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The top 8 supply chain management certifications

The top 8 supply chain management certifications

Here are eight supply chain management certifications to help demonstrates your skills and elevate your SCM career.

Supply chain management is a growing field and a satisfying profession, as a recent survey from the Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) found that 96 percent of those surveyed were highly satisfied with their career in SCM, with average rating of 8.4 out of 10. The survey also found that it pays to get certified. SCM pros with at least one certification get paid on average 19 percent more than those who aren’t certified, and those with two or three certifications earn salaries that are 39 percent and 50 percent higher than the median, respectively.

Whether you’re already making a career in supply chain management, or want to break into the field, here are eight supply chain management certifications that can round out your resume and give you a leg up against the competition.

Top 8 SCM certifications

  • APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)
  • APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) Endorsement
  • ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
  • ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)
  • SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
  • SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
  • NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)

APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional certification (CSCP)

The Association for Supply Chain Management (APICS) offers three certifications to demonstrate your SCM skills. To be eligible to take the CSCP exam, you’ll need three years related experience or a bachelor’s degree or international equivalent. To maintain the certification, you’ll need to earn a total of 75 professional development points every five years. If your certification isn’t maintained within five years, it will expire before the 10-year mark and you will be required to retake the exam. For every year that your certification is suspended, you’ll need to submit an additional 15 professional development points.

Exam fee: $695 for Plus members, $965 for Core and non-members

Retake fee: $450

Renewal fee: $75 for members, $150 for non-members

Expiration: 10 years

APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

You’ll need to pass two exams within three years to earn your Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification from APICS, and you’ll need to maintain your certification every five years by completing 75 professional development points. When considering the cost, remember that you’ll have to pay the fee for both exams — the fee only applies to one exam at a time. Like the CSCP certification, you’ll need to submit an extra 15 points for every year your certification is suspended if you let it lapse.

Exam fee: $495 per exam for Plus members, $690 per exam for Core and non-members

Retake fee: $250

Renewal fee: $75 for members, $150 for non-members

Expiration: 10 years

APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P) Endorsement

The SCOR-P endorsement from APICS validates your knowledge in the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model and methods. The SCOR model is a supply chain approach that helps link SCM to business goals, metrics, processes and other internal departments and stakeholders. The exam is included in the course, which extensively covers the SCOR model to help you apply it to real-life supply chain problems, support organizational goals, improve efficiency, organize SCOR projects and implement processes. 

Exam fee: The exam is included in the course fee, which varies per program

Retake fee: $350

Renewal fee: N/A

Expiration: N/A

ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) offers a Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) certification that validates your knowledge on supply management functions across several industries. Pass three exams that you can take in any order — to qualify, you’ll need three years of full-time SCM experience in a position that isn’t clerical or support. To maintain and renew your certification after four years, you’ll need to earn 60 hours of approved continuing education credits. If you already passed ISM’s CPSD certification (see below), you will not need to take the foundation exam for the CPSM certification, since it’s included in both. If you aren’t already a member, the cost of the non-member fee for the exam also includes one year of ISM Direct membership.  

Application fee: $119 for members, $179 for non-members

Exam fee: $229 for members, $379 for non-members

Retake fee: $379

Renewal fee: $75 for members, $150 for non-members

Expiration: 4 years

ISM Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)

The second certification from the ISM is the Certified Professional Supplier Diversity (CPSD) certification, which you can earn on top of the CPSM certification from ISM. The CPSD certification consists of two exams — but you can skip the foundational exam if you already hold your CPSM exam. To qualify for the exam, you’ll need three years of supplier diversity or management experience and a bachelor’s degree, or five years of experience. To maintain your certification, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of approved continuing education credits over a three-year period.

Application fee: $119 for members, $179 for non-members

Exam fee: $229 for members, $379 for non-members

Retake fee: $379

Renewal fee: $75 for members, $150 for non-members

Expiration: 3 years

SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

The SCPro Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) certification is unique in that it combines a multi-level education with a three-tiered exam process. There are three levels of SCPro certification and the first level, Cornerstones of Supply Chain Management, covers the fundamentals and eight elements of supply chain management. At the second level, Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges, you’ll be tested on your ability to apply SCM knowledge in different scenarios. The third and final level, Initiation of Supply Chain Transformation, certifies your ability to “positively impact an organization” through a hands-on project that demonstrates your skills.  

You will need to renew your certification for all three levels every three years, which will require 60 hours of eligible professional development activities. You will need to complete at least 20 hours of professional development annually, but no more than 30 hours per year.

Level 1 exam fee: $650 for members, $975 for non-members

Level 2 exam fee: $1,095 for members, $1,500 for non-members

Level 3 exam fee: N/A

Renewal fee: $50 for members, $100 for non-members

Expiration: 4 years

SOLE Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)

The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) offers a Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) certification in logistics, which is a key element of supply chain management in certain industries such as commerce, defense, federal and local government agencies and education. The exam takes place over a six-hour period, with three two-hour sessions; you will need to pass all three exams before you can earn your certification.

To qualify for the CPL exam, you’ll need at least nine years’ experience practicing or teaching logistics and two years’ experience in at least two fields of logistics. Each year of undergraduate accredited coursework in logistics subjects is equivalent to one year of professional experience, up to four years. For those with a master’s degree or doctoral degree, you’ll need four or three years’ additional experience, respectively.

Exam fee: $225 for members, $375 for non-members

Retake fee: $50

Renewal fee: N/A

Expiration: Does not expire

NCMA Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) offers multiple certifications, including the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM). Candidates for the exam will need a strong understanding of the Certified Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), business and training education and a minimum of five years’ experience in a relevant field. The NCMA also offers a Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM) certification for those working in or with the government and a Certified Commercial Contract Manager (CCCM) certification for those in the commercial industry.

Application fee: $210 for members, $410 for non-members

Exam fee: $125 for domestic, $150 for international exams

Retake fee: $100 for domestic, $130 for international exams

Renewal fee: $95 for members, $145 non-members

Expiration: 5 years

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