Following are frequently asked questions about APICS certification programs. If you cannot find an answer to your certification question after reviewing the FAQs below, email APICS Customer Service at email@example.com.
What is the difference between a certification, endorsement and certificate?
Do I have to be an APICS member to become certified?
- Certifications are an evaluation against a predetermined set of industry standards for knowledge, skills or competencies and independent of a class, course or training provider. The credential requires maintenance and post-nominal acronyms (i.e. John Smith, CSCP) are awarded.
- Endorsements are a recognition of an additional skill obtained as a result of a specific training or education program. Endorsements do not require maintenance and post-nominal acronyms may be awarded.
- Certificates are a recognition of attendance and participation at a learning event or program. Certificates do not require maintenance and post-nominal acronyms are not awarded.
No, membership is not required to become certified. However, APICS members receive a discount on APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP exam fees, courseware materials and educational programs. Nonmembers may register for exams, but they must first create an APICS account online to obtain an APICS ID.
Can I become an APICS member and purchase an Authorization to Test (ATT) 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.
How are APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP exams scored?
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.
Why does the exam content seem different than APICS courseware content?
Certification and education, or courseware, serve different purposes but are closely related 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 will be sent by email after you take an APICS CPIM or CSCP exam. Please make sure that APICS has an updated email address for you on record. Or, send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I see the questions and answers on my APICS CPIM or CSCP exams after I test?
No. It is best practice in testing to not provide this information to candidates. The exam content and any test-related materials are confidential and not available for review.
How can I dispute my exam results?
Candidates will need to submit a formal appeal. In order to do so, you must submit an e-mail to email@example.com for further information.
APICS membership, products, exam credits, and ATT examination fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If a candidate fraudulently disputes credit card or payment charges, APICS may require the candidate to pay any costs it incurred, as a result of the fraudulent dispute, and shall ban the candidate from electronic payment options in the future. In order to purchase APICS products in the future, the candidate must contact APICS directly to coordinate an APICS-approved payment option, including but not limited to, cashier’s check or money order.
Are there maintenance requirements for the APICS certification programs?
Yes. To preserve the integrity and value of APICS certification programs, all designees must meet certification maintenance requirements. The APICS certification maintenance program allows designees to acquire ongoing knowledge in their field and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through professional development activities. Go to apics.org/maintenance for specific maintenance requirements.
My employer has requested verification of my APICS certification. How can I obtain this?
APICS launched an online certification verification service in July 2014. Your employer simply needs to go to apics.org/verification and search for you by name. The status of your certification(s) will appear in the results. If your employer requires more complete information, they may submit a certification verification request form, which requires your signed permission.
If your employer requires a recognition letter, complete the certification recognition letter template, which can be found in your APICS account.
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 recommends the following credit hours for APICS exams:
- 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
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP): may be eligible for 3 credit hours for bachelor's degrees and 3 credit hours for masters degrees (2012 content and forward).
Request your official transcript from APICS to redeem your college credit. Requests are processed within two weeks of receiving the application. For more information about the National CCRS recommendation, please click here.
How can I confirm 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call APICS Customer Service at 1-800-444-2742 or +1-773-867-1777+1-773-867-1777.
How does APICS ensure Certification content reflects current industry trends and is relevant for today’s work environment?
APICS follows an industry best practice standard for high-stakes certification programs to evaluate the job roles of supply chain and operations management practitioners and to identify how the functions, skills and knowledge needed in the role evolve over time. The Job Task Analysis (JTA) evaluation is conducted for CPIM and CSCP every 3-5 years through an extensive international research project. Qualitative and Quantitative results are reviewed by a panel of industry subject matter experts who change CPIM and CSCP content as outlined in the Exam Content Manual (ECM) based on the research data.
Back to top
What is the APICS CPIM Certification?
The APICS Certified in Production and Inventory (CPIM) certification program is recognized worldwide as the standard in production and inventory control. An APICS certification shows a commitment to lifelong learning, 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.
What are the requirements to earn APICS CPIM certification?
You will earn APICS CPIM certification after passing five required exams, which cover the five modules: Basics of Supply Chain Management, Master Planning of Resources, Detailed Scheduling and Planning, Execution and Control of Operations and Strategic Management of Resources. We recommend you take these exams in the preceding order.
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 best preparation method for the APICS CPIM exam?
APICS channel partners offer review courses, which can be found online at APICS Partner and Event Finder. Instructor-led online courses, independent study online courses, and independent study resources are also available. Go to apics.org/cpim for more information.
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.
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.
Back to top
What is the APICS CSCP certification?
The APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification 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.
What is the difference between the APICS CPIM and the APICS CSCP designation?
The APICS 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 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.
What are the eligibility requirements for the APICS CSCP exam?
To be eligible to take the APICS CSCP exam, you must have:
* APICS defines the international equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree as the level of study that would qualify an individual for a graduate program in the country where the undergraduate degree was earned.
