APICS Careers, Education, and Certification FAQs

APICS certification FAQ | APICS Principles of Operations Management FAQ

APICS certification FAQ

If you can't find an answer to your certification question after reviewing the FAQ below, email APICS Customer Service at service@apics.org.

General questions
APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) questions
APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) questions
APICS Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) questions
APICS Computer-Based Testing (CBT) questions
APICS certification exam score expiration questions
Certificate questions
APICS certification maintenance questions
APICS Principles of Operations Management Frequently Asked Questions

General APICS Certification Questions

What is the difference between the APICS CPIM and the APICS CSCP designation?

The APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification provides a common platform for individuals to evaluate their knowledge of production and inventory management. The APICS CPIM focuses primarily on manufacturing and provides an in-depth view of materials management, master scheduling, production planning, forecasting, and quality improvement within the confines of the operation. The APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification takes a broader view, extending the APICS CPIM knowledge outside of a company's internal operations to encompass all of the steps throughout the supply chain—from suppliers through the company to the end consumer—and how to effectively manage the integration of these activities to maximize a company's value chain. 

Do I have to be an APICS member to become certified?

No, but you may save money if you are a member. APICS members receive a discount on APICS Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) exam fees and receive valuable savings on reference materials and educational programs.  Nonmembers may register for exams, but they must first contact APICS Customer Service to obtain an APICS ID.

Can I become an APICS member and schedule an exam at the same time?

No. Your membership status must be active when you request an Authorization to Test to ensure that you receive the member rate.

What is the scoring process for APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP exams?

The Understand a Scaled Score document explains the use of a scaled-score system for reporting test performance in the APICS CPIM and CSCP certification exams.

Does a change to the APICS courseware indicate a change to the exam?

Not necessarily. Not all changes to the courseware are due to changes in the exam specifications. While APICS courseware is periodically updated to reflect changes in the exam specifications, it is also updated in response to feedback from instructors and students regarding ways to enhance the learning experience and to reflect industry trends.

Additionally, exam content is reviewed annually by APICS exam committees. For the APICS CPIM program, refer to the current version of the APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual (ECM). Candidates for the APICS CSCP exam should refer to the current APICS CSCP ECM. Your exam preparation and APICS courseware experience are more likely to be successful when these documents are the foundation of your study efforts.

Why does the APICS courseware seem different than the exam?

Certification and education or courseware serve different purposes but are closely coupled to provide an individual with the knowledge, skills, and proof of competency in a given job role. For more information about the relation between certification and education, please refer to the Exam Content Versus Courseware document.

How can I provide feedback to APICS after taking an exam?

All candidates have the opportunity to provide APICS with direct unfiltered feedback by using the APICS Comment Sheet. A link to the form is sent out monthly to all candidates. This is done via email, therefore you need to ensure APICS has an updated email address for you on record. If you have an email address registered with APICS and did not receive the link, please check within your junk folder as it might have been marked as spam. If you did not receive it and would like to provide feedback please contact certification@apics.org.       

Can I see the questions and answers on my APICS CPIM or CSCP exams?

No, best practices in testing do not allow us to provide this information to candidates. The exam answer sheets, worksheets, and/or any other test or test-related materials remain the sole and exclusive property of APICS. These materials are confidential and are not available for review by any person or agency for any reason.

What do I do if I need to have my test rescored?

Candidates have 90 days from the receipt of their score to challenge their results. If you would like to request a re-score please fill out the Exam Rescore Request. The cost of a rescore is $45.00. Candidates receive a response within one to two weeks of submitting their request.

I need to send a formal recognition letter to my employer, how can I obtain one?

To request a recognition letter, complete the APICS CPIM or CSCP recognition letter request form, print it and return to APICS.

Can I receive college credit for passing APICS exams?

Yes, you may receive college credit for passing APICS exams. The National College Credit Recommendation Service extended college credit recommendations for all APICS certification exams (APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP). For more information about the National CCRS recommendation, please click here.

