Supply Line 2055: Certification Update Newsletter Logo

March 2007, Volume 19

Issue Highlights:

Please note: To view this newletter in its graphic format access the PDF version (295 KB).

Survey Results Indicate Professionals are Planning for the CPSM

According to December's CPSM program survey, C.P.M.s in all segments of the profession have an eye on the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification.

Results indicate that 70 percent of survey respondents plan to take the bridge exam to the CPSM when it becomes available in 2008. Professionals with 10 or more years of experience make up the bulk of survey respondents with just over 75 percent. Out of these professionals, 78 percent already possess at least one supply management credential.

Because the CPSM will emphasize all major components of supply management, holders of the qualification will have a greater, broad-based understanding of their organization's supply network and have the skills to make more accurate and profitable decisions. The key components of supply management are: distribution, inventory control, strategic sourcing, logistics, manufacturing, materials management, packaging, procurement/purchasing, product/service development, quality, shipping/receiving, transportation/traffic and warehousing.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents put procurement as their top component within supply management. Strategic sourcing and materials management also placed high on the list with 16 and eight percent respectively. However, as a secondary component, respondents' answers varied widely. The top three secondary components were: inventory control, logistics and shipping and receiving, with 9.6, 8.2 and 8 percent respectively.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they supervise other supply professionals. Out of this group, 67 percent indicated that it is either desirable or mandatory for their direct reports to be certified.

In your opinion, does your employer value certification?
No 5%
Little Value 11%
Unknown 8%
Some Value 42%
Yes 34%

In your opinion, do most employers value certification?
No 2%
Little Value 8%
Unknown 9%
Some Value 55%
Yes 26%

Respondents also indicated that the most effective C.P.M. study materials (in order of effectiveness) were: The C.P.M. Study Guide; The C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam on CD-ROM; C.P.M. Exam Self-Study Workbooks, followed by various text books listed in the ISM Resource catalog and Web site.

Opinion was evenly split between respondents who indicated they had adequate information on the CPSM and those who said they wanted more*. For those who said they wanted more information, CPSM bridging requirements topped the list, followed closely by general CPSM requirements and critical dates.

*Sign-up to receive CPSM information — attend CPSM Informational Meeting
In addition to signing up for SupplyLine 2055: Certification Update newsletter and CPSM email updates on ISM's Web site, professionals attending ISM's Annual International Supply Management Conference, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas can attend a special update session on the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), Sunday May 6, 2007 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. This informational meeting is intended for all professionals regardless of current certification status. The focus is on general requirements for the CPSM, the bridging process and the timeline for implementation. The program concludes with a Q&A session.

Back to Top

Bring CPSM Pilot Testing To Your Organization

Pilot testing for the CPSM takes place in February 2008. Pilot testing is a standard practice when introducing a new qualification. It ensures the exams will be reliable and credible. The pilot program also quantifies the exam, enabling ISM to develop exam equating and scoring. Because most qualifying C.P.M.s will take the CPSM Bridge exam to obtain their CPSM, the Pilot Testing Program is primarily targeting qualified professionals without the C.P.M. credential. However, any C.P.M. who meets the CPSM requirements is welcome to participate in the pilot program.

Good News for Organizations and Affiliates
ISM's Pilot testing program for the CPSM will be offered to organizations at their location. To participate in the program, organizations must have at least five qualifying CPSM candidates to register. ISM is currently developing incentives for professionals who may wish to take part in the CPSM Pilot Testing Program. These incentives will be announced later in 2007. ISM will begin accepting registrations this fall. Companies interested in the CPSM Pilot Testing Program should contact ISM's Sales Department:

Kelly Rich
Senior Sales Associate
480/752-6276, extension 3061
Trish True
Senior Sales Associate
480/752-6276, extension 3086

Back to Top

CPSM Study Materials Development Accelerates

Development of study materials for ISM's new Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification continues to gain momentum. ISM posted the CPSM Exam and CPSM Bridging Exam specifications on its Web site in December and plans to unveil the CPSM Study Guide this fall. More study materials will be available in early 2008.

ISM has developed a Supplemental Reading List to help CPSM candidates prepare for their section exams in 2008. Available after the release of the ISM June Educational Resource Catalog and at this year's Annual Conference, these books have been chosen because of their focus on the many different components of supply and the relationship between each component.

