What is CPIM Certification?

by Keith Allen; Updated September 26, 2017
Pencil with standardized test answer sheet

Certified in Production and Inventory Management, commonly referred to as CPIM, is a program operated by The Association for Operations Management through its APICS (Advancing Productivity, Innovation, and Competitive Success) program. Candidates earn certification by passing all five modules of a test. Holding the certificate indicates knowledge and skills pertaining to manufacturing and inventory principles.


Two men taking inventory in warehouse

Administrated since 1973, about 90,000 individuals have taken the CPIM test. The parent organization, APICS, has about 33,000 individual and 15,000 corporate members. The organization was founded in 1957 to expand the knowledge base available to industrial managers. It is international in scope, offering memberships to individuals and organizations, including educational groups, worldwide.

CPIM Testing

Businessman and worker in warehouse

Candidates are required to pass five modules. Each module is taken by individuals at their own pace. Certification is issued upon completion. APICS also offers Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management, the next level above the CPIM. Along with the CPIM and CFPIM program, APICS offers Certified Supply Chain Professional certification. This program is a separate entity from the production and inventory management certifications.

CPIM Modules

Person pushing hand truck across floor of warehouse

The five modules include: Basics of Supply Chain Management covers the principles of the flow of materials; Master Planning of Resources details the processes needed to develop plans; Detailed Scheduling and Planning covers the process of material and labor planning; Execution and Control of Operations concerns sequencing and control of labor; and Strategic Management of Resources deals with the long-range planning of manufacturing and supply-chain efforts.

CPIM Prerequisites

Hands typing on laptop computer, close-up

The CPIM program is available to all professionals in manufacturing fields. There is no educational requirement for participation. Candidates are encouraged to prepare for the test by the self-study and review courses provided by APICS. Successful completion of the CPIM is required to begin the CFPIM certification program. Cost for each module of the CPIM exam is $120 for APICS members and $155 for non-members. Consult the APICS web site (see Resources for a link) for updates on costs and testing locations and dates.

Benefits of CPIM

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According to a brochure available online from APICS.org, CPIM certification can improve the candidate’s job performance, increase salary levels and lead to new career opportunities. The value of these benefits will vary based on the individual’s situation. Membership in APICS also includes a subscription to the APICS Magazine, a copy of the APICS dictionary and access to a learning center. Local chapters exist in some areas and offer additional benefits.

About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.

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