National CCRS recommends the following credit hours for APICS exams:

Passing any of the five APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams may result in:

  • Basics of Supply Chain Management: 3 credit hours for associate's and bachelor's degrees
  • Detailed Scheduling and Planning: 2 credit hours for bachelor's degrees
  • Execution and Control of Operations: 2 credit hours for bachelor's degrees
  • Master Planning of Resources: 2 credit hours for bachelor's degrees
  • Strategic Management of Resources: 3 credit hours for bachelor's degrees

Passing the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) exam may result in: 3 credit hours for bachelor's degrees and 3 credit hours for masters degrees (2012 content and forward)

Request your official transcript from APICS today to redeem your college credit. The processing fee per transcript is $25 and requests are processed within two weeks of receiving payment. For more information, contact certification@apics.org.

How can I be sure that APICS has my current email and mailing address?

To ensure your contact information is up-to-date, access your APICS profile by logging into the APICS website using the box at the top right of this page and clicking My APICS or contact APICS Customer Service at service@apics.org.You can also call APICS Customer Service at 1-800-444-2742 or +1-773-867-1777+1-773-867-1777.

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APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) Questions

What is the APICS CPIM Certification?

The APICS CPIM program is recognized worldwide as the standard in production and inventory control. An APICS certification shows a commitment to the profession that leads to a sense of accomplishment, demonstrates value to an employer, enhances earning potential, and provides a path to career advancement. The APICS CPIM program is divided into five process-oriented topics to provide participants with the best possible educational assessment and knowledge base.

After earning an APICS CPIM designation, you can begin the process toward the CFPIM. The distinguishing characteristic of a CFPIM is the willingness to share acquired knowledge with others through presenting, publishing, teaching, and participating in professional development activities.

How many questions are on an APICS CPIM exam?

Most APICS CPIM exams consist of 75 multiple-choice questions (60 operational and 15 pretest). The Basics of Supply Chain Management exam has 105 questions (80 operational and 25 pretest). The pretest questions do not contribute to your total score but are necessary for research purposes. These pretest questions are randomly distributed among the test items that will be scored and will be used for statistical purposes only. The pretest items are similar to the scorable items on the test, and candidates will not know which items will be scored and which will not. Candidates should answer all exam questions.

How much time is allowed to complete an APICS CPIM exam?

Candidates will be allowed three hours of test time per module.

What is the score range for an APICS CPIM exam?

The APICS CPIM score range is from 265–330. A score of 300 or higher is required to pass the exam.

Fail: 265–299
Pass: 300–330

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APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Questions

What is the APICS CSCP certification?

The APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program is recognized worldwide as the premier supply chain management education and certification program. The APICS CSCP program takes a broad view of operations, extending beyond internal operations to encompass the entire supply chain—from supplier, through the company, to the end consumer. The program provides professionals with the knowledge necessary to understand and manage the integration and coordination of end-to-end supply chain activities.

The APICS CSCP program is divided into four modules to provide participants with the best possible educational assessment and knowledge base. By earning the APICS CSCP designation, you demonstrate that you have mastered the APICS supply chain management body of knowledge and that you are committed to the profession. You must pass one comprehensive exam to earn the APICS CSCP designation.

How is the APICS CSCP course delivered?

The APICS CSCP Learning System combines prints materials with interactive online components. It is offered in three learning options—self-directed, instructor-led, or corporate group. Instructor-led courses are offered through the APICS network of local chapters, international partners, colleges and universities, and corporations.

Where can I find answers to questions about the APICS CSCP learning system?

For answers to common questions about the learning system, please visit the CSCP Learning System page.

How many questions are on the APICS CSCP exam?

