The Certified Professional Logistician
Supply Chain Managers (SCMs), also called logisticians, can pursue multiple professional certifications to add to their resumes, increasing their prominence and salary within the field. One such certification is the Certified Professional Logistician (CPL) credential, which is administered through the International Society of Logistics (SOLE). Applicants must take a specialized exam, and if they pass, they’re awarded a prestigious CPL certification.
Why Pursue a Certified Professional Logistician Certification?
Receiving a CPL certification is a way to display your broad knowledge of logistics in the business world. Those who successfully pass the test and achieve this qualification are awarded a special certificate, which can be displayed and added to their resumes. What’s more, qualified individuals can add the designation “CPL” after their name on professional business cards, stationery and other dignified printings of their name. The CPL Certificate is often viewed as an equivalent to a master’s degree in logistics.
The CPL certification is also recognized by the U.S. Army and can be added to an Officer Record Brief (ORB) and Official Military Personnel Folder (OMPF).
Requirements to Take the Test
This professional certification is designed to augment the careers of those who have substantial experience in the field of supply chain management and logistics. All applicants must have at least nine years of professional experience within the field of supply chain management.
Formal education counts as part of the experience requirement, with each year of accredited logistics training counting as one year of the total required experience. If the applicant holds a degree, the following guidelines determine the amount of education and professional experience required:
- Bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience
- Master’s degree plus four years of work experience
- Doctoral degree plus three years of work experience
What Does the Test Cover?
The exam to earn your CPL Certificate takes eight hours total to complete, which are split into two four-hour sessions. The test itself contains four sections, which must all be passed in order to earn a passing score. If an applicant passes only three of the four sections, they must retake and pass the failed section within a set time period in order to be granted their Certificate.
The exam covers a full spectrum of logistics topics. These are the topics you will be tested on:
- Systems management
- Principles and functions of management
- System design and development (system engineering)
- Formal design review
- Acquisition and product support
- Production support
- Distribution and customer support
- Equipment phase-out and disposition
Exam Dates, Required Fees and Application Requirements
The exam for CPL Certification is administered by the Certified Professional Logistician Qualification Review Board (CPL-QRB). It’s held twice a year on the first Saturday in May and November. Applications must be postmarked by February 1 preceding the May exam or August 1 preceding the November exam.
Applicants must submit documentation that proves they meet the above experience requirements. It’s necessary that all applicants have experience in at least two fields of supply chain management in order to qualify. Any other supporting documents, such as transcripts, recommendations or previous certifications, must be submitted at the time of application.
For members of SOLE, the exam currently costs $225, and for non-members it costs $375 to take the test. For those who wish to retake one or all four parts of the test, a $50 fee is required, regardless of membership.
Where to Find More Information
If you’re an experienced supply chain manager and wish to pursue your CPL Certification, more information can be found on the SOLE website. Resources such as application guidelines, a program brochure and even an exam study guide can be found on the website.