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NewsLine
January 2012, Vol. 24, No. 1
for the volunteer leadership

Professional Credentials

Get Certified in Supply Management™

Big opportunities are in store for people who want to build their careers and professional influence in supply management and procurement.

In November 2011, the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) unveiled the Certified in Supply Management™ (CSM™). This new certification option allows a broad range of practitioners to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in supply management, regardless of whether they have a degree.

Candidates can Register Now for the CSM™ Exams through ISM. Applications for CSM™ Original Certification are also available.

"The debut of the CSM™ is a defining event for ISM because it furthers our mission to lead and serve supply management," says ISM CEO Paul Novak, CPSM, C.P.M., A.P.P., MCIPS. "Individuals and teams worldwide have expanded opportunities to build their professional stature and business credibility."

The new CSM™ joins ISM's globally recognized Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) program to set a common standard of measurement for professionals to demonstrate mastery of supply management knowledge and skills. The CSM™ tests the same body of knowledge as the CPSM®. Eligibility for the CSM™ is dependent on a candidate's work experience and educational background, as well as successfully passing the required exam(s).

Need more information? Visit the Certified in Supply Management™ (CSM™) page at www.ism.ws.


Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) Program

The CPSM® program, the multifaceted designation on integrated supply management, keeps expanding. It debuted in May 2008 with the first exams held at the ISM Annual Conference in St. Louis. We have surpassed 3,700 CPSM®s from more than 30 countries.

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 am I 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.

Updated Certification Forms

Application forms for ISM Professional Credentials Programs were updated in November 2011.

To access the revised forms, go to www.ism.ws and select Professional Credentials, Certification Forms or click here.

Candidates should now be using the new forms.

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 200 countries around the world through Pearson VUE Testing Centers. After registering for your exam through ISM, visit www.pearsonvue.com/ism to find your nearest test center.

Exam fees: US$189 per exam ISM members/US$269 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.


Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity® (CPSD™)

ISM launched the Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity® (CPSD™) designation for supply professionals who demonstrate knowledge, skills and expertise in supplier diversity in January 2011.

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®, CSM™ 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 (For all test candidates)
120 questions — 2 hours allowed

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

CPSM® Exam 1 (For candidates without a current CPSM® or C.P.M.)
165 questions — 2 hours, 45 minutes allowed

  • Contracting and Negotiations
  • Cost and Finance
  • International
  • Social Responsibility
  • Sourcing
  • Supplier Relationship Management

ISM offers testing in more than 200 countries through Pearson VUE Testing Centers. After registering for your exam through ISM, visit www.pearsonvue.com/ism to find your nearest test center.

Exam fees: US$189 per exam ISM members/US$289 per exam nonmembers

Register for CPSD™ Exams, order study materials 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.


Which Certification Is for Me?

With the debut of the Certified in Supply Management™ (CSM™), ISM now has several professional credentials to help you reinvent your career. How do you choose the right one for you? Here is a snapshot of ISM's three professional credentials.

The Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) and CSM™ encompass the same body of knowledge. Both credentials emphasize integrated supply management and the activities you face on a routine basis. The programs also include areas that can make your résumé stand out with their concentrations in finance, strategic sourcing and international regulations.

The CPSM® was established in 2008, and currently more than 3,700 professionals hold this designation. According to the ISM Salary Survey published in May 2011, CPSM®s earn 23 percent more than supply professionals without the credential The CSM™ is a new credential that debuted in November 2011.

The Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity® (CPSD™)was established in 2010, and currently nearly 200 professionals hold this designation. This credential is for supply management professionals whose responsibilities include supplier diversity. Holding this credential demonstrates to your employer, your colleagues, your suppliers and even your customers that you are serious about helping your organization and diverse suppliers succeed. The CPSD™ is also supported by various diversity organizations.

