NewsLine
January 2011, Vol. 23, No. 1
for the volunteer leadership

Professional Credentials

ISM's New Supplier Diversity Designation

If you haven't already heard, ISM has a new designation debuting in January 2011. The Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™) is a designation for supply professionals who demonstrate knowledge, skills and expertise in supplier diversity.

CPSD™ is also for business professionals with responsibility for strategic diversity initiatives. This professional designation demonstrates to your employer, your colleagues, your suppliers and even your customers that you are serious about helping your organization and diverse suppliers succeed. This designation also delivers added value to business leaders and other team leaders who participate in the development of supplier initiatives within the organization.

What do you need to be a CPSD™? The requirements are:

  • Successfully pass the CPSD™ Exam.
  • Successfully pass Exam 1 of the Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®). This requirement is waived if the candidate holds a current CPSM® or C.P.M.
  • Minimum of five years professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) supplier diversity or supply management experience (does not have to be the primary function), OR three years of professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) supplier diversity or supply management experience IF the candidate has a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.

CPSD™ candidates are tested on the following (see complete CPSD™ Exam Specifications):

CPSD™ Exam (120 questions — 2 hours allowed):

  • Policies and Planning
  • Sourcing/Supplier Development
  • Finance/Budgeting
  • Metrics/Oversight
  • Training and Development
  • Advocacy/Marketing/Outreach

CPSM® Exam 1 (165 questions — 2 hours, 45 minutes allowed):

  • Contracting and Negotiations
  • Cost and Finance
  • International
  • Social Responsibility
  • Sourcing
  • Supplier Relationship Management
    (This requirement is waived if the candidate holds a current CPSM® or C.P.M.)

ISM offers testing in more than 230 countries through Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Visit www.pearsonvue.com/ism to find your nearest test center.

Exam fees: US$180 per exam ISM members / US$265 per exam nonmember

Register for CPSD™ Exams or find out more in the Professional Credentials section of www.ism.ws. Select Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™), or call 800/888-6276 or +1 480/752-6276, option 8.


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CPSD™ Study Materials

CPSD™ Online Review Course # 3975
(10 CEHs) US$89/ISM Members US$49
This online review course is designed to help those with supplier diversity responsibilities prepare for the CPSD™ Exams with resources articles, case studies and supplemental content developed by subject-matter experts. Take the post test, with justifications, to see if you are ready for the exam.
Note: This course is equivalent to the CPSD™ Exam Review Self-Study Workbook.

Coming Soon! CPSD™ Exam Review Self-Study Workbook
This self-study workbook provides an overview of the material covered on the CPSD™ Exam, using resource articles, case studies and supplemental content developed by subject-matter experts. There is a post-test with justifications to evaluate your increased knowledge. (10 CEHs)
Note: This workbook is equivalent to the CPSD™ Online Review Course.
Item #6010 US$199/ISM Members US$159

CPSM® Exam 1 Study Guide — A Study Tool for the CPSD™ Designation
Item #SDX1  US$49/ISM Members US$29
(To help you with CPSM® Exam 1, you may use any of the CPSM® study materials for Exam 1 that fit your study needs.)

ISM would like to thank the following companies that helped underwrite the expenses associated with this project: BP p.l.c., Capital One, Dean Foods, Delphi, The Disney Corporation, Hilton Worldwide, Sempra Energy and Tyco International. We truly appreciate their support of the CPSD™.


First Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™)

With the completion of the CPSD™ pilot program, ISM is proud to announce the first individual to earn the Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™ (CPSD™). Alex F. Alvarez, CPSM, CPSD, C.P.M., A.P.P., supplier diversity manager at CoreLogic, was among the more than 200 individuals who participated in pilot testing in November 2010. He took the pilot exam at ISM—Dallas.

Prior to his current role, Alvarez was president and CEO of the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama. He also spent three years as executive director at the Alabama Minority Business Opportunities Center (MBOC) in Birmingham. Alvarez began his career at General Motors, starting in GM Worldwide Purchasing and progressing to the role of global creativity team leader, where he oversaw close to US$1 billion in spend globally.

The full CPSD™ program launches in early 2011. For more information, visit ISM online at www.ism.ws. Select Professional Credentials, then Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity™.


What's New With the Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®)?

The CPSM®, the multifaceted designation on integrated supply management, program keeps expanding. It debuted in May 2008 with the first exams held at the ISM Annual Conference in St. Louis. Last year, two new study materials were added, and we have surpassed 2,500 CPSM®s from more than 30 countries. The CPSM® Bridge Exam Diagnostic Kit in print and also in a web-based version were added to assist qualified Certified Purchasing Managers (C.P.M.s) in their journey to bridge to the CPSM®.

How do you become a CPSM®? Confirm you have three years of full-time, professional supply management work experience (nonclerical, nonsupport) and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent when you apply. You also need to successfully pass three CPSM® Exams, OR, if you are a C.P.M. in good standing with a bachelor's degree, pass the Bridge Exam.

