Supply Chain Management Certifications offered by Professional Organizations & Universities
The editors at SCMR have compiled a list of the most predominant Supply Chain Professional Associations
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Every company that delivers a product or service has a supply chain management department. With the increase in the complexity of supply chains, all companies are looking for people who can be good managers and lead the supply chain with minimal issues. Certifications in SCM can be a great boost for anyone who aspires to a career in this field. The aim of this article is to expand upon the available recognized SCM certifications in the United States and to aid budding supply chain executives in their efforts to keep abreast of this rapidly changing area.
Indeed, many professional institutions, universities, colleges and even companies are expanding their education programs, including certifications, in the area of supply chain management. The focus of these courses is not just on traditional supply chain disciplines, such as inventory management and the fundamentals of procurement, but also to address collaboration skills, strategic planning, work culture and information technology, to name a few.
Given the number of options, choosing a certification is highly dependent on the expectations of the individual, his or her experience and career expectations. For instance, for someone with a global perspective, the APICS certifications are recognized across the globe, while university-offered certifications are better recognized in the United States compared to other parts of the world.
In the following pages, we present details on the certifications offered by professional organizations such as APICS, CSCMP and ISM, along with certificate programs available at more than 40 universities and academic institutions. The aim is to provide a basic understanding of the type of certifications available as well as information the eligibility requirements, expectations and requirements for completion of the certificate program. Please keep in mind that information on certification programs is subject to change. We highly recommend that readers check the respective certification program Websites before making a final decision.
With over 41,000 members and more than 250 international partners, APICS is one of the leading professional associations in the field of supply chain and operations management. The organization offers three major certifications: APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P).
APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management
APICS CPIM is recognized worldwide as a standard for production and inventory control. Candidates typically learn the basics of production and inventory management, such as the required terminologies, concepts, demand planning and management, procurement, scheduling, continuous improvement and related areas. CPIM is a recognized addition to the profile of anyone looking to advance a career in supply chain management; it is almost a necessity for individuals whose day-to-day activities involve working in production and inventory management, operations, supply chain management, procurement, purchasing and materials management departments.
Candidates must past five modules to earn the APICS CPIM Certificate:
- Basics of Supply Chain Management;
- Master Planning of Resources;
- Detailed Scheduling and Planning;
- Execution and Control of Operations; and
- Strategic Management of Resources.
Each module must be taken individually. All the modules must be completed within 10 years of taking the first module exam, and APICS CPIM scores are valid for 10 years. There is no particular order of completion, but it is recommended that they be completed in the order listed above.
There are a number of resources available to help candidates study for these modules. The APICS website (apics.org) provides tips to aid exam preparation and to tackle the questions asked during the exam.
With the exception of the Basics of Supply Chain Management module, the APICS CPIM modules consists of 75 multiple choice questions, including 15 pretest questions and 60 operational questions. The Basics of Supply Chain Management module consists of 105 questions, including 25 pretest questions and 80 operational questions. Pretest questions are not counted in the final score but are used for research purposes. Candidates are given three hours to complete a module test. Score range from 265-330 and candidates are required to score above 300 to pass the exam.
To maintain the APICS CPIM certification status, candidates must earn a total of 75 points every five years. Failure to maintain may lead to the suspension of CPIM credentials and also require a candidate to re-take all of the exams.
APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional Certification Program
The APICS CSCP certification was launched in 2006. Since then, more than 16,000 professionals from nearly 79 countries have earned this designation.
APICS CSCP certification distinguishes a candidate as an industry expert in the field of supply chain management. It is one of the most widely recognized certification programs and is also the most sought after designation by many employers. APICS CSCP exams are offered at locations around the world.
The program focuses on improving a professional’s expertise in the field of global supply chain management in areas such as customer relations, information technology enablement, logistics and international trade.
To be eligible for the APICS CSCP, one must have:
- three years of business related experience;
- bachelor’s degree; and
- CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM, SCOR-P, C.P.M., CSM or CPSM designations.
The APICS CSCP exam consists of three modules, which must be mastered for certification.
- APICS Supply Chain Management Fundamentals
- Supply Chain Strategy, Design and Compliance
- Implementation and Operations
There are a number of resources available to help candidates study for these modules. The APICS Website (apics.org) provides tips to aid exam preparation and to tackle the questions asked during the exam.
To maintain the APICS CSCP certification status, candidates must earn a total of 75 points every five years. These points can be earned by continuing education, publications and service to the operations management profession. Failure to maintain may lead to the suspension of CPIM credentials and also require a candidate to re-take all of the exams.
APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference – Professional
APICS SCOR-P model helps supply chain professionals manage and measure the performance of a global supply chain using the SCOR model. Widely recognized, the SCOR-R certification enables professionals to increase the performance of their supply chains using the knowledge gained in SCOR model.
The APICS SCOR-P certification enables candidates to standardize performance metrics, create best practices that affect supply chain performance, and the management of critical supply chain resources. In order to be eligible for this certification, candidates must have five years of experience working in supply chain management. APICS conducts three days of training for the APICS SCOR-P
exam. While attendance at the training sessions is not a pre-requisite to taking the exam, candidates are required to purchase the SCOR course in order to attend the exam.
After purchasing the SCOR course, the candidate will receive an e-mail with a Notice to Schedule (NTS) the exam date. This NTS is valid for six months.
APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD) program
The APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation assesses individuals based on a comprehensive body of knowledge, best practices and standards. Earning the CLTD credential validates a professional’s expertise in the logistics, transportation and distribution.
Launched in 2016, this program features a single computer-based exam developed around new courseware, self-study and instructor-led education opportunities.
