The American Purchasing Society, Inc. is an organization of buyers, purchasing managers, executives, and others interested in the purchasing profession. We were founded in 1969 and have members from every state and 28 countries worldwide. Our objective is to help people learn about purchasing and improve the business purchasing function through education and our certification program. We were the first organization to establish a certification program for professional buyers and purchasing managers and our Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) program is unique because we not only measure the competence of the applicants through a written examination, but we conduct reference checks to evaluate the applicant’s business reputation. The American Purchasing Society’s educational objectives are achieved through training programs and our own educational publications of interest to business and the purchasing community.

Membership in the American Purchasing Society implies a serious concern about the profession and a dedication to the improvement of "purchasing" and "supply chain management". Obtaining a purchasing certification further implies that the person is interested in advancing his or her career in the purchasing and supply chain function and in business.

There are now five worldwide American Purchasing Society certification programs:

  1. the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP)
  2. the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM)
  3. the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP)
  4. the Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW)
  5. the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).

Benefits of Certification

These purchasing certification programs are important to people in purchasing and supply chain management for a number of valid reasons.

Business management recognizes the growing complexity and heavy demands of the purchasing and supply chain operation. Executives need the assurance that their purchasing and supply chain managers and buyers are adequately trained, reliable, and dedicated to their professions.

There is a growing realization in the business world that only professionals can get the job done in a professional manner. The American Purchasing Society award of certification provides general management a high degree of confidence in the ability and integrity of the people who have been or will be selected to do the job.

Also, there is ample precedent reflecting the benefits of professional certification in the history of other areas of business operation, such as engineering, accounting, law, computer engineering, etc.

Other facts supporting the need for certified supply chain managers and certified purchasing professionals include a marked degree of improvement in personal confidence, satisfaction, and pride, which results from certification - and it is manifested by improved performance on the part of the certified individual. Also, purchasing management certification permits closer control of spurious purchasing and supply chain practices and offers opportunities for increased earning levels in purchasing and supply chain operations based on recognition of professional competence and performance. A nationwide survey conducted by the Society indicated that those who earned the CPP from APS earned an average of 23.4% more than other purchasing and supply chain professionals.

Requirements for the Purchasing Certification Programs

All CPP applicants are required to take and complete the "Preparation for Certified Purchasing Professional Exam" 3 weeks course, which includes the CPP examination.
Finally, a review of their academic achievements, experience and contributions to the purchasing profession is made to award points in each of these categories. A minimum total of 100 points is required for the Certified Purchasing Professional classification.

Those applying for CPPM, CGPP and/or CPPC certification must already have earned and received the CPP award or be applying for both programs simultaneously. CPPM applicants must take the 3 week course "Preparation for the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager Exam" and pass the examination given at the end. Applicants for the CGPP must complete the course/exam prep book "Preparation for the CGPP Exam" and pass an examination. For the CPPC, they must have a business or related subject degree from an accredited college, consulting experience and score at least 85% on the CPP exam.