CPIM: Certified in Planning and Inventory Management

A Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification focuses on all aspects of supply chain operations, with special attention paid to inventory, distribution, scheduling, and related areas. In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of CPIM certification, including its significance, steps required for certification, benefits of implementation, and more.

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Certified in Planning and Inventory Management

What is a Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification? Copied

A CPIM certification is issued by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM, APICS) for which candidates “develop competencies to successfully work across all functions of the supply chain.”

  • Supply chains and strategy
  • Sales and operations planning
  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Detailed schedules
  • Inventory
  • Distribution
  • Quality, technology and continuous improvement

Who needs a CPIM certification? Copied

Professionals working in manufacturing or production environments will benefit the most from a CPIM certification. While not mandatory, it can significantly enhance career prospects and industry credibility – as well as the reputation of an organization with CPIM-certified employees.

How to earn a CPIM certification Copied

Earning a CPIM certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers the topics listed above. The exam itself consists of 150 questions, and has a 3.5-hour time limit. Exams are scored from 200-350. Candidates must score at least a 300 to pass.

ASCP offers self-study, online, in-person, and corporate or group courses that prepare candidates for the CPIM exam. A wealth of information regarding course providers is available on the FAQ section of the ASCM website.

Renewal requirements for CPIM certification Copied

To maintain the validity of a CPIM certification, certified individuals must earn 75 “maintenance points” every five years through ASCP-approved professional development.

This includes “attending or presenting at educational industry events, contributing articles to supply chain publications, proving involvement in organizations related to industry-specific topics, and more,” according to the ASCM website, where you can also find a full list of approved professional development activities

Cost of a CSCP certification Copied

The cost of an in-person or online study course will vary, depending on the provider. However, ASCM offers a self-study exam preparation course on its website for $1,655. The CSCP exam also costs $1,655, and must be taken through ASCM.

 Additionally, the ASCM offers an exam prep and exam bundle for $2,990, as well as a $199 “annual membership and certification upgrade,” which gives buyers a 28% discount on the course, exam, and bundle.

The benefits of CPIM certification Copied

A CPIM certification offers several benefits to employees and their organizations. They include the following:

Expanded career pathways

CPIM-certified professionals in manufacturing benefit from increased job opportunities and potential for growth, allowing them to advance to roles such as production supervisors, manufacturing managers, and supply chain analysts.

Heightened manufacturing efficiency

The comprehensive CPIM curriculum enhances professionals’ understanding of manufacturing processes, enabling them to implement more efficient production strategies, optimize inventory levels, and minimize waste, improving overall manufacturing efficiency.

Industry credibility

Possessing a CPIM certification reinforces an individual – and, by proxy, an organization’s – manufacturing expertise, fostering trust and confidence. This recognition often leads to greater responsibilities and leadership roles in manufacturing organizations, contributing to their overall success.

Challenges in earning a CPIM certification Copied

Earning a CPIM certification may pose several challenges to organizations. They include the following:


Time constraints

Balancing CPIM preparation with work commitments and personal life can be challenging, demanding effective time management and dedication to study.

Complex concepts

Some candidates may find certain CPIM topics, such as supply chain planning and execution, challenging to grasp, necessitating additional effort to comprehend and apply these intricate manufacturing principles effectively.

The CPIM exam’s comprehensive nature requires thorough preparation, which can be daunting for some, leading to pressure and stress during the studying and exam-taking process.

Tips and strategies for preparing for a CPIM certification Copied

Here are a few tips for preparing for a CPIM certification:

  • Create a structured study schedule, allocating dedicated time each day to cover CPIM topics gradually.
  • Make use of practice exams, study guides, and online resources to reinforce understanding and identify areas for improvement.
  • Collaborate with peers or join online study groups to discuss complex concepts, share insights, and benefit from collective knowledge and support.
  • Apply CPIM concepts to real-world scenarios within your manufacturing environment to deepen understanding and enhance practical knowledge.
  • Regularly review previously covered material to reinforce learning and maintain a strong grasp of all CPIM topics throughout the preparation process.



Resources for CPIM certification Copied

For more information and guidance on CPIM certification, you can refer to the following resources:

Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM, APICS). The ASCM website is the primary resource you will need for a CPIM certification. It contains information regarding preparation courses, the exam itself, certification renewal and maintenance, and much more.

Supply chain risk management skills matrix. AG5’s free supply chain risk management skills matrix has everything you’ll need to manage certifications – like the CPIM – that prove expertise in supply chain-related skills.

Manufacturing skills matrix. AG5 offers a free manufacturing skills matrix. You can use it to identify, track, and manage skills and certifications related to supply chain management, which includes the CSCP, in your organization.

Logistics skills matrix. AG5’s free logistics skills matrix may also prove useful in managing skills related to CPIM certification.

Skills management for CPIM certification Copied

Skills Management

AG5 stores all certifications in the cloud, providing all authorized personnel with access to the right version of approved certifications. This helps you easily keep track of all data and documentation related to CPIM certifications across your organization.

Using AG5’s skills management software, you can monitor the status of any type of certification that is relevant to your workforce, leveraging intuitive dashboards that provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what is needed to keep your employees skilled and safe.


Frequently asked questions about CPIM certification Copied

  • What is the scope of a CPIM certification?

  • Is CPIM certification mandatory?

  • How long does it take to obtain a CPIM certification?

  • What are the cost considerations for CPIM certification?

  • What is the validity period of a CPIM certification?

  • Can a CPIM certification be integrated with other management systems?

  • How can you learn more about CPIM certification?

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Original version | November 15, 2023

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