Terms of Service


This Terms of Service ("Agreement") is a legal agreement between you (referred to herein as "you" or "your") and Institute for Supply Management ("we", "our", or "us") for access to and use of our website (the "Website") and other related software, interactive features or downloads operated by us and that are available through the Website (whether accessed directly or through any software Website) (collectively, the "Service").


2.1 Use of the Service by You

We provide the Service for educational purposes only. You may not rely on any information or opinions expressed on the Service for any other purpose.

The Service may contain links to other Websites or services maintained by third parties. We do not operate or control, in any respect, or necessarily endorse the content found on third-party Websites or services. You assume sole responsibility for your use of third-party links, Websites, products and services.

You agree that (i) you will use the Service solely for your own, non-commercial, personal use in accordance with this Agreement and in accordance with any specific rules or usage provisions specified by us on the Service and (ii) all information supplied by you to us will be true, accurate, current and complete. We retain the right at our sole discretion to deny or suspend access to the Service to anyone, at any time and for any reason, without liability.

You acknowledge and agree that your use of the Service, including, without limitation, the storage of any data, files, information and/or other materials on a server owned or under our control or in any way connected to the Service, shall be at your sole risk and responsibility and we shall have no obligation to back-up such data, files, information and/or other materials. We expressly reserve the right to limit storage capacity and to remove and/or delete any data, files, and/or other information stored or used in connection with the Service for any reason including, without limitation, if we deem, in our sole discretion, such data to be in violation of this Agreement and/or any rule or policy of ours and/or any local, state, or federal law or regulation.

We cannot always foresee or anticipate technical or other difficulties which may result in failure to obtain data or loss of data, personalization settings, or other interruptions. We cannot assume responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, communications or settings.

Please remember that you are solely responsible for your interactions with other users of the Service. We reserve the right, but have no obligation, to monitor disputes between you and any other user of the Service, or any user’s action or inaction.

You agree that you will abide by any third-party company policies and terms necessary in using our Website or Service (such as a third-party publisher terms of use or Facebook terms of use).

2.2 You represent, warrant, and agree that you will not:

  • use the Service in any unlawful manner, for any unlawful purpose, or in any manner inconsistent with this Agreement and/or any and all applicable local, state, national and international laws and regulations and treaties;
  • use the Service for the distribution, housing, processing, propagation, storage, or other handling of, any Content (as defined below) or other material prohibited by this Agreement, or any material that may create a risk of any loss or damage to any person or property, or any other material (including, without limitation, links to such material) that we deem, in our sole discretion, to be objectionable whether or not such material is unlawful;
  • permit or otherwise enable unauthorized users to access and/or use the Service;
  • use the Service to export software or data in violation of applicable U.S. laws or regulations;
  • sell, copy, duplicate, rent, lease, loan, distribute, transfer, or sublicense the Service, or otherwise permit any third party to use or have access to the Service for any purpose (except as expressly permitted by us in writing) or decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, create a derivative work of, display in human readable form, attempt to discover any source code, or otherwise use any software that enables or comprises any part of the Service;
  • remove any copyright, trademark, patent or other proprietary notices from the Service or any Content on the Service;
  • distribute, publish, exhibit, or otherwise use the Service, in any manner and for any purpose not expressly permitted under this Agreement;
  • exploit the Service or collect any data incorporated in the Service in any automated manner through the use of bots, metaspiders, crawlers or any other automated means;
  • register as a user of the Service by providing false, inaccurate, or misleading information;
  • post hyperlinks to commercial services or Websites;
  • collect personal data about other users of the Service for commercial or any other purposes;
  • post or otherwise make available irrelevant Content (as defined below), repeatedly post or make available the same or similar Content or otherwise impose an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure;
  • attempt to gain unauthorized access to our computer systems (including any non-public areas of the Service) or engage in any activity that disrupts, diminishes the quality of, probes for vulnerability, interferes with the performance of, or impairs the functionality of, the Service (or the servers and networks which are connected to the Service);
  • make available Content (as defined below) that in our opinion constitutes or contains "affiliate marketing," "link referral codes," "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or unsolicited commercial advertisement, except to the extent such Content is provided to you by us or one of our affiliates for a purpose specifically authorized by us in writing;
  • access or use the Service if you have been previously removed from the Service by us.
  • use or access the ISM Supply Chain Mastery™ Model for any other purpose beyond internal purposes, including for your own employees and contractors and educational purposes. For avoidance of doubt, you may not commercially distribute the ISM Supply Chain Mastery™ Model for commercial, for consulting or any other purpose including any use of it in the creation of competing programs.
  • use or access our online courses for any other purpose beyond internal purposes, including for your own educational purposes. For avoidance of doubt, online course access is for individuals only. You may not share your log in or commercially distribute the online courses, for consulting or any other purpose including any use of it in the creation of competing programs.

