You’ve heard this story before…

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The Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) launched the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification in 2004 only to have that crusty, old supply management institution most informed people hate launch a similarly-named certification four years later.  Since that time, they also came to market years after NLPA launches with similarly-named skills assessments, podcast series, and more.

I thought perhaps with a new CEO appointed a few years ago, there may be a breath of new creativity into the dinosaur.

But, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last June, the NLPA launched the groundbreaking SPSM-BOK – the Strategic Procurement and Supply Management Body of Knowledge.

An introductory document, the SPSM-BOK Framework, described the body of knowledge and presented the SPSM-BOK Mastery Model.  This mastery model specified 18 competencies required for success in the procurement profession.  These 18 competencies were organized into four levels:  Essential Procurement Skills, Global Procurement Management, Enterprise-Wide Procurement Influence, and External Procurement Influence.

Well, the dinosaur has just announced that it has released its “Mastery Model.”  And, oh look…it has 16 competencies grouped into four levels.  What’s the first level called, you ask?  “Essentials!”

This is preposterous!

As supply management associations, it is our job to represent what the world expects out of the profession:  things like creativity, ethics, and protection of intellectual property.  Sadly, the dinosaur is about as non-creative, unethical, and borderline criminal with intellectual property theft as they come.

If you want to take a stand for the integrity of the supply management profession, I ask you and your organization to reconsider where your membership dollars are being spent.  A premium membership in the NLPA offers more value, for a lower price, with a more ethical institution than a membership with the dinosaur.

This stuff has got to stop.  I know that the CEO of the dinosaur has a speaking engagement in my town this month.  Perhaps I can rearrange my schedule to share this disgust face-to-face with him.  This copycat garbage is an embarrassment for the procurement profession.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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