The APICS CSCP exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions (150 operational and 25 pretest). The pretest questions do not contribute to your total score but are necessary for research purposes. These pretest questions are randomly distributed among the scorable items and will be used for statistical purposes only. The pretest items are similar to the scorable items on the test, and candidates will not know which items will be scored and which will not. Candidates should answer all exam questions.

How much time will candidates have to complete the APICS CSCP exam?

Candidates will be allowed four hours of test time.

What is the score range for the APICS CSCP exam?

The APICS CSCP score range is from 200-350. A score of 300 or higher is required to pass the exam.

Fail = 200–299
Pass = 300–350

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APICS Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) Questions

APICS discontinued offering the APICS Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) program on June 1, 2008. Content of APICS CIRM program will continue to be recognized as a valuable part of the APICS body of knowledge.

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Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Questions

Please also review the links in Computer-Based Testing Information Toolkit, located on the Authorization to Test page.

What computer skills are needed to take exams via APICS CBT?

Candidates are expected to be familiar with the use of a mouse and keyboard. Candidates must also be able to use a four function online calculator. A short tutorial will be available to candidates at Pearson VUE testing centers prior to taking the exam (not available at Prometric testing centers). The tutorial will also be available to candidates online for review before the exam. Candidates interested in trying the tutorial prior to the exam can do so by accessing the following link.

What should I do if I am unable to find an available test time or location when scheduling my exam? 

First, consider selecting a different test center in your area. This could mean selecting a different state/province or country, depending on your location. If you are still unable to find an available test time or location, it is sometimes possible to contact the test center directly to ask if any accommodations could be made for you.

I receive an error message when I try to use my voucher number to pay for my ATT. What should I do?

Please contact us at exams@apics.org.

How can my organization become authorized to deliver APICS exams via CBT? 
Please contact exams@apics.org and provide the location (city, state/province, country) where you wish to establish a testing center, along with a summary of the need for this test center. APICS staff will then provide further instructions on how to proceed.

I am trying to schedule an APICS exam with Pearson VUE, but am being told that my APICS ID is invalid. What should I do?

Pearson VUE requires an APICS ID in the format APICS0000000. Please be sure to put APICS in front of your APICS ID. Candidates with a 6-digit APICS ID must also put a zero as the first digit in order to make a 7-digit APICS ID number.

How many CBT APICS exams may I take in one day?

You may take as many different exams in one day as time and space permit; however, you must register for exams at least 24 hours before the exam date. Candidates will be accommodated as long as there is space at the chosen site.

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APICS Certification Exam Score Expiration Questions

APICS certifications are recognized globally as the standard of professional excellence in supply chain and operations management. To ensure the validity of those certifications, APICS will limit the length of time certification exams are valid. Beginning January 1, 2013, exam scores will have a life span of 10 years from the date the exam is taken.

This policy ensures that candidates who earn APICS certifications have current and relevant knowledge in their field.

With this change in policy, candidates pursuing the APICS CPIM designation will have 10 years from the date of their first successful exam to complete all five modules. If candidates do not earn the certification in this time frame, they will have to retake and pass any exam that has expired.

How and why was this policy decision made?

This policy was determined by the APICS Certification Committee with the approval of the APICS Board of Directors, and was enacted to ensure that candidates who achieve a certification have current and relevant knowledge in their field. No special requests or grandfathering will be accepted in relation to this rule.

How long are APICS certification exam scores valid toward the APICS CPIM designation?

APICS certification exam scores are valid for 10 years from the date the exam is taken. For example, the exam score from a Basics of Supply Chain Management exam taken on March 18, 2011, will expire on March 18, 2021.

Does this policy impact my status if I currently hold the APICS CPIM or CFPIM designations?

No, a candidate who is currently certified will not lose their credentials and all certification maintenance program policies remain in effect.

How will candidates be notified?

APICS first notified candidates of this policy change via email in August 2011. Regular updates will also be sent via email. To ensure your contact information is up-to-date, access your APICS profile by logging into the APICS website using the box at the top right of this page and clicking My APICS or contact APICS Customer Service at service@apics.org.