2.3 Principles Relating to Processing of Personal Data

There are a number of fundamental principles upon which the GDPR is based.

These are as follows:

1. Personal data shall be:

(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);

(b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);

(c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);

(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);

(e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organizational measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);

(f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organizational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).

2. The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph 1 (‘accountability’).

Institute for Supply Management will ensure that it complies with all of these principles both in the processing it currently carries out and as part of the introduction of new methods of processing such as new IT systems.

2.4 Rights of the Individual

The data subject also has rights under the GDPR. These consist of:

  1. 1. The right to be informed
  2. 2. The right of access
  3. 3. The right to rectification
  4. 4. The right to erasure
  5. 5. The right to restrict processing
  6. 6. The right to data portability
  7. 7. The right to object
  8. 8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Each of these rights are supported by appropriate procedures within Institute for Supply Management that allow the required action to be taken within the timescales stated in the GDPR.

These timescales are shown in Table 1.

Data Subject Request Timescale
The right to be informed When data is collected (if supplied by data subject) or within one month (if not supplied by data subject)
The right of access One month
The right to rectification One month
The right to erasure Without undue delay
The right to restrict processing Without undue delay
The right to data portability One month
The right to object On receipt of objection
Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling. Not specified

Table 1 - Timescales for data subject requests

2.5 Lawfulness of Processing

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the way that Institute for Supply Management carries out its information processing activities. Significant fines are applicable if a breach is deemed to have occurred under the GDPR, which is designed to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Union. It is Institute for Supply Management’s policy to ensure that our compliance with the GDPR and other relevant legislation is clear and demonstrable at all times.

  • 2.5.1 Consent
    • Unless it is necessary for a reason allowable in the GDPR, Institute for Supply Management will always obtain explicit consent from a data subject to collect and process their data. In case of children below the age of 16 (a lower age may be allowable in specific EU member states) parental consent will be obtained. Transparent information about our usage of their personal data will be provided to data subjects at the time that consent is obtained and their rights with regard to their data explained, such as the right to withdraw consent. This information will be provided in an accessible form, written in clear language and free of charge.
    • If the personal data are not obtained directly from the data subject then this information will be provided to the data subject within a reasonable period after the data are obtained and definitely within one month.
  • 2.5.2 Performance of a Contract
    • Where the personal data collected and processed are required to fulfil a contract with the data subject, explicit consent is not required. This will often be the case where the contract cannot be completed without the personal data in question. For example, the delivery of an order will require an email address and/or a physical address.
  • 2.5.3 Legal Obligation
    • If the personal data is required to be collected and processed in order to comply with the law, then explicit consent is not required. This may be the case for some data related to employment and taxation for example, and for many areas addressed by the public sector.
  • 2.5.4 Vital Interests of the Data Subject
    • In a case where the personal data are required to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person, then this may be used as the lawful basis of the processing. Institute for Supply Management will retain reasonable, documented evidence that this is the case, whenever this reason is used as the lawful basis of the processing of personal data.
  • 2.5.5 Task Carried Out in the Public Interest
    • Where Institute for Supply Management needs to perform a task that it believes is in the public interest or as part of an official duty then the data subject’s consent will not be requested. The assessment of the public interest or official duty will be documented and made available as evidence where required. For example, some of research performed by the Report on Business® group and the CAPS Research group may fall into this area.
  • 2.5.6 Legitimate Interests
    • If the processing of specific personal data is in the legitimate interests of Institute for Supply Management and is judged not to affect the rights and freedoms of the data subject in a significant way, then this may be defined as the lawful reason for the processing. The reasoning behind this view will be documented.

2.6 Privacy by Design

Institute for Supply Management has adopted the principle of privacy by design and will ensure that the definition and planning of all new or significantly changed systems that collect or process personal data will be subject to due consideration of privacy issues, including the completion of one or more data protection impact assessments.

