In January of 2009, the Central Florida Chapter of NIGP convened first-time study groups to prepare for upcoming CPPB and CPPO exams. Both groups achieved a 100 percent pass rate. We asked Carrie Woodell, purchasing manager of Winter Park, Fla., about the groups and for her take on the certification process.

Q. Why did you want to get certified?

A. I chose to seek the CPPO certification because it is the premier certification available for public procurement professionals. To obtain the certification demonstrates a superior level of knowledge in the profession, which is vital when dealing with internal customers as well as complex procurement issues.

Q. What was your motivation for taking the exam?

A. Aside from my personal desire to achieve the highest level of certification available, it is my desire to eventually go through the Train the Trainer program and become an NIGP instructor. This will allow me to pass on my knowledge to future generations of public procurement professionals.

Q. How did you prepare for the exam?

A. Our group members utilized most, if not all, of the resources made available through NIGP including attending the PREP review course, the Study Guide, as well as the online assessment package. From the beginning, each group created an outline of weekly assignments and convened weekly either in person or via teleconference (to accommodate those who were outside of the central geographical area). As the exam date neared, group members generated their own test tools such as flash cards, crossword puzzles or sample tests to challenge other group members on their comprehension of the Body of Knowledge. The motivation and support gained by involvement in the study group was extremely valuable to those who participated, and I believe there is no greater display of the value than our 100 percent pass rate for all members of both study groups.

Q. How did NIGP help?

A. Resources made available by NIGP gave us comprehensive exposure to the Body of Knowledge from different aspects.

Read the main story, "Time to get certified".