How do I prepare for my outstanding APICS CPIM exams?

Visit the APICS CPIM preparation page to identify the best study option for you.

Where and when can I take my remaining APICS CPIM exams?

APICS CPIM exam offerings can be found at the APICS CPIM testing section of the APICS website—simply select North American testing or testing outside North America.

Are APICS CPIM maintenance requirements affected by this policy?

No. All policies outlined in the certification maintenance bulletins in the APICS certification maintenance section of the APICS website are unchanged.

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Certificate Questions

When do I get a certificate?

Certificates are issued when the following events occur:

  • An individual passes the Basics of Supply Chain Management (BSCM) exam
  • An individual earns the APICS CPIM, CFPIM, or CSCP designations
  • An individual's certification maintenance is processed (all certifications)
  • An individual becomes lifetime-certified (all certifications)

Where will my certificate be sent?

Where your certificate will be sent depends on what type of certificate you are receiving and where you tested.

  • BSCM, CPIM, and CSCP certificates (including replacement certificates)
  • Certificates for candidates who tested through Pearson VUE or Prometric are sent to the candidate's preferred mailing address as listed in the APICS database.
  • Certificates for candidates who tested on a paper-and-pencil exam date outside of North America are sent to the candidate's certification dministrator. The certification administrators are responsible for distributing the certificates to their candidates.
  • Certification maintenance and lifetime certificates (including replacement certificates) are sent directly to the certified individual's preferred mailing address as listed in the APICS database.

To ensure your contact information is updated, access your APICS profile by logging into the APICS website using the box at the top right of this page and clicking My APICS. Or, contact APICS Customer Service at service@apics.org. You can also call APICS Customer Service at 1-800-444-2742 or +1-773-867-1777+1-773-867-1777.

How long will it take for me to receive my certificate?

Original certificates typically are mailed within 4 to 6 weeks of the exam results being released to APICS. For CBT exams, the results are released to APICS the next business day. For P&P exams, the results are released to APICS approximately four to six weeks after the exam date.

My name was misspelled on my certificate. What do I do?

The names printed on the certificates appear exactly as they are listed in the APICS database. If the misspelling is due to APICS typographical error we will replace it at no charge. If it is not due to APICS typographical error, then you will have to inform APICS of the correct spelling of the name and then request a duplicate certificate. A US $30 fee per certificate applies. Please complete the Duplicate Certificate Request Form and submit it with payment to the APICS Certification Department. Contact information is listed on the form. Your certificate will be sent within 1 to 2 weeks of the date the request is received. This policy also applies to candidates who are listed in the APICS database under a nickname and who now want their full legal name printed on the certificate.

My certificate was lost or destroyed. How do I obtain a duplicate?

Duplicate certificates can be issued for a fee of US $30 per certificate. Please complete the Duplicate Certificate Request Form and submit it with payment to the APICS Certification Department. Contact information is listed on the form. Your certificate will be sent within one to two weeks of the date the request is received.

I was originally certified under a different name. How do I get my certificate to reflect my current name?

Certificates are printed using the name that appears in the APICS database at the time the event occurs. If you would like a new certificate printed with a name correction, contact APICS Customer Service at service@apics.org, 1-800-444-2742 , or +1-773-867-1777 to have your name updated. You can then request a duplicate certificate for a fee of US $30 per certificate. Please complete the Duplicate Certificate Request Form and submit it with payment to the APICS Certification Department. Contact information is listed on the form. Your certificate will be sent within one to two weeks of the date the request is received.

I passed the Basics of Supply Chain Management exam but my score is more than 10 years old. Can I receive a duplicate certificate?

Because the Basics of Supply Chain Management certificates only contain the date you passed the exam, duplicate certificates can only be issued to individuals whose score is current. Issuing a duplicate certificate to someone whose score is expired is misleading to the individual as it could imply that the exam is current. However, you can generate a score history verification or request that a verification be emailed to a third-party by accessing My APICS Certifications

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I was certified in the past but my certification is now suspended due to non-maintenance. Can I receive a duplicate certificate?

