A new federal government civilian agency contracting standard will come into effect on Wednesday, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) announced earlier this month, with an eye towards addressing staffing shortages and training contracting professionals more effectively.
All civilian agencies will adopt the National Contract Management Association’s (NCMA) Contract Management Standard (CMS), which means the new Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) professional program will now match that of the Defense Department.
The CMS accreditation sets out clear definitions for every phase of a contract lifecycle, and is intended to improve the mobility of contracts between the Pentagon and civilian agencies.
“NCMA celebrates the increase in talent mobility in government that will come through adoption of our CMS,” said NCMA Chief Executive Officer Kraig Conrad in a statement. “Our members invested considerable resources to achieve American National Standard Institute approval of our standard and accreditation of our certifications. We are proud that the federal government recognizes their power.”
The NCMA, which was founded in 1959, is the largest association in the contract management field within the U.S. with more than 18,000 members.
Lesley Field, deputy administrator for federal procurement policy said the FAC-C (Professional) is designed to draw more people into the federal contracting workforce from a variety of sources: universities, the industry, internal candidates, and state and local governments.
Contracting training is “critical to the success of important public priorities, such as advancing equity, promoting sustainability, increasing domestic sourcing, and ensuring our supply chains and cyber assets are secure,” Field said in a January 19 memo to chief acquisition officers and senior procurement executives in the government.