Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Exam and Application FAQs



Common Certification Forms

  1. C.P.M. Original and Original Lifetime Certification Application (224 KB)
  2. C.P.M. Recertification and Lifetime Certification Application (683 KB)
  3. Exam Score Request (12 KB)
  4. Work Experience Documentation (22 KB)
  5. Conference Documentation Forms
  6. Continuing Education Documentation

I understand the C.P.M. program will be transitioning to a recertification only program. Can I still take the C.P.M. exams?

The C.P.M. designation is transitioning to a recertification only program. The last day that ISM administered the C.P.M. Exams was December 31, 2009. You must have already successfully passed all four modules of the C.P.M. in order to apply and achieve the designation. Remember your exam scores expire five years from the date the earliest exam was taken or by December 31, 2014, whichever comes first.

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Do my exam scores ever expire?

Your exam scores expire five years from the date the earliest exam was taken or by December 31, 2014, whichever comes first.

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What do I do after I pass the Exam?

Once you have passed the Exam you will need to apply for certification. You can obtain the appropriate application in the Certification Forms section on our website. Complete and sign the application, attach the required backup documentation and mail the application along with the appropriate member or non-member fee. ISM recommends that you maintain a copy of the entire application. ISM will accept either your original Exam score reports or copies of them. If you do submit copies of your score reports, we ask that you maintain the originals in a safe place.

All documentation must be submitted in English and ISM will NOT accept incomplete applications nor will ISM put an application on-hold, pending an exam score or work experience letter.

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What do I do if I lost my score report(s) prior to applying for certification or accreditation?

If you have lost one or more of your score reports you will need to request a duplicate score report to submit with your application. You must complete an Exam Score Request Form providing information to facilitate the location of your scores. There is a nominal charge to cover the research time and duplicate score report creation.

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How do I document my work experience?

Resumes and business cards are not accepted by ISM as proof of employment.

We ask for documentation of employment in ONE of the following ways:

  1. A letter from your supervisor. The supervisor does not have to be currently employed with the company where you both worked. He or she just needs to have been your supervisor at the time of your employment.
  2. Signed job description from the company (usually from the Human Resources department).
  3. A letter from a co-worker. This person does not have to be currently employed with the company where you both worked. He or she just needs to have been your co-worker at the time of your employment and be able to verify your job tasks.
  4. A letter from a supplier with whom you worked.
  5. Your most recent employer can verify all your past work experience however, ISM would need to know how they verified that experience.

All documentation needs to have the following:
Your name, dates of employment, job title(s), job description for each job title, signature of supervisor or company representative, their job title, and their contact phone number.

Samples of work experience letters.

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How long does it take ISM to process my application?

The standard processing time for applications is four to six weeks from receipt. All applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Applications that request and provide payment for rush service will be contacted within three business days of receipt.

You can also verify if you have already been certified by going to our website using this link: Credentials Verification. This information will normally be updated by the close of business on Thursdays for certifications processed that week. Congratulations letters and certificates are typically mailed once a week shortly after processing.

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What dates do I need to remember?

The last day to apply for the C.P.M. Designation is December 31, 2014.


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How can I keep updated on ISM's credentialing programs?

Information will be provided on the ISM website, in Supply Line 2055: Certification Update, in NewsLine, through affiliate leadership and via e-mail updates to subscribers. Be sure to sign up to receive CPSM updates.

If you have questions or comments, contact ISM Professional Credentials at: certification@ism.ws.

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