- 3 years of related business experience or
- Bachelor’s degree or the international equivalent*, or
- CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM, SCOR-P, C.P.M., CSM or CPSM designations
There is no fee to apply for APICS CSCP eligibility. Click here
to submit an application. Eligibility application approvals do not expire.
What are the requirements for earning the APICS CSCP certification?
To earn APICS CSPC certification, you must pass one, comprehensive exam.
How many questions are on the APICS CSCP exam?
How much time will candidates have to complete 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.
Candidates will be allowed four hours of test time.
What is the best preparation method for the APICS CSCP exam?
The CSCP Learning System is the most comprehensive CSCP certification exam study tool available. Go to APICS Test-Taking Tips for more information on the Learning System and other study tools.
I purchased the CSCP Learning System in 2013 but was not able to take the exam. Can I still use these books to study for the CSCP exam in 2014?
The CSCP Exam Content Manual, which is updated annually and included with purchase of the Learning System, and corresponding updates are made to the Learning System courseware at the same time. Some annual updates are minor; some are significant. The online portion of the CSCP Learning System is an important part of exam preparation, but it is only accessible for 12 months after purchase, and is not transferable to other users.
If you are using an older set of Learning System books, we strongly recommend purchasing a current copy of the Exam Content Manual and comparing it to the contents of your Learning System to determine any areas in which you may need additional help before taking the exam.
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.
Back to top
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.
Back to top
What is an Endorsement Credential?
An endorsement is a credential awarded through the delivery of a proctored exam and represents achievement of a specialized skill in an industry Body of Knowledge by passing an exam. Individuals achieving an APICS Endorsement are allowed use of a post-nominal acronym and are not required to comply with a maintenance program to keep the Endorsement active. APICS Endorsement credentials are viewable in the APICS Credential Verification system located at: http://www.apics.org/careers-education-professional-development/certification/verification
What is the different between Certification and Endorsement?
Content for a Certification is defined by standards of knowledge, skills, and competencies for an industry’s job role. The standard is independent of a specific class, course or education/training program. Candidates who pass a psychometrically validated, legally defensible Certification exam in a high-stakes proctored environment are granted a time-limited credential which requires maintenance to remain current in the industry’s body of knowledge.
Content for an Endorsement is defined by best practices for a specialized skill. These best practices may be comprehensively provided in a focused educational program. Candidates who pass the Endorsement exam have exhibited a thorough content understanding with the ability to apply best practice learning outcomes.
Back to top
When can I take an exam?
APICS CPIM exams are offered year-round in North America and during certain windows outside North America through Pearson VUE. APICS CSCP exams are offered during certain windows throughout the world. Go to apics.org/bulletins for current schedules.
What is the cost of the exams?
Go to apics.org/bulletins for current exam fees.
If I need to cancel or reschedule an exam, what are my options?
Cancellation and rescheduling policies vary among test centers and regions. Go to apics.org/bulletins
for the current policy for your certification exam and region.
Can I retake an exam if I fail?
The majority of CSCP candidates pass the exam. However, if you do not pass your APICS CSCP exam, you may retake the exam for a reduced fee. There is a 14-day required waiting period before you may retake the exam. Go to apics.org/bulletins for more details.
What can I expect on exam day?
Short tutorials are available both online at Pearson VUE and testing centers for candidates to review prior to taking the exam. Candidates can access the Pearson VUE tutorial here
Back to top
When do I receive a certificate?
As of June 16, 2014, candidates who pass certain exams may receive a free electronic certificate. APICS will notify you when you pass a certain exam. This notification will include instructions on how to request any applicable certificate. There will be two delivery options:
Which certificates will be available by electronic delivery?
- Download a free electronic certificate from the individual’s account
- Request a free hard copy certificate; shipping fees may apply
The following certificates will be available electronically to eligible candidates:
Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
If I earned my CPIM or CSCP certification before the launch, can I still receive an electronic certificate?
Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM)
Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM)
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Basics of Supply Chain Management (BSCM)
Yes. You may download free electronic certificates from your account as long as your certification is in current status.
If I request a hard copy certificate, will I be charged a fee?
The first copy shipped by United States Postal Service (USPS) is free. However, after the first free copy, shipping fees apply.
What are the shipping costs for hard copy certificate orders?
Your first hard copy request is shipped free via USPS. However, if you request shipping of the first hard copy with tracking by United Parcel Service (UPS), shipping fees will be charged. The USPS shipping charge is deducted from the UPS fee. This credit will be displayed at checkout. For subsequent duplicate orders, you will be charged regular USPS or UPS shipping fees.
I live in the UK. Are certificates available in A4 format?
Yes. Electronic and hard copies will be available in both 8.5” x 11” and A4 formats.
When can I download my free electronic certificate?
You may download your certificate immediately upon notification that you have passed a qualifying exam. These notifications are sent within 24 hours of taking an exam.
My name was misspelled on my certificate. What do I do?
The names on the certificates appear exactly as they are listed in the APICS database. If the misspelling is due to an error in our database, please contact Customer Service to request a name correction.
