Having a Supply Chain certification will definitely give you an advantage when hiring managers look at your resume. Certification tells employers and as well as your colleagues that you have a specialized core expertise within the Supply Chain domain. One of the most important reasons to be certified is that it helps you stay ahead of the competition. If you really want to succeed in your career, you need to stay up to date with all the technologies and tools that affect the Supply Chain Industry. Keep learning and you will have a knowledge base that will make you an asset to your employer far into the future.
Certifications do not just separate job candidates; they also show that you are focused on your Supply Chain career and willing to invest in your future. That’s why Companies and Recruiters are more likely to invest in you if you are certified.
It will help you find a successful job, grow in your career, and bring stability to your prospects for long-term jobs.
Lets take a look at the top 5 globally recognized supply chain certifications that are worth investing in.
International Institute for Procurement and Market Research (IIPMR) offers two levels of Certifications in Supply Chain Management. IIPMR lays a lot of emphasis on Case Studies and Software Tools currently in demand by the employers. With members from 75+ Countries and curriculum taught by senior professionals from Apple, IBM, Walmart, HP, US Government, Procter & Gamble, etc., these Certifications are touted to be the best in the Industry.
These certifications get you trained on most of the popular software such as SAP Ariba, Easibuy, Precoro, Vizibl, Open Door Logistics (ODL) and also on quality principles such as Six Sigma, Kanban, Kaizen, 5S and Lean Management. For those keen learners who constantly strive to upgrade themselves with the latest industry skill sets, this is a boon because they do not have to spend time and money in doing a separate Six Sigma Course or a SAP training since these are already included in the Certifications offered by IIPMR. Given the fact, these Certifications are both valid for life time, they make the best Return on Investment for supply chain professionals aiming to add a globally acclaimed credential on to their profile.
The CSCS and CSCA designations are valid for life time and there is no requirement to re-certify. IIPMR provides maintenance of these Certifications by organizing regular webinars on latest trends, new tools and also by circulating case studies as well as newsletters to its members for free.
1. IIPMR Certified Supply Chain Specialist (CSCS)
IIPMR Certified Supply Chain Specialist (CSCS) is the second level of Certification that has 177 Modules followed by an online exam. It costs $600 inclusive of Online Exam. Free mock tests can be taken prior to the final online exam.
It typically takes around 2.5 to 4 months to complete all the modules in CSCS. However IIPMR provides 1 year of access to the CSCS Modules.
The duration for the final online exam is 2 hours 15 minutes and around 300 – 350 questions can be expected. The minimum score required to pass the online exam is 60%.
To be eligible to apply for CSCS Certification, one needs to have minimum 1 year of relevant work experience. More details on CSCS can be found here: https://www.iipmr.com/education/cscs.html
2. IIPMR Certified Supply Chain Associate (CSCA)
IIPMR Certified Supply Chain Associate (CSCA) is the first level certification. Unlike CSCS, work experience is not required in order to apply for CSCA.
Any graduate irrespective of the background or specialization can apply for CSCA. Those who are aggressive in starting their career in Supply Chain can use the CSCA credentials as the perfect launchpad in being selected for job interviews since employers have special preference for certified candidates over others.
CSCA consist of 150 Modules followed by the online exam. It costs $500 inclusive of online exam and mock tests.
The access to CSCA is provided for 1 year. However it can be completed within 1.5 to 2 months depending on how much time one dedicates to learn on a daily basis.
The online exam consists of 200 to 250 questions and the duration is 1 hour 45 minutes. The minimum score required to pass the exam is 60%
Further details on CSCA Certification is available here: https://www.iipmr.com/education/csca.html
American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) is one of the top institutes offering supply chain, logistics, operations research publications, networking opportunities and educational programs. In 2015, APICS merged with American Society of Transportation and Logistics. It has members from 100+ Countries and its credentials are one of the most sought after in the supply chain industry.
3. APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) helps you stay ahead of your competition by providing end to end knowledge of SCM. By passing the CSCSP Exam you master the all the necessary skills required to manage a global supply chain and effectively strategize the day to day operations.
