Certification, your pathway to success
Virtually every industry has some form of certification program. After all, it’s an effective way for professionals to enhance their expertise and capabilities and show the investment and commitment they have made to their field of work. Moreover, certification helps employers evaluate potential hires while also motivating existing employees by improving their performance and enhancing their skills and competence.
NIGP launched our Certified Procurement Professional certification (NIGP-CPP) in early 2020. The certification is designed for mid to senior level procurement professionals and it opened the doors to thousands of public procurement professionals to continue their growth and development. The NIGP-CPP is based on in-depth industry research and a full assessment of the procurement certification landscape and direct input from our members.
What makes the NIGP-CPP unique is that it assesses candidates on their competence, not just their knowledge. While knowledge is important, it’s imperative for individuals to apply that knowledge to real-world situations in their roles for maximum impact.
This is the essence of the NIGP-CPP.
Our new certification allows practitioners to gain the confidence to go into their roles knowing they have the competence to perform at peak level.
Procurement professionals are public servants entrusted to make decisions in the best interests of the taxpayer. They play a critical role in delivering real, tangible value not only to their entities but to the larger communities they serve. When procurement professionals perform at their best, taxpayers benefit and communities thrive.
According to Don Buffum, NIGP-CPP, Chair of the Commission, “If our actions result in dollar savings, or better services, or more computers in our schools, or the ability to provide more food and medicine to those in need, then we are doing our part to make our communities a better place for all.”
The NIGP-CPP removes barriers by offering six different paths to certification, all based on a mix of formal education and real-world procurement experience. Whether you have a high school diploma, associates, bachelors or more, there’s a path towards certification for you.
Pathways A – E of the NIGP-CPP were specifically designed for our “first timers”, meaning professionals who are not currently certified as a CPPO or CPPB, while Pathway F was designed for holders of either or both of these certifications. As a Pathway A – E candidate, you may qualify for the NIGP-CPP Comprehensive examination, and as a Pathway F candidate, you may qualify for the NIGP-CPP Bridge examination.
Since launching our first pilot exams in late April 2020, we have awarded over 125 new NIGP-CPP certifications and we have well over 350 additional candidates who are approved for eligibility and planning to take their exams in the months to come. Every day, our certification team is busy fielding questions from prospective candidates and approving new applications. This success is nothing more than our members recognizing the value of our new program and the trust they place in NIGP.
By opening the doors to certification, NIGP elevates the profession and improves the competence of our members so they can add greater value to their roles, entities and most importantly, to the communities they live and work in.
- Graduate degree related to public administration, public policy, supply chain, procurement, or economics
- 2 years (24 months) relevant work experience involved with procurement (public or private, purchaser or seller) within the past 10 years
- Bachelors or higher degree (any discipline) and a graduate level certificate in public administration, public policy, supply chain, or procurement
- 3 years (36 months) relevant work experience involved with procurement (public or private, purchaser or seller) within the past 10 years
- Bachelors or higher degree (any discipline)
- 4 years (48 months) relevant work experience involved with procurement (public or private, purchaser or seller) within the past 10 years
- Two-year post-secondary diploma (or) associate degree (any discipline) or a NIGP Public Procurement Associate Designation
- 6 years (72 months) relevant work experience involved with procurement (public or private, purchaser or seller) within the past 10 years
- No post-secondary diploma
- 8 years (96 months) relevant work experience involved with procurement (public or private, purchaser or seller) within the past 10 years
- Current CPPO or CPPB or lapsed within one year of expiration date of certification
- Proof of formal education or relevant work experience is not required
NIGP-CPP Guiding Principles
The NIGP-CPP was developed by and for public procurement professionals based on the following guiding principles:
- The NIGP-CPP is perceived as valuable by public procurement professionals, their supervisors and their employing organizations (e.g., district superintendents, finance officers)
- Employers should be able to use the NIGP-CPP to find qualified employees
- The NIGP-CPP values competency over years of experience
- The achievement of the NIGP-CPP must be rigorous and meaningful
- The NIGP-CPP must be flexible and adaptable to remain current and relevant
- The NIGP-CPP must be comprehensive of enabling competencies
NIGP-CPP Unique Elements
There are unique elements to the NIGP-CPP certification and program administration that may help you decide whether the NIGP-CPP program fits your needs and career goals. These include:
- The NIGP-CPP is targeted to mid to senior level leaders.
- The NIGP-CPP reflects a holistic view of what mid to senior level leaders do in the performance of their work. It not only includes procurement techniques (like planning, solicitation, contract administration) traditionally covered in other procurement certification programs, but also emphasizes three critical focus areas that lead to success regardless of your specific role: Strategy, Business Principles and Operations, and Leadership (26% of the Module A exam and 72% of the Module B exam.
