FAQ

If you can't find an answer to your certification question after reviewing the FAQ below, e-mail the APICS experts at info@li-apics.org.

General Questions
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Questions
CPIM Questions
CIRM Questions
Credit Recommendation Questions
Certification Maintenance Questions
General Questions

Do I have to be an APICS member to become certified?
No, but you will save money if you are a member. APICS members receive a discount of more than 25 percent on APICS CPIM and CIRM exam registration fees and receive valuable savings on reference materials and educational programs. Nonmembers may register, but they must first call APICS Customer Support to obtain an APICS Customer Number.

Can I become an APICS member and register for an exam at the same time?
No. Your membership status must be active when you register to ensure that you receive the member rate. To allow adequate time for your membership information to be transferred to Promissor, you should wait until you have received your membership card before contacting the test center.

APICS members should keep their memberships current and renew them promptly to avoid a lapse in benefits. When registering for an exam, you must have your APICS member number available to ensure that you receive that APICS member rate. Corporate members must provide their unique individual membership number to receive the member rate.

What happens if I have an emergency and can't take my scheduled exam?
If you notify Promissor Customer Care at (800) 274-8399 (from the United States or Canada) or (610) 617-5093 (from Mexico) four days or more before a CBT exam date, you will be able to reschedule your exam. If you have a medical or other emergency on the day of the exam, call Promissor Customer Care immediately. You may be asked to supply written documentation verifying your reason for absence. No refunds are given for candidates who are absent from an exam without an acceptable reason.

What may I bring to the exam?
Other than an English-foreign language dictionary and a nonprogrammable calculator, you may not bring any materials into the exam room. Scratch paper is provided.

What if my name has changed since registration?
Bring appropriate documentation of this change, for example, a marriage license, to the exam site.

If I have an unexcused absence from the exam and have not canceled, why do I forfeit my fee?
The exam space has been reserved for you and is held until cancellation is received. APICS pays the test vendor for all reserved seats, whether or not a candidate takes the exam.

Can the computer-based testing centers accommodate candidates with disabilities or other special needs?
Yes. All U.S. test centers meet federal and state requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Please call Promissor at (800) 274-3707 (from the United States or Canada) or (610) 617-9300, extension 5359 (from Mexico) if you need special accommodations for an exam.

Is there a waiting period to retake a APICS CPIM/CIRM examination?
Yes. You must wait 30 days before retaking an APICS certification examination. There are no exceptions to this policy. APICS encourages any candidate who does not pass an exam to attend review courses held by the local APICS chapter or to order certification reference materials for additional study before retaking the exam.

What is the scoring process for APICS CPIM and CIRM exams?
The Understand a Scaled Score document explains the use of a scaled score system for reporting test performance in the APICS CPIM and CIRM programs.

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Questions

What is the APICS CSCP certification?
APICS created the APICS CSCP certification to specifically meet the rapidly changing educational needs in the field of supply chain management. The Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation is designed for professionals interested in increasing their knowledge of supply chain management, those currently working in the field of supply chain management, professionals consulting or teaching supply chain functions; and for those individuals working with enterprise resources planning systems.

Why is APICS developing a APICS CSCP certification?
Through extensive market research, APICS uncovered a major gap in professional certifications specifically addressing the educational needs of professionals working in the field of supply chain management. APICS has the body of knowledge, the subject matter experts, the infrastructure, and holds the leadership position to develop and market the APICS CSCP certification. With the addition of the APICS CSCP designation, APICS enhances its validation of the disciplines within operations management, specifically production, inventory, enterprise, and now supply chain management.

How will the APICS CSCP course be delivered?
The APICS CSCP Learning System combines prints materials with interactive online components. It will be offered in three learning options-self-directed, instructor-led, or corporate group. Instructor-led courses will be offered through the APICS network of local chapters, colleges and universities, and corporations.

When will testing begin?
Testing for the new APICS CSCP designation will begin in 2006. The 2006 exam administrations are scheduled for March 11, 2006 (pilot exam), June 17, 2006, and December 2, 2006. Information about testing sites and dates will be published as it becomes available.

