You have likely heard the saying “perception is reality” before. For leaders within procurement positions, this essentially means that if those at the top of the management chain believe your procurement team to be incompetent, inexperienced or incapable; your team is no better off than if they actually were guilty of all these things. So how can you show top management that your team is solid and capable? That is where procurement team certification comes into play. If the senior management at your organization already hold very high esteem for your procurement team, that’s great. But do you know what they really think? Perhaps they think that your team is not filled with the ‘brightest light bulbs in the box.’ Maybe they simply do not know how to gauge whether or not your team is capable or if the team is well below average. If you obtain a procurement certification it shows your organization that a third-party has assessed your team’s capabilities and has elected that you meet the designated standards for excellence. With this third-party validation, you do not have to fear that your claims of excellence will fall on deaf ears. This will mean that you no longer have to get into a discussion with senior management regarding whether or not your procurement team is truly capable of doing their job properly. Internal customers also are important to consider. How do they perceive the skills of your procurement team? They demand that your procurement department services are easy to use and responsive to their needs. When you decide that you are ready to transform your procurement team into a better and more streamlined working group, you need to ensure that the entire organization is on board and ready to comply with the new directives set forth by the procurement department. Once your team has a certification, they are truly professionals in the procurement field and will be perceived as qualified team members who are well trained for and capable of success within your procurement department. Just think about it. The professionals within other departments of your company have professional certifications, don’t they? You likely work in conjunction with CPAs (Certified Public Accountants), CQA (Certified Quality Auditors) and PEs (Professional Engineers). While their skills are certainly a big part of their benefit to the organization and their perceived benefit to the organization, the certification on its own commands a certain degree of respect. A team is only as strong as its weakest link. You need to show everyone else in the company that the weakest link is definitely not the procurement team. Procurement team certification enables your procurement team to show your entire company that each member of the team is truly committed to excellence and that you are ready to assist members of any department within the organization with their procurement needs. Certifying your procurement team is a wonderful way to create a positive image for your team so that you command respect from everyone in the company, including those who are at the top of the food chain.