Last Updated: September 27, 2022

Continuing education is an important element for succeeding in any career. Working in logistics and supply chain management is no different. Honing your skills and keeping them sharp as new trends and technologies emerge will keep you at the top of your field.

Going the extra mile and pursuing a supply chain certification or a logistics certification can give your career even more momentum. Adding a designation to your resume demonstrates a long-term commitment to your field, which can make you more marketable to a potential employer. Additionally, a well-respected certification can offer greater opportunities for promotions and salary bumps at your current job. Finally, continuing education offers its own rewards, by helping you keep your interest in your field fresh—and stay on the cutting edge of what’s new.

In this article, we’ll run you through the top supply chain certifications and logistics certifications that will help you hone your skills, stand out in your field, and continue to keep your career moving forward.

#1: APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

Certification Focus – Production and inventory management
Prerequisites? – None
Best For – Entry-level professionals
Offered By – Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM)

The APICS CPIM designation is offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM). The certificate program was originally developed by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), which became part of ACSM, hence the designation’s name.

The CPIM program teaches its students how to master principles of production and inventory control, while improving internal operations. As opposed to some of the other certificates offered in the industry, the CPIM designation focuses primarily on internal challenges a company may face, including materials management, scheduling, forecasting, and planning.

As they earn their CPIM, students will gain a solid understanding of the following five areas:

  1. Basics of supply chain management
  2. Strategic management of resources
  3. Master planning of resources
  4. Detailed scheduling and planning
  5. Execution and control of operations


There are no experience or degree requirements for earning your CPIM, so it’s a great designation to pursue if you’re new to logistics and supply chain management.


In order to maintain your certification, you’ll need to complete 75 professional development points, as defined by ACSM, every five years.

Is the CPIM Designation Worth It?

Finally, if you’ve been debating with yourself as to whether the CPIM designation is worth the time and investment, consider these compelling stats from ACSM as you evaluate this certification:

  • On average, CPIM designees see a 21% increase in their salary
  • A CPIM designation can improve your hiring potential by 65%

#2: The Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM)

Certification Focus – End-to-end supply management
Prerequisites? – 3-5 years’ experience, depending on degree
Best For – Taking a newer career to the next level
Offered By – Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

This designation from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) is designed to teach its students how to apply supply management principles in the real world across various industries. By earning your CPSM, you’ll get a deep understanding of end-to-end supply management.

As you dive into the designation, you’ll study challenges and opportunities across the following disciplines:

  • Sourcing
  • Category management
  • Negotiation
  • Legal and contractual
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Cost and price management
  • Financial analysis
  • Supply chain strategy
  • Sales and operations planning
  • Quality management
  • Logistics and material management
  • Project management
  • Leadership and business acumen
  • Systems capability and technology
  • Risk and compliance
  • Corporate social responsibility


Unlike the CPIM, to pursue your CPSM, you’ll need to fulfill one of these two requirements set forth by the ISM:

  • Three years of full-time, professional supply management experience (non-clerical and non-support) with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent, or
  • Five years of full-time, professional supply management experience (non-clerical and non-support) without a qualified bachelor’s degree.


To maintain your CPSM designation, you’ll need to do 60 hours of approved continuing education every three years.

Is the CPSM Designation Worth It?

The numbers tell the story when it comes to the value of the CPSM designation:

  • ISM estimates that more than 60,000 professionals have earned their CPSM.
  • Additionally, professionals with an ISM certification earn 10.7% more on average than those without.

#3: APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certification Focus – End-to-end supply chain management
Prerequisites? – 3 years’ experience, a degree, or CPIM certification
Best For – Taking a new career to the next level
Offered By – Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM)

Designed for more experienced supply chain professionals than its CPIM designation, the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) program focuses on teaching its students to manage an end-to-end global supply chain. Designees will develop the skills they need to effectively coordinate suppliers, plants, distributors, and customers located anywhere in the world. In other words, whereas the APICS CPIM focuses on internal business issues, the CSCP designation sets its sights on external issues.

Topics covered in the three modules of this program include:

  • Supply chain strategy and design
  • Supply chain planning and execution, including procurement and managing reverse logistics
  • Supply chain improvement and best practices, including analytics and sustainable best practices


Candidates must have at least one of the following in order to pursue their CSCP:

  • Three years of related supply chain experience,
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of study, or
  • CPIM or one of several other industry designations.


As with the CPIM designation, in order to maintain your CSCP certification, you’ll need to complete 75 professional development points, as defined by ACSM, every five years.