Back to Top

Credentials Discussion Forum Provides Valuable Information

The ISM Credentials Discussion Forum can be a valuable, informative tool for networking and certification information. Recently enhanced to be more user-friendly, the forum provides a virtual meeting place for supply managers to discuss challenges, opportunities and areas of interest related to ISM's certification programs and the profession.

When you enter the discussion forum area, you will notice subject "threads" listed in the left column. These threads represent continuing discussions regarding the listed subject. Find the subject in which you're interested, read prior entries made by your peers and connect. You can ask questions and get tried and true answers from other professionals who have had similar experiences. Best of all, it's free to members and nonmembers alike. The next time you need good information, find it in ISM's Credentials Discussion Forum.

Back to Top

C.P.M. Certification Process Overview

The Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) is recognized worldwide as the leading purchasing-focused designation for supply management professionals. The program is designed to increase and measure the knowledge and capabilities of purchasing professionals. It also emphasizes managerial and leadership skills, the purchasing process, negotiation skills and specialized functions designed to enhance the value of each purchasing manager as well as the profession.

Eligibility — 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 an accredited institution and three years of full-time professional supply management experience. If you have questions regarding eligibility, please contact ISM Certification at

The C.P.M. Exam is a criterion-referenced occupational certification test. It consists of four modules, all of which must be passed to receive the C.P.M. designation.

If you qualify for the CPSM and are in the middle of completing your C.P.M., move forward with the certification process. Achieving your C.P.M. now will not only give you a valuable supply management credential but will enable you to take the CPSM bridge exam in 2008.

The four modules are:
Module 1: Purchasing Process
Module 2: Supply Environment
Module 3: Value Enhancement Strategies
Module 4: Management

Prometric Testing Centers
Scheduling exams is easy and flexible through Prometric. Simply call ISM Customer Service to obtain your confirmation number. You can test at a location convenient to you.

Domestic Fees: USD $190 per module/ISM members USD $130 per module
International Fees: USD $230 per module/ISM members USD $175 per module

ISM Annual Conference (paper & pencil version) 1/2 Price Exams*
Wednesday, May 9, 2007, Las Vegas, NV
Back by popular demand, ISM is again offering *1/2 price exams with your Conference registration or a pre-Conference seminar registration.

Domestic Fees: USD$95 per module/ISM members USD $65 per module
International Fees: USD $115 per module/ISM members USD $87.50 per module

Onsite C.P.M. Testing and Review
With Onsite C.P.M. Testing and Review, ISM brings the certification process to your location. Whether you have a small group or hundreds of employees, we can deliver superior supply management training resources and expertise to you and your team. Onsite is also a viable alterative to traditional training. The program offers significant time and cost savings, plus expertise using the most effective technology for content, delivery and innovation.

Onsite exam prices are the same as Prometric Testing Centers:
Domestic Fees: USD $190 per module/ISM members USD $130 per module
International Fees: USD $230 per module/ISM members USD $175 per module

ISM recommends a minimum of one day of review per module. However many instructors are flexible and will design a program to fit your needs. A minimum number of participants for onsite C.P.M. Exams are required. Quantity discounts may also be available for large group purchases.

For questions regarding onsite testing and review, please contact ISM's Sales Department — Trish True or Kelly Rich, or, or call 480-752-6276 extension. 3086 or 3061 for specific information. To place an order, call ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401. For all other questions, contact ISM Certification at, or call 800/888-6276, extension 3044.

Back to Top

Create Your Online Profile Account

You may have noticed that ISM now requires a significant amount of information from individuals when registering online for ISM events. This has been done for a number of reasons, including accuracy, repeat participation and an initiative to migrate all registration processes into the organization's main operating system.

If you've already created your ISM account, then you know online registration is a "snap." The secure system retains most of your non-critical information and automatically fills in many of the fields when you bring up the form. If you haven't created your account, then create one today. It takes only a few minutes. You'll save a lot of time and effort when registering for ISM Events.

Back to Top

It All Happens in Las Vegas!

ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit
May 6-9, 2007, Bally's Las Vegas
The Future of Supply Management — Continuity of Supply

Back to Top

Take Charge of Your Career With ISM's Conference Career Center

ISM's Conference Career Center is your opening to a new future. This face-to-face forum is exclusively for registrants of ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas. It's a great opportunity to submit your résumé and meet with recruiters during your Conference activities. Recruiting organizations know that the ISM Annual International Supply Management Conference attracts the best in the field. Make sure you take charge of your career and participate in this exclusive event.

Job Seekers: If you have any questions on the specifics of this service, please feel free to contact Sue Roswurm, Manager, ISM Human Resources, or 800/888-6276, extension 3138.

Recruiters: If you are looking for some good employees and would like to participate as a recruiter, please contact Antoinette "Toni" Caserta, ISM Professional Development Services, or 800/888-6276, extension 3095.

Participating Employers:

  • BP
  • FMC Technologies
  • Harley-Davidson Motor Company
  • ICG Commerce
  • Philip Morris USA
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Group
  • Wachovia

Back to Top

Save Money — Take the C.P.M. Exam at Half Price!

Register for ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit, May 6-9, 2007 in Las Vegas, or a 2- or 3-day pre-Conference seminar and take one, two or up to three certification exam modules for half-price*. Modules are offered on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Register early; seating is limited.

  Check-In Exam Time — 5/09/07
Modules 1 - 3 A  7:00 am - 7:45 am 8:00 am - 9:45 am
  B  10:00 am - 10:45 am 11:30 am - 1:15 pm
  C  1:45 pm - 2:30 pm 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Module 4 A  7:00 am - 7:30 am 7:45 am - 9:55 am
  B  10:15 am - 10:45 am 11:00 am - 1:10 pm
  C  1:30 pm - 2:00 pm 2:15 pm - 4:25 pm

This half-price offer is great news for supply managers wishing to complete their C.P.M. certification and then bridge to the CPSM qualification. If you meet the CPSM requirements and complete the C.P.M., you will immediately be able to take the bridge exam when it becomes available in 2008. The Bridge Exam streamlines the certification process by reducing the requirements from three exams to just one, positioning supply managers on the fast track toward achieving their career goals.

Don't miss this great opportunity. Save money on your C.P.M. Exams as you work toward your certification. For additional information, call ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401, or visit us online at Due to high demand, you must reserve your seats now.

*This offer pertains only to the written exam presented on May 9, 2007, in Las Vegas during ISM's 92nd Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit. Space is limited.

Back to Top

Avoid Exam Impropriety

The Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Exam tests individual competency within procurement, a main component within the supply management profession. High ethical standards are expected within procurement. The mere appearance of impropriety must be avoided at all cost.

With the new Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) qualification on the horizon, ISM wishes to convey how vital it is to maintain the integrity of all of ISM's credentialing examinations and, hence, ISM's credentialing programs as a whole.

Examples of actions that constitute impropriety include, but are not limited to:

  • Disclosing the content of the exam and/or answers to specific questions-this includes review instructors soliciting feedback about the exam from their students.

  • Unprofessional behavior with respect to taking, proctoring, or preparing others to take the exam.

  • Submitting false documentation with an application or registration form.

In 2001, ISM's Certification Department performed a fact-finding investigation into impropriety involving a C.P.M. Exam review class. Class members exchanged, via e-mail, specific questions and answers from the C.P.M. Exam. Action items ranged from letters admonishing those who failed to stop the disclosure to the invalidation of exam scores.

In 2004, another C.P.M. Exam review class was investigated. In addition, the class took an onsite C.P.M. Exam at the conclusion of the review class. There were two main issues alleged. First, the exam proctor failed to follow ISM policy by letting an unauthorized individual access the exam materials. Second, during the review course, there were discussions among the instructor and students about sharing actual C.P.M. Exam questions. ISM had no choice but to invalidate the students' exam results. The proctor's C.P.M. was revoked (can not re-apply for two years) and that person is prohibited from proctoring any future ISM exams.

ISM will continue to investigate all allegations and follow established policies and procedures to ensure that issues are addressed in a swift, fair and confidential manner.

As professionals in the supply management field, our actions should always be beyond reproach. ISM encourages everyone to review the ethics statement located at the bottom of every exam registration form and certification application

By signing any one of these forms, individuals agree to be held to these ethical standards. In addition, all ISM members and C.P.M. candidates must adhere to ISM's Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct, which is posted on the ISM Web site: — select About ISM and then ISM Ethical Principles and Standards.

