What is CLTD-F and How Do I Qualify?

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) offers three fellow programs. The CLTD-F program is one of them. It was established for supply chain professionals responsible for logistics, travel, and distribution, who have received APICS certification as a Logistics, Transportation and Distribution Professional (CLTD). The other fellow opportunities offered are CPIM-F (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) and CSCP-F (Certified Supply Chain Professional). Some positions that CLTD holders can get into are CEO, logistics manager, traffic analyst and materials manager, to name a few. The focus of their roles is on the day-to-day functions of logistics, transportation, and distribution. Their duties encompass distribution channels, importers/exporters, and transportation. They are esteemed professionals who look for opportunities to impart their knowledge to their teams and peers.

CLTD Certification is a Prerequisite to Apply

Consideration for fellowship is open to CLTD only. Survey results have indicated the perceived benefits of APICS certification, as businesses and employees stand to benefit. As employees expand their knowledge base through CLTD courses, they formulate and share new ideas. This leads firms to run more efficiently as process improvements are developed and implemented. APICS certified employees’ salaries are approximately 27 percent higher than those without designation, with some receiving promotions within a year.

The certification curriculum can foster networking opportunities with other CLTD-certified professionals and create opportunities to join supply chain management special events and professional organizations within their community. Over 1,000 people worldwide have earned the designation of CLTD since its inception in 2016.

An Internationally Recognized Organization

As a global leader, ASCM boasts over 47,000 members spanning over 100 countries. Additionally, their certifications have the highest rating among similar association certifications. ASCM’s corporate leadership team has maintained its stellar reputation as a leader in its field for six decades. To protect and enhance that reputation, they are stringent regarding the conduct, curriculum, and standards they hold their members, students, and Fellows to. As a result, ASCM continues to impact leadership, transformation, and innovation within the industry.

Their Code of Ethics is a commendable one. Multiple rules within it emphasize that harassment or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. Moreover, it dictates that anyone representing ASCM must agree to maintain “exemplary standards of professional conduct.”

What is APICS?

APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) was initially founded in 1957. Over time, they have merged with other supply chain organizations, including the Supply-Chain Council in 2014 and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics in 2015, to form ASCM. ASCM is an international education association that has been in business for over 60 years. During this time, they amassed a vast network of companies across the globe who offer products and services to their members and customers.

A few of these companies are:

  • China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP)
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • Korn Ferry
  • Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning (IBF)
  • Supply Chain Canada

Fellowship Application Procedure

Some of the tasks to be completed for the fellow programs include being an official APICS volunteer at the Chapter (local) level or their Headquarters in Chicago. Mentorship is another way to stand out from other applicants. Writing a book on an approved topic would be more impactful than writing a magazine article. Additional opportunities to remain distinguished from other applicants include teaching an APICS-sponsored course or an approved university course. The material for non-sponsored courses must promote the APICS Body of Knowledge. Fellows enjoy an “elite” status among ASCM members, and such activities should be at a level to reflect that.

The application fee for ASCM members is $200 CLTD-F and $250 for non-members. Eligibility is based partially upon an activity-based points system. Items submitted for review within the fellowship application must have been completed within the three years prior, apart from APICS certifications. Those exams can be within five years.

Employing creativity and hard work, applicants will find that opportunities to accumulate points are ubiquitous. For example, receiving CLTD certification, which is a prerequisite to apply, yields twenty points. The balance of required points is amassed by completing tasks that are ordinarily completed through the course of most careers, such as completing continuing education courses, by maintaining active membership in other industry-related professional organizations, and, most importantly, sharing industry knowledge with others in a professional manner, following ASCM guidelines.

The topics permitted to earn points are vast and include:

  • Human resource management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Sales orders
  • Marketing
  • Management accounting
  • Organizational behavior
  • Statistical methods
  • Managerial ethics
  • APICS CLTD Certification Review Courses

Working Together to Improve the Industry

These fellowship programs are intended to foster a sense of alliance, with professionals helping their peers and imparting their knowledge. This is consistent with the ethos of ASCM, as their Code of Ethics includes, “Encourage and cooperate in the interchange of knowledge and techniques for the mutual benefit of the profession.”

Those who earn the designation as Fellows are awarded by virtue of their actions in representing ASCM. They include attending industry functions, leading webinars or other demonstrations, mentoring others in their field, teaching APICS-sponsored courses, and participating in volunteer opportunities that promote the APICS Body of Knowledge. The Body of Knowledge is a guideline developed by academics and leaders in supply chain management. It includes specific ASCM standards, research, and education.

Maintaining a Fellowship Designation

All APICS certifications are on a 5-year maintenance cycle, involving the same activity-based points system used within the fellowship application. Fellows must adhere to this procedure to maintain their certifications as well. Rather than the 75 points required of a CLTD, Fellows must submit maintenance activities totaling 100 points every five years. This is far more attainable if Fellows choose to be ASCM members. The membership fee is $99 per year, with the option to pay $10 per month. If members choose the Certification Upgrade, there is an additional fee of $100 each year. Still, discounts on training are also more significant with this option.

Accumulating so many points may appear to be quite an undertaking, but there are myriad opportunities to earn them. Being an ASCM member provides Fellows 6 points per year simply for being members, which adds up to 30 of the required 100 compulsory points over five years. Attending and participating in the annual 3-day ASCM conference, ASCM Connect provides 24 additional points. Submitting content to ASCM publications, such as the ASCM Insights blog or SCM Now Magazine, will earn another 5 points. Other methods to earn maintenance points include completing continuing education courses or presenting at a seminar with a plethora of approved industry-related topics. Teaching APICS-sponsored courses will provide 1 point/hour, and non-sponsored approved courses will earn .5 points/hour of instruction.

Suspended or Lapsed Certifications

Severe consequences can arise if a Fellow does not adequately adhere to the implemented maintenance procedures. Certification can be suspended, and that person would simultaneously lose their Fellow designation. To avoid any setbacks, it is imperative that maintenance activity points are submitted at the appropriate interval of 5 years. There is a 90-day suspension that allows a bit of a grace period. If requirements have still not been met, a CLTD or CLTD-F can lose their certification. If a Fellow’s certification is suspended, each year it is suspended requires an extra 20 maintenance points to be submitted on top of the 100 points customarily required. There is a testing requirement for any members whose certification has been suspended for five years or more. It is essential to note, however, that passing the exam again does not guarantee recertification. In addition, Fellows with suspended accounts are required to resubmit their fellowship applications, and they may lose that designation as well. Through the duration of the suspension, a certification must not be used on a resume, LinkedIn, or in any professional capacity until reinstated.