The APICS CLTD program consists of eight modules critical to the logistics industry, including:
- Logistics and Supply Chain Overview
- Capacity Planning and Demand Management
- Order Management
- Inventory and Warehouse Management
- Global Logistics Considerations
- Logistics Network Design
- Reverse Logistics and Sustainability
The APICS website (apics.org) provides many resources on the CLTD Learning System to help individuals prepare for the exam.
To apply for the APICS CLTD, submit an eligibility application two weeks prior to registration. The eligibility application must include:
- three years related business experience, or
- Bachelor’s degree or the international equivalent, or
- CSCP, CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM, SCOR-P, CTL, C.P.M., CSM OR CPSM designations.
In order to maintain the certification, designees must abide by the APICS Code of Ethics, which can be found on the APICS website (apics.org/cltd). Additionally, an individual must earn a total of 75 maintenance points and apply for maintenance every five years. These points can be earned by continuing education—presentations, publications, and educational development—service to the operations management profession, and/or professional membership. If the credentials are not maintained, the certificate will be suspended. Each additional year of suspension, up to five years, requires additional professional development point in order for the certification to be reinstated. After five years of suspended credentials, the candidate will be required to take the exam again.
CSCMP’s SCPro Supply Chain Management Certification Program
The SCPro Supply Chain Management Certification is offered by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
SCPro certification is a three-level certification process that validates a professional’s ability to assess business challenges and effectively implement improvements in the area of supply chain management.
Level One. Level one certification consists of eight modules and demonstrates a solid foundation of knowledge in all areas of supply chain management. In order to complete this level, candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree or four years of relevant work experience.
Level Two. Level two certification covers the analysis and application of supply chain challenges. In order to be eligible for level two, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and three years of work experience or, alternatively, seven years of work experience along with level one certification.
Level Three. Level three certification requires candidates to perform hands-on analysis within a working environment and to create a detailed project plan that generates results such as increase in ROI, cost reductions and improvements. In order to be eligible for level three, a candidate should have a bachelor’s degree and five years of work experience or, alternatively, nine years of work experience along with level one and level two certifications.
Candidates with all three levels of certification can demonstrate to an employer that they are well versed with the most important concepts required to manage today’s supply chains.
The Certified Enterprise Analytics Professional program, delivered via a dynamic e-learning platform, offers comprehensive training and development in the area of advanced analytics. The program is designed to build the analytics knowledge of business professionals at all levels and within multiple functional areas. Professionals will improve their mastery of the analytics techniques and tools necessary to effectively analyze, predict and influence business performance.
While this program is currently offered to organizations seeking to improve the skills of its teams, it will soon be available to individuals.
Information can be found on the Hackett Institute website thehackettgroup.com/certified-enterprise-analytics-professionals/.
With nearly 45,000 members worldwide, the Institute for Supply Management is one of the largest global organizations focused on improving procurement and supply management. ISM has certified nearly 60,000 procurement professionals in more than 30 countries worldwide.
The Supply Management Program helps candidates become experts in critical areas of supply chain management such as sustainability, strategic sourcing and forecasting.
The eligibility requirements for this exam are:
- three years of experience in supply chain management with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
- five years of supply chain management experience without a bachelor’s degree; and
- successfully pass three CPSM exams.
In order to earn this certification, candidates must complete in order the following three exams.
- Exam 1: Foundation of Supply Management
- Exam 2: Effective Supply Management Performance
- Exam 3: Leadership in Supply Management
Preparation resources for this certification can be found on the ISM Website (instituteforsupplymanagement.org).
ISM’s Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD) Program
The Supplier Diversity Program (CPSD) is best for professionals who participate in the development of supplier diversity initiatives.
The eligibility requirements for this exam are:
- pass the CPSD exam;
- Exam 1 for CPSD is waived if the candidate has CPSM certification;
- five years of experience in the area of supplier diversity or supply chain management;
- a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience in the area of supplier diversity or supply chain management.
Preparation resources for this certification can be found on the ISM Website (instituteforsupplymanagement.org).
Next Level Purchasing Association
NLPA SPSM Certifications
The Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) currently offers three certification levels that are open to supply chain professionals who are members of the NLPA. A fourth level is expected to be available in 2017.
The SPSM program covers essential procurement skills and consists of six online purchasing courses and an exam that focuses on the most effective purchasing and supply management techniques, tactics, and strategies. Candidates have up to one year to complete the program, but it can be completed in less time.
Level 2, or the SPSM2 certification, is open to individuals who have earned the SPSM certification and covers global procurement management. The program consists of four online procurement courses and an exam.
Level 3, or the SPSM3 certification, is available to individuals who have earned the SPSM and SPSM2 certifications. The program is designed to help professionals master the skills to collaborate with other departments leading to even better results and a greater bottom-line impact. The program consists of four online procurement courses and an exam.
Level 4 will cover social responsibility and strategic supplier diversity practices.
Information is available on the NLPA website (nextlevelpurchasing.com).
SIG University Certification
The SIG University certification is focused on implementing methodologies and best practices in the areas of strategic sourcing, outsourcing, governance, risk and compliance. A 12-week course is currently available for Certified Sourcing Professionals, with online courses being added for Certified Sourcing Executives and Certified Governance and Risk Professionals. The curriculum is offered to people at all levels in their sourcing careers who seek training opportunities. Each certification level consists of modules with interactive lessons and end-of-unit assessments. Each certification is valid for five years and was developed utilizing leading online best practices enhanced with relevant real-world experiences.
Information is available on the SIG University website (http://sig.org/sig-university)
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