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I Want My CSCP!

Tuesday February 2, 2016


I often get asked about APICS Certifications – an occupational hazard when working for APICS - and I’m always glad to talk about them. Earning the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) in 1992 opened up a world of opportunity for me and super-charged my career, eventually bringing me to work for APICS as the Sr. Director of Professional Development in late 2006. I earned my CFPIM (“Certified Fellow”), was Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) in 1998 and earned my Certified in Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) during the first exam in early 2006.

Among the questions I get are:

  • Which certification is right for me?
  • Why do I need certification?

In a nutshell, when people ask me which APICS Certification is right for them, I ask them to think about their career and where they want to be in five years. If they are, or see themselves in the future, working to help their company increase its efficiency within the company’s four walls, then I tell them to pursue the CPIM. If they are, or see themselves, working to help their company increase its efficiency with suppliers and/or customers, that is, outside the four walls of the company, then I tell them to pursue the CSCP.

Why do people need certification? There are a variety of great reasons – most of which I know from personal experience. First, it validates that you were able to master a complex body of knowledge that is useful to the company that you are working for – or want to work for. When I was an ERP implementer, my company would put my resume with other consultant’s resumes, and, if the implementation included manufacturing, distribution, inventory or procurement, those companies would invariably say “give me the guy with the APICS certifications.” I’ve heard similar stories from APICS certified people around the world.

Second, certification demonstrates your commitment to your profession. Employers are looking for those exceptional employees who are willing to put in the time and effort to increase their value to the company.

Finally, an APICS certification sets you apart as a leader in your field and provides you with more opportunity at your current job, or in the job market.

If you have any questions about APICS Certifications, CSCP in particular, I hope you will join me at 1 pm CST, Wednesday, February 17 for a live webinar on “Why Every Supply Chain Professional Needs the APICS CSCP Certification.” I’ll share some additional information and answer your questions.

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  1. Bonnie February 02, 2016, 04:28 PM
    Bought the study materials in 2015 but due to unforeseen issues not able to take the test.  Am I still able to take the test without additional purchase? 
  2. Bob Collins February 03, 2016, 10:05 AM
    Great question - the 2016 CSCP is a major update from 2015 and earlier due to a Job Task Analysis that APICS conducted with thousands of Supply Chain professionals.  However APICS is offering both the 2015 and 2016 exams through October 15 in North America and October 1 outside of North America.  So you still have time to complete your studies with the 2015 edition and take your exam.  Best of luck!
  3. Lisa Angell February 08, 2016, 11:45 AM
    Thanks Bob. Great advice question on the CPIM versus CSCP decision. This is a question I continually council for with prospective students, and your approach to the "five years out" question is great advice.