Certification Overview

  • Certification levels are earned sequentially. The CPCA level is earned first through training and then objective testing. We suggest that candidates for CPCA have 1-2 years’ experience in category management before taking the exam. CPCM is the next certification level earned and for this designation candidates should have 3-5 years’ experience before taking the exam. CPSA is the final level of certification and candidates for this level should have 6 or more years of experience, have managed a category management team, and have been responsible for joint business planning.

  • Please review the standards for each of the Certification tests you wish to complete. These standards are listed on this page.

  • We recommend you reach out to any of our CMA Accredited Solution Providers or Accredited Universities to gain the knowledge in each program level standard you may feel you have a deficiency or need additional help.

  • All candidates for the CPCA and CPCM will be required to take and successfully pass an online, objective test to earn a certified designation from the CMA.

  • The CPCA and CPCM test is segmented and questions are asked for all Learning Programs.

  • Candidates that do not pass and wish to retake the exam must pay a retake fee of $50.00.

  • Candidates wishing to take the CPSA exam will be required to take an online Essay Exam.


The benefits to all parties for certification and the standards are clear.

  • First it serves as means to independently evaluate industry talent and delivers a message to employees of a company’s commitment to their personal development.

  • Second, once your category management team is certified it provides a clear message to your business partners of the quality of the category management team supporting them.

  • Finally certification is a statement of industry leadership and support of improving industry standards. The importance of certification is measured in the quality of collaboration it supports between retailer and manufacturer.


Certified Professional Category Analysts (CPCA) possess basic Industry knowledge, spreadsheet and presentation skills. Additionally this level of certified professionals have worked with retail POS and syndicated data and have provided pricing, promotion and assortment analysis and have training plus experience with space planning software and relational databases.

  • Basic Industry Knowledge – CPCA Required
  • Category Management History and Process – CPCA Required
  • Pricing Analysis – CPCA Required
  • Promotion Analysis – CPCA Required
  • Assortment Analysis (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Spreadsheet Development (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Presentation Development (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Syndicated Scanner Data (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Syndicated Panel Data (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Retailer POS Data Analysis (basic) – CPCA Required
  • Space Planning Software (basic) – CPCA Recommended
  • Relational Databases (basic) – CPCA Recommended

One-Time Registration Fee: $95.00

CPCA Test Price: $130.00

Test Re-Take Fee: $50.00

Certified Professional Category Managers (CPCM) are at an advanced level with all the aforementioned criteria as well as understand the ethical expectations and legal implications of category management. CPCM’s also possess experience with geo-demographic/behavioral data and can identify actionable insights. These professionals have conducted category reviews and comprehend root cause analytics, shopper behavior, retailer economics and the supply chain.

  • Assortment Analysis (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Spreadsheet Development (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Presentation Development (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Syndicated Scanner Data (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Syndicated Panel Data (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Retailer POS Data Analysis (advanced) – CPCM Required
  • Space Planning Software (advanced) – CPCM Recommended
  • Relational Databases (advanced) – CPCM Recommended
  • Presenting Effectively – CPCM Recommended
  • Ethical Expectations and Legal Implications – CPCM Recommended
  • Space Management – CPCM Required
  • Store Level Data – CPCM Required
  • Syndicated Geodemographic/Behavioral Data – CPCM Required
  • Opportunity Identification for Actionable Insights – CPCM Required
  • Root Cause Analytics – CPCM Required
  • Comprehensive Category Reviews – CPCM Required
  • Understanding Category Shopper Behavior – CPCM Required
  • Leveraging Data for Basic Business Solutions – CPCM Required
  • Retailer Economics and Supply Chain (basic) – CPCM Required
  • Customer Relationship Management (basic) – CPCM Recommended

CPCM Test Price: $225.00

Test Re-Take Fee: $50.00

Certified Professional Strategic Advisors (CPSA) are advanced in Customer Relationship Management and adept at joint business planning and value creation. CPSA’s are experts in collaborative partnerships and consultative selling. As experts in understanding retailer shopper segmentation and shopper behavior, beyond their given category, they are specialists in leveraging data for advanced shelving and assortment solutions and can provide advanced pricing and promotion analysis.

  • Retailer Economics and Supply Chain (advanced) – CPSA Required
  • Customer Relationship Management (advanced) – CPSA Recommended
  • Joint Business Planning & Value Creation – CPSA Required
  • Collaborative Partnerships– CPSA Required
  • Consultative Selling – CPSA Required
  • Understanding Shopper Behavior, Beyond the Category – CPSA Required
  • Retailer Shopper Segmentation– CPSA Required
  • Leveraging Data for Advanced Shelving Solutions – CPSA Required
  • Leveraging Data for Advanced Assortment Solutions – CPSA Required
  • Advanced Pricing Analysis – CPSA Recommended
  • Advanced Promotion Analysis – CPSA Recommended

CPSA Test Price: $350.00

Test Re-Take Fee: $50.00

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