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October 2012 Administration Report: UPPCC Releases Key Performance Data

February 12, 2013 -The Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) are globally recognized credentials offered exclusively by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC). The certification programs systematically raise the level of professionalism within the public procurement profession by offering recognition to those individuals who meet an established standard of competency for public procurement demonstrated through a rigorous application process and superior examination performance.

Earlier this month, the UPPCC announced that 248 individuals successfully completed the October 2012 certification exams, including 164 who earned the CPPB certification and 84 who earned the CPPO. To date, 9,085 CPPB and 2,209 CPPO certifications have been awarded by the UPPCC.

Obtaining either UPPCC certification requires the candidate to demonstrate, through an application process, that they meet specific requisites, which includes education, procurement related coursework/training and public purchasing employment experience. A comprehensive written examination (specific to each certification) is required to confirm the candidate's mastery of a variety of public procurement concepts found in the UPPCC Body of Knowledge.

The UPPCC recently released key performance data from the October 2012 examinations:

Overall Scoring/Passing Rates
The UPPCC reports that 69% of the 121 total candidates who tested for the CPPO passed while 65% of the 251 candidates who tested for the CPPB passed. Mean passing scores for CPPB candidates were 34 points higher than for CPPO.

Testing Time
The total testing time permitted for both examinations is 3.5 hours. This equates to a total of 210 minutes for 190 questions (175 operational or scored and 15 pre-test questions); or on average 1 minute and 10 seconds for each test question.

The UPPCC reported that for CPPO, the average completion time was 2.64 hours with a range from 3.43 hours maximum to 1.12 hours minimum. For the CPPB, the average completion time was 2.67 hours with a range from 3.5 hours maximum to 1.01 hours minimum.

Exam Content & Candidate Preparation
Content for both the CPPO and CPPB examinations are dictated by the 2008 UPPCC Body of Knowledge (BOK). A total of 10 domain areas comprise the BOK and are as follows:

  1. Administration Aspects of Purchasing

  2. Procurement Requests

  3. Solicitation and Evaluation of Bids/Proposals

  4. Supplier Analysis

  5. Negotiation Process

  6. Contract Award and Administration

  7. External/Internal Relationships

  8. Materiels Management

  9. Human Resources/Personnel

  10. Forecasting and Strategies

The UPPCC reports that for both CPPO and CPPB, candidates performed the best in Domain 1: Administration Aspects of Purchasing. CPPO candidates performed the poorest in Domain 8: Materiels Management. Conversely for CPPB, exam candidates overall had the most difficulty in Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies (see Table 1).

UPPCC reports that most candidates indicated, via a post examination survey, spending between one and three months preparing for their respective examinations (see Table 2).

The organization also reports that CPPO candidates who indicated spending three and six month preparing experienced the highest rates of passing compared to other timeframes of preparation; however, in evaluating CPPB candidate performance, preparation times between one and six months, as indicated by high passing rates, appeared to be the optimal timeframe (see Graph 1).

Passing Rates and Public Entity Types
UPPCC reports that when comparing passing rates for both examinations with various entity types; those candidates employed by K-12 Schools experienced the highest rates of passing at 75% followed by Cities at 71% (see Graph 2).

Testing for both credentials is offered via a network of professional testing centers twice annually in May and October. The UPPCC will continue to accept applications for the May 6-18, 2013 testing window through the late deadline of February 18, 2013 with a $50 late fee.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) is an independent entity formed to govern and administer the Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) certification programs. The CPPO and CPPB programs are highly regarded and respected among procurement professionals and employers involved in the public sector. To date, the UPPCC has certified well over 10,000 professionals primarily within the US and Canada as well as in other nations around the globe.