ISM also has Guidelines for C.P.M. Exam Review Course Instructors, which are posted on our Web site: -- select Professional Credentials, then Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Program, then scroll down to C.P.M. and A.P.P. Review Instructor Information. We ask if you currently teach review courses for the C.P.M. Exam, that you read the instructor information and then complete the acknowledgement form and return it to us. We will also use the information on this acknowledgement to keep our review instructor records updated. Please note that instructors should not solicit feedback about the exam from their students.

ISM's Certification Department and the Certification Committee have the responsibility to our members and certified professionals to maintain the integrity of all of our credentialing programs. We take these responsibilities very seriously.

If you have any concerns that someone is doing something that you deem inappropriate, please contact Christina Foster, SPHR, Vice President of Certification & Diversity, at or 800/888-6276, extension 3011.

Back to Top

ISM Continues to Offer the Best Training Available for Supply Management Professionals

Professional seminars in your local area
Get instruction from industry's leading experts and discover how you can apply best practices that support your organization's supply strategy. From negotiations to measuring supplier performance, ISM seminars address the topics that are most critical to your organization — your profession. And, you will earn Continuing Education Hours for every seminar you attend! With nearly 50 seminar topics to choose from, we are sure to meet your needs. Visit us online at to search seminars that are coming soon to your area.

Online courses available any time, any place
Can't get away? Visit ISM's Knowledge Center and
participate in online learning. ISM has expanded its class offerings which now include Accenture's Supply Chain Academy (SCA) courses. You now have a multitude of choices for education opportunities.

To register for a course, visit the Knowledge Center at For more information, contact ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401. To access the Online Course Guide, go to

Tailored programs for your unique training needs
ISM's Onsite and Virtual Education Programs are a viable alternative to traditional training. They present a significant time and cost savings, and expertise using the most effective technology for content, delivery and innovation. From off-the-shelf courses to fully customized programs, ISM can package a training program that meets your organization's unique needs and includes blended content and delivery options. For more information, contact:

Rene A. Yates, C.P.M.
Telephone: 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276 Ext. 3080
Antoinette "Toni" Caserta
Telephone: 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276 Ext. 3095

Back to Top

Check Your Recertification Status

Recertification through continuing education is an important aspect of being a C.P.M. Because supply management is continually changing, the value of a C.P.M.s expertise is gauged on his or her ability to incorporate the latest strategies and techniques into daily processes.

Your C.P.M. is valid for five years from the date it was issued. To see the issue date and expiration date, please refer to your C.P.M. certificate.

Individuals who have earned their C.P.M. designation are required to recertify every five years. To be recertified, an applicant must earn 84 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) during their current certificate period. At least 56 of the CEHs must be educational in nature. No more than 28 CEHs may be earned in the professional contributions category. Please submit your application for recertification no more than 120 days prior to the expiration date on your current certificate.

CEHs are counted hour-for-hour. For example, if you are in a class for 7 hours (not counting lunch and breaks) then you receive credit for 7 CEHs.

Hours may be earned for any class/conference/seminar that is at least one hour long, is related to the candidate's job and is documentable. The only job-related classes ISM does not accept are those related to first aid and safety.

The documents we require for continuing education can be either a certificate of completion or a letter of completion from the organization which sponsored the class/seminar/conference. You can also have a supervisor sign off on all your continuing education.

For more ways to earn recertification hours, see the C.P.M. recertification application for detailed information:

(To read the above .PDF file you will need Adobe's portable document format [PDF] plug-in, available for free on the Web at

All applicants for Lifetime C.P.M. (Lifetime Certification) must document at least 18 years of full-time professional supply management experience. Once candidates have 18 years of experience, we suggest that they apply immediately. They do not have to wait for their current certification to expire. The number of CEHs required for Lifetime Certification is determined by the date the candidate reaches the 18th year — not on the date the application is postmarked.

Years since Current
Certification started
CEHs Needed
1 year or less 21 CEHs
1 but less than 2 years 35 CEHs
2 but less than 3 years 56 CEHs
3 but less than 4 years 70 CEHs
4 but less than 5 years 84 CEHs

Back to Top