What does "related business experience" mean in terms of the exam eligibility requirements?
APICS defines "related experience" as work that is directly connected to some aspect of the supply chain. This can include raw materials extraction, transportation and logistics, procurement, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, retail, customer service, software design and support, and other areas that directly affect the supply chain. Workers who operate transportation or materials moving equipment or machines or processing equipment that require an intermediate level of training would qualify. Managers, officials, professionals, technicians, sales personnel, quality and quality control personnel, and skilled craft workers will generally be considered eligible.

Examples of work experience that would not qualify include clerical and administrative support positions such as data entry, duplicating machine operator, file clerks, office machine operators, secretaries, telephone operators, order clerks and/or unskilled labor positions where the duties require little or no independent judgment or specialized training.

Will APICS conduct a call for subject matter experts or seek chapters to beta test the courses?
APICS has partnered with the Holmes Corporation, specialists in designing, marketing, and distributing educational products for association certification programs, to develop the APICS CSCP Learning System. The learning system is a comprehensive course based on the APICS CSCP body of knowledge.

What about APICS' current certifications-APICS CPIM and CIRM?
There will continue to be an important market, especially for the APICS CPIM designation. According to the Holmes Corporation, one of the primary drivers of any voluntary certification program is increased earnings for individuals or increased profits for corporations. Designations which directly assist individuals in securing employment or increasing their earnings potential or which directly help corporations increase revenues or decrease costs are "need-to-know" designations. Holmes considers the APICS CPIM program a need-to-know designation.

Should I continue working on the certification that I've already started?
Candidates in both the APICS CPIM and CIRM programs should continue to pursue their APICS certifications. The three certifications (CPIM, CIRM, and CSCP) are completely separate and distinct programs that concentrate on specific disciplines within the field of operations management. This diagram provides a depiction of the differences between the CPIM and CSCP programs.

What is the difference between the CPIM designation and the new CSCP designation?
The APICS CPIM certification provides a common platform for individuals to evaluate their knowledge of production and inventory management. CPIM focuses primarily on manufacturing and provides an in-depth view of materials management, master scheduling, production planning, forecasting, and quality improvement within the confines of the operation. The APICS CSCP certification takes a broader view, extending the CPIM knowledge outside of a company's internal operations to encompass all of the steps throughout the supply chain-from suppliers through the company to the end consumer-and how to effectively manage the integration of these activities to maximize a company's value chain. This diagram provides a depiction of the differences between the programs.

Will the current CPIM Basics of Supply Chain Management module be a pre-requisite or be a part of the new APICS CSCP program?
The APICS CPIM Basics of Supply Chain Management module will continue to be a part of the CPIM certification program. The Basics course will not be a pre-requisite course for the new CSCP program. The APICS CPIM program is a completely separate and distinct program from the new CSCP program.

How can I find out more about the APICS CSCP program?
APICS will continue to provide updates and greater detail on the APICS CSCP program as it is developed via the APICS Web site and by contacting education@li-apics.org.

Where can I find answers to questions about the APICS CSCP learning system?
For answers to common questions about the learning system, please visit the
CSCP Learning System FAQ page.

CPIM Questions

How many computer-based APICS CPIM exams may I take in one day?
You may take as many different exams in one day as time and space permit; however, you must register for exams at least four days before exam date. If you register fewer than four days before the test, you will be accommodated only if space is available.

How do the CPIM exams I passed before the reconfiguration count toward completing the CPIM program?
The Certified in Production and Inventory Management program underwent a reconfiguration in 2000, which consolidated the existing seven CPIM program modules into five process-oriented topic areas. In addition to the consolidation, the reconfiguration integrated new topics into the current curriculum, such as the theory of constraints and enterprise resource planning, in efforts to further APICS' commitment to providing our members and customers with the best possible educational experience and assessment.

Testing changed to the reconfigured CPIM material in September 2000. However, all exams taken from the former program continue to count toward certification. The CPIM Reconfiguration Transition Mapping Document will assist you in planning for the completion of your certification under the reconfigured program.


Credit Recommendation Questions

Can I earn college credit for passing a CPIM or CIRM exam?
Yes. The five CPIM and CIRM exams have received recommendation for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE) and New York State Board of Regents. More information.

