The road to the SSCMLP

May 28, 2010

For decades, the Certified Professional Purchaser designation has been the go-to accreditation for thousands of Canadian procurement professionals. The designation was widely recognized for the skills it represented.

So why did the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) decide to completely overhaul the training program leading up to it?

PMAC president Bob Dye sums up the reason the organization swapped out the old accreditation program for the new Strategic Supply Chain Management

Leadership Program (SSCMLP).

“The focus of our previous program was very narrow,” Dye tells Purchasingb2b. “It was focused on turning out a product that was operating at a tactical or operational level, when the market was telling us they wanted individuals who were capable of operating at a strategic level. The market wanted individuals who could provide business advice and who were capable of strategic thinking.”

The previous program’s intense focus on purchasing alone, while important, no longer resonated with what PMAC members do in their jobs, he adds.

“Most of our members were telling us ‘I’m employed in positions that are much broader than purchasing. I’m engaged in positions in the broader field of supply chain. Yes, I have to understand the principles of procurement, but I also have to understand transportation, logistics and contract management. To properly understand these, I need to understand soft skills and all the other business functions.’

“In our new program, we recognize that our members today—and in the future—are going to be involved in the broader supply chain, rather than just one part of it.”

Ultimately, the name of the designation will change—to Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP)—to reflect the new skills in the program. When that happens, the 900 individuals currently enrolled in the program will have a new credential, as will all existing CPPs, who will receive it retroactively. “This program, unlike programs from here in the past, will be continually updated such that the knowledge content is reflective of current and future thinking in the marketplace,” says Dye.