We have been getting a number of inquiries of late where purchasing professionals will say something similar to this: “Someone told me that I can’t get a purchasing certification without a bachelors degree.”

Don’t miss updates on Procurement & Supply Chain, Subscribe here!

That is simply not true. Purchasing professionals without bachelors degrees – who represent approximately 30% of all purchasing professionals – can indeed earn a purchasing certification. Specifically, the SPSM® Certification does not have a bachelors degree as a prerequisite.

This panic in the field has apparently been caused by a recent deadline imposed by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) who is one of the bodies (but not the only body) awarding purchasing certifications. ISM had recently imposed a deadline of December 31, 2008 to register for their C.P.M. certification, which is “transitioning into a recertification-only status” (i.e., if you didn’t register for the exam by that date, you won’t have the opportunity to earn the C.P.M.).

Other than the C.P.M., ISM does not offer a certification available to purchasing professionals without bachelors degrees. That doesn’t mean that you cannot be certified, simply that you need to earn your certification from a source other than ISM.

So if you are a purchasing professional without a bachelors degree and want to be certified – or if you are a purchasing leader interested in the many benefits of having a certified team which may be comprised of individuals both with and without bachelors degrees – it is advisable to evaluate the SPSM® Certification as a step towards workplace success.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At

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."

More Posts