Earn your credential in 4 easy steps

The CPO Suite Programs are not just about proving you can pass an exam; they are about investing in yourself and your career development. You’ll learn to develop your negotiation tactics, improve supplier performance, conduct strategic sourcing, and implement procurement technologies. When we combine your ambition with our knowledge, you will become an incredible resource for an employer, and you will open up opportunities for your future. All of our courses, exams, resources, etc., can be accessed on any device with an internet connection, making your classroom accessible wherever you are.

Step 1: Learn the Material

After you have enrolled in one of our certification programs, you will receive access to our state-of-the-art learning management system (LMS), which houses all of your required courses and resources. Accessing the LMS is accomplished by signing into your My Account page. We have based all of our content and courses on our CPO-Body of Knowledge (CPO-BOK). For more information on the CPO-BOK, visit the Why NLPA page.

Our certification programs are the most impactful and efficient way to take advantage of our educational materials. The certification programs combine the knowledge of Individual Courses and the prestige of NLPA membership with exclusive benefits.

The Pay-As-You-Go Plan is a more flexible way to earn your certification credentials since it lets you pay for each part separately. This plan works by enrolling in Individual Courses one by one, instead of purchasing a certification program. The Individual Courses make up our certification programs, so you will still receive all of the knowledge required to pass the certification exams. However, you will not get any of the supplemental information, resources, membership, or benefits included in a certification program.

To complete a Pay-As-You-Go Plan, you will need to enroll in and complete all the Individual Courses required for a certification credential. It doesn’t matter which order you complete the Individual Courses in, as long as they are not expired when you take your exam. You can buy them one at a time or purchase multiple courses at once. Enrollment in Individual Courses provides a Basic Membership for your course access duration, but you can upgrade it to a Standard Membership or Premium Membership if desired.

Once you have completed the required courses, please contact our support team to purchase an exam voucher. Upon receiving a passing grade for the certification exam, you have now earned your certification credential. You may download a certificate of completion from your Member Dashboard. Upon passing the certification exam and earning your designation, an engraved award will be sent to you by mail. To keep your certification credential in “good standing,” we require you purchase either a Standard Membership or a Premium Membership after passing your exam.

Certification programs provide one year of program access. Choosing a certification program bundle has the benefit of an extended course access period. Please see the details of your purchase to confirm the course access timeframe.

You are free to take the certification exam once you have completed the certification program and feel ready. This point may occur at the end of your program access or earlier. The program’s self-paced nature allows a certification credential to be earned faster, depending on your learning speed and time commitment. Below is an estimate of how long it may take to achieve your certification credential based on your study habits.

If you dedicate this amount of time to studying:

If you dedicate
this amount of time to studying:
You can earn a
certification credential in:
<4 hours per week 3 months
>4 hours per week < than 3 months

If you discover that you cannot complete your certification program during the provided one year of program access, we offer extensions for purchase, with limitations. If you find yourself in need of this feature, please reach out to our support team.

Step 2: Exam

To earn a certification credential, you must prove your grasp of the required skills and concepts by passing an exam. You must demonstrate your ability to apply the knowledge that you have gained.

Step 3: Certification Cycle

Your certification cycle begins the day that you pass your exam and lasts for one year. During the first year after earning your certification credential, you are automatically in “good standing.”

Using our certification credentials makes a statement to the world; it declares our acknowledgment that you have achieved specific learning outcomes relative to a given standard. To avoid credential suspension or expiration, you must complete recertification before the end of the certification cycle.

Step 4: Recertification

To continue using a certification credential, we require evidence that you are continuing your education and are still a member of the NLPA. This requirement ensures your knowledge is always at the given level necessary to call yourself a Certified Procurement Operations Specialist, Professional, Manager, or Expert.

There are two ways to earn the status of “good standing.” Being in the first year of a certification cycle grants it automatically. To maintain the status after that, you must achieve recertification before the end of your certification cycle. Recertification occurs when you have completed 8 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs), submitted CEH records to your account, and have a Standard or Premium Membership. Click here to read more about what qualifies as a CEH and the process of submitting them.

We will contact you 90 days before the end of your certification cycle to confirm if you have met recertification requirements.

Master today’s most critical purchasing processes.

Enroll in our courses and we will help you deliver measurable results in the real world.

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