Performance Data on the Latest Certification Exams
Successfully completing UPPCC certification exams in October 2011 were 196 individuals, including 137 who earned the CPPB certification and 59 who earned the CPPO. To date, 8,769 CPPB and 2,068 CPPO certifications have been awarded by the UPPCC. (See complete list of October certificants on page 26.)
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.
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 October 2011 examinations:
Overall Scoring/Passing Rates. Seventy-one percent of the 83 total candidates who tested for the CPPO passed, while 58 percent of the 235 candidates who tested for the CPPB passed. Mean passing scores for CPPB candidates were only points higher than for CPPO.
Testing Time. The total testing time permitted for both examinations is 3.5 hours. This equates to a total of 210 minutes for 190 questions (175 operational or scored and 15 pre-test questions), or on average 1 minute and 10 seconds for each test question. For CPPO, the average completion time was 2.62 hours with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.22 hours minimum. For the CPPB, the average completion time was 2.65 hours with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.23 hours minimum.
Exam Content. Content for both the CPPO and CPPB examinations are dictated by the 2008 UPPCC Body of Knowledge (BOK). A total of 10 domain areas comprise the BOK:
- Administration Aspects of Purchasing
- Procurement Requests
- Solicitation and Evaluation of Bids/Proposals
- Supplier Analysis
- Negotiation Process
- Contract Award and Administration
- External/Internal Relationships
- Materiel Management
- Human Resources/Personnel
- Forecasting and Strategies
The UPPCC reports that for the CPPO, candidates performed the best in Domain 1: Administration Aspects of Purchasing and performed the poorest in Domain 8: Materiel Management. Conversely for CPPB candidates, the strongest performance area was Domain 6: Contract Award and Administration while performing the poorest in Domain 5: Negotiation Process (see Table I).
Candidate Preparation. UPPCC reports that a high percentage of candidates indicated, via a post examination survey, spending between three and six months preparing for their respective examinations (see Table II). The organization also reports that in reviewing candidates as a whole, those who indicated spending between one and three months preparing experienced the highest rates of passing compared to other time frames of preparation; however, in evaluating CPPO candidate performance, preparation times of six months or more, as indicated by high passing rates, appeared to be the optimal time frame (see Graph 1).
Passing Rates and Public Entity Types. UPPCC reports that when comparing passing rates for both examinations with various entity types; candidates employed by transportation agencies experienced the highest rates of passing at 74 percent, followed by Cities at 62 percent (See Graph 2).
Testing for both credentials is offered via a network of professional testing centers twice annually in May and October.
TABLE I: Strengths and weaknesses of candidates
|Overall||Domain 1||Domain 6||Domain 8||Domain 5|
|City||Domain 1||Domain 2||Domain 8||Domain 5|
|Counties||Domain 10||Domain 6||Domain 9||Domain 5|
|State||Domain 5||Domain 1||Domains 1,2,10||Domain 5|
TABLE II: Estimated time preparing for the exam
|Exam||6 months +||3-6 months||1-3 months||< 1 month||no study|