The data protection impact assessment will include:

  • Consideration of how personal data will be processed and for what purposes
  • Assessment of whether the proposed processing of personal data is both necessary and proportionate to the purpose(s)
  • Assessment of the risks to individuals in processing the personal data
  • What controls are necessary to address the identified risks and demonstrate compliance with legislation

Use of techniques such as data minimization and pseudonymisation will be considered where applicable and appropriate.

2.7 Contracts Involving the Processing of Personal Data

Institute for Supply Management will ensure that all relationships it enters into that involve the processing of personal data are subject to a documented contract that includes the specific information and terms required by the GDPR. For more information, see the GDPR Controller-Processor Agreement Policy.

2.8 International Transfers of Personal Data

Transfers of personal data outside the European Union will be carefully reviewed prior to the transfer taking place to ensure that they fall within the limits imposed by the GDPR. This depends partly on the European Commission’s judgement as to the adequacy of the safeguards for personal data applicable in the receiving country and this may change over time.

Intra-group international data transfers will be subject to legally binding agreements referred to as Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) which provide enforceable rights for data subjects.

ISM does not currently have any offices within the EU; however, this could apply to data collected in it’s Shanghai office and transmitted to ISM’s corporate office.

2.9 Data Protection Officer

A defined role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is required under the GDPR if an organization is a public authority, if it performs large scale monitoring or if it processes particularly sensitive types of data on a large scale. The DPO is required to have an appropriate level of knowledge and can either be an in-house resource or outsourced to an appropriate service provider.

Based on these criteria, Institute for Supply Management does not require a Data Protection Officer to be appointed.

2.10 Breach Notification

It is Institute for Supply Management’s policy to be fair and proportionate when considering the actions to be taken to inform affected parties regarding breaches of personal data. In line with the GDPR, where a breach is known to have occurred which is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the relevant supervisory authority will be informed within 72 hours following the knowledge of the incident and pursuant to legal and technical guidance. This will be managed in accordance with our Information Security Incident Response Procedure which sets out the overall process of handling information security incidents.

Under the GDPR the relevant DPA has the authority to impose a range of fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover or twenty million Euros, whichever is the higher, for infringements of the regulations.

2.11 Addressing Compliance to the GDPR

The following actions are undertaken to ensure that Institute for Supply Management complies at all times with the accountability principle of the GDPR:

  • The legal basis for processing personal data is clear and unambiguous
  • All staff involved in handling personal data understand their responsibilities for following good data protection practice
  • Training in data protection has been provided to all staff
  • Rules regarding consent are followed
  • Routes are available to data subjects wishing to exercise their rights regarding personal data and such inquiries are handled effectively
  • Annual reviews of procedures involving personal data are carried out
  • Privacy by design is adopted for all new or changed systems and processes
  • The following documentation of processing activities is recorded:
    • - Organization name and relevant details
    • - Purposes of the personal data processing
    • - Categories of individuals and personal data processed
    • - Categories of personal data recipients
    • - Agreements and mechanisms for transfers of personal data to non-EU countries including details of controls in place
    • - Personal data retention schedules
    • - Relevant technical and organizational controls in place

These actions are reviewed on a regular basis as part of the management process concerned with data protection.

2.12 ISM Media Room

Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) is the first supply management institute in the world. Founded in 1915, ISM exists to lead and serve the supply management profession and is a highly influential and respected association in the global marketplace. By executing and extending its mission through education, research, standards of excellence and information dissemination — including the renowned monthly ISM Report On Business® — ISM maintains a strong global influence among individuals and organizations. ISM is a not-for-profit educational association that serves professionals with an interest in supply management who live and work in more than 75 countries. ISM offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management® (CPSM®) qualification and is a member of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM).

The official name of the organization is Institute for Supply Management™. The correct way to abbreviate the Institute for Supply Management™ is ISM, without periods. The Institute for Supply Management, Inc.™ (ISM) is a trademarked name awaiting registration and should be followed by a trademark symbol in all references. When using the possessive form, the trademark symbol comes before the apostrophe (Institute for Supply Management™'s). It is not, however, necessary to use the trademark symbol with the abbreviation ISM.

2.13 Definition of Supply Management

ISM defines supply management as the identification, acquisition, access, positioning and management of resources the organization needs or potentially needs in the attainment of its strategic objectives. Further, supply management is: future-oriented, senior-management critical, strategic in relation to the competitive imperatives of the organization, and a significant contributor to marketplace intelligence and profitability. Components included under the supply management umbrella are: disposition/investment, distribution, inventory control, logistics, manufacturing, materials management, packaging, procurement/purchasing, product/service development, quality, receiving, transportation/traffic/shipping and warehousing.

