Supply Line 2055: Certification Update Newsletter Logo

September 2003, Volume 7

To learn more about certification or accreditation, click here and select C.P.M. and A.P.P. Programs Overview for a PowerPoint presentation with a complete overview of both programs.

Issue Highlights:
  • ISM Earns Global Certification
  • Ethics and Certification
  • Coming Soon! Ethics Online Course - FREE
  • ISM Instructor Program
  • What is the ISM Report On Business®?
  • Check Out ISM's Career Center
  • Three Certification Committee Volunteer Positions Open
  • Meet the Certification Department
  • Supply Line 2055 Survey
  • FAQs

ISM Earns Global Certification

ISM has received certification accreditation in the area of supply management for its C.P.M. and A.P.P. designations by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) after being selected to participate in its pilot certification accreditation program. ANSI certification helps to identify qualified organizations to consumers and employers, provides mechanisms for systematically monitoring the performance of certified persons, and encourages individuals to participate in continuing professional development.

"There are numerous advantages to being ANSI certified. A primary advantage of accreditation is that our members, and those looking to achieve professional certification in the area of supply management, can be assured that our program meets and exceeds the international standards of certification. The C.P.M. and A.P.P. designations have always been recognized as the leading designations in the supply management field, and an ANSI certification aids in confirming this recognition."
— Christina Foster, SPHR, ISM's vice president of certification and diversity

As an impartial assessor, ANSI accreditation protects the integrity of a certification process, enhances consumer and public confidence in a certification program and the personnel who complete it, and facilitates the mobility of certified personnel across borders. ANSI's accreditation process includes the submission of documentation of the requirements identified in ISO/IEC 17024, an on-site audit, and the correction of any nonconformities. ANSI, a non-profit organization that coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, initiated a pilot program for organizations who demonstrate diversity among personnel certifiers.

Ethics and Certification

"If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it." Marcus Aurelius

If you are unsure of what you should do in a situation, ask yourself:

How would I feel if my actions made the front page of The New York Times or were the top story on the evening news? If you don't want to see your actions displayed in one of those venues, make a different choice. Supply managers are in the unique position of having to make ethical choices routinely. Those choices are a reflection on the profession as a whole. If you have to question what you are doing, then it might not be appropriate — make the right choice.

Ethical Scenario #1:

Q: What would happen if candidates for one of ISM's certification programs have passed all the required exam modules but do not yet have the necessary work experience to apply for certification/accreditation? For example:

  • Candidate asks supervisor to sign a letter stating work experience he/she does not have.
  • Candidate works for family's business and asks a relative to falsify his/her work experience in order to meet the certification requirements.

A: Every candidate signs an ethical statement on his/her certification application indicating that all of the information provided is true and accurate. The candidate also gives ISM authority to make any and all inquiries necessary to validate the information provided with each application. The penalty for knowingly submitting false documentation can be denial of certification for at least five years. In addition, the candidate would need to retake all required exam modules. These penalties may also apply to the person who is writing or signing the letter for the candidate. If the person signing the falsified document is also a C.P.M., or plans to become one, he/she can face the same five year penalty, revocation of certification, or invalidation of test scores.

Ethical Scenario #2:

Q: What if supply manager "X" is pursuing his/her designation and takes an exam module; X then decides to help his/her friend who is also preparing to take the exam by giving specific exam question information to his/her friend? After all, the exam isn't easy.

A: The exam is not meant to be easy, rather its intent is to measure a candidate's knowledge and his/her ability to apply that knowledge in new ways. When you sign up to take the exam, there is an ethics statement that you must sign, acknowledging that you will maintain the confidentiality of the exams and not disclose examination questions, information, or materials. Supply manager X risks not only his/her ability to be certified but also that of his/her friend. ISM has invalidated exam scores in the past and delayed certification for five years in a similar case.

The following is a link to ISM's Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct:

Coming Soon! Ethics Online Course — FREE

Ethics: A Behavioral Awareness Tool

Understanding and applying principles and standards of supply management conduct underscores the behavior of every supply management professional. As a supply professional, you have a responsibility to be a leader in ethical standards. Use this course to practice ethical decision making skills and test your response to situations and ethical dilemmas.

This self-paced course was developed in concert with ISM's Ethical Standards Committee and will acquaint you with ISM's Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct with Accompanying Guidelines.

Course # 3954 Earn 1 CEH

For more information on this and any other ISM Knowledge Center course,

ISM Instructor Program

ISM is currently revising the instructor program for ISM's 89th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit to be held April 25-28, 2004, in Philadelphia.

ISM is actively seeking instructors who are currently teaching review courses to submit their syllabi for possible inclusion as samples for new review course instructors. Please send your submission to

What is the ISM Report On Business®?