Finally, if you’re interested in the APICS programs, but you’re not sure which one is right for you, check out this resource to help you choose the right APICS program.

Is the CSCP Designation Worth It?

According to ACSM, a CSCP designation offers its graduates several key benefits:

  • On average, CLTD graduates increase their salary by up to 41%.
  • Additionally, APICS-certified professionals earn 27% more than those without a certification.

#4: SCPro™ Certification

Certification Focus – Supply chain optimization
Prerequisites? – Each tier has its own
Best For – Tiers for entry-level, mid-level and seasoned professionals
Offered By – Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

SCPro™ Certification from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) is a three-tiered program that teaches its students to optimize supply chains through examining real-world case studies. As they progress through each phase of the program, professionals will discover the eight learning blocks of the end-to-end supply chain and how to optimize each one.

The three levels of the SCPro program include:

  • Level One: Cornerstones of Supply Chain Management
  • Level Two: Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges
  • Level Three: Initiation of Supply Chain Transformation


Each level of the SCPro program comes with its own set of eligibility requirements. Check out the CSCMP website for full details.


To maintain their certificates, students must earn 25 continuing education credits every two years.

#5: Certified Supply Chain Professional (CLTD)

Certification Focus – Logistics, transportation, and distribution
Prerequisites? – None
Best For – Professionals new to logistics
Offered By – Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM)

Professionals with little to no logistics experience who want to build expertise around streamlining and optimizing logistics, transportation, and distribution processes should consider the APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) program, offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM). In this nine-module learning program, students will learn how to oversee the planning and execution of both forward and reverse logistics, improve distribution inventory management, identify and mitigate logistics risks, optimize inventory levels, understand best practices for warehouse management, select and negotiate with carriers, and more.


None, so this is a great starting point if you’re new to the industry.


Like the other APICS credentials we mentioned in this article, to keep your CLTD certification valid, you must earn and submit 75 professional development maintenance points every five years.

Is the CLTD Designation Worth It?

Data from ACSM indicates that a CLTD designation offers several benefits:

  • On average, CLTD graduates increase their salary by up to 39%.
  • Additionally, APICS-certified professionals earn 27% more than those without a certification.

#6: SCOR Professional Program (SCOR-P)

Program Focus – Implementing the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model
Prerequisites? – None
Best For – Professionals who want to manage and measure the performance of their supply chain
Offered By – Association for Supply Chain Management (ACSM)

The SCOR framework is a model for improving supply chain management that breaks the entire supply chain workflow into six processes: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver, Return, and Enable. To earn their APICS SCOR-P endorsement, students will examine how to apply the SCOR model, implement performance metrics, and manage the improvement of a global supply chain. If you’re charged with optimizing and improving the supply chain activities in your company, the SCOR-P endorsement will offer you an industry-standard framework to evaluate, measure, and improve its effectiveness.


As with the APICS CPIM and CLTD designations, there are no prerequisites.


None; once you pass the exam, there’s no further continuing education requirement.

#7: Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)

Certification Focus – Knowledge of the entire logistics spectrum
Prerequisites? – Nine years’ experience, which can be supplemented by educational equivalents
Best For – Experienced logistics professionals who want to add accreditation to their role
Offered By – The International Society of Logistics (SOLE)

In recognition of the fact that the practice of logistics is a professional discipline, the International Society of Logistics (SOLE) established the Certified Professional Logistician certification program to offer accreditation to accomplished logistics professionals. Those wishing to earn the CPL title will need to demonstrate broad and deep knowledge across the field of logistics, as measured by a certification examination.

According to SOLE, the CPL exam is often considered the equivalent of a master’s degree examination, so it’s designed for seasoned professionals with significant depth of experience.


To be eligible to take the exam, professionals must have nine years of experience in the logistics field. However, a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree can reduce the professional experience requirement. Additionally, candidates are required to submit supporting documentation, including transcripts and letters of reference.


CPLs must recertify every five years by accumulating 50 recertification points, which works out to approximately ten points per year.

#8: MCIPS Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional

Certification Focus – Strategic procurement and supply chain management
Prerequisites? – None for the three entry-level qualifications; some for the diploma-level qualifications
Best For – Those with up to 2 years’ experience in procurement and supply chain activities
Offered By – Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

Earning a MCIPS Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional designation from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) takes professionals on a learning journey toward a career in strategic procurement and supply chain management.

