Performance data on the latest certification exams
Successfully completing Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC) certification exams in May were 207 individuals, including 144 who earned the Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) certification and 63 who earned the Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) certification. To date, 8,357 CPPB and 1,891 CPPO certifications have been awarded by the UPPCC. (See complete list of May certificants on page 35.)
The CPPO and 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.
A comprehensive written examination (specific to each certification) is required to confirm the candidate’s mastery of a variety of public procurement concepts found in the UPPCC Body of Knowledge.
The UPPCC has released key performance data from the May 2010 examinations:
Overall scoring/passing rates. Seventy-five percent of the 84 total candidates who tested for the CPPO passed while 63 percent of the 227 candidates who tested for the CPPB passed. Mean passing scores for CPPB candidates were 27 points higher than for CPPO.
Testing time. The total testing time permitted for both examinations is 3.5 hours, including 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. For CPPO, the average completion time was 2.67 hours with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.50 hours minimum. For the CPPB, the average completion time was 2.58 hours with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.05 hours minimum.
Exam content and candidate preparation. Content for both the CPPOO and CPPB examinations are dictated by the 2008 UPPCC Body of Knowledge (BOK). A total of 10 domain areas comprise the BOK:
- 1. Administration Aspects of Purchasing
- 2. Procurement Requests
- 3. Solicitation and Evaluation of Bids/Proposals
- 4. Supplier Analysis
- 5. Negotiation Process
- 6. Contract Award and Administration
- 7. External/Internal Relationships
- 8. Materials Management
- 9. Human Resources/Personnel
- 10. Forecasting and Strategies
The UPPCC reports that for the CPPO, candidates performed the best in Domain 8: Materials Management and performed the poorest in Domain 5: Negotiation Process and Domain 7: External/Internal Relationships. Conversely for CPPB candidates, the strongest performance area was Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel while the poorest was Domain 2: Procurement Requests (see Table 1).
UPPCC reports that a high percentage of candidates indicated, via a post-examination survey, spending between one and three months preparing for their respective examinations (see Table 2). The organization also reports that in reviewing candidates as a whole, those who indicated spending between one and six months preparing experienced the highest rates of passing compared to other time frames of preparation; however, in evaluating CPPO candidate performance, preparation times of less than one month, as indicated by high passing rates, appeared to be the optimal time frame.
Passing rates and public entity types. UPPCC reports that when comparing passing rates for both examinations with various entity types, K-12 candidates experienced the highest rate of passing at 83% followed by counties at 73%.
Testing for both credentials is offered via a network of nearly 400 professional testing centers twice annually in May and October.
|Table 1: Domain Strengths and Weaknesses|
|Overall||Domain 8||Domain 9||Domains 5 & 7||Domain 2|
|City||Domain 8||Domains 9 & 10||Domains 5 & 7||Domains 1 & 6|
|Counties||Domain 9||Domain 10||Domains 4 & 6||Domain 6|
|State||Domain 8||Domain 9||Domain 7||Domain 3|
|Table 2: Preparation Time|
|Exam||6 months +||3-6 months||1-3 months||<1 month||no study|