Federal Credentials Available to the Federal Workforce
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) is undertaking a significant modernization effort to enhance the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) program. This revamped framework revolutionizes the management and training of contracting professionals, aligning with the objectives of the federal procurement mission. The FAC-C modernization represents a paradigm shift towards a lifelong learning model, completely reimagining how the Federal Government nurtures its workforce. This transition moves away from a talent management system primarily reliant on early career classroom training and embraces the implementation of cutting-edge practices in modern learning, training agility, and continuous professional growth.
Under this new approach, individuals within the workforce can now acquire specific knowledge and skills precisely when they are needed, thanks to curated learning packages called credentials. These credentials are an integral part of the FAC-C modernization initiative and aim to provide comprehensive knowledge and associated skills to carry out job-centric, niche, and emerging functions in the field of acquisition. Examples of such functions include service acquisitions, construction contracting, category management, system acquisitions, innovation, and price analysis. To maximize efficiency, the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) will leverage existing Defense Acquisition University (DAU) credentials wherever possible. Additionally, FAI has established a framework and governance structure for Federal credentials. Recommendations for Federal credentials will be submitted to the Federal Credential Governance Board (FCGB), approved by OFPP, and maintained by FAI.
By pursuing and attaining credentials, professionals engaged in managing capability requirements, acquiring services/systems, or sustaining capabilities can bolster their competence, confidence, and overall value to both their respective organizations and the Federal Acquisition Workforce as a whole.
- The Certified period starts once all the component parts of the credential have been completed. The duration (n) of this period is dependent on the Certified period for the individual credential, typically three to five years. At the end of the Certified period, the workforce member will get a notification that their credential status has changed to “Renewal in Progress.”
- The Renewal in Progress period is six months, during which time the student must complete the credential’s renewal requirement(s). This is also referred to as the “Renewal Period.”
- The credential will Expire if the renewal requirements are not met within the six-month renewal period, meaning that the student no longer has credit for being current with the credential. In this case, the expiration date will be noted as the last day of the six-month renewal period. For example, a three-year credential that was initially awarded on June 15, 2023, will be reflected as Expired on the student’s transcript as of December 15, 2026, i.e., the three-year period plus the six-month renewal opportunity.
- Once the renewal requirements have been met, the expiration date of the credential will be extended for an additional period of validity starting on the first day of the Renewal Period. For example, a three-year credential that was initially awarded on June 15, 2023, will be extended to June 15, 2029, assuming the renewal requirements are met within the six-month period following June 15, 2026
NOTE: Unlike credentials offered by DAU, the Federal credentials do not have a one-year timeframe to complete the initial credential.
Available Federal Credentials are published on the FAI website, and within FAI CSOD. To access FAI CSOD, you must first log in. Once logged in, type “Credential” in the search window and hit “Enter”. Then, on the left side of the screen, click “Certifications,” which will display all the available credentials (in FAI CSOD, credentials are called “Certifications”). Additional credentials are added frequently, so check back often.
Some credentials require the completion of instructor-led (ILT) training either in the classroom or in a virtual (vILT) environment.
Earning/Renewing a Federal Credential
- To earn a credential, you must complete all the listed requirements. These will include a combination of one or more training courses along with other learning assets such as videos, games, simulations, and/or a capstone assessment. Some credentials include learning assets from non-DAU sources that will still be accessed through the FAI CSOD Virtual Campus.
- Credit will be granted for any completed requirement that displays on your transcript.
- For training course requirements, predecessor courses will not be accepted in lieu of the current course.
- Grading criteria for credential capstone assessments follows the same standards set forth in Federal Acquisition Institute Student Training Guidebook.
- You must achieve at least an 80% or better to pass.
- Should you fail the capstone assessment more than once or are having difficulty with a capstone assessment, it is recommended that you contact the DAU Help Desk for a referral to an FAI team member.
- The certified period will begin after earning a credential, at which time credit for earning it will display on your FAI CSOD transcript.
- Maintaining currency is the key with credentials. Accordingly, new credentials will not identify the renewal requirements.
- Renewal requirements are normally published at least 2 months prior to the end of the credentials Certified period.
- The Certified period is based on the original deployment date of the credential, e.g., if the credential was deployed 1 February 1, 2024, and is a 5-year credential, the Certified period ends January 31, 2029.
- Your renewal requirements are typically published at least two (2) months prior to the end of the Certified period of your credential.
- Changes in renewal requirements will impact you if you have entered your renewal period and have not completed the renewal requirement.
- Typically, renewal requirements may consist of one of the following:
- A video or short course outlining significant updates in the content of the credential since deployment or the credentials last Certified period with or without an exam addressing the updates.
- Reexamination of the credential in its entirety.
- Completion of a requirement that has been added or replaced in the credential.
- In some cases, there may not have been any changes and the requirement would simply be to access the renewal learning object to be renewed.
As always, if you have questions regarding the Federal Credential Program, a specific credential or have a technical issue, contact the DAU Help Desk at:
- Local: 703-805-3459 (DSN: 655-3459 Option 1)
- Toll-free: 866-568-6924 (DSN: 655-3459 Option 1)
- Submit a Ticket