• Acquisition Education and Training Corner: November 2011

    Defense Acquisition University offers various training and education programs for the AL&T Workforce. (DoD photo by Lapedra Tolson.)

    DAU Senior Service College Fellowship

    The 2012-13 Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) announcement is open from Nov. 15 through March 15, 2012, to all eligible GS-14s and 15s who have met their current position certification requirements. The 2012-13 DAU-SSCF will be offered at Huntsville, AL, Warren, MI, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-senior-service-college/announcement/.

    Federal Executive Institute Announcement

    The Federal Executive Institute (FEI) Leadership for a Democratic Society announcement is open through June 13, 2012. Any interested GS-15s who have met their position certification requirement should read the announcement at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/federal-executive-institute-leadership-for-a-democratic-society/ for additional information and details on specific offerings and submission requirements. Starting this fiscal year, any applicant for FEI must have either completed the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course or received equivalency or constructive credit before submitting an FEI application. Interested applicants should visit the website on CES course credit at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/chrtas/help/CES_Course_Credit.asp.

    Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program

    We are piloting the new Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP), a 2 1/2-day course focusing on developing better civilian leadership. FY12 offerings will be available for courses running from January through July. An announcement will be sent out soon to command Acquisition Career Management Advocates to nominate appropriate personnel to participate. For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-leadership-challenge-program/. The two levels of ALCP, with areas of focus, are:

    ALCP I (GS-12/13, O-3/O-4)

    • Personal leadership strengths and weaknesses.
    • Preferred leadership styles.
    • Modeling leadership challenges.
    • Using power to increase productivity.
    • Cultural traits that affect organizational performance.
    • Practical solutions to personnel issues.
    • Setting and achieving goals.

    ALCP II (GS-14/15, O-5/O-6)

    • Comprehensive look at personal leadership strengths, weaknesses, preferences, styles, and behaviors.
    • Leadership styles and their effects on individual and team performance.
    • Dynamics of conflict: sources, nature, and techniques to influence outcomes.
    • Improving group communication.
    • Collaborative teamwork.
    • Effective enterprise leadership.
    • Supports and barriers to success in the acquisition environment.
    • Setting goals and developing practical strategies to reach them.

    Training with Industry

    This is a 10-to-12-month rotational opportunity for acquisition captains and majors to work side by side with industry. Current participating companies for Army acquisition in FY12 are: Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Cisco Systems Inc., EADS North America Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Intel Corp., General Dynamics Corp., and Boeing Co. For more information, please contact your assignment officer. Contact information is at https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/protect/branches/officer/FS/Acquisition/Acquistion_Contact__Information.htm.

    Future Opportunities

    There are many educational and leadership opportunities available in the near term for acquisition civilian and military workforce members.  Our Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience Catalog provides in-depth information on all training and developmental opportunities. The catalog is available on the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center website at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-education-training-and-experience/. Eligible applicants may apply for all of our programs by using the Army Acquisition Professional Development System tab within the Career Acquisition Management Portal/Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAMP/CAPPMIS) at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp.

    Defense Acquisition University Highlights

    Students should continue to apply for Defense Acquisition University (DAU) training through the Army Training Requirements and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas. Waiting times for Army seats and the status of pending applications can be viewed using AITAS.

    DAU’s online Learning Management System (LMS) came back online Sept. 19. The LMS is accessible only to Common Access Card (CAC) users. On Nov. 1, LMS reached full operational capability with a new security system hardened to allow login with a username and password. Students using this  functionality will be required to log in and update their passwords per DoD rules. The DAU Virtual Campus portal is at https://learn.dau.mil. For students who may continue to rely on CAC access, a password reset will be required.

    The backlog to enroll in classes has diminished; however, expect enrollments to be established 1 to 3 days from the date of successful course registration. DAU had identified issues with transactions errors between ATRRS and LMS, and 95 percent of those issues have been resolved. For the remaining 5 percent of reported problems that DAU cannot verify as fixed, DAU will remain in contact with the affected students and continue to investigate a solution. If you are experiencing issues accessing a previously enrolled course or have not received an enrollment notification from DAU to start the course, please contact the DAU Help Desk directly at dauhelp@dau.mil or DSN 655-3459 (choose Option 1).

