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How to Become a Recertified Purchasing Manager

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The Institute for Supply Management started to wind down new applications for its certified purchasing manager credential in 2009. By the end of 2014, it will only recertify current CPM holders. However, if you’ve already passed the certification exams but have not yet completed your application, you may be able to do so before December 31, 2014. From that point, only existing CPMs can recertify, either on a five-year or lifetime basis.

Choose a CPM Recertification Option

Regular CPM certification lasts five years. You must earn 84 continuing education hours during each certification period to recertify. If you don't do this before your expiration date, you have a grace period of one year to complete the process. If you don't recertify within that year, you'll lose CPM status and won't be able to reinstate it. If you have at least 18 years of work experience in professional supply management, you may be eligible for lifetime certification. This also requires 21 to 84 continuing ed hours, depending on the number of years you've been a CPM.

Check Your CEH Credits

There are various ways to earn qualifying CPM credits. For example, you can take or teach college courses or continuing education programs. If you hold office in an ISM group, such as a chair, director or officer, this can add seven credit hours per year for the length of your tenure. ISM members automatically get one hour of credit a year. Other ISM certification exams, such as those for the certified professional in supply management and the certified professional in supplier diversity, are worth 20 credit hours per exam. The ISM requires you to use education for least two thirds of your credits, and you can only earn a third from ISM offices or membership.

Apply for Recertification

To recertify, you must complete the CPM application form and mail it to the ISM with supporting documents and fees. You must also provide evidence of CEH credits, such as certificates or letters of completion, or signed confirmation from a supervisor. If you're including exam credits, you must submit test score reports. To apply for lifetime certification, you'll need letters from each employer you list, confirming your job titles and dates of employment. Before you submit the application, you must read and accept its ethics statement.

Pay Recertification Fees

At the time of publication, five-year and lifetime recertification costs $99. ISM members pay a discounted rate of $69. If you want to speed up the process, you can pay an additional rush fee of $75. If you pay this, you'll receive an email or call in two business days telling you if your application has been successful. If it has, the ISM will mail your certificate within 10 business days. Regular applications take four to six weeks to process. Applicants outside the U.S. or Canada pay $100 for recertification.

Consider Bridging to CPSM Certification

The ISM created its CPSM certification in 2008 to broaden the supply management expertise required by the CPM. This is partly why it retired the CPM credential. Any current CPMs who prefer to switch to an active certification have the chance to take a bridging exam. If you pass this exam, you can apply for the CPSM credential. To do so, you must register by December 31, 2014. If you have a bachelor's degree, you need three years of work experience in supply management. If you don’t have a degree, you need five years of experience.


About the Author

Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.

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