Students with little to no experience can start with either of these two CIPS courses, which don’t have any prerequisites:

  • Level 2: Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations
  • Level 3: Advanced Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations

However, if students have either two years of relevant business experience or at least two A levels (or equivalent), they can study immediately for the first diploma-level course:

  • Level 4: Diploma in Procurement and Supply

After completing Level 4, students can go on to additional diploma-level courses:

  • Level 5: Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply
  • Level 6: Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply

After passing Level 6, graduates can apply for their MCIPS Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional.


Certificate and Advanced Certificate levels (Levels 2 and 3) have no prerequisites. However, there are prerequisites for the subsequent diploma-level courses.


Maintaining chartered status requires 30 hours of continuing professional development each year, as well as a current CIPS Ethics Certificate.

Are CIPS Qualifications Worth It?

According to CIPS, those who join the organization and earn designations enjoy a significant return on their investment, including the following:

  • 90% of students report that CIPS qualifications have helped them progress in their careers.
  • MCIPS chartered professionals earn over 20% more than non-credentialed peers.
  • 61% of employers request MCIPS chartered professionals.

#9: IWLA Certifications for Warehouse Logistics Professionals

Certification Focus – All levels of warehouse professionals
Prerequisites? – Begins at one year of experience and increases for advanced certifications
Best For – Professionals who want to excel in warehouse logistics
Offered By – International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA)

The International Warehouse Logistics Association offers several certifications for all levels of warehouse professionals looking to up their game, prepare for tomorrow’s warehousing challenges and opportunities, and advance their careers.

IWLA’s programs include:

  • Warehouse Logistics Certificate (WLC) – For front-line employees looking to expand their knowledge in the warehouse logistics industry.
  • Qualified Warehouse Logistics Professional (QWLP) – For professionals new to the industry who want to advance their career.
  • Certified Warehouse Logistics Professional (CWLP) Certification – For more experienced professionals who have committed to continuing their educational opportunities within the industry.
  • Executive Warehouse Logistics Professional (EWLP) Certification – Intended for experienced individuals who have achieved officer-level success in their organization.


Each program has its own prerequisites. WLC and QWLP certification programs are available to professionals with as little as a year of industry experience.

#10: Six Sigma

Program Focus – Improving business processes
Prerequisites? – Dictated by education and experience
Best For – Professionals interested in optimizing performance
Offered By – Various providers

Unlike the other designations we’ve mentioned, Six Sigma certifications aren’t tied to a specific organization. Instead, Six Sigma is a framework that allows companies to improve the capability of their business processes, including their supply chain. This is especially true when Six Sigma is paired with Lean principles designed to reduce waste and improve performance. DHL, Ryder, 3M, GE, and Xerox are among the long list of companies who have used Six Sigma to optimize their operations.

Those who study Six Sigma work through a ranking system similar to one found in martial arts:

  • White belts have no formal Six Sigma training. However, they may be familiar with its concepts, which can assist them if they have a role to play in actualizing their company’s goals.
  • Yellow belts go through several days of training in order to learn the foundational tools of Six Sigma. While they may not be ready to lead projects on their own, they’re well equipped to assist on projects.
  • Green belts are trained and ready to act as project managers, after completing a full course in Six Sigma principles.
  • Black belts have completed at least 90 hours of training in preparation to drive organization-wide changes.
  • Master black belts have achieved a level of proficiency that allows them to become mentors and coaches for other professionals pursuing and implementing Six Sigma principles.


Although you can technically start directly by earning your yellow, green, or black belt, your level of education and experience will dictate which belt will be best to start with. That being said, if you’re interested in a master black belt, Six Sigma requires a black belt from either Six Sigma or another approved organization before you can start your studies.


The requirements for keeping up your certification differ depending on which organization you use to pursue your certification. Each has different requirements for keeping current. If you’re interested in pursuing a Six Sigma certification, some of the most popular certifying bodies include:

  • The American Society for Quality (ASQ)
  • The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC)
  • Several universities include Purdue University and the University of Michigan, among others

Keep Your Career Moving Forward with Continuing Education

One of the most exciting parts of a career in logistics and supply chain management is its fast pace. Every day presents new challenges and opportunities, as well as new tools to help improve tracking, analysis, forecasting, and more. By pursuing one of these logistics or supply chain certifications—and staying current with the necessary continuing education hours—you’ll stay on top of all the exciting new developments in the field. You’ll also find yourself well positioned to leverage these insights to keep your own supply chains running at their peak.

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