UPPCC releases key performance data
The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) are globally recognized credentials offered exclusively by the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC). The certification programs systematically raise the level of professionalism within the public procurement profession by offering recognition to those individuals who meet an established standard of competency for public procurement demonstrated through a rigorous application process and superior examination performance.
The October 2008 examinations were a culmination of various enhancements that UPPCC is making to its certification programs as it strives to become accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Since July 2007, when UPPCC publicly announced the changes, the organization has made great strides in accomplishing its goal — transitioning its paper-based and oral examinations to computer-based assessments, updating the examination content via a new job-analysis study and implementing quality-assurance techniques throughout the testing and scoring process.
UPPCC recently released key performance data from the October 2008 examinations. This data is summarized below:
Overall scoring/passing rates — UPPCC reports that 79 percent of the 90 total candidates who tested for the CPPO passed, while 60 percent of the 182 candidates who tested for the CPPB passed. Although demonstrating a significantly higher rate of passing, CPPO candidates’ mean passing scores were 22 points lower than for CPPB.
Testing time — The total testing time permitted for both examinations is 3.5 hours. This includes time for candidates to comment on individual test questions. This equates to a total of 210 minutes for 175 questions, or, on average, 1 minute and 23 seconds for each test question.
UPPCC reported that for the CPPO, the average completion time was 2.69 hours, with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.17 hours minimum. For the CPPB, the average completion time was 2.59 hours, with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.01 hours minimum.
Candidate preparation and exam content — UPPCC reports that the highest percentage of candidates indicated, via a survey immediately following the exam, that they spent between one and three months preparing for their respective examinations (see Table 1 above).
The organization also reports that candidate groups who indicated spending between one and six months preparing experienced the highest rates of passing compared with other timeframes of preparation or no preparation at all. Preparing between three and six months appeared to be the optimal timeframe for CPPO candidates when compared with passing rates, while preparing between one and three months appeared optimal for the CPPB (see Graph 1 below).
Content for both the CPPO and CPPB examinations are dictated by the 2008 UPPCC Body of Knowledge. A total of 10 domain areas comprise the Body of Knowledge: Administration Aspects of Purchasing; Procurement Requests; Solicitation and Evaluation of Bids/Proposals; Supplier Analysis; Negotiation Process; Contract Award and Administration; External/Internal Relationships; Materiels Management; Human Resources/Personnel; and Forecasting and Strategies.
UPPCC reports that for the CPPO, candidates performed most strongly in Domain 8: Materiels Management, and performed the poorest in Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel.
Conversely for CPPB candidates, the strongest performance area was Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel, while the poorest was Domain 8: Materiels Management. Table 2 above provides a complete breakout of candidate performance by exam versus the largest represented public entity types.
Passing rates and public entity types — When comparing passing rates for both examinations with the various types of public entities, public utilities and transportation entities experienced the highest rates at 100 percent, while special authorities experienced the lowest rates at 62 percent.
|Exam||6 months+||3-6 months||1-3 months||<1 month||No study|
|City||3, 6, 10||9||9||8|
|Counties||3||9||7, 9, 10||8|