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Partnering for the Future

UPPCC and NASPO: Partnering for the Future

As a state procurement professional you are probably aware of the Universal Public
Procurement Certification Council’s (UPPCC) role as the primary certifying entity for public
procurement employees. What you may not be aware of is that for more than thirty five years
NASPO has been an equal partner in the UPPCC and continues to be involved in promoting its’

In 1978, NASPO and The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) established the
UPPCC to serve as a separate entity focused upon the certification of public procurement
professionals. As noted on the UPPCC website, the functions of the organization are as follows:
-to establish, monitor, and revise requirements for certification
-to continue research efforts relating to the certification of public buyers and procurement
-to coordinate with other NIGP and NASPO programs in order to further the certification of
public procurement officers
-to do all things necessary and proper to promote and insure professionalism in public

The UPPCC has established two designations for certification, a Certified Public Procurement
Officer (CPPO), and a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB). In order to have complete
independence and objectivity the UPPCC has entire ownership over both of these designations.
This autonomy increases the credibility of the certification programs.

“As a founding partner of the UPPCC, NASPO has been actively promoting CPPB and CPPO
certification for state government procurement professionals for many years,” explains NASPO
Executive Director DeLaine Bender. “This is because furthering excellence and professionalism
within public procurement is at the heart of NASPO’s mission as an organization.”

The UPPCC is led by the Governing Board and assisted in the development of test questions by
the Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners is made up of 18 total members that assist in
the evaluation and development of the certification examinations. There are currently three
NASPO representatives serving on the Board of Examiners; Brenda Thielen Willard, MN; Kathy
McAuley, NY; and Gail Carter, OR. A fourth representative has been named – stay tuned for
that announcement coming soon.

The Governing Board is made up of six voting members that are responsible with policy
decisions related to both the overall organization and the certification programs. Of the six
members, three represent NIGP and three represent NASPO. UPPCC Governing Board members
serve three-year terms and can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. The current
NASPO representatives serving on the board are Chair David Gragan, Life Member;
Secretary/Treasurer Monica Wilkes, Honorary Member; and Rick Hughes, WI. Additionally,
NASPO Executive Director DeLaine Bender serves as a nonvoting advisory member to the board.

“Since the creation of the UPPCC, NASPO has continued to actively support this council, which
administers the testing and certification programs most associated with our profession,”
remarks Gragan. “Today, several NASPO members contribute their time and energy to both the
UPPCC Governing Board and the Board of Examiners, ensuring that state leadership is wellrepresented
as we continue to support the professional certification of our workforce.”

For additional information about the UPPCC and how you can become certified can be found at

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