Our “Jobs For SPSM’s” page is a good indicator of how widely recognized the SPSM Certification has become. As I write this, there are jobs posted there by prestigious companies like Siemens, United Airlines, Mitsubishi, Amtrak, Pfizer, and many more who are indicating a preference for candidates with the SPSM Certification.

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Nearly every purchaser finds that, in his or her organization, there is an internal customer who does certain things because “we’ve always done it this way,” even when it no longer makes sense to “do it that way.” These situations require you to educate the internal customer on why more modern approaches make more sense.

The same is true with some companies who recruit purchasers.

I occasionally run into people who say that they see job postings that still mention the C.P.M. certification. I think that this is a “we’ve always done it this way” type of situation.

If you see a job posting that mentions the C.P.M. certification and not the SPSM Certification, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply. You just may need to educate the employer.

Here’s what I recommend.

Borrow a copy of the C.P.M. Study Guide and take it into your interview. If the topic of C.P.M. certification vs. SPSM Certification comes up, open up the index of the C.P.M. Study Guide.

Together with the interviewer, look through the index to find these terms:

  • eProcurement (not there)
  • Reverse auctions (not there)
  • Spend analysis (not there)
  • Strategic sourcing (yep, you guessed, it – not there!)

What? Four of the most powerful practices of the modern purchasing and supply manager not even included in the material?

That’s right. Well, the C.P.M. certification was launched in 1974 after all.

A few things have changed in the business world since then, huh?

(Note, this is not intended to offend anyone with the C.P.M. certification. I earned mine in the ’90’s when its value peaked, too. But times do change and we all need to keep up.)

Then, share that you’ve learned all of these things and much more (negotiation, project management, supplier management, purchasing performance measurement, and on and on and on) in the SPSM Certification Program. Chances are that the employer will see the light and will agree that the SPSM Certification is the far superior certification.

I think you’ll have a good chance of getting past the old C.P.M. certification job requirement.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President and 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."

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