Can I receive credits for exams I have passed a few years ago?
Yes, you may receive college credit for any of the exams that have been reviewed for credit recommendation. To view a list of these exams, please download the Credit Recommendations Table. Before you start the application process, be sure to contact the college where you intend to apply to learn its policies. Credit recommendations are intended to guide academic institutions when deciding whether to grant college credit to students who pass CPIM or CIRM exams.

For which exams can I receive credit and what is the maximum number of credits?
Please review the Credit Recommendations Table that includes a list of exams that have been reviewed for college credit recommendation as well as the maximum number of credits that can be granted.

Will my college accept CPIM and CIRM exams as college-level equivalent?
Each college or university has the discretion to grant credit for an APICS certification exam as they see fit. Sometimes the structure of a degree program or departmental regulations may affect acceptance of American Council on Education (ACE) or New York State Board of Regents college credit recommendations. Before you start the application process, be sure to contact the college where you intend to apply to learn its policies.

What do I need to do to receive this college credit?
Complete a transcript form or contact APICS Customer Support to request a copy Stock #83004 for NY State Board of Regents and Stock #09025 for ACE.

Can I earn college credit for taking a CPIM or CIRM course?
You may only earn college credit for passing the CPIM or CIRM exams. These exams will assess your knowledge of the content material.

Certification Maintenance Questions

When should I submit my application to APICS?
Certification maintenance cycles run in five-year intervals, commencing from the date of initial certification and ending on the last day of the month that initial certification was received. However, if you were certified before 1998, your application is due in 2003, in the month you were originally certified.

Am I required to retake the CPIM exams in order to maintain my certification?
No. The Certification Maintenance program is not designed to replicate the certification test-taking process. Rather, the intent of the program is to promote lifelong learning through professional development beyond certification. However, as an option, you can complete the full CPIM certification exam process just as you did when you attained your original certification. Once you complete the full CPIM certification process, the date upon which you pass your last exam becomes your new "initial" certification date and your five-year certification maintenance cycle will commence from that date. For CFPIM Certification Maintenance, you can choose to complete the full CFPIM certification process, which includes passing the CPIM exams and submitting the CFPIM application.

Note that if your certification status is suspended and continues to lapse for five years past your suspension date, you must take and pass the required certification exams.

Will points be earned for responsibilities and activities completed as part of my full-time job?
You will not receive points for holding a specific position in any company. Candidates will, however, receive points for any resource management-related education they give or receive on or off the job. This includes workshops, seminars, or in-house training that are attended in order to maintain knowledge or improve your job skills.

How do I document attendance at events conducted by organizations other than APICS?
Evidence of attendance at non-APICS conferences can be provided through a receipt, certificate, or nametag, or through a letter on the letterhead of the sponsoring organization.

How do I document membership in organizations other than APICS?
Evidence of professional membership in resource management-related organizations can be provided through a receipt, membership card with a date, or a letter on the letterhead of the membership organization.

How can I be sure that APICS has my current mailing address?
Call APICS Customer Service at 800-444-2742 or 703-354-8551 or send an e-mail to service@apicshq.org to confirm the mailing address APICS currently has on file.

Do I need to become a member of APICS in order to begin collecting maintenance points?
No. The Certification Maintenance program is designed for both members and non-members.

I am CIRM certified. Do I need to fulfill any requirements for maintaining my CIRM designation?
At this time, there are no Certification Maintenance requirements for the CIRM program.

When calculating points for a class, should I account for the number of hours that are published in the course catalog or advertisement or the number of actual classroom hours?
Candidates receive credit for actual class-time. Breaks, networking, meals, and other non-instructional time are not eligible for points.

Can I receive credit for reading books or listening to audiotapes?
No. Due to the inability to confirm that an individual has read a book or listened to an audiotape, these activities will not count toward Certification Maintenance.

Will courses that are conducted in a language other than English earn points?
As long as a class relates to resource management, it is eligible for points regardless of the language in which it is presented.

Will taking a CPIM or CIRM certification review course earn points?
Yes. One point per full hour of instruction is earned for all APICS certification review courses.

Can I earn points twice for taking the same workshop?
Yes. If you choose to retake a workshop for any reason, you will earn points for each workshop completion.

Do independent study programs count for points?
Yes. Independent study is defined as a home study course or similar educational activity that is done outside of the typical classroom setting. APICS will approve 48 points for a 3-credit independent study course offered by a college/university and will grant non-college/university independent study courses 3 points per approved CEU.

