Acquisition Education and Training Corner: August 2011
Update on FY12 Contracting Certification Changes
The Army Deputy Director of Acquisition Career Management is seeking a reprieve to the Defense Acquisition University contracting curriculum changes, scheduled to go in effect October 1.
The following alternative plans are under consideration: extensions that would allow workforce members to complete their certification training under the current FY11 Contracting Certification requirements; an extended grace period to meet experience requirements; and permission for those to complete training already in progress.
More up-to-date information will be provided once the vetting process is concluded.
Defense Acquisition University Updates
Registration is open for FY12 Defense Acquisition University (DAU) courses. Students should continue to apply through the Army Training Requirements and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas.
DAU is working diligently to resume normal operation of the Online Learning Management System (LMS). Its three-phase approach is designed to ensure that the is up and running smoothly:
- Phase 1—A temporary site with limited functionality and capacity has been set up to accommodate students who are enrolled in classroom course offerings and who require online courses as a prerequisite (ACQ 201A, BCF 106, CON 112, CON 214, CLC 056, LOG 200, LOG 235, PMT 352A, PQM 201A, SYS 202, or TST 102). In other words, students who need the online courses for their classroom training are getting first priority. Students were notified by DAU on Aug. 10 with directions to access the temporary site by using their DOD Common Access Cards (CACs). DAU was successful in getting the first tranche of students in Phase 1.
- Phase 2—Full capacity by mid-September, with an interface that will offer students CAC access to all online courses, including the continuous learning modules.
- Phase 3—Full operational capability, with a new security-hardened LMS for all users by December.
The timeframe for DAU course cancellations has changed from five 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/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-training/documents. Please send an email directly to AMC.CourseCancellations@us.army.mil. (This is the correct email address, not the one included in the memo.)
On March 25, the Director for Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy released a memorandum on “Upcoming Changes to the Contracting Curriculum in Fiscal Year 2012.” The changes affect the certification requirements for acquisition workforce members in contracting-coded positions. The Deputy Director for Acquisition Career Management provided supplemental guidance for the FY12 contracting changes. Please view the changes and recommendations at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-training/fy12-new-contracting-changes.
To address the shortfall in Level II contracting classes, six commercial vendors and four universities offer CON 215, 217, and 218 equivalent classes. The vendors will continue to teach the FY11 courses in FY12.The courses are valid predecessors to the new FY12 courses until Sept. 30, 2013. For more information on equivalencies, please visit the DAU website http://icatalog.dau.mil/appg.aspx. If you are unable to obtain CON 215, 217, and/or 218 during FY11 and would like to use Section 852 funds to pay for an equivalent provider, the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) now offers these courses. If a course is approved for training by the command, the Section 852/ Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund program manager for that command will request funding from the USAASC Section 852 manager by submitting a Program Request Form for FY11, found at https://www.usaasc.info/section852_cms. The point of contact is Chandra Evans Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 class size from 24 to 28-30 for current FY11 and all FY12 course offerings, specifically in the following courses: BCF 203, BCF 205, BCF 206, BCF 211 and BCF 215. An additional 680 seats were added to the FY12 schedule with additional offerings and increased class size. The demand stems from a temporary surge of BCFM certification requirements, along with an increase in BCFM workforce members who need certification. 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 new commercial-off-the-shelf Student Information System (SIS) to replace the current distinct DAU registration systems. The system, named PORTICO, is web-based and will interface with DAU and DOD systems, AITAS, and the Career Acquisition Management Portal/Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System. Army workforce members will be able to authenticate via their CAC. PORTICO will standardize functionality and capability for all services. It will allow more transparency and the latest status information for students applying for DAU courses. The system is in the Business Requirements Review phase, with initial operating capability slated for July 2012 and full operating capability in January 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.dau.mil/sis/default.aspx.