The history of the ISM Report On Business® (ROB) goes as far back as the early 1920s. The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® and the PMI have earned immense recognition over the years from economists and forecasters in government and business because of the report's early and accurate reflection of the manufacturing sector of the economy and the PMI's close correlation with the entire economy. The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questions asked of purchasing executives in more than 400 industrial companies. Membership of the ISM Business Survey Committee is diversified by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) category, based on each industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). Twenty industries in 50 states are represented on the committee.

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month. For each of the indicators measured (New Orders, Backlog of Orders, New Export Orders, Imports, Production, Supplier Deliveries, Inventories, Employment, and Prices), this report shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of responses in the positive economic direction (higher, better, and slower for Supplier Deliveries) and the negative economic direction (lower, worse, and faster for Supplier Deliveries), and the diffusion index. Responses are raw data and are never changed.

"The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® has one of the shortest reporting lags of any macro-economic series and gives an important early look at the economy. It also measures some concepts (such as leadtimes and delivery lags) that can be found nowhere else. It makes an important contribution to the American statistical system and to economic policy."
— Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors

Check Out ISM's Career Center

If you are seeking employment, or you are looking for qualified supply management professionals, visit ISM's Career Center. ISM's Career Center helps to link job seekers and employers. Both members and non-members can use this service.

To check out ISM's Career Center, click here.

Three Certification Committee Positions Available

Term: May 2004-May 2009

Qualifications: Must be a member of ISM and a C.P.M. in good standing with interest or experience in professional standards matters. One of the positions available is for an ISM member who is currently an A.P.P. in good standing.

Duties: Provides ongoing review of the C.P.M. and A.P.P. programs to guarantee continued appropriateness and integrity. Addresses policy issues as they occur. Members participate in two meetings per year plus teleconferences.

Reports to: ISM Board of Directors through the Chief Executive Officer

The applications for these positions will be reviewed based on the committee needs, qualities and capabilities needed, diversity, and other issues related specifically to the committee. Committee appointments will be approved by the ISM Board of Directors at its April 24, 2004, meeting.

If you have questions about the positions, contact the ISM Secretary, Holly LaCroix Johnson, at 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 3030, or by e- mail at The Volunteer Position Interest Form may be obtained by calling the ISM Secretary or through the ISM Web site at (Members Only, Association Governance, then Volunteer Position Interest Form).

The Volunteer Position Interest Form must be submitted to the ISM Secretary, Holly LaCroix Johnson, ISM, P.O. Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160; fax 480/752-7890; e-mail; or via the Web site by December 12, 2003.

Meet the ISM Certification Department!

Ever wonder what the person on the other end of the phone looks like? Well, here is your chance to find out:

David Migliore ext. 3074
Senior Associate, Certification
Assists in the day-to-day administration of the C.P.M. and A.P.P. programs, supervises the Continuing Education Hours documentation program, sets up special test centers, and handles other matters.

Christina Foster, SPHR ext. 3011
Vice President, Certification/Diversity
Develops new international alliances and advances the certification process.

Karen Collins, C.P.M., A.P.P. ext. 3123
Manager, Certification
Directs activities of the department and all related programs and policy matters.

Althea (Al) Levine ext. 3094
Associate, Certification
Processes C.P.M. and A.P.P. applications.

Judy Tolliver ext. 3044
Administrative Assistant, Certification
Processes Continuing Education Hours documentation forms and performs department administrative duties.

September Supply Line 2055 Survey

Each quarter, Supply Line 2055 features new questions in our online survey. This is your chance to let us know what you are interested in hearing more about in future publications.

To participate in the latest survey, simply click on this link, and answer the questions.


Q: How do I document my work experience for the C.P.M. and A.P.P. applications?

A: We ask for documentation of employment in ONE of the following ways (they are listed in order of preference):

  • Letter from your supervisor verifying job title, dates of employment, and job duties. This person does not have to be currently employed with the company you both worked at. He/she just needs to have been your supervisor at the time of your employment.
  • Signed job description from the company (usually HR department) which includes your dates of employment.*
  • Letter from a co-worker or supplier who can verify your job title and job duties and dates to the best of his/her ability.

*If you currently work for, or have worked for a family-owned business, work experience documentation should include at least one additional letter from an external organization with whom you worked on supply management related issues.

All documentation needs to have the following:

  • Name
  • Dates of employment
  • Job title(s)
  • Job description for each job title
  • Signature of supervisor or company representative, his/her job title, and his/her contact phone number.

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

Q: How do I register for and schedule my C.P.M. or A.P.P. Exams?

A: All of our computer testing is done at Prometric Testing Centers and can be scheduled at your convenience.

The first step is to contact ISM to register. Registration is available online at You may also register by mail, fax (480/752-7890), or phone (800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, extension 401).

Domestic examination fees are $120 per module for ISM members and $160 per module for nonmembers. International examination fees are $165 per module for ISM members and $200 per module for nonmembers. Payment is due at the time of registration.

Your registration is valid for one year, during which time you may contact Prometric to schedule an appointment to test.

Once you are registered, you will receive a detailed confirmation letter from ISM with instructions on how to schedule an exam appointment via Prometric's Website:

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