On this day ten years ago – July 1, 2004 – a bold move forever changed the way that procurement professionals get educated and become qualified for advancement.  The Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA), then simply known as Next Level Purchasing, launched the Senior Professional in Supply Management® (SPSM®) Certification that day.

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In the 3-1/2 years of our existence prior to then, we simply provided online training for procurement professionals.  But there were some things that we kept hearing over and over from procurement professionals who completed our training.  Things like:  “I learned so much in these six courses, I should be certified” and “Your educational material is so much better than [the other guys’].”

So, we decided to give that certification thing a try.

Today, 10 years later, the SPSM® Certification has become the most globally-recognized procurement certification, having been earned by procurement professionals in over 90 countries around the world.  The SPSM® Certification has become, and is increasingly becoming, a requirement in many procurement job descriptions.  People tell us over and over again that the SPSM® Certification is the best procurement certification available.

But despite this success, we never rested on our laurels.  This is perhaps best evidenced in our announcement last week, when we launched the Strategic Procurement & Supply Management Body of KnowledgeTM (SPSM-BOKTM) and revealed our plans to expand the SPSM® Family of Certifications from three (SPSM®, SPSM2® and SPSM3TM) to four (adding the SPSM4TM), truly giving procurement professionals the comprehensive portfolio of education they need for their entire careers.

We’re doing some exciting things to celebrate the SPSM’s 10th anniversary – a landmark day in procurement history.

We have added a Pinterest profile at http://www.pinterest.com/nextlevelpurch

We have added an Instagram profile at http://www.instagram.com/nextlevelpurchasing

And on all of our social media including these two new profiles, today we are debuting our “SPSM-BOKTM Memes.”  Most of us who spend any amount of time on social media are familiar with memes – those pictures that have text added and get shared among online friends.

As a cutting-edge organization, we think that memes can also be a great way to proliferate procurement education in today’s world.  So, our SPSM-BOKTM Memes will each feature a photo with its text being an educational excerpt from the SPSM-BOKTM.

Each SPSM-BOKTM Meme will feature a bible-esque “chapter and verse” citation in the format firstnumber-letter:secondnumber (e.g., 1A:1).  The first number will correspond to the “level” of the SPSM-BOKTM (1 through 4).  The letter will reference one of the 18 “competencies” of the SPSM-BOKTM (A through R).  The second number will reference the lesson (1 through 8) of the online course for the applicable competency.


But today is not as much about us, as it is about you – the procurement professional.  Why the NLPA does what we do day-in and day-out is to help you grow and get closer and closer to reaching your potential.

Before founding the NLPA, I sat in your chair as a procurement professional.  I encountered the same challenges you do.  I know how you feel when things go wrong and I’ve experienced the glory that you can achieve when you succeed in this challenging profession.  I think of you every day.  I lead my team to focus with laser-like precision on making your life easier, giving you the resources you need to succeed, and providing you with the skills and qualifications that will get you where you want to go in your procurement career.

So, rather than simply celebrating the wildly successful 10 years of the SPSM® Certification, I also want to raise a toast to you for all of your hard work in procurement.  I hope that, on the SPSM’s 20th anniversary in 2024, we can celebrate how far you’ve come in 10 years and that, in some way, the SPSM® Family of Certifications contributed to your success.

Thank you for being the motivation behind 10 years of building the world’s best procurement certification – the SPSM®!

To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
President & Chief Procurement Officer – Next Level Purchasing Association
Co-Author – The Procurement Game Plan
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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