Supply Line 2055: Certification Update Newsletter Logo

June 2002, Volume 2

Without Them, You’re Not a C.P.M. – Period!

It may seem like such a trivial detail. However, if you leave out the periods when writing the acronym for Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.), you’ll unknowingly become a Certified Property Manager (CPM, no periods). Just make sure to use the periods if you are a C.P.M. and not a CPM. It’s not anything you need a Ph.D., CPU (central processing unit), or CPI (Consumer Price Index) to figure out.

Suppose you’re both a C.P.M. and a CPM, which is the Institute of Real Estate Management’s (IREM) designation. In that case, you’d write C.P.M., CPM after your name. If you happen to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Chief Petty Officer (CPO), tack those on as well. You may have to hire a CPS (Certified Public Secretary) to keep track of all of this.

More likely, however, is that you’ve earned the C.P.M. from ISM and have no intention of adding any other acronyms. In that case, make sure to use those periods. Whew! After all that, you may need some R&R at your CP (command post) in CR (Costa Rica). Or at least a little CPR.

By the way, tell your fellow C.P.M.ers to put periods where they belong. True C.P.M.s must stick together. Because though you could be both C.P.M. and CPM, no one wants to be mistaken for a C.P.M. – just because they left off the periods – if they’re not.

(Reprinted from NAPM Insights, August 1994, by Landon J. Napoleon.)

The Wide World of C - P - Ms
  • Center Program Manager (NASA)
  • Certified Professional Midwife
  • Certified Property Manager (designation awarded by Institute of Real Estate Management)
  • Certified Public Manager
  • Chief Patternmaker (Navy)
  • Contract Program Manager

Conference Details

Did you miss ISM’s 87th Annual International Supply Management Conference in San Francisco? Well, you can still catch up on the highlights. In the July issue of Inside Supply Management™, we’ll be is a profile of this year’s J. Shipman Gold Medal winner, fellow C.P.M. Ralph G. Kauffman, Ph.D., C.P.M., Purchasing and Supply Management Program coordinator, University of Houston–Downtown.

Even more details about the Conference (including workshop presentations) can be found online at the Daily Cable at So, take a virtual trip to San Francisco and stay "On Track" with the educational material from the Conference!

Many of the articles in Inside Supply Management™ are written by leading practitioners just like yourself. It’s possible to earn C.P.M. points for having an article published. ISM magazine staff are always looking for professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience, through either authoring articles or being interviewed. If you have some top-notch strategies to share with your peers, please visit the writer’s guidelines on the ISM Web site at You’ll learn how to contact the editor with your ideas and who knows — you could be well on your way to becoming a published author!

C.P.M. and ISM – The Perfect Combination

All too often, supply management professionals join ISM while going through the certification process, then let their membership lapse soon after. By doing so, they miss out on valuable benefits – tools and services that can be used to improve job performance every day.

Membership in ISM gives you not only access to a wide variety of online tools (InfoCenter, Career Center, forums, training, etc.) but also benefits on the local level, key networking opportunities, Inside Supply Management™ magazine, product/seminar discounts, and more. When you’re certified as a leader within your field, it makes sense to hold membership in your field’s leading educational association. For more reasons to join ISM, click here.

What is the "Age of Modules" Rule?

Age of Modules: Effective January 1, 2001, modules must have been passed within five years of the postmarked date of the candidate’s application for the C.P.M. or A.P.P. (This excludes any exam scores used to obtain A.P.P. accreditation.)

Please note the phrase "postmarked date." As an example: If you passed Module 1 on May 11, 1998, you must postmark your C.P.M. or A.P.P. application by May 10, 2003, in order to receive credit for that module.

Module 4 Exception to the Age of Modules Rule: As of January 1, 2002, only the updated version of Module 4 can be used toward C.P.M. certification.

If you passed Module 4 before January 1, 2001, that score is no longer valid. January 1, 2001, is when the latest C.P.M. and A.P.P. Exams were unveiled. Module 4, once considered an A.P.P. module, has become a C.P.M.-only module, thus making the old Module 4 obsolete.

How are C.P.M. and A.P.P. Exam Questions Written?

