What is CSCP-F and How Do I Qualify?
The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) offers three fellow programs. The CSFP-F program is intended for supply chain professionals whose work focuses on end-to-end supply chain management who have received APICS certification as a Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). The other two fellow opportunities offered are CPIM-F (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) and CLTD-F (Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution). CSCP are logistics managers, production analysts, supply chain analysts and business analysts, to name a few. The focus of these jobs is mainly outside of their organization. Their duties involve customer management, transportation, distribution channels and customs. They are respected leaders within their fields who freely share their knowledge with their teams and peers.
CSCP Certification is Required
To be considered for a fellow program, applicants must hold a CSCP certification. Survey results have confirmed perceived benefits, and both businesses and employees benefit from APICS certifications. Businesses run more efficiently as their employees gain in-depth knowledge to implement and expedite process improvements. APICS certified employees find that their salaries are 27 percent higher due to their CSCP certification, with some receiving promotions as well.
Knowledge and experience gained through the certification curriculum can foster networking opportunities with other CSCP-certified professionals, as well as facilitate invitations to join supply chain management events and professional organizations within their community. There are over 13,000 people within at least 78 countries who have earned the designation of CSCP since its introduction in 2006.
An International Organization
A recognized global leader, ASCM boasts over 47,000 members within over 100 countries. Further, their certifications have the highest rating among similar association certifications. Teamwork and professional advancement are foremost within this organization. ASCM’s corporate leadership team has maintained its 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. They continue to impact leadership, transformation, and innovation within the industry.
In addition, their Code of Ethics is quite an admirable one. Multiple rules 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.”
APICS or ASCM?
The organization was formerly known as APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society). 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 60 years. They take pride in providing the highest-rated education options in supply chain management and logistics. During this time, they also 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:
- Korn Ferry
- China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP)
- Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning (IBF)
- Loyola University – Chicago
- Supply Chain Canada
Because Fellows are considered an “elite” group within ASCM, consideration for the fellow programs includes 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. Other opportunities to shine include teaching an APICS-sponsored course or an approved university course. The material for non-sponsored courses must promote the APICS Body of Knowledge.
There is a $200 CSCP-F application fee for ASCM members and $250 for non-members. Eligibility is based partially upon a points system. Any 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.
There are a few somewhat simple ways to earn points. For example, twenty points are earned upon receiving CSCP certification, which is required to apply. The balance of points is amassed by performing tasks that are ordinarily completed through the course of most careers, such as completing continuing education courses, 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 abundant and include:
- Business forecasting
- Critical Thinking
- Managerial finance
- Business law
- Organizational behavior
- Operations analysis
- Organizational behavior
- APICS CSCP Certification Review Courses
Industry Over Individuals
The fellowship programs are intended to encourage a sense of community, with professionals helping their contemporaries and sharing their knowledge. This is decidedly aligned with the ethos of ASCM. Their Code of Ethics includes, “Encourage and cooperate in the interchange of knowledge and techniques for the mutual benefit of the profession.”
Those who are Fellows are awarded this esteemed designation by virtue of their actions in representing ASCM, such as leading webinars or other demonstrations, attending industry functions, teaching APICS-sponsored courses, and participating in volunteer opportunities that promote the APICS Body of Knowledge, and mentoring others in their field. The Body of Knowledge is a guideline developed by academics and leaders in supply chain management. It includes specific ASCM standards, research, and education.
Fellowship Maintenance Process
All ASPICS certifications are on a 5-year maintenance cycle, involving the same 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 CSCP, 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 supply another 5 points. Other methods to earn maintenance points include completing continuing education courses or presenting at a seminar on many 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.
Suspensions / Lapse in Certification
Failure to complete and submit maintenance activities can yield severe consequences. It is possible to have a certification suspended and lose a Fellow designation. If maintenance points are not submitted at the appropriate interval of 5 years, there is a 90-day suspension that allows a bit of a grace period. After that point, a CSCP or CSCP-F can lose their certification. If a Fellows 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. Any members who have had their certifications suspended for over five years are required to retake the test. Take into consideration, however, that retaking the exam does not guarantee recertification. In addition, Fellows with suspended accounts are required to resubmit their applications, and they may lose that designation as well. While an account is suspended, the certification cannot be used on a resume, LinkedIn, or in any professional capacity until reinstated.