Does a class or activity need to have a specific number of participants in order to be worthy of earning points?
There is no minimum requirement for the number of participants in a program.

Does attendance at a chapter meeting, region meeting and/or board meeting earn points toward Certification Maintenance?
Yes, all instructional portions of meetings of this nature are eligible for points. Participants will earn one point for each instructional hour while presenters will earn two points per instructional hour. Breaks, networking, meals, administrative tasks, and other non-instructional time will not be eligible for points.

How can chapters and other education providers supply documentation of participation to individuals seeking Certification Maintenance points?
Many organizations provide a form on company or chapter letterhead for the students and instructors to complete. Other groups are sending out certificates and receipts to students and letters of thanks to the instructors for purposes of documentation. If you attended a program in the past and would now like to seek documentation, contact the sponsoring organization and request a letter on letterhead or a certificate of completion.

What APICS membership categories are eligible for points?
Individuals will earn six points per year as a member of APICS in the following categories
Regular
Corporate Voting*
Student
Lifetime
Member-at-Large
International
International Member-at-Large
Honorary
Honorary Chapter
* Corporate Subsidiary designates do not qualify for points; however, they qualify for the member rate on the application fee.

Why does APICS membership earn six points per year while membership in other organizations only earns one point per year?
APICS members receive a great deal of information during a membership year, ensuring that they are exposed to resource management-related material on a consistent basis. APICS material is also most likely to address the APICS body of knowledge and is thus more likely to support the goals of the CPIM and CFPIM Certification Maintenance program.

Do APICS Corporate members earn six points for their membership?
If you are a "Corporate Voting member", one of the corporate members who receives the monthly benefit mailings from APICS, you qualify as a member and receive six points. Corporate Subsidiary designates, although part of the corporate membership, will not qualify for Certification Maintenance points for APICS membership.

Can I earn points by taking exams other than the CPIM and CIRM exams?
No, you will not receive any points for passing non-APICS exams. However, you will earn one point per instructional hour for any educational or review courses related to these topics.

If I begin taking CIRM exams, will that count both as maintenance of the CPIM or CFPIM, as well as earning credit towards CIRM?
Yes. A passing score on a CIRM exam is worth 10 points toward maintenance of your CPIM or CFPIM designation.

Can I obtain points for the time I spend studying for CIRM or CPIM exams?
Individual preparation for exams does not count towards Certification Maintenance points since it is impossible to document time spent on this type of activity. However, time spent in workshops and courses will earn points and candidates receive 10 points for each CPIM or CIRM exam that is passed after their initial certification date.

Do the exams I passed to earn my CPIM count toward Certification Maintenance?
No. Only exams and activities completed after your certification date will count toward maintenance.

Can I earn maintenance points for teaching classes?
Yes. Instructors earn two points for each instructional hour of a resource management-related program.

How many points will I earn if I teach a course with a second instructor?
Teaching a course earns two points per instructional hour. Instructors are welcome to divide the points in any manner as long as it is mutually agreed upon and the total number of points for a presentation does not exceed 2 points per hour. If instructors choose to divide the points in an inequitable manner, the presenters must provide written agreement and document why the points are being divided in such a way.

Can I earn points more than once a year for teaching the same class? For example, if I teach a Basics of Supply Chain Management review course three times a year, can I earn points every time I teach it?
Points are awarded to instructors only once per topic in a given calendar year.

How many points will I accumulate for teaching a college class?
A class that is worth three credit hours will entail 36 hours of instruction during a 12-week period thus earning 72 points. However, there is a limit of 60 CPIM points or 80 CFPIM points in Category II: Presentations, Publications, and Educational Development. This limitation ensures that individuals who teach or publish extensively diversify their point total. Therefore, a CPIM candidate will earn 60 points for teaching a three-credit college class and a CFPIM will earn 72 points.

What is the definition of "original research"?
Research conducted for a publication is considered "original" if it has been accepted by a peer-review editorial review board.

Do translators of resource management materials receive any points?
APICS will award two points per hour of translation of resource management materials.

Can I submit my Web site as an example of a "published article"?
Web sites and their contents are not accepted as points toward a published article because articles are reviewed by panels, publishers, editors, etc., but web sites are not held to the same standards.