The education and continuing professional development of those individuals involved in public procurement has been a primary objective of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) since its founding in 1944. In 1964, this quest for excellence in public procurement was more clearly defined when NIGP developed and initiated its Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) program. The CPPO program of NIGP was, at the time of its initiation, the only professional certification offered by a national professional purchasing association in North America. The designation's name was changed by the UPPCC to Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) in 2010.
The concept underlying the development of the CPPO program was to establish a standard by which qualifications of any public procurement official could be evaluated for a managerial or supervisory level position in public procurement. Public purchasers and personnel specialists informed NIGP that such a standard was needed.
In order to more effectively promote and insure professionalism in public sector procurement, NIGP and the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), jointly established the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council in 1978. The organization later changed its name to Universal Public Procurement Certification Council in 2010. The functions of the Council are as follows:
to establish, monitor, and revise requirements for certification
to continue research efforts relating to the certification of public buyers and procurement officers
to coordinate with other NIGP and NASPO programs in order to further the certification of public procurement officers
to do all things necessary and proper to promote and insure professionalism in public procurement
Realizing the need for a certification program for non-managers, the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), its Board of Examiners (BOE), and NIGP's Education and Professional Development Committee developed the Professional Public Buyer (PPB) certificate. The first PPB certificate was issued in 1979. This designation was changed by the UPPCC to Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) in 1991.