American Production and Inventory Control Society Certificates and Certifications

By Daniel Stanton

APICS is one of the oldest, best-known supply chain management associations. Originally the American Production and Inventory Control Society, the organization became more global and expanded beyond inventory and production control, so it dropped the long name. You can find information about APICS certifications online.

Certified Professional in Inventory Management (CPIM)

CPIM is a preferred qualification for supply chain planners and analysts, consisting of five modules:

  • Basics of Supply Chain Management
  • Master Planning of Resources
  • Detailed Scheduling and Planning
  • Execution and Control of Operations
  • Strategic Management of Resources

These five modules are broken into two exams: one exam for the first module (Basics of Supply Chain Management) and a second exam that covers the other four modules. You take the tests at an authorized testing center. You don’t need to take the two exams at the same time, and you can take them in any order, but you need to complete both to become certified. Each exam of 150 questions is administered on a computer, and you have three and a half hours to complete each test. You receive your score as soon as you complete the exam.

There are no perquisites for CPIM. You can prepare for the exam by studying on your own, by taking classes, or by using online study tools. You get a discount on the materials by joining APICS as a PLUS member, which costs $220. Then you can purchase all of the books and the two exam vouchers for $1,680.

If you want to take an instructor-led class, check with your local APICS chapter or a local college. If you register for a class, make sure you look at the fine print: Some training providers include the cost of books and exam vouchers in the tuition fee, but others make you buy the materials on your own.

APICS members get access to the Exam Content Manuals for each certification, which include sample test questions.

Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)

CLTD, one of the newest supply chain certifications, has eight modules:

  • Logistics and Supply Chain Overview
  • Capacity Planning and Demand Management
  • Order Management
  • Inventory and Warehouse Management
  • Transportation
  • Global Logistics Considerations
  • Logistics Network Design
  • Reverse Logistics and Sustainability

These eight modules are all covered by one exam that you take at an approved testing center. It is a computer-based exam with 150 questions, and you have three and a half hours to complete it. You’ll receive your score as soon as you complete the test.

To be eligible for the CLTD exam you need to have three years of related experience, a bachelor’s degree, or another supply chain certification from APICS or the Institute for Supply Management. To document that you have met one of these requirements you need to complete the Certification Eligibility application on the APICS website before you’ll be allowed to register for the exam.

You can prepare for CLTD on your own, or you can take a class from your APICS chapter or a local college. If you decide to take a class, make sure you read the fine print: The cost of books and exam vouchers is not always included in the price.

You get a discount on the materials by joining APICS as a PLUS member, which costs $220. Then you can purchase all of the books and the exam voucher for $1,370. For more information, check out APICS credentials.

Complete the Certification Eligibility application at least two weeks before you plan to register for the exam.

APICS exams are administered by Pearson Vue, which has testing centers around the world.

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

CSCP covers a range of supply chain topics and breaks the material into three modules:

  • Supply Chain Design
  • Supply Chain Planning and Execution
  • Supply Chain Improvement and Best Practices

These three modules are all covered by one exam that you take at an approved testing center. It is a computer-based exam with 150 questions, and you have three and a half hours to complete it. You’ll receive your score immediately.

You can prepare for the CSCP on your own, or you can take a class from your APICS chapter or a local college. If you decide to take a class, make sure you read the fine print: The cost of books and exam vouchers is not always included in the price.

To be eligible for the CSCP exam you need to have three years of related experience, a bachelor’s degree, or another supply chain certification from APICS or the Institute for Supply Management. To document that you have met one of these requirements you need to complete the Certification Eligibility application on the APICS website before you’ll be allowed to register for the exam.

You get a discount on the materials by joining APICS as a PLUS member, which costs $220. Then you can purchase an exam voucher for $695 and purchase the learning system for $995.

Some universities offer college credits for CPIM and CSCP certifications. Check with the National College Credit Recommendation Service.

You can sometimes find used copies of APICS study materials online, but they may be illegal copies. Buying or selling APICS materials illegally is a violation of the APICS ethics rules and can lead to having your certification revoked.

Supply Chain Operations Reference-Professional (SCOR-P)

SCOR-P isn’t a certification but an endorsement you earn by attending a three-day class. The class explains the SCOR model and discusses how the metrics work and how to implement projects based on SCOR.

If you need to implement the SCOR model in your company, taking the SCOR-P class helps you build a deeper understanding of the steps to follow. There is a list of SCOR-P classes online. If you have several people who need to be trained, you can schedule private SCOR-P classes through your local APICS chapter.

There is a free APICS Dictionary app that includes study tools to help you prepare for exams. You can download the app onto your mobile device from the App Store or the Google Play Store.