Because APICS CPIM or CFPIM and CSCP certificates only contain the original date of certification, duplicate certificates can only be issued to individuals whose certification is current. Issuing a duplicate certificate to someone whose certification is suspended is misleading to the individual as it could imply that the certification is current. However, you can generate a certification verification or request that a verification be emailed to a third-party by accessing My APICS Certifications

If you submit your maintenance application, you can request a duplicate certificate after your certification is reinstated.

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APICS Certification Maintenance Questions

All individuals who earned APICS CPIM, CFPIM, or CSCP designations are required to go through the Certification Maintenance Program.

Q. Will the requirements to maintain change?

A. No, candidates will continue to be required to maintain every 5 years.

Q. Where is the application form listed on the APICS web site?

A. The url is https://www.apics.org/careers-education-professional-development/certification/maintenance/certification-maintenance-application

Q. Do candidates need to fill out all the detail educational points on the application?

A. No, all candidates are required to do is add the total number of points they are claiming per section and fill that in on the application form.

Q. Can candidates apply for both (CPIM/CSCP) designations at the same time?

A. No, they must apply for each designation separately.

Q. Can candidates use the same educational points to maintain both designations?

A. Most educational points can be used to maintain both, when in doubt candidates can write to certification@apics.org

Q. Where can candidates find a more comprehensive list of activities that qualify for maintenance?

A. A comprehensive list can be found at http://www.apics.org/careers-education-professional-development/certification/maintenance/professional-development

Q. If candidate holds the CFPIM designation but does not have enough points to maintain it and only has enough points to maintain as a CPIM, do they lose the CFPIM designation?

A. Yes, if candidate only has enough points to apply as a CPIM they will lose the CFPIM designation and will be required to apply for it again.

Q. Does candidate have to send in documentation upon submission of the maintenance application?

A. No, candidates do not have to send any documentation unless they are audited.

Q. Are candidates who have been chosen to be audited notified immediately that they are?

A. Yes, candidates receive an automated notification that they are being audited with instructions on how to proceed.

Q. Will audited candidates be required to send in documentation?

A. Yes, all audited candidates will be required to send in documentation to attest that the points they claimed are accurate. Documentation can be sent to certification@apics.org

Q. Can candidates retake all 5 CPIM or the CSCP exam to maintain their designation?

A. No. However, candidates can use the points earned from passing the exam and apply them towards maintaining their designation.

Q. When should candidates submit the application to APICS?

A. Certification maintenance cycles run in five-year intervals, commencing from the date of initial certification and ending on the last day of the month that initial certification was received. Candidates can apply at any point during this cycle.

Q. Will APICS notify candidates when their application is due?

A. Notifications are sent via email to all certified individuals one year, 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days in advance of their maintenance due date.

Q. Will points be earned for responsibilities and activities completed as part of a candidate's full-time job?

A. No. The idea of the maintenance program is to demonstrate ongoing knowledge through continuous education.

Q. Does a candidate need to become a member of APICS in order to begin collecting maintenance points?

A. No. The APICS certification maintenance program is designed for both members and non-members. However, by becoming a member of APICS candidates will be able to claim 6 points per year for each year their membership is in good standing.

Q. Will courses that are conducted in a language other than English earn points?

A. As long as the class relates to operations management or supply chain, it is eligible for points regardless of the language in which it is presented.

Q. Does a class or activity need to have a specific number of participants in order to earn points?

A. There is no minimum requirement for the number of participants in a program.

Q. Why does APICS membership earn six points per year while membership in other organizations only earns one point per year?

A. APICS members receive a great deal of information during a membership year, ensuring that they are exposed to resource management-related material on a consistent basis. APICS material is also most likely to address the APICS body of knowledge and is thus more likely to support the goals of the APICS CPIM, CFPIM, and CSCP certification maintenance program.

