What Supply Chain Management Certification Programs are Available?
If you’re a logistician and looking to advance your career, you might consider applying for professional certifications through the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) or the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS).
Earning professional credentials can make you more prominent in the supply chain management (SCM) field by adding an extra touch of professionalism to your name and showing employers that you are well-trained according to industry standards. Each organization offers a number of professional credentials for those at different points in their SCM careers.
About the International Society of Logistics (SOLE)
SOLE is a well-respected non-profit organization with over 90 chapters in 50 countries across the globe. There are multiple types of SCM credentials that can be earned through this organization, depending on your level of experience and your ability to pass comprehensive exams. You can also become a member of SOLE, which will grant you access to job opportunities, workshops and a professional network of other logisticians.
Certifications Available Through SOLE
SOLE offers three types of certification programs:
- Demonstrated Logistician (DL) Program. There are three designations to this performance-based program, which is an intermediate credential requiring continued education.Applicants can apply for this credential at any point in their career, as long as they finish a specific course of study. At the end of the program, certificate holders are awarded Recognition Pins.
- Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) Program. This is the first credential historically offered by SOLE, which tests applicants based on their experience and broad knowledge of the logistics field in commerce, industry, defense and other industries. Applicants must demonstrate nine years of professional experience, which may include educational experience. Those in the Army may apply this credential to their Officer Record Brief (ORB) and Official Military Personnel Folder (OMPF).
- Certified Master Logistician (CML) Program. This credential is very similar to the CPL, except it requires a broader experience spectrum of its applicants. Those who wish to pursue this certification need experience in at least two fields of logistics in order to qualify for the exam.
While the CPL and CML require applicants to successfully pass exams, the DL designation does not.
About the American Production Inventory Control Society (APICS)
With over 45,000 professional members in more than 100 countries, APICS claims to lead the industry in supply chain and logistics development worldwide. In North America, there are over 190 chapters. This organization has a goal to continue advancing with the inevitable changes and development in global SCM.
Available APICS Certifications
There are four available certifications through APICS. The organization also provides educational options to help candidates pass required tests. If you are unsure which credential to pursue, the APICS website provides an Education Selector.
The four APICS certifications are:
- Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). This certification doesn’t require formal work experience or a degree and focuses on the production and inventory management systems within an organization.
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). Unlike the CPIM, this certification focuses on the supply chain functions outside of an organization. Candidates learn how to maximize production and cut costs by analyzing the entire supply chain. To earn this credential, candidates must have three years professional experience, a bachelor’s degree in logistics or hold another APICS certification.
- Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD). This certification covers supply chain strategy and planning, as well as in-depth knowledge of warehouse and transportation fundamentals. Other areas of focus include global logistics, risk management and sustainability. The prerequisite requirements for this certification are the same as those for the CSCP.
- Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR-P). Unlike the other certifications, the SCOR-P is an endorsement. Candidates will study the major global components of SCM by following the Supply Chain Operations Reference model. Applicants should have some experience in supply chain management, but it’s more important that they have a working knowledge of the SCOR model.
Whether you are just getting started in the logistics field or you’ve been at it for a while, there is a certification for you. The hardest part might be figuring out which one you want to pursue. Whichever credential you decide to pursue, there is no doubt that it will add to your resume and help you advance your logistics career.