Since there are multiple versions of the C.P.M. and A.P.P. Exams and since new versions are periodically released, it is necessary for ISM to continually create new questions. Several times a year, a cross-section of subject -matter experts, who all hold the C.P.M. designation and have extensive supply management experience, write questions and then meet to review and discuss the new questions for the C.P.M. and A.P.P. Exams. These item-writers are chosen by ISM based on the sector they represent: public, private, nonprofit, and academia. We also try to have a mix of representation from manufacturing, U.S. government, state/local government, institutional, services, retail, and food/agriculture. ISM’s diversity initiatives are taken into account when choosing the participants. Questions are written from a variety of reference materials that include ISM’s own self-published study materials, general supply management and business textbooks, as well as various other resources.

Your Comments Matter!

You have the opportunity to include question-specific comments on both the computer-based and written C.P.M. and A.P.P. Exams. ISM reviews these comments on a regular basis and uses them to make improvements/corrections to current versions.

ISM Seminars and the Recertification and Reaccreditation Process

You can earn Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) attending any ISM seminar. CEHs are good toward the recertification and reaccreditation process. Check out some of ISM’s upcoming seminars by clicking on the links below:

Onsite Testing and Review

Did you know that ISM offers C.P.M. and A.P.P. testing at your location? With onsite testing, you control the environment and create the atmosphere that best matches your organizational culture. As a leader in professional development, research, and education, ISM’s C.P.M. and A.P.P. programs are recognized as the premier designations for purchasing and supply management professionals. A team of certified and accredited professionals translates into organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and overall operational success. From the bottom line to the top ranks, the entire organization benefits from the impact of certification.

Bringing the exam to your employees offers you the chance to integrate the entire testing process into your organization's mission and goals. And the benefits of onsite testing give you a competitive advantage that surpasses even the most ambitious professional development effort.

Ethics in the News!

Ethics and values have been in the news a great deal lately, and it’s always good to reinforce the need for character, integrity, and ethics in the workplace. The ISM Web site features some very informative articles relating to ethics in the news. If you are an ISM member, simply click on the following link: and you will be directed to a listing of articles regarding ethics.

In addition, members and nonmembers can download a free copy of ISM’s Principles and Standards of Ethical Supply Management Conduct at

A C.P.M. Program and Your Company — What’s in It for You?

Company Profile: Eastman Chemical Company

In early 2000, as part of a key skills development initiative, Eastman Chemical’s Worldwide Indirect Materials and Services Organization (WWIMS), which provides global supply management for all indirect materials and services, identified the newly updated C.P.M. and A.P.P. programs as an excellent resource to supplement its key skills development program.

ISM’s study materials and exams offered Eastman an avenue for experienced professionals to validate their skills and less seasoned supply management staff to develop and expand their supply management knowledge base.

The decision was made within Eastman's WWIMS to budget for, and fully support, any individual who wished to pursue the C.P.M. or A.P.P. or to just study the materials for personal and professional development. The undertaking was completely voluntary due to the workload in 2001, but a substantial percentage of the WWIMS staff became involved.

Eastman provided each interested person with a personal copy of the C.P.M. Study Guide and the C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam. A reference library was established containing multiple copies of numerous resource materials available through ISM and elsewhere (over 50 publications).

At Eastman, C.P.M. or A.P.P. status is not required but is always encouraged and recognized. Since WWIMS's full support of the C.P.M. and A.P.P. programs began, Eastman has had a number of individuals attain certification and recertify, including those in both WWIMS and Global Raw Materials & Energy Procurement. Eastman's headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee, currently has over 20 active C.P.M.s, with others pursuing their credentials.

WWIMS covers the cost of ISM membership, provides study materials, and pays the exam fees and the application fee for anyone in the organization interested in pursuing either the C.P.M. or A.P.P. designation. It will also cover the cost of recertification and support it as well through numerous educational opportunities that provide CEHs for participants.

Eastman states that the WWIMS program, now in its second year, has been very successful and is especially beneficial to new staff who come from other areas of the company. Eastman also reports that the C.P.M. and A.P.P. program materials provide an excellent overview of the profession and the elements that are involved for success.

Eastman relates that informal study groups have been the norm for individuals working through the program. Other, more formal study sessions take advantage of the experience and expertise of senior staff members who are already certified. In March 2002, the local ISM affiliate (NAPM—TenneVa, Inc.) sponsored a two-day C.P.M. review in the local area. This was well attended by Eastman people as well as others in the TenneVa service area.

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