Q. What is the definition of "original research"?

A. Research conducted for a publication is considered "original" if it has been accepted by a peer-review editorial review board.

Q. Do translators of resource management materials receive any points?

A. APICS will award two points per hour of translation of resource-management materials.

Q. Can candidates submit their website as an example of a "published article"?

A. Websites and their contents are not accepted as points toward a published article because articles are reviewed by panels, publishers, editors, etc., but websites are not held to the same standards.

Q. How do I request lifetime certification?

A. Lifetime certification is available to individuals who are at least 62 years of age and have their designations in good standing. Individuals with suspended certifications must bring their certifications current before applying for lifetime. To request lifetime certification, submit your request to the APICS Certification department in writing along with a copy of a government-issued ID which confirms your age (drivers license, passport, etc). Requests should be e-mailed to certification@apics.org .

Q. Can I have an extension on my maintenance deadline?

A. Candidates have five years to maintain with an additional 5 years in suspended status, during which they can still maintain with additional points. APICS is not able to extend the beyond this 10 years.

Q. Is there a paper application I can submit?

A. The streamlined application process requires an online form be submitted. There are no paper applications available.

Q. Can I claim points for study material used to prepare for the exam?

A. All points claimed on the maintenance application must have been obtained after the designation was earned. Therefore no points can be claimed for study material used to obtain the designation.

Q. Is there a list of activities that do not qualify for the maintenance program?

A. A list can be found on the APICS web site at http://www.apics.org/careers-education-professional-development/certification/maintenance/not-eligible

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APICS Principles of Operations Management Frequently Asked Questions

If you need more information, contact pdadmin@apics.org or 1-800-444-2742 or +1-773-867-1777.

Can I use my notes and written preparation from the APICS Fundamentals of Operations Management for the new APICS Principles program?

No, the APICS Principles course is a complete rewrite and you will have to prepare for an entirely new course.

What does the new format look like?

It uses the current APICS CPIM courseware instructional design.

Does the new APICS Principles program still have five courses and what are the module names?

There are still five courses in the new APICS Principles program. The reference to the Fundamentals is as follows:

  1. APICS Fundamentals of Inventory Control is now Principles of Inventory Management
  2. APICS Fundamentals of Manufacturing Control becomes Principles of Manufacturing Management
  3. APICS Fundamentals of Planning becomes Principles of Operations Planning
  4. APICS Fundamentals of Operations Management becomes Principles of Managing Operations
  5. APICS Fundamentals of Materials Handling and Warehousing becomes Principles of Distribution and Logistics.

How long is each course?

Each course is approximately 30 to 33 hours. The instructor has the option of expanding the number of hours per course with the use of advanced materials and Excel spreadsheets.

Does this series of courses constitute a certification?

No, participants can receive a certificate of course completion, but not a certification.

Do participants have to take all the tests in the course?

No. Testing is up to the instructor. Instructors choose questions from a test data base for each course to develop the midterm and final exams for their classes.

What is the intended level of audience?

The core content of each course is written for new professionals entering manufacturing and distribution careers. However, the instructor has the ability to raise the level of the course to a college undergraduate level by using the advanced materials and Excel spreadsheets that are part of the instructor kit.

Can this course assist me in preparing for the APICS CPIM and CSCP programs?

Yes. These courses do not cover all of the materials from the APICS CPIM or CSCP curriculum, but are designed to provide the participants with a foundation of the principles and applications of modern manufacturing, materials management, operations management, and supply chain management. Successfully completing the Principles series of courses significantly enhances the APICS CPIM and CSCP certification preparation experience.

Will the current APICS Fundamentals materials be available while the Principles modules are being developed?

Each of the Fundamentals courses will be available until the corresponding new Principles course is released (see the list in Question 3). At that time the Fundamentals course that the Principles course is replacing will be retired.

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