- The NIGP-CPP eligibility provides optional pathways for mid to senior level candidates who do not have a post-secondary diploma or a degree but have years of relevant work experience.
- The NIGP-CPP does not require procurement coursework or training as an eligibility requirement.
- The NIGP-CPP is a competency-based, modular exam built upon the Public Procurement Competency Framework (PPCF) and is centered on 43 technical competency statements.
- NIGP’s membership represents a breadth of work experience in procurement, earned in both public and private agencies, serving as both buyers for and sellers to the public sector. The NIGP-CPP recognizes that all this work experience is valuable to the procurement professional. Both public and private sector experience, in both buyer and seller roles, will be considered when determining candidate eligibility.
- NIGP-CPP recertification occurs every three years with a minimum requirement of 36 contact hours of continuing education.
The NIGP Certification Commission as an Independent Authority
The NIGP Certification Commission is an autonomous body within the NIGP legal, non-profit structure. The Commission is empowered to take actions in accordance with the expressed authority granted by the NIGP Governing Board. The NIGP Certification Commission independently makes essential certification decisions related to all NIGP certification schemes. These decisions are made under no influence by any other individual or business entity within or outside of NIGP.
The NIGP-CPP Certification Commission
Don Buffum, FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO: Commission Chair. Executive Director, Procurement & Contracts for Mississippi State University
Carl Bonitto, CSCMP: Commission Chair-Elect. Manager of Purchasing and Risk Management Services for Northumberland County, ON
David Billingsley CPSM, CPM: Member appointed by the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials (FAPPO). Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Orlando, FL
Sean Carroll: Member appointed by NIGP. Chief Procurement Officer for the New York State Office of General Services
Stacy Gregg, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB: Member appointed by NIGP. Procurement Manager for the University of South Carolina
Etta Henry, CPPO, CPPB: Member appointed by NIGP. Director of Procurement Services for Old Dominion University, VA
Barbara Johnson, CPPO, CPPB, MPA: Member appointed by NIGP. Director of Procurement for the State of Ohio Department of Corrections (retired)
Chris Liu: Member appointed by NIGP. Director of Procurement for the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services
Zulay Vincenty Millan, CPPO, CPPB, FCCM: Member appointed by NIGP. Assistant Manager for the Procurement Division at Orange County, FL
Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, CPCM: Member appointed by the California Association of Public Procurement Officials (CAPPO). Director of Purchasing and Contracting for San Diego County, CA
Christina Pryor, CPPO, CPPB: Member appointed by the National Procurement Institute (NPI). Purchasing and Materials Manager for the City of Chandler, AZ
Annie Teav: Member appointed by NIGP. Senior Contract Specialist for Multnomah County, OR
Dr. Adam Williams, PhD: Voting Academic Advisor. Director of the Master of Public Administration Program and Assistant Professor of Public Administration for the University of Illinois, Springfield
Dr. Mohamad G. Alkadry, PhD: Non-Voting Academic Advisor. Professor and Public Policy Department Head for the University of Connecticut
“The NIGP-CPP certification is a hallmark for our profession. Earning this certification assures my clients the service I deliver comes from deep experience and demonstrated competency in public procurement. It is well worth the investment in yourself and our profession to pursue.”
Brian Smith, NIGP-CPP
Multnomah County Purchasing, Ore.
“As a proud lifelong learner and 15-year procurement veteran, this exam validates that years of education and experience lead to critical thinking and a more strategic partnership with stakeholders. I could not be more excited or proud to be one of the first to achieve the NIGP-CPP certification, a monumental step towards moving Procurement Professionals from the back office to a seat at the table. Thank you NIGP for seeing the need and making it happen.”
Angela Lay, NIGP-CPP, CPPO
Agency Procurement Officer
Fiscal Services Procurement
TN Department of Commerce & Insurance
“I feel the NIGP-CPP certification helps demonstrate that a procurement professional doesn’t just know the important concepts and values of the profession, but how to practically apply them in real world scenarios to the benefit of their organization.”
Nick Perrera, NIGP-CPP, MPA, CPPO, CPPB
Statewide Procurement Manager
ADOA – State Procurement Office
State of Arizona
“Our profession is advancing rapidly and every day we’re faced with new challenges to tackle which requires us to evolve. Earning my NIGP-CPP certification has further empowered me with the confidence and expertise I need to drive and deliver results. I would encourage all procurement professionals to seek the NIGP-CPP certification as demonstration of competence, knowledge, and skills to excel as a leader in the procurement profession.”
Travis Pierce, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CLGPO, CPPO, CPPB
Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, NC