My certificate was lost or destroyed. How do I obtain a duplicate?
Go to My APICS Certifications in your APICS account and submit a request through the APICS Certificate Request Form. You may also request an electronic download or order a certificate reprint.
I was originally certified under a different name. How do I obtain a certificate with my current name?
Email email@example.com to update your name. Proof is required for all name changes. Once your name is updated, you may obtain a certification by logging in to your account, clicking on My APICS Certification, and submitting an APICS Certificate Request Form.
I passed the Basics of Supply Chain Management exam but my score is more than 10 years old. Can I receive a duplicate certificate?
Candidates with expired Basics of Supply Chain Management exam scores are not eligible for a certificate.
I was certified in the past, but my certification is now suspended. Can I receive a duplicate certificate?
No. Only designees in current status are eligible to obtain a certificate. To reinstate your certification, please visit our maintenance page
Back to top
Are there maintenance requirements for the APICS certification programs?
To preserve the integrity and value of APICS certification programs, all designees must meet certification maintenance requirements. The APICS certification maintenance program allows designees to acquire ongoing knowledge in their field and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through professional development activities. Go to apics.org/maintenance for specific maintenance requirements.
Where can I find a maintenance application on the APICS website?
You may access the online application here.
Do candidates need to fill out all of the detailed educational points on the application?
No. Candidates are only required to provide the total number of points they are claiming per section on the application form.
Can candidates apply for both CPIM and CSCP designations at the same time?
No. Maintenance applications must be submitted separately.
Can candidates use the same educational points to maintain both designations?
Most educational points can be used to maintain both the CPIM and CSCP certification. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find a comprehensive list of activities that qualify for maintenance?
A comprehensive list of eligible activities can be found here.
If a candidate holds the CFPIM designation, but has only earned enough points to maintain the CPIM, do they lose the CFPIM designation?
Yes. If you only have the required points to maintain your CPIM designation, you will lose the CFPIM designation and need to re-apply for CFPIM maintenance.
Do I need to send in documentation upon submission of the maintenance application?
No. You are not required to send any documentation unless you are audited.
Are candidates who have been chosen to be audited notified immediately?
Yes. Candidates receive an automated notification that they are being audited with instructions on how to proceed.
Will audited candidates be required to send in documentation?
Yes. All audited candidates will be required to send in documentation to prove that the points they claimed are accurate. Documentation can be sent to email@example.com
Can candidates retake all five CPIM exams or the CSCP exam to maintain their designation?
No. However, candidates may earn maintenance points by passing an exam and apply them towards certification maintenance.
When should I submit my maintenance application to APICS?
Certification maintenance cycles run in five-year intervals, starting with the date of certification and ending on the last day of the month that certification was initially received. Candidates can apply at any point during this cycle.
Will APICS notify candidates when their application is due?
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.
Will points be earned for responsibilities and activities completed as part of a candidate's full-time job?
No. The idea of the maintenance program is to demonstrate ongoing knowledge through continuous education.
Does a candidate need to become a member of APICS in order to begin collecting maintenance points?
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 six points per year for each year their membership is in good standing.
Will courses that are conducted in a language other than English earn points?
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.
Does a class or activity need to have a specific number of participants in order to earn points?
There is no minimum requirement for the number of participants in a program.
Why does APICS membership earn six points per year while membership in other organizations only earns one point per year?
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.
What is the definition of "original research"?
Research conducted for a publication is considered "original" if it has been accepted by a peer-review editorial review board.
Do translators of resource management materials receive any points?
APICS will award two points per hour of translation of resource-management materials.
Can candidates submit their website as an example of a "published article"?
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.
How do I request lifetime certification?
Lifetime certification is available to individuals who are at least 62 years of age and have their designations in good standing. Individuals with suspended or expired 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 (driver's license, passport or birth certificate). Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Can I have an extension on my maintenance deadline?
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.
Is there a paper application I can submit?
The streamlined application process requires an online form be submitted. There are no paper applications available.
Can I claim points for study material used to prepare for the exam?
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.
Is there a list of activities that do not qualify for the maintenance program?
A list can be found on our website
What type of documentation is needed if I am audited?
Copies of official documentation verifying the activities listed will be required. The types of official documentation include:
- Registration confirmation
- Certificate of completion
- Thank you letter for attending
- Conference/seminar name badge listing meeting information
Back to top
What is certification verification?
Certification verification is a free service APICS provides to employers and other stakeholders to verify an individual’s APICS credentials. This enhancement to APICS certification programs complies with industry best practices and helps protect the value of APICS credentials for all designees.
How do I access certification verification?
Go to apics.org/verification. Users may verify an individual’s CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM and CSCP designations.
When I search on my name, it says my status is suspended. How can I find out more about this?
To learn more about the current status of your designation, please contact email@example.com.
Did APICS inform designees about certification verification before it launched?
Yes. APICS sent several announcements to stakeholders several months before the launch in July 2014.
Can I remove my information from certification verification?