Great news ISM (Institute of Supply Management) has expanded their CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) certification to be more inclusive while also discontinuing the CSM (Certified in Supply Management).
I applaud these moves by ISM, it reflects their willingness to adapt and change as required. This is win for the average professional and that is what this blog is about!
The requirements for CPSM at time of writing are below.
- Three years of full-time, professional supply management experience (nonclerical, nonsupport) with a bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution or international equivalent
- Five years of full-time, professional supply management experience (nonclerical, nonsupport) without a qualified bachelor’s degree
- Successfully pass three CPSM® Exams, OR, if you are a C.P.M. in good standing, pass the Bridge Exam
I’m a huge proponent of professional certifications. Dollar for dollar these are a great bargain for boosting your credentials and credibility. Education to use for your employer networking for you the individual it’s one of the few remaining win-win situations in the workforce.
With that I believe it was huge mistake for ISM to create two tiered certification process with the primary distinction being an educational prerequisite. This left out in the cold many low, mid and even high level professionals that have decades of experience.
I’ve found that professional certifications are the most beneficial to non-degreed individuals. They are an added distinction for those with degrees. If the certification highlights the fact your non-degreed than it’s a professional buzz kill. This is the reason I never recommend the CSM certification to professionals.
When ISM originally created CPSM designation without a pathway for non-degreed professionals it diminished CSM destination almost immediately. Carrying the CSM certification just screamed “I don’t have a degree” to colleague’s and coworkers in the profession. I’m sure that wasn’t ISM’s intent nor was it to make CPSM an elitist professional certification.
What’s slightly disheartening is that ISM needed research from outside consultants to make a change. Also ISM needs to slow all the designation changes there beginning to feel gimmicky e.g. CPM. Has the organization become too academic and lost touch with the rank and file in the supply profession. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, everyone slips now and again, remember new formula Coke!