Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Program 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

What is the Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation?

The Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) program covers the operational aspects of purchasing, but also includes supply functions such as agreements, negotiations, technology and relationship management.

The C.P.M. designation is transitioning to a recertification only program. You must have already successfully passed all four modules of the C.P.M. by December 31, 2009 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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Are the C.P.M. Exams still available for testing?

The last day that ISM administered the C.P.M. Exams was December 31, 2009. The C.P.M. Exams are no longer available for testing. The program is moving to a recertification only status. 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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What are the requirements to apply for the C.P.M. certification?

Applicants for C.P.M. certification must (a) have five years of full-time professional (non-clerical, non-support) supply management experience, or (b) have a four-year degree from a regionally accredited institution AND three years of full-time professional supply management experience. Candidates must also have achieved valid passing scores on Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the C.P.M. Exam by December 31, 2009 (scores are valid for five years from the date passed or until December 31, 2014 whichever comes first).

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What does ISM consider as eligible work experience?

C.P.M. experience must be full-time and requires decision making and independent judgment (rather than clerical or support) to be eligible. A majority of the applicant's job responsibilities must be in supply management.

ISM field research reveals that the scope of supply management is an integration across fourteen components:

  1. Disposition/Investment Recovery
  2. Distribution
  3. Inventory Control
  4. Logistics
  5. Manufacturing Supervision
  6. Materials Management
  7. Packaging
  8. Procurement/Purchasing
  9. Product/Service Development
  10. Quality
  11. Receiving
  12. Strategic Sourcing
  13. Transportation/Traffic/Shipping
  14. Warehousing/Stores

ISM also considers those who have supply management professionals reporting to them even if they themselves do not have supply management as their primary job function.

A full-time teacher, research specialist, department head, director, or dean of a college, university, or other academic institution, who is concerned with supply management as part of their regular assignment may also qualify for the C.P.M.

A consultant whose job includes major "hands-on" emphasis in supply management would be eligible as well.

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How long is my certification valid?

If you were able to document 18 years of applicable experience when you first applied for your C.P.M. you should have received a Lifetime Certification. This means your certification will never expire. If you documented less than 18 years of experience, your certification will be valid for 5 years from the date you were certified. You will need to be recertified in order to maintain your C.P.M. certification. ISM provides you with a one year grace period beyond the expiration date of your certification. Once this grace period has passed there is no way to reinstate your certification.

See Recertification FAQs for further details.

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How will I benefit from maintaining my C.P.M. certification?

Organizations have communicated to ISM that they value the C.P.M. as evidence of a solid baseline of purchasing knowledge. The supply management profession has evolved into one of the most strategic and cost-leveraging functions in today's competitive business environment, therefore maintaining your Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation may help advance your career. C.P.M. certification helps you to develop the skills needed to solve problems effectively, negotiate at a higher level and take the lead in accomplishing the strategic goals set by your organization.

Experienced professionals with or without a four-year university degree can greatly benefit by maintaining their C.P.M. regardless of their current focus in supply management. The exam concentrates on one of the primary components of supply management — purchasing. However, it also covers negotiations, value enhancement strategies, the supply environment and up-to-date management techniques.

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I have passed all four modules exams. Now what?

The current requirements for the C.P.M.:

  1. Pass all four modules of the C.P.M. Exam.
  2. Five years of full time professional (non-clerical, non-support) supply management experience OR three years of full time professional supply management experience and a four year degree from an accredited institution.

After you have passed all four Modules, you must apply for C.P.M. certification. Exam scores are valid for five (5) years from the date they were passed or until December 31, 2014 whichever comes first.

Your application packet must contain the following: your official score reports for all Modules (1-4), your work experience documentation, and application fee. ISM will NOT accept incomplete applications nor will ISM put an application on-hold, pending an exam score or work experience letter.

If you have already passed all of the C.P.M. exams, but still need to acquire the work experience required, you will have until December 31, 2014 to obtain the required experience and apply for the C.P.M. designation. All of your exam scores must be valid at the time of application.

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Is it possible to get a replacement or additional certificate from ISM?

ISM can provide a replacement or an additional certificate. If you are a lifetime C.P.M., we will provide this service one time at no charge. For all other replacement requests, there is a processing fee. All requests for replacement certificates must complete the form found on our website: www.ism.ws/files/certification/ReplacementCertificate.pdf. These requests should be faxed to 480-752-7890, e-mailed to certification@ism.ws or mailed to: ISM, PO Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160.

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How can I verify a C.P.M.s individual status?

Individuals wishing to verify a C.P.M.s certification status can use ISM Credentials Verification. Please remember there may be instances where a candidate's information may not be up-to-date due to the time factor in processing applications and recertifications. If you have questions about posted results, please contact the Professional Credentials Department at certification@ism.ws.

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Will I still be able to use my C.P.M. designation now that the CPSM® is available?

Yes. ISM has granted over 51,000 C.P.M.s since the program's inception in 1974 meaning the C.P.M. designation will remain one of the most recognized designations in purchasing, in addition to the CPSM®. However, your certification must remain in good standing. If a candidate allows the C.P.M. to expire past the grace period, the candidate will no longer be allowed to recertify and must stop using the C.P.M. designation.

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What dates do I need to remember?

December 31, 2014 — Last day to apply for the C.P.M. Designation (given your exam scores are still valid at that time)

December 31, 2014 — Last day to register for the CPSM® Bridge Exam (must be a current C.P.M. in good standing to register)

December 31, 2015 — Last day the CPSM® Bridge Exam is available (must be a current C.P.M. in good standing to at the time of registration for the CPSM® Bridge Exam and at the time of application for the CPSM® designation)

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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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