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Certified Production and Inventory Management, CPIM Certification: Details on Examination and Certification for Production and Inventory Management

Written by AnonymousSeptember 17, 2011

If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certifications can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.

Introduction to Certified in Production and Inventory Management Certification

Production and inventory management professionals are in charge of overseeing an organization’s business operations, primarily those concerned with the production, development, and manufacturing of goods. Other tasks typically performed include:

  • Plant management
  • Equipment maintenance management
  • Forecasting
  • Materials management
  • Quality improvement
  • Master scheduling
  • Industrial labor relations
  • Skilled trades supervision
  • Strategic manufacturing policy
  • Systems analysis
  • Productivity analysis
  • Cost control
  • Production and inventory management
  • Supply chain management
  • Procurement
  • Purchasing

APICS, the Association for Operations Management, issues the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM®) credential to individuals from related professional fields. Earning the credential demonstrates that your professional skills meet APICS’ high standards. In addition, becoming certified as a CPIM has the potential to:

  • Refresh and build upon your existing operations management skills and knowledge
  • Improve your job opportunities
  • Increase your earning potential
  • Reassure potential employers of your knowledge and expertise in the field of production and inventory management

Key Steps to Certified in Production and Inventory Management Certification

In order to become CPIM certified, the sole requirement is that you pass five exams, each of which corresponds to one of the program’s educational modules. The five modules cover the following topics:

  • Basics of supply chain management
  • Master planning of resources
  • Detailed scheduling and planning
  • Execution and control of operations
  • Strategic management of resources

Details of the Certified in Production and Inventory Management Examinations

The CPIM program is organized into five educational modules, each of which cover a different topic pertaining to the fundamentals of production and inventory management. Upon completion of each module, you are required to take an exam.

Exam content is distributed as follows: 

- Basics of supply chain management entry module (prerequisite to all other modules)

  • Basic business concepts 
  • Introductory terminology
  • Understanding supply chain environments
  • Managing demand
  • Designing products, processes and information systems
  • Inventory costs, functions and metrics

- Master planning of resources core competency module

  • Demand management
  • Sales and operations planning
  • Master scheduling
  • Supply and demand planning
  • Priority and capacity planning

-Detailed scheduling and planning core competency module

  • Inventory management
  • Developing supply chain strategies
  • Material and capacity scheduling, planning, and sourcing
  • Supplier relations
  • Processor-dominated scheduling
  • Project management

- Execution and control of operations core competency module

  • Evaluating, controlling, and measuring production efficiency
  • Project, batch, line, continuous, and remanufacturing environments
  • Quality initiatives and continuous improvement plans

- Strategic management of resources capstone module

  • Advanced level strategic planning and operations implementation
  • Understanding market requirements
  • Understanding business environments

The exams are offered throughout the year. Most CPIM candidates choose to take the computer-based exams, which are administered at Pearson VUE testing locations across the country. However, you have the option of scheduling a paper-and-pencil test at your local APICS chapter.

Keep in mind that, as of January 2011, you’re required to pay a $10 fee if you schedule a computer-based exam with Pearson VUE over the telephone.

The test costs $145 per exam for APICS members and $175 per exam for non-members as of 2011.

Preparing for the Certified in Production and Inventory Management Exams

You have many options when it comes to studying for the CPIM exams. You can:

  • Attend a live instructor-led APICS CPIM review course
  • Participate in an online instructor-led APICS CPIM review course
  • Enroll in the APICS Interactive Learning course, which combines live and online instruction
  • Self study using APICS publications and educational resources, like study notes, practice questions, and other study aids 

Maintaining the Certified in Production and Inventory Management Designation

In order to maintain your certification, you’re required to earn 75 professional development points over a five-year period. Varying amounts of points are awarded for involvement in the following activities:

  • Continuing education
  • Presentations, publications, and educational development
  • Service to the operations management profession
  • Professional membership

If you fail to earn 75 points in the allotted five years, your credential will be suspended. Suspended individuals are required to earn 15 professional development points per additional year of suspension.

Governing Board Information

CPIM® certification is issued by:

APICS The Association for Operations Management

8430 West Bryn Mawr Ave. Suite 1000

Chicago, IL 60631

Associations to Join

Though becoming an APICS member isn’t required, membership does have some benefits, including:

  • Access to online resources
  • Local networking opportunities
  • Discounts on APICS products and services
  • Access to APICS publications

APICS Professional Membership costs an annual fee of $200 as of 2011.