Certified in Supply Management – CSM Certification Details

ism certificationThe ISM Certified in Supply Management (CSM) is the newest qualification available from the Institute for Supply Management. It is similar to the CPSM certification however, it is designed for those without a bachelor’s degree. It serves to validate experienced professionals in the field of supply management through experience and a bridge exam covering the same materials as the CPSM examinations.

Forecasting market trends, managing logistics of supply, and planning for loss of sources and potential new sources of supply are topics key to a successful manager interested in becoming Certified in Supply Management.

To become a CSM requires an associate’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years full-time, professional supply management experience OR five years of full-time professional supply management experience in order to be eligible for certification.

Exam Information

Before scheduling your exam dates, you must register on the ISM website. All ISM certification exams are scheduled through Pearson VUE’s website here.  You may reschedule your exam if necessary, given at least 24 hours notice to Pearson VUE. All tests are taken on computer. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early and have valid government issued identification to match your registered name on ISM. There is a 30 day waiting period to retake any exam.

CSM Exams and Certification

  1. Foundation of Supply Management
  2. Effective Supply Management Performance
  3. Leadership in Supply Management
  4. Bridge Exam

There are several exams, each designed to test professionals on their knowledge of the current supply management market. Topics covered include risk, strategic sourcing, and technology. Not all questions are scored in each exam and no indication is given as to which questions contribute to your final score and which are for research. The bridge exam is the sum of scored material from all three examinations.

The exams do NOT rate current or future performance or compare candidates aptitude for supply management and no curves are in place relating individual’s scores.

Are these certifications worth it?

Jason Busch, a frequent contributor on Spend Matters.com analyzed the offerings available through the ISM and other comparable certifications from other organizations.

With the CPSM and CSM programs offering similar results, Mr. Busch states that “for those who have the time to pursue the certification — not to mention the available training courses and tutoring to learn the material and the basic qualifications to earn the designation — that the CPSM represents a smart investment that will more than pay dividends over time.”

If one has the time to invest in the certifications, the ISM is internationally recognized and increases your chances for success. You can read more here. 

Robert M. Kanze offered this synopsis on LinkedIn to compare APICS certificates and ISM certificates.

For more information on the Institute for Supply Management, go to the main ISM page. 

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