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 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 four worldwide American Purchasing Society certification programs, the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) and the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).
To view a short list of companies that have had employees apply for certification through the Society click here.
Click here to download the PDF version of the application for candidates located in the U.S.
Click here to download the PDF version of the application for candidates located outside the U.S.
Who is Eligible?
Certification 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 that holds a valid membership in the Society. All members who qualify are encouraged to apply for certification although certification is not necessary to maintain a membership.
Certification 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 of the Society.
A prerequisite for eligibility for certification is a minimum of three years purchasing related experience OR a degree from a recognized college plus two years of 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.
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 certification programs as listed below.
Requirements for Certification
Applicants for certification are first evaluated on their ethical standards and maturity as demonstrated by their reputation, financial responsibility record, and their ability to communicate.
An examination is normally required and must be passed. In addition, all CPP applicants are required to 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." (The Society now offers a prep course that includes all four required courses and the exam. We highly recommend this course. Please visit the Courses and Seminars page for more information on prep courses.)
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 CPPM Exam" and pass the examination given at the end. Applicants for the CGPP must complete a course/book 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.
Written examinations are almost always required. Rare exceptions are given at the discretion of the Society for applicants with many years of significant experience and accomplishments. In those cases the applicants must substitute written treatises or prove competence by unusual achievement.
Certification requirements may change without prior notice.
Certification Expiration & Updating
Reapplication must be made every five years in order to keep certifications valid. A minimum of 15 additional points is needed for an approved updated 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" and "The Science and Art of Negotiation" will be required to do so.
"Managing Quality - How to Get the Quality and Service You Want" is the required online course for anyone applying for a CPPM update.
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.
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 90 to 120 days for the CPP process and an additional 40 to 60 days for each of the CPPM, CGPP and CPPC processes.
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" 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.
The examination may also be taken online once a candidate is approved to take the examination. A maximum of three hours is allowed to take the examination. There is a $80 set-up fee to take the examination online. If the examination is not passed it may be taken again when an additional set-up fee of $80 is paid. The exam can be paid for and taken up to three times in one year.
Also available from the American Purchasing Society is the "Preparation for Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) Exam" online course. This is an optional three week course that 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. The Society highly recommends that applicants take this course.
The Society also offers a condensed version of the prep course, but there is no instructor and does not include the required courses. For more information on the prep courses, please visit our Courses and Seminars page.
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.
Preparation for Examination
Applicants will be advised where it may be helpful to review certain subjects prior to taking the examination. Recommended text books and study guides are available from the American Purchasing Society for a reasonable cost if desired. An online course is also available to help applicants prepare for the CPP examination and it is recommended, but taking the course is not required. Go to the Courses & Seminars page for more information.
Completion of the Certification
When the examination is successfully passed and 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" are completed 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 plaque indicating the achievement (Due to stricter postal regulations, CPPs, CPPMs, CGPPs, and CPPCs outside of the United States will receive a certificate instead of a plaque). 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 $294 and for nonmembers $450. The price for members and nonmembers to apply for the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP) or the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC) is $285. A CPP Certification Study Guide is available for members at $53 and nonmembers for $67. Once approved there is an $80 cost to take the CPP examination online unless taken with the online course (the examination is included in the price of the course). 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.
For Questions, an Application, or Further Information
For assistance in applying for certification 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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