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Why Aren't More Public Procurement Professionals Seeking Certification?

Posted on March 31, 2018 at 10:30 AM

As the month of March comes to an end, so does Procurement Month; an annual event for Procurement Professionals to celebrate and acknowledge the value they bring to their organizations. When I entered the Procurement Profession almost 30 years ago, I couldn't wait to earn my C.P.M. certification. Why? I saw the certification process as a way to expand my knowledge in many areas, show my employer that I was interested in being the best procurement professional I could be, and position myself for growth opportunities within my organization.

Personally, I see many benefits from obtaining professional certification in public procurement as either a Certified Public Procrement Officer or a Certified Professional Public Buyer, with little or no downside.

So why is it, that after decades since the first Public Procurement Certifications were established, approximately only 25% of active public procurement professionals have achieved professional certification?

Over the years, mostly at speaking events, I have heard many reasons why public procurement professionals choose not to achieve certification. Some of these reasons include:  

  • I am too old
  • My employer doesn't mandate it
  • My employer will not pay for it
  • I don't want to take all the classes necessary to qualify
  • I don't have the time
  • I don't have a degree

While I am sure these can all be valid reasons, are they the real reason? Maybe or Maybe not. 

There is an old saying "You don't know what you don't know". Could it be that some seasoned procurement professionals believe that time in a position or office automatically provides you with all the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job? Are they afraid to learn what they do not know? Maybe or Maybe not.

While we take time during Purchasing Month to promote the value we bring to our organizations, are we failing to see the value in certification, both to our organization and ourselves?

What are your thoughts about why such a low percentage of public procurement professionals seek and achieve certification in public procurement? Speak up and post your comments. Be honest. The future of the profession may be at stake.

Paul J. Brennan, FNIGP, CPPO

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1 Comment

Reply Kelarousy
11:03 PM on April 27, 2019 
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