The access to the online CSCP learning modules costs $1380 for non-members and $995 for members. APICS provides digital and printed books, online quizzes, practice exam, web-bases study tools and online resource center.
The exam fee is $965 for non-members and $695 for members.
To be eligible for CSCP, one of the following criteria needs to be satisfied:
A) Any bachelor’s degree
B) Minimum 3 years of business experience.
C) Must have completed one of the following Certifications i.e CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM, SCOR-P, CPM, CPSM, CTL or CLTD
The CSCP Certification consists of 3 Modules at a high level
Module 1: Supply Chain Design
Module 2: Supply Chain Planning and Execution
Module 3: Supply Chain Improvement and Best Practices
To help pass the CSCP Exam, APICS provides more than 1200+ online test questions.
The online exam consists of 150 questions and the duration is 3.5 hours. The total score is 350. So the minimum score required to pass the CSCP Exam is 300.
CSCP Certification is not valid for life time. To maintain your CSCP credential, a maintenance application must be submitted every 5 years to APICS.
For more details visit: https://www.ascm.org/learning-development/certifications-credentials/cscp/#why-cscp
Institute of Supply Management (ISM) is another premiere body that offers globally recognized credentials to stand out in the supply chain industry. ISM’s ultimate mission is to create experts who can guide companies to optimize their supply chain and provide more value to customers by means of innovative strategies. It aims to achieve this by means of offering holistic certification in SCM.
ISM is one of the oldest not-for-profit educational association with a commitment to create SCM professionals through its course curriculum designed by industry veterans. ISM has members from more than 90+ Countries and offers training in Supply Chain and Supplier Diversity as well.
4. ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)
ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) is offered as print as well as online self paced learning. In few select Countries they do offer instructor led class room training as well. The CPSM designation indicates that one has mastered and gained core expertise of SCM.
In order to be eligible for CPSM, one needs to have minimum 3 years of full time work experience in SCM along with a bachelor’s degree or 5 years of full time work experience in SCM without a bachelor’s degree.
CPSM costs ranges from $1600 to $3370. This is because there are 3 Sections to be learnt. They are Supply Management Core, Supply Management Integration, Leadership and Transformation in Supply Management.
To earn the CPSM designation, you are expected to pass three exams.
The Exam for Supply Management Core consist of 180 questions and the duration is 3 hours.
The Exam for Supply Management Integration has 165 questions and the duration is 2 hours 45 minutes.
The Exam for Leadership and Transformation in Supply Management has 165 questions and the duration is 2 hours 45 minutes.
The candidate is expected to pass with a minimum scaled score of 400 irrespective of the number of questions asked in the exam.
The CPSM designation is valid for 3 years after which you must be recertified. It can be done by submitting an application for recertification with proof of completion of continuing education. Individuals with a CPSM Certification that has been expired for more than a year must re-certify all the three examinations again.
For more details visit: https://www.ismworld.org/certification-and-training/certification/cpsm/
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) began its operations in 1963 and provides networking, career development and certifications in the Logistics and Supply chain domain. CSCMP is known to conduct regular Supply Chain Conferences, Symposium, Roundtable Events and Awards Ceremonies.
The CSCMP’s Supply Chain Hall of Fame is an Award that is provided to deserving veterans in the SCM Industry. To be eligible for this award, the Hall of Fame nominee is expected to have a minimum of 20 years of contribution in the Supply chain and Logistics Industry.
SCPro™ Certification offered by CSCMP comprises of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.
SCPro™ Level 1 is Cornerstones of Supply Chain Management.
SCPro™ Level 2 is Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges.
SCPro™ Level 3 is Initiation of Supply Chain Transformation.
The cost for SCPro™ ranges from $975 to $1500 for non-members and $650 to $1095 for members, depending on the level.
The validity of the SCPro™ credential is for 2 years. As per the CSCMP guideline, those who have earned the SCPro™ designation are required to fully meet the certification renewal requirements every three years in order to maintain their certification.
For more details visit: https://cscmp.org/CSCMP/Certification/SCPro_Certification_Overview/CSCMP/Certify/SCPro__Certification_Overview.aspx