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What is Your Best Option? Procurement Certification and Training Today

Across industries, procurement skills are falling short of what organizations need. In survey after survey, hiring managers cite a lack of qualified candidates as one of the top challenges they face. Spend Matters research suggests that fewer than 10% of the procurement workforce in North America has a procurement certification or has gone through a formal degree program in supply management or a related field (e.g., operations research, supply chain management, etc.). Part of the challenge is that training and certifying authorities historically received mixed reviews from members. But fortunately, in the past few years, training, certification and educational opportunities have changed tremendously for the better. Indeed, today’s procurement professionals not only have more training options at their disposal – they have better ones as well.

This Spend Matters Perspective provides succinct analysis of some of the training and certification programs that procurement and sourcing professionals now have available to them. Based on interviews with a range of practitioners, it includes profiles and analyses of the certification programs offered by the Institute of Supply Management (including the new CPSM certification), Next Level Purchasing (SPSM) and the American Purchasing Society (CPP, CPPM). The study also investigates executive education programs and other options (e.g., online training courses from consulting providers). Last, the report examines the relative cost/benefits of these options and evaluates the general value of pursuing different types of training and certification initiatives as well as the specific skill sets that individuals can gain from each program.