As some of you already know, I spent most of this year pursuing my C.P.M. (Certified Purchasing Manager) certification. Getting your C.P.M. is something like an accountant getting their CPA or, to a lesser extent, like a lawyer passing the bar. The C.P.M. designation is globally the most recognized designation for supply management professionals. This means more money, better jobs, more recognition, etc. In order to qualify one has to pass Modules 1 through 4 of the C.P.M. Exam (which are very difficult), and have either five years of full-time professional (non-clerical, non-support) supply management experience or three years of full-time professional supply management experience and a four-year degree. Once you're certified you have to be recertified every five years (which is a huge pain!) - until you have 18 years of full-time professional supply management experience, and then you receive your lifetime certification.
I started early last spring, took night classes and review classes and studied my butt off and passed all four modules on the first try, sent in my application and am finally officially certified! I have just over eight years of experience, so I'll only have to recertify once before I'll have my lifetime certification. I am incredibly relieved to have this under my belt. It took a lot of time and money - but in the long run I know it'll be worth it.