2.14 Report On Business®

Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®,  Services ISM Report On Business®, and Hospital ISM Report On Business®
These ISM reports (known as the ROB) are leading economic indicators released on the first, third and fifth business days, respectively, of each month and are posted online and in Inside Supply Management®, the monthly magazine published by ISM. When referring to both reports, do not use Reports On Business® this is incorrect. Reword or use the lowercase plural "the reports."


This composite index of the Manufacturing Report On Business®, formerly called the Purchasing Managers' Index, is now known simply as the PMI in all references.

2.15 ISM Publications

Inside Supply Management®
This is ISM's monthly magazine (formerly titled Purchasing Today® and NAPM Insights) and is available only through membership in the organization. The title should always be followed by a registration mark.

The Journal of Supply Chain Management
This is ISM's quarterly academic journal available by subscription. It was formerly titled International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management and Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management. After the first reference, it may be written as the Journal.

2.16 ISM Anti-Trust Policy


It is the express policy of Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) to comply at all times with all existing laws, including the antitrust laws, and in furtherance thereof, this ISM Antitrust Policy shall apply to all activities and programs sponsored or conducted by or within ISM, including CAPS Research, and is intended to minimize the risk of the appearance of any violation of the antitrust laws.


General Standards for ISM Activities

The following General Standards shall apply to all ISM-sponsored meetings, events and activities:

  1. This ISM Antitrust Policy will be made available to all ISM members and others involved in ISM meetings, activities and events by publication on the ISM and CAPS Research websites and will be referred to when appropriate in program announcements, materials, surveys and other
  2. All ISM meetings shall be scheduled meetings. An agenda shall be prepared and distributed to attendees in advance and will be reviewed by legal counsel where Subjects not included on the agenda generally will not be discussed at a meeting.
  3. When necessary to comply with this ISM Antitrust Policy, legal counsel will be present at ISM meetings and events.
  4. When necessary to comply with this ISM Antitrust Policy, minutes of ISM meetings will be reviewed by legal
  5. When necessary to comply with this ISM Antitrust Policy, legal counsel will approve new ISM programs and changes in existing
  6. Discussion of the following will be avoided at all ISM meetings:
    • Current or future prices
    • What constitutes fair profits
    • Possible increases or decreases in prices
    • Standardization or stabilization of prices
    • Pricing
    • Cash discounts
    • Credit terms
    • Control of sales
    • Allocation of markets, and freight allowances
    • Specific contract terms used with suppliers
    • Plans or strategies to award or remove business from a particular supplier
    • Refusal to deal with a corporation or individual because of its pricing or marketing practices
    • Confidential information or trade secrets
  1. ISM and CAPS Research reports, surveys and other information products will be made available to nonmembers with a valid business purpose, subject to reasonable delay in publication and reasonable charges when appropriate.


Standards for Conduct and Use of Surveys and Benchmarking

  1. ISM and CAPS Research shall not disclose trade secrets or other confidential proprietary information of survey respondents which would ordinarily be withheld from competitors or others.
  2. The purposes of the survey are to be well defined, and the possible use of the survey or statistical program identified.
  3. Survey questions and compilation of data are to be formulated in a simple, concise manner.
  4. Participation in or responding to the survey must be voluntary.
  5. Price or cost data to be provided shall be at least three months old at the time of response.
  6. Non-price forward-looking data will not be requested or provided.
  7. There shall be at least five providers reporting data upon which each disseminated statistic is based and no individual provider’s data shall represent more than 25% on a weighted basis of that statistic. 
  8. Information disseminated shall be sufficiently aggregated such that it will not allow recipients to identify the data provided by individual respondents.
  9. ISM will maintain and preserve the confidentiality of the original information collected.
  10. Data will be collected and analyzed by a party independent of those furnishing information.
  11. Participants in a survey shall not have access to the raw data submitted and compiled.
  12. All surveys shall comply with applicable guidelines and regulations of the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.


Standards for ISM Sponsored Events

  1. All ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities shall be conducted in accordance with the General Standards set forth above.
  2. At all ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities, including breakout sessions, meals and social events, discussion of the topics listed under paragraph 6 of the General Standards shall be avoided. All participants are encouraged to promptly object to any question, comment or discussion that they do not believe is appropriate.
  3. Program materials distributed at all ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities shall prominently refer to the ISM Antitrust Policy and include the list of topics that should not be discussed.