80% of people who take our training courses pass the exams on their first attempt.

Certification Exam Prep

Associated ARC Training courses are available to enrich your knowledge of category management and prepare for the exams. The training courses are not required to take the certification exams but are highly recommended to ensure your full understanding of the standards required for successful completion of each certification level. CMA|SIMA members have access to assessments, courses, and practice exams as a part of their membership.

Training Course Breakdown by Level

Certified Professional Category Analyst (CPCA)

A Certified Professional Category Analyst possesses basic Industry knowledge, spreadsheet and presentation skills. Additionally, this level of certified professional has worked with retail POS and syndicated data, provided pricing, promotion and assortment analysis and have experience with space planning software and relational databases.

CPCA is earned first through training and objective testing. We suggest that candidates for CPCA have 1-2 years’ experience in category management before taking the exam.

  • Insights Immersion
  • Category Management Overview
  • Retailer Strategies
  • Category Definition & Segmentation
  • Category Roles
  • Category Strategies
  • Understanding and Using Data
  • Category Tactics and Analytics
  • Completing a Category Assessment
  • Category Management on Limited Data
  • Develop and Implement a Category Plan
  • Building PowerPoint and Presentation Skills
  • Building Excel Skills

CMA|SIMA Members have access to all training courses listed to prepare for the exam.

Non-Members can purchase the CPCA Training Package which includes all 13 Courses listed and 1 Practice Exam for $1,495. Contact Violeta Montes for more information: [email protected].

Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM)

Certified Professional Category Managers are at an advanced level with all the criteria of CPCA 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.

CPCM is the next certification level earned and for this designation candidates should have 3-5 years’ experience before taking the exam.

  • Building Data Competency: Panel Data
  • Building Data Competency: POS Data
  • Measuring Category Health (Baseline & Incremental Drivers)
  • Efficient Assortment: A Step-by-Step Process *
  • Pricing Strategies and Analysis Techniques
  • Promotion Analysis Techniques
  • Advanced Analytics: Relativity
  • Fact Based Selling
  • Space Management Fundamentals
  • Store Clustering Through Store Level and Geodemographic Data
  • Retailer Economics and the Product Supply Chain

CMA|SIMA Members have access to all training courses listed to prepare for the exam.

Non-Members can purchase the CPCM Training Package which includes all 11 Courses listed, 1 Practice Exam and Mini-Exams for $1,495. Contact Violeta Montes for more information: [email protected].

Certified Professional Strategic Advisor (CPSA)

Certified Professional Strategic Advisors 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.

CPSA is the final level of certification and candidates for this level must have 6 or more years of experience, have managed a category management team, and have been responsible for joint business planning.

  • Efficient Assortment: A Step-by-Step Process
  • Leveraging Data for Advanced Shelving Solutions
  • Understanding and Marketing to Your Shopper
  • Strategic Supply Chain Management
  • Strategic Selling
  • Collaborative Business Planning

CMA|SIMA Members have access to all training courses listed to prepare for the exam.

Interested in becoming a Member? Contact Tyler Tucker for more information at [email protected].