Professional Development Pulse Blog Public procurement professionals are the gatekeepers of taxpayer dollars and are held to a higher standard of conduct, excellence, and integrity. The continuous development of academic degrees related to procurement as well as national certifications are necessary to elevate the public procurement profession as a recognized and highly regarded career path. For procurement professionals who are interested in elevating their career, getting certified, and having fun along the way, where should they go? The answer is the UPPCC!

What is the UPPCC certification?

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) bodies of knowledge are the standard for state and local government public procurement. Members of the public procurement profession uphold consistent principles and standards, regardless of where they may practice. There are two designations offered by the UPPCC. The first one is the Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and the second one is the Certified Public Procurement Buyer (CPPB). The CPPB certification applies to individuals who have met the criteria of professional competency as a buyer in public and governmental procurement, while the CPPO designations are for those who meet the additional managerial functions of the procurement/purchasing office.

What’s in it for me?

Professional certification can have many benefits for a procurement office, staff members, and the profession itself.  Some of these benefits include: professional recognition, personal satisfaction, increased knowledge and skills, continued professional development opportunities and a defined path for growth. A national certification demonstrates commitment to the profession and provides you with a professional certification you can take anywhere your career path takes you. Professional certifications are also an important piece of any strong, modern resume – which can factor into hiring decisions and salary negotiations.

For the procurement office, encouraging or requiring certification demonstrates a knowledgeable and capable procurement staff. Some of the benefits to the procurement office include an increase in the professionalism, skills, accountability of staff, and the fostering of ethical behavior across the office. Other benefits include better purchasing and contracting outcomes by improving competencies of employees as well as promoting responsible expenditure of public funds that complies with state purchasing laws and rules. By encouraging certification, the procurement office promotes recognition of staff as purchasing professionals, ensures the skills and competencies of employees, provides professional development opportunities and a defined path for continuous growth.

How can Procurement U help you get your certification?

NASPO’s Procurement U offers CPPB and CPPO exam prep courses that are an excellent self-study tool combined with facilitated review by certified instructors of the UPPCC Body of Knowledge. Learning elements within these courses cover each domain topic, and are intended to help you gauge your exam readiness by providing access to:

Resources for Each Domain: A list of free online readings and resources are provided to support your study process.
Live Facilitated Discussions: Live facilitated discussions are held for each domain. These virtual meetings provide an opportunity for discussion with the facilitator and other participants in the course.
Exam Practice Questions: Questions are provided as a self-assessment tool for you. The questions were developed by NASPO staff and UPPCC certified members. The question development process mirrored UPPCC’s process for the creation of the actual certification questions.
Even More Resources: With the course registration, you are given a free copy of NASPO’s flagship publication, State and Local Government Procurement: A Practical Guide, which is one of the books included on the UPPCC recommended readings list, as well as tips for exam preparation, and access to a discussion board to engage with other professionals preparing for the exam.

Learners will also receive 12 hours of continuing education credit for completing the course (considered non-accredited under UPPCC guidelines).

Don’t just take our word for it! Recent prep course participants said that the course was great for “…benchmarking my current and future states of knowledge” and the resources, discussions, and practice questions were “helpful and made me think of other ideas that I may not have addressed or thought of as an answer”.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make the most of your investment in yourself or your staff by seeking UPPCC certification. Register for Procurement U’s 2019 Fall prep courses by August 1st to help you achieve this prestigious certification!

Register for the CPPB course here!

Register for the CPPO Course here!

**The links above provide additional information on the prep courses.