Supply Chain Certification Review

Trucks on highway, Industry Standard Supply Chain Certifications by Supply Chain Flow
Supply Chain Certifications - Photo by Jonathan Venit

Supply Chain Certifications can be a great stepping stone to progressing in your career. In this post, we're going to cover the main Supply Chain Management certifications that are most widely recognized by employers.

What is The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM)?

Per ASCM's site; "As the largest nonprofit association for supply chain, ASCM is an unbiased partner, connecting supply chain professionals and companies around the world to the newest thought leadership on all aspects of supply chain."

Formerly known as APICS, American Production and Inventory Control Society, this non-profit organization was founded in 1957. Their certification and training program is by far the most recognized Supply Chain Certification programs in the United States & Canada. They also provide lectures and networking opportunities to help propel your career as well, for both ASCM members and non-members as well (for a small fee).

 APICS merged with the Supply-Chain Council in 2014, and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics in 2015.

What is my first step to taking the ASCM Certification course?

If you are looking to start your ASCM Certification, I would strongly suggest finding the chapter closest for you and purchasing through them. The local chapter will be able to provide guidance and teacher-led classes which are essential in understanding the exams. For the final exams, they now offer online proctored exams through Pearson.

How do I find an ASCM chapter or partner near me?

Visit the Partner Finder and search for your local chapter or international training partner. 

Name of product


Description and Tips

ASCM Membership

CORE North America $180 Annual or

$17/mo ($204 when billed monthly)

PLUS - North America Membership - gives discount on exam vouchers - $220.00

Membership gives you access to additional data, publications, and networking events.

International memberships are cheaper due to less events. (I think)

Supply Chain Procurement Certificate

$495 for ASCM CORE & PLUS Members

$695 for non-Members

A certificate, a little less involved than their Certifications.

20 hours of education and a comprehensive final exam.

Certification: Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM 7.0)

For Exam and learning bundle:


for ASCM PLUS Member

$1912 for Nonmember + PLUS ASCM Membership

CPIM focuses on the knowledge of production and inventory management. CPIM candidate must pass two exams. (Part 1 and 2)

Suggested for:

  • Operations
  • Supply chain management
  • Procurement
  • Materials management
  • Purchasing
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

For Exam and learning bundle:


for ASCM PLUS Member

$2011 for Nonmember + PLUS ASCM Membership

Studies at a more high-level the end-to-end supply chain and integrated enterprise of ideal supply chain operations.

Requires a Bachelor's degree (any) or 3 years applicable Supply Chain Experience. Candidates must pass one exam. The CSCP Exam is 150 questions for about 3 hours long. 

Suggested for:

  • Supply chain / network designers
  • Supplier management
  • Transportation
  • Supply chain management
  • Distribution
  • 3PL, 4PL
  • Customer management
Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)

For Exam and learning bundle:

$1611 for ASCM PLUS Member

$1831 for Non-member + PLUS ASCM Membership

More focused on the logistics and transportation portion of Supply chain.
  • Logistics services
  • Transportation
  • Government & Military
  • Distribution channels
  • Consulting
  • 3PL, 4PL

You can read the Wiki entry here for more company information and read their website here for further information.

Also make sure to check out my post on Is an ASCM Certification right for me?


Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

Similar in depth with the ASCM certifications, the ISM Certifications are perfect for procurement and purchasing, or anyone who wants to focus on strategic sourcing. Purchasing tends to be one of the higher paying career focus within Supply Chain.

They have many onsite testing locations available and also allow online proctored exams as well.

CPSM was created in 2008, and on average takes approximately 6 – 12 months to completion, depending on experience and time available to study.

The CPSM and CPSD exam content address today's procurement and supply chain environment and workplace complexities such as risk, strategic sourcing, technology, and increased skills needed for supply professionals to drive value in their organizations.

Name of ProductCostDescription and Tips


per year + Chapter Dues
(varies by location)

Emerging Professionals

per year
(Chapter Dues Included)

Student & Academic Membership

per year
(Chapter Dues Included)
CPSM® Certified Professional in Supply Management®

The average cost for CPSM for ISM members ranges from $1,800 - $3,370 USD. The average cost for nonmembers are $2,760 - $4,420 USD. ISM membership is not required to become a CPSM®, but the certification will cost less with membership.

Earning a CPSM® Certification requires you to take and pass three exams which together cover the main segments of supply management.

They offer many different tiers from self-guided single exams to guided teaching, so cost will depend on how you'd like to learn.

CPSD™ Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity®

The average cost for CPSD for ISM members ranges from $840 - $1,470 USD. The average cost for nonmembers ranges from $1,280 - $2,180

Earning a CPSD Certification requires you to take and pass two exams which together cover the main segments of supplier diversity. Candidates who hold an active CPSM or C.P.M. Certification only need to take and pass the Essentials in Supplier Diversity Exam.

Even more focused and specialized than the CPSM Certification.


Other Certifications

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

Honorable mention to the CSCMP certification. Their organization is set up similar to ASCM, but they provide one main certification with a three-tiered process. This cert is a little bit less widespread than ASCM in the United States, but could be slightly cheaper if you're only looking for the first tier certification.

The organization itself has been around since 1963, but their new certification program has only been around since 2017. They also provide research and networking opportunities for members. Perhaps as time goes on, this cert might become as prominent as ASCM's.

The certification itself seems fairly robust, however the books are much smaller and written by only a few authors, as opposed to ASCM's textbooks which are thick and written and edited by several groups of authorities within Supply Chain.

Name of Product
Description and Tips

Premier Membership

$299 or $28 / month (one year) or $499 (two years)

Basic Membership

$179 or $17 / month (one year)

Premier gives discounts to Conference & Exhibitions

Preferred pricing at local roundtable events and access to the Annual "State of Logistics Report®", member directory, webinars, and the mentorship program

SCPro™ Certification

SCPro™ Level One
Exam Fee: $975;
Member Fee: $650
Study Materials
Member Price
Nonmember Price
Interactive Learning Exam

SCPro™ Level Two
Exam Fee: $1,500;
Member Fee: $1,095
Study Materials
Member Price

SCPro™ Level Three
No cost; Candidates must perform hands-on analysis of a working organization and create a detailed project plan that generates real results.

SCPro™ Certification is a three-tiered program that assesses progressive knowledge and skills across integrated supply chain activities.

To maintain certified status, certificants must earn 25 Continuing Education Units (CEU) and are required to renew every two years.

You can read more about their certifications here.

Supply Chain Certifications Conclusion

There are likely more certifications out there, but they may be newer and not as recognized as the above. If you're uncertain, ask your management or look out on job postings for what certifications apply to the positions you're interested in.

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