Have questions? Browse our frequently asked questions.

The Category Management Association (CMA) developed industry standards for category management certification and is the sole organization certifying coursework and individual CatMan professionals, according to these standards. The CMA is a global category management community consisting of hundreds of competitive industry-leading companies, providing professionals with the opportunity to connect with peers all over the world, and advance their careers with updated best practices and certification. The CMA certifies individuals in category management at different levels, that act as the global, industry-wide standards, identifying the skill level of an individual category management professional. This certification program has been received and embraced by the industry, because of how well it resonates with both the retailer and manufacturing community.

In order to register, you must have an account with CMA. If your company is an existing member, please check with your director for approval to use an exam code available to you through membership.

Whenever you are ready to take your exam or need to create an account, to pay for your certification, please contact Violeta Montes.

If you are not an existing member, create an account by simply emailing [email protected] to get your account set up. Once you receive your welcome email, you will be able to log in and purchase your one-time registration fee (if not purchased before) and then purchase your exam.

Please register when you know you are ready to take the exam.

  1. Log into your account and go to the “My Certifications” tab.
  2. If you are taking the CPCA for the first time, you will need to purchase a One-Time Registration fee (skip this step if you have already taken a certification exam with the CMA.)
  3. After, you will pay your individual exam fee
  4. Once your exam has be purchased, you will receive an email with instructions on what to expect and how to take the test.
  5. If you do not receive this email within 1 hour or need further assistance, please contact [email protected]

You can register with the Category Management Association for a one-time fee of only $95. From there, our three sequential certification levels charge a test fee as listed below.

CPCA Test Fee: $130
CPCM Test Fee: $225
CPSA Test Fee: $350

In the event that you do not successfully pass your test, a re-take fee of $50 will be applied for each additional attempt.

Once you have successfully received your certificate, an annual renewal cost of $150 will be required to maintain an active certificate status.

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CMA Certifications are valid for 1 year from the date of certification. The retail landscape is constantly evolving – all certified individuals are required to renew their certification each year and take a required course in order to use the certification badge and to ensure they stay current with industry standards and best practices.

To renew your expired certification, please see our Certification Renewal Page, and follow the provided prompts to pay your renewal fee and proceed with taking our new “Insights Immersion” course. “Insights Immersion” is the very first step of the category management process. Understanding the changing dynamics of a category requires an Insights Immersion that takes a step back and asks the fundamental question: How has the shopper lens to my category changed?

Our CPCA Certification Standards document provides details of the skills necessary for each level of certification. The CMA offers courses at every level of certification; these courses are included in every level of membership. If you are not a member, you may purchase a level of courses in order to prepare. If you feel confident in attempting the CPCA exam without taking additional coursework, that is one path. Or, you may choose to proceed with the recommended courses to prepare.

To maintain the integrity and fairness of the CPCA and CPCM exams, they will be proctored. This means that you and your screen will be video recorded during either exam. Use of dual monitor is strictly prohibited and will lead to auto termination of the exam. Please also ensure that your desk is clear of any unauthorized materials, and there are no distractions in your immediate surroundings.

If you fail your exam, there is a $50 retake fee; you have an unlimited number of attempts to retake and pass your test. The $50 retake fee is due for every attempt.

Yes, our certification program progresses sequentially. Once you take and pass your CPCA, you may either sit for the CPCM exam at any time, or you can take coursework and practice exams to prepare and then sit for the CPCM exam. Additionally, in order to take the CPSA curriculum and exam, you must have attained both the CPCA and CPCM certificates.

Becoming CMA certified will provide you with an advantage in your industry and provide you with a sense of self-accomplishment and pride, through the hard work put into attaining certification status. By becoming well-versed in category management and everything it’s about, you will be putting yourself in the best position possible to be successful in your field. CMA certification provides credibility amongst peers in category management, and the resources provided in training ensure that you elevate to a complete and more strategic level of understanding.

While you can choose to deem yourself qualified to take the exam without coursework or practice, if you take our courses as recommended it is approximately 35 hours of course time for a certification. The exams themselves are 90 minutes long for CPCA and 90 Minutes for CPCM.

Each level of membership includes at least one CPCA or CPCM exam; the higher level of membership, the more exams you will receive for your team. To find out the specifics of your membership, reach out to the Member Services Team at [email protected]

Certification serves as:

  • A means to independently evaluate industry talent
  • Certification delivers a message to employees of a company’s commitment to their personal development
  • Provides a clear message to your business partners about the quality of the category management team supporting them
  • It is a statement of industry leadership and support of improving industry standards

Whether you are looking for certification for you or your whole team, we are excited to get you started with the process. Simply share more information below and a member of our team will be in touch with you to get you started!