NLPA has Upgraded the SPSM to the CPO Suite Programs

Over the last 20 years, the SPSM certifications have given purchasing and procurement professionals the tools they need to be successful by growing and enhancing their careers. On 2/15/21, we announced our CPO Suite Programs’ release, an enhanced version of our SPSM certifications. The CPO Suite Programs offer distinct tiers based on career levels: Specialist, Professional, Manager, and Executive.

Below, we’ll answer some questions to help you get to know the CPO Suite Programs and Credentials. If we missed anything, check out our FAQ page.

What does CPO stand for?

Certified Procurement Operations. The CPO Suite Programs are distinct by both name and curricula. Each CPO Suite Credential offers validation and recognition for critical procurement and purchasing skill sets at their respective levels. The different certification programs are:

Level 1:
Certified Procurement Operations Specialist (CPOS)
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Level 2:
Certified Procurement Operations Professional (CPOP)
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Level 3:
Certified Procurement Operations Manager (CPOM)
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Level 4:
Certified Procurement Operations Executive (CPOE)
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Why did you make this change?

According to Amber Pate, Executive Director at CLTC (NLPA’s Parent Company), “the release of the CPO Suite Programs is NLPA’s way of offering more clear career distinction to our audience.”

The CPO Suite Programs offer distinct levels based on career stage: Specialist, Professional, Manager, and Executive. Once you complete the certification program for your desired position, you will have the procurement and purchasing skills needed for that role, based on what the industry demands and expects. Instead of having an SPSM 1, 2, 3, and 4, your certification credential tier will now match your career and add an additional credential to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

For reference:

SPSM 1= Level 1: Certified Procurement Operations Specialist (CPOS)

SPSM 2= Level 2: Certified Procurement Operations Professional (CPOP)

SPSM 3= Level 3: Certified Procurement Operations Manager(CPOM)

SPSM 4= Level 4: Certified Procurement Operations Executive (CPOE)

Feel free to use the CPO credential on your LinkedIn profile or resume that matches with your SPSM level.

I already have the SPSM (1, 2, 3, 4) Certification. Are these still valid?

Yes! Your SPSM certification is still valid and celebrated! Our members worked hard to earn their certifications, and we want to honor their work. If you would like to receive an updated certificate with the new credentials in place of your SPSM, we will happily send it to you. Please contact support@nextlevelpurchasing.com for your updated certificate.

Do the SPSM levels match the CPO Levels?

Yes, there are 4 SPSM levels and 4 CPO Suite Programs. The main difference is the career distinction and name. We wanted to make crystal clear our credentials represent the distinct tiers of positions.

Does the CPO Certification Suite build on each other?

Yes, they do. Once you earn your Certified Procurement Operations Specialist (CPOS) Credential, you have the building blocks to complete the Certified Procurement Operations Professional (CPOP) Program and so on.

If I completed an SPSM 1, can I now earn the CPOP Credential?

Yes! Since your SPSM certification is still in “good standing,” you can move to the next certification program level. This logic works for all SPSM levels as they coincide with CPO Suite Programs.

Can I keep my SPSM credentials on my LinkedIn Profile and Resume?

We know change is hard. If you would like to keep the SPSM on your profile and resume, we understand. However, if you would like to make the change, that’s okay, too! We will keep information about the SPSM on our website, and we will continue to verify SPSM credentials.