What will I be tested on in the CPSM® Exams? Look at the following overview, but also make sure to look over the full CPSM® Exam and CPSM® Bridge Exam Specifications.

Exam 1 — Foundation of Supply Management
165 questions, 2 hours and 45 minutes
Contracting and Negotiation | Social Responsibility | Cost and Finance | Sourcing | International Supplier Relationship Management

Exam 2 — Effective Supply Management Performance
165 questions, 2 hours and 45 minutes
Forecasting | Materials and Inventory Management | Logistics | Organization and Department Assessment | Product and Service | Development | Quality | Planning

Exam 3 — Leadership in Supply Management
180 questions, 3 hours
Leadership | Strategic Sourcing | Risk Compliance

Bridge Exam — Only for current C.P.M.s with a bachelor's degree
180 questions, 3 hours
Areas not covered in the C.P.M. Exams

ISM offers testing in more than 230 countries through Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Visit www.pearsonvue.com/ism to find your nearest test center.

Exam fees: US$180 per exam members/ US$265 per exam nonmembers

Register for exams or find out more in the Professional Credentials section of www.ism.ws. Select Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®), or call 800/888-6276 or +1 480/752-6276, option 8.

How do you start studying for the CPSM® Exams? Our three most popular study materials are the CPSM® Study Guide, the CPSM® or CPSM® Bridge Exam Diagnostic Kit (in your choice of web or print version) and the ISM Professional Series. Start with the practice tests in Diagnostic Kit to find out your knowledge gaps (weak areas are where you score less than 75 percent) against the tested content. The Diagnostic Kit also tells you where to find explanations of your particular weak areas within the CPSM® Study Guide, the ISM Professional Series and a few other resources.

Most people do self-study with the previously mentioned study materials. However, if you find you learn better with more instruction, ISM offers face-to-face exam review seminars, online review courses or self-study workbook courses. All three are essentially the same content, just in a different format to meet your preferred learning style and schedule. Many ISM affiliates and colleges/universities offer CPSM® Exam reviews. You can download a CPSM® Exam Review Course Directory to find in-class instruction near you.

Don't forget, ISM is here to help you every step of the way. Call us at 800/888-6276 or +1 480/752-6276, option 8; find out more about the CPSM® at www.ism.ws in the Professional Credentials section; e-mail us at certification@ism.ws; or connect with us on LinkedIn in the CPSM® and ISM groups to network with other CPSM®s and potential CPSM®s.


Are You a C.P.M., MCIPS or SCMP?

If you are, you have an advantage. Certified Purchasing Managers (C.P.M.s) in good standing with a qualified bachelor's degree only need to take the Bridge Exam, a single exam covering content not included in the C.P.M. Exams, instead of three CPSM® Exams.

If you hold a MCIPS or a SCMP™ certification, ISM now has agreements in place with The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) and Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) allowing reciprocity of the other organization's credential. For more information, go to the CPSM® and SCMP™ Reciprocity or CPSM® and MCIPS Reciprocity pages, or e-mail Michelle Pattee at mpattee@ism.ws.


Low-Cost Ways to Earn CEHs

Need to earn Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)? Short on funds to pay for training? Don't despair. ISM has several low-cost options to keep your CPSM®, C.P.M. or A.P.P. certification current. Some are even free.

For details on CEH qualification, visit the Professional Credentials section of the ISM website or e-mail certification@ism.ws.


C.P.M.s — You Have 12 College Credits

Even if you have never set foot on a college campus or taken an online college course, you have college credit for up to 12 undergraduate credits. Many colleges and universities grant up to 12 undergraduate credits for your C.P.M. Exam scores. If you have thought about going back to school, this is a great starting point to pursue your bachelor's degree, which is a CPSM® requirement. See more information on college credit.


Where Do the Exam Questions Come From?

Like any exam measuring professional competencies, ISM's professional credentials exams are considered challenging. Have you ever wondered how exam questions are developed and who develops them?

The volunteer group of supply management experts who comprise the ISM Item Writing Committee are a diverse group who represent a variety of industry sectors, all actively working or teaching in the field. You may never hear their names or see their pictures, but they contribute their time and talent to ensure the CPSM® and CPSD™. Exam questions are relevant, consistent and have only one best answer.

The committee meets several times each year. Each person is assigned specific task areas in which to develop questions. These questions are evaluated by a professional psychometrician. Then they are reviewed by the committee in a face-to-face meeting. At the meeting, each question is reviewed for proper format, proper task assignment and that there is only one best answer. No one on the committee knows who wrote a question or what the answer is prior to the committee reaching a unanimous agreement on the correct answer.

This process of confirming question validity is overseen by ISM staff and the professional psychometrician. When there is an exam question without committee agreement to the answer, it is checked against the referenced resource and revised, if possible, to provide for only one best answer. If agreement cannot be reached, the question is thrown out of the pool of possible questions.

Unscored questions are included on exams and the performance of each one is monitored by the psychometrician to determine if revisions should be made to the question before it is added as a scored question on future versions of the exam.

Periodically, these new questions are used to develop new versions of the exam, thus continuously updating and revising the exams.



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