  CPSM® CSM CPSD
Education Requirement Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent No degree requirement Associate's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent No degree requirement Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent
Experience Requirement 3 years of full-time professional supply management experience (non-clerical, non-support) 5 years full-time professional supply management experience (non-clerical, non-support) 3 years of full-time, professional supply management experience (non-clerical, non-support) with an associate's degree 5 years professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) supplier diversity or supply management experience 3 years professional (nonclerical, non-support) supplier diversity or supply management experience
Testing Requirements Pass the three CPSM® Exams or if you are a C.P.M. in good standing, pass the Bridge Exam. Pass the three CSM™ Exams or if you are a C.P.M. in good standing, pass the Bridge Exam Pass the three CSM™ Exams or if you are a C.P.M. in good standing, pass the Bridge Exam Pass the CPSD™ Exam. Also must pass Exam 1 of the CPSM® or CSM™ (this requirement is waived if the candidate holds a current C.P.M. or CPSM®.)
Recertification Requirements Recertify every three years with 60 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) Recertify every three years with 60 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) Recertify every three years with 60 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)

For more information about any of these professional credentials, visit www.ism.ws/certification or call ISM Customer Service at 800/888-6276 or +1 480/752-6276, option 8.


How Do You Start Studying for the CPSM® or CSM™ Exams?

ISM's three most popular study materials are the CPSM® and CSM™ Study Guide, the CPSM®, CSM™ and Bridge Exam Diagnostic Kits (in your choice of web or print version) and the ISM Professional Series. Start with the practice tests in the 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® and CSM™ Study Guide, the ISM Professional Series and a few other resources.

Most people study on their own 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 exam review courses or self-study workbook courses. All three are essentially the same content, just in different formats to meet your preferred learning style and schedule. Many ISM affiliates and colleges/universities offer CPSM® and CSM™ Exam reviews. You can download a CPSM® and CSM™ 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® and CSM™ at www.ism.ws/certification; email us at certification@ism.ws; or connect with us on LinkedIn in the CPSM® and CSM™ group and the ISM group to network with other CPSM®s and CSM™s, and potential CPSM®s and CSM™s.


Beware of Counterfeiters

The Internet is a resource for all of us, and virtual learning is a great way to keep our skills up to date or to prepare for professional credential exams. ISM offers web-based exam review courses for our professional credential programs and an online version of our practice test — the CPSM® and CSM™ Diagnostic Kit. Sadly, the Internet also provides a low-cost distribution system for inferior-quality and fraudulent products. Many websites claim to offer legitimate and authentic study programs, products or practice exams for earning ISM credentials. Often these sites display various ISM logos or trademarks. Unfortunately, these products and programs are often illegally duplicated, plagiarized or poorly developed in an effort to capitalize on the expanding global market for ISM credentials. Usually very little information is provided by these websites about their businesses. The good news is there are a number of trained and competent instructors and organizations offering CPSM®, CSM™ or CPSD™ exam review and preparation courses, including many ISM affiliates. ISM also offers an expanding number of official ISM products and services to assist candidates in successfully pursuing ISM professional credentials. Make sure to research any website offering products or services related to ISM programs. Let the buyer beware!


New Applications

All original and recertification applications have been updated. Make sure you are using the most current version by going to Certification Forms in the Professional Credentials section of www.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®, CSM™, CPSD™, C.P.M. or A.P.P. certification current. Some are even free.

For details on CEH qualification, visit the Professional Credentials Frequently Asked Questions section of the ISM website or email certification@ism.ws.


C.P.M.s — You May Have Up to 12 College Credits

Even if you have never set foot on a college campus or taken an online college course, you may 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. See more information on college credit.


ISM Board of Directors Highlights

A special meeting of the ISM Board of Directors was held via teleconference on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 8 a.m. MST. At the meeting, the ISM Board of Directors approved the formation of ISM Services, Inc. and the purchase by ISM Services, Inc. of a training and consulting business, ADR North America, including ADR-ISM Supply Management Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. The acquisition will enhance ISM's already-robust offerings in the corporate learning environment and allow expansion into the important adjacency market of supply management consulting.



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