    Because of an abundance of requests for help with new usernames and passwords, account activation, enrollments, and extensions, the DAU Help Desk is requesting patience. Each Help Desk ticket will be addressed in the order it was submitted. If you previously submitted a ticket, please do not send a duplicate one. DAU has applied an extension (until Dec. 30, 2011) to online course or module enrollments initiated during FY11. This action was taken to help reduce the impact of service interruptions to the LMS; it applies only to course or module enrollments before Oct. 1, 2011.

    The timeframe for DAU course cancellations has changed from 5 business days to 30 calendar days from the date the student receives a reservation. Cancellations for a confirmed reservation must be received at least 30 calendar days before the class starts or by the reservation cutoff date, whichever is earlier. Cancellations submitted after that deadline must have general officer or Senior Executive Service member approval, per Department of the Army DAU Training Policy and Procedures signed April 18, 2011. U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) students must cancel at least 45 calendar days before the start of the class. Please view AMC memo and DA DAU training policy and procedures at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/dau/docs.cfm. Please send an email directly to AMC.CourseCancellations@us.army.mil (this is the correct email address, not the one addressed in the memo) for concurrence of a DAU course cancellation before submitting a cancellation request in AITAS.

    Effective Oct. 1, 2011, DAU implemented new certification standards for FY12 that apply to Army acquisition civilian and military professionals, at all three certification levels. The new standards include significant revisions to the training associated with Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act acquisition career field (ACF) certification. While most of the changes are in the contracting career field, there are also changes in four other fields: logistics; test and evaluation; business, cost estimating, and financial management; and systems planning, research, development, and engineering. A memorandum FY12 DAU Certification Standards – Army Implementation Plan, signed Oct. 5 by the Deputy Director, Acquisition Career Management, provides guidance on the new certification standards, in addition to relief for those who are not able to apply for FY11 certification standards because of the unavailability of DAU’s LMS. The memo and Frequently Asked Questions associated with it are online at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-training/documents/.

    To address the shortfall in Level II contracting classes, six commercial vendors and four universities offer CON 280 and CON 290 equivalent classes. The vendors continue to teach the FY11 courses in FY12, and the courses are valid predecessors to the new FY12 courses until Sept. 30, 2013. More information on equivalencies is at the DAU website http://icatalog.dau.mil/appg.aspx. If you are unable to obtain CON 280 or CON 290 during FY12 and would like to use Section 852 funds to pay for an equivalent provider, please request approval from your command to attend training. If approved for training by the command, the Section 852/Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund program manager for that command will request funding from the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Section 852 manager by submitting a Program Request Form for FY11, found at https://www.usaasc.info/section852_cms. The point of contact is Jack Kendall at john.f.kendall.civ@mail.mil.

    To address the shortfall in Level II business, cost, and financial management (BCFM) courses, the Army is placing only first-priority students into available BCFM classes. Level II courses are available on the FY12 schedule. DAU has expanded classroom size from 24 to 28-30 for current FY11 and all FY12 course offerings, specifically the following courses: BCF 203, BCF 205, BCF 206, BCF 211, and BCF 215. An additional 680 seats were added to the FY12 schedule due to additional offerings and increase in class size. The demand is due to a temporary surge of BCFM certification requirements, along with an increase in BCFM workforce members needing certification. The Army will continue to request that more seats be added to the FY12 schedule. For experienced BCFM personnel, fulfillment of the course is recommended. For more information, go to http://icatalog.dau.mil/DAUFulfillmentPgm.aspx.

    DAU has successfully procured a commercial-off-the-shelf New Student Information System to replace the current distinct DAU registration systems for the four services. The web-based system, named PORTICO, will interface with DAU and DoD systems, AITAS, and CAMP/CAPPMIS. Army workforce members will be able to authenticate with a DoD CAC. PORTICO will standardize functionality and capability, allowing more transparency and up-to-date status information for students applying for DAU courses. The system is in the Business Requirements Review phase, with initial operating capability planned for August 2012 and full operating capability targeted for January 2013. For more information, go to http://www.dau.mil/sis/default.aspx.

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