currently in good standing. If the CPP expires, all other certifications that it is a prerequisite for expire as well.
Lifetime certification is considered for members of the Society who have reached the age of 50 and previously obtained certification.
Download the PDF version of the update application or apply for this purchasing certification update online
Guidance and Final Acceptance
When an applicant lacks certain educational background or essential purchasing experience, guidance will be provided on methods to fulfill the certification requirement. Study guides are available to applicants from the American Purchasing Society. Applications will be kept open for three years to allow candidates to make up any deficiencies that they may have. During that time the applicants may indicate that they are candidates for certification and the American Purchasing Society will verify this fact if needed. Applicants must, however, take and complete the required courses and take and pass the examination(s) within two years of certification application.
The time required by the American Purchasing Society to process certification applications will vary considerably in accordance with the response time of contacts, current volume of in-process applications, exam results, and the accuracy and completeness of the application itself. Allow an average of 80 to 100 days for the CPP application online to be process and an additional 40 to 60 days for each of the CPPM, CGPP and CPPC processes. Applications are processed in the order received. Application processing can not be expedited due to the number of applications received.
All information contained in the certification application will be treated in the strictest confidence by the American Purchasing Society. Nothing contained in an application will be released or revealed without the express written permission of the applicant. However, coworkers and suppliers will be contacted and it will be disclosed that the purpose of the check is in connection with an application for certification.
How to Estimate Your Available Points for the CPP
Estimate your available points for the CPP. Remember that first you must qualify on your reputation and ethical conduct, pass an examination, and take and complete the self-running online courses "Business Ethics for Buyers and Sellers", "Essential Law for Buyers and Sellers", "Managing Inventory - Maintaining the Proper Level" and "Math for Purchasing and Business" (which are all included in the CPP exam prep course) before points are considered, but assuming these are all successfully completed, you can estimate your standing by using the following guide. The official assignment of points is done by the Society and the Society's total stands. Normally, if an applicant is short on points the Society will make recommendations, based on education, responsibilities, and exam score, how the applicant can earn additional points.
Points are assigned for education, experience, the CPP exam, and academic contributions to the purchasing profession. Remember you need a minimum of 100 points to qualify.
Credit is given for full curricula leading toward a degree or for individual courses taken at colleges who have been approved by the Society. Credit is also given for courses and seminars given by the American Purchasing Society. Points are assigned for the examination, education, experience, and academic contributions to the purchasing profession. Type of Education/Points:
High school graduate - 10 points. Seminars - Those preapproved by the Society with assigned points. College level courses - Those preapproved by the Society with assigned points. Please contact attending school to determine if preapproved. College level courses in business, engineering, or law subjects - Those preapproved by the Society with assigned points. Please contact attending school to determine if preapproved. Associate degree with a major in business or a business related subject - 30 points. Bachelor's degree with a major in business, engineering, law, or the sciences - 40 points. Master's degree - 5 points. Master's degree in business - 10 points. Doctorate in related subject - 15 points.
Points for experience are determined by the scope of responsibility multiplied by the number of years of experience. Type Experience Points/Year:
Business - 2 points, Managerial - 4 points, Purchasing - 6 points, Purchasing Management - 9 points, Purchasing Executive (Director or V.P.) - 12 points
Articles written or published on purchasing or business topics - 10 points Courses taught on purchasing or business topics - 8 points Speeches given on purchasing or business topics - 5 points Work on committees of purchasing management organizations - 3 points
The CPP examination is taken online as part of the three-week online course "Preparation for Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) Exam". This course covers all subjects included in the examination. It includes an instructor, study guide, and all of the certification required courses. The examination is given online at the end of the course and is included in the price of the course. This course is required for purchasing certification and the examination must be passed.
Points Awarded. The exam is worth up to 50 points. Points are determined by multiplying the percentage of correct answers by 50. For example, an exam score of 80% would equate to .80 x 50 = 40 points.
Completion of the Certification
When the Preparation for Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) Exam three week course is completed and the CPP examination is successfully passed a candidate's file is reviewed for point totaling and final approval. Upon completion of the program a candidate is awarded the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) designation and receives a certificate indicating the achievement (Due to stricter postal regulations, CPPs, CPPMs, CGPPs, and CPPCs outside of the United States will receive a certificate by email). Recognition is given in Professional Purchasing, the American Purchasing Society's monthly publication, and members on the Certification Announcement Page of the American Purchasing Society's web site. An announcement may also be made to employers and newspapers as provided by the certified person.
Price for Members and Nonmembers/Payment Options
The price for members to apply for the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) is $299 and for nonmembers $515. The price for members to apply for the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) or the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC) is $294. The price for nonmembers to apply for the CPPM is $500. The price to nonmembers to apply for the CGPP and the CPPC is $425. Please look at our course page to view course prices. Please view the certification application for a more detailed price list. The Society accepts checks, American Express, Mastercard, and Visa as payment for certification. The Society cannot accept purchase orders for certification and cannot accept any application that references a purchase order or any other company internal number.
CPP Program Options and Prices
CPPM Program Options and Prices
CGPP Program Options and Prices
For Questions, an Application, or Further Information
For assistance in learning how to get a CPP certification online or for clarification of any information on this page you are welcome to call or email the American Purchasing Society any time during normal working hours. We will be glad to help you. Telephone (630) 859-0250. Email email@example.com.
The American Purchasing Society has the right to make changes to any and all procurement certification online programs at any time. This also includes price changes and adding or removing requirements for each certification. The Society will attempt to notify all certficants about any changes.
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