Career certifications that matter for you
Boost your resume to the top of the pile with Procurement Certifications that give you an advantage
The turbulent times of the Great Resignation and the Great Rest put more pressure on procurement professionals to advance in their careers. You may be looking for a way to move up at your current company. Or the grass may be looking greener on the other side of the fence at a new role with a new employer. If you’re looking for a way to stand out or move up, procurement certifications could be your answer.
Given the turmoil, making sure your resume goes to the top of the queue is hard. So many candidates go through multiple rounds of interviews, only to be ghosted instead of getting an offer. On the other side of the desk, human resource leaders lament the same situation: good candidates seem to ghost, even after they’ve received an offer.
Typical recruiting practices haven’t kept up with the environment. The old-fashioned goal was to screen people out for not meeting a rigid set of criteria. Today’s recruiting teams must look for ways to screen for people with the right attitude and train them with the necessary skills.
Professional certifications are a way to showcase your skills, experience and commitment. For hiring managers, in a recent survey from Talent LMS, 76 percent said certifications were a factor in hiring. Organisations see certifications as part of a skills framework to develop their workforce.
Company-paid learning and development opportunities can be a powerful recruiting tool. Skills training is a top perk that workers 18-24 look for, with 66 percent of younger workers ranking learning opportunities as the third most favoured benefit. Only health insurance and disability benefits ranked higher.
Learning and development opportunities also help with retention. Nearly 75 percent of the employees in the survey said they are more likely to stay with a company that offers training. The company benefits from employees learning new skills and enhancing their performance as they advance their careers.
Procurement Professional Certifications
Here’s a look at some of the top certifications for procurement professionals. Some are offered by professional associations, while others are delivered by universities worldwide. Certification paths include curricula covering the supply chain and procurement in general, and those with a sustainability focus. Some associations may require membership to participate or offer discounts to members.
Based in the UK, CIPS is the world’s largest professional association in procurement and supply and has a global network of more than 200,000 professionals with members in more than 150 countries. Its certifications are recognised by leading industry groups and regulatory authorities.
CIPS certifications cover six candidacy tracks, ranging from the entry-level student track to the advanced professional track. After enrollment, students must download study guides and prepare for each exam, progressing to the next diploma level until they finally graduate as a full Member of the CIPS (MCIPS). Professionals can also further upgrade their qualifications to a Fellow of the CIPS (FCIPS).
The UK-based Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment is the professional body for people working, studying, or interested in the environment and sustainability. The day-long Sustainable Procurement Course is designed for public and private sector professionals to develop a greater understanding of the principles and processes of sustainable procurement and how to integrate environmental considerations into the procurement process. The coursework includes practical advice on achieving that goal and understanding the sustainability of products and services.
The Supply Chain Procurement Certificate program is designed for both entry-level and experienced supply chain professionals to develop their procurement knowledge and skills. The program builds on a foundation of procurement basics, sourcing strategies, supplier relationship management, negotiations, evaluation metrics, and more.
The American Purchasing Society offers five worldwide certification purchasing programs: the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), the Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW), and the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).
ISM offers two widely-recognised certifications; the CPSM Certified Professional in Supply Management and CPSD Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity. The CPSM designation has a foundation in the realities of supply management and common challenges, including globalisation, use of technology, and expanded competencies that supply chain and procurement professionals desire to bring value to their organisations.
APICS, the Association for Supply Chain Management, offers three leading credentials for those involved in the supply chain. In addition to the CSCP, you may also consider Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) or Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD). These credentials allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of enterprise planning, production forecasting, inventory management, supply chain management and other skills.
Since 1990, EIPM has educated more than 4,000 purchasing professionals in nine languages throughout its international branches. Four levels of certification programs are designed for purchasing professionals seeking formal recognition of their skills. The courses begin with purchasing for newcomers and progress through a career track, developing professionalism through the purchasing manager level. These courses prepare students to understand the fundamentals of purchasing and develop the skills to take an active role in developing and managing the organisation’s business and purchasing strategy.
Since 1972, SIPMM has provided courses and training for managers and leaders in supply chain and procurement. The organisation offers a range of courses, culminating in a Graduate Diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management. The course work progresses from the roles of operations and executions through the managerial level to executive positions.
Several universities around the world offer specialised certificates in sustainable procurement through online class sessions. The University of Toronto offers a Sustainable Procurement for Professionals course. The course provides a broad range of procurement tools and ideas in green, ethical and sustainable procurement. These apply to the public and private sectors. University College London offers a range of training courses focused on sustainability and ethical procurement.
Are certifications worth it? APICS reports those who earn its certifications earn up to 25 percent more than their peers without certifications. Investing in procurement certifications is an investment in yourself and your career. You can differentiate yourself in a challenging job market, level up your career advancement opportunities and set your goals for a rewarding career path.
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