Acquisition Education and Training Corner: October 2011
New Requirement for Federal Executive Institute and Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship
Starting this fiscal year, any applicant for the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) or Defense Acquisition University – Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) must have either completed the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course or received equivalency or constructive credit before submitting an application. Applicants who apply for the 2011-12 DAU-SSCF program must have completed the CES Advanced course or an approved equivalent, or received constructive credit for it. Interested applicants should visit the Army Management Staff College website https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/chrtas/help/CES_Course_Credit.asp. The DAU-SSCF announcement is open Nov. 15 through March 15, 2012. The FEI announcement is being sent out to the applicable GS-15 workforce in late October.
Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program
The new Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP), a 2.5-day course focusing on developing better civilian leadership, is currently in the pilot stage. FY12 offerings will be available for courses running from January through July. An announcement will be sent out in November. Eligible groups and program focus areas are as follows:
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’ 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.
Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellows Program
The Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellows (CDG/AAF) Program is a three-year program that offers developmental assignments in program executive offices, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) offices, U.S. Army Materiel Command Headquarters, and functional organizations. In addition, the program provides expanded training, leadership, experiential, and other career development opportunities. Applicants must be current Department of the Army AL&T Workforce members; GS-12/13 or an equivalent converted Personnel Demonstration Project broadband/pay-band level (whose pay equals that of a GS-13, Step 1); and certified at Level III in any acquisition career field.
This is a developmental leadership opportunity managed by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC). For administrative questions about this action, contact the CDG/AAF Program Manager Chandra Evans-Mitchell at 703-805-1247, DSN 655-1247, or email@example.com. The announcement is open until Nov. 30. Additional information is at http://asc.army.mil/docs/programs/cdg/YG12_Announcement.pdf.
Training with Industry
This is a rotational opportunity (for 10-12 months) for acquisition captains and majors to work side by side with industry. FY12 companies are: Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Coca-Cola Co., EADS North America Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics Corp., and Boeing Co. Officers interested in this program should contact their assignment officers. For more information, go to https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/protect/branches/officer/FS/Acquisition/Acquistion_Contact__Information.htm (login required).
Future AETE Opportunities
Many educational and leadership opportunities are available in the near term. The Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience Catalog, available at the USAASC website http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-education-training-and-experience/, provides in-depth information on all training and developmental opportunities for acquisition civilian and military workforce members. Applicants may apply for any of the 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 Training
Registration is open for FY12 Defense Acquisition University (DAU) courses. Students should apply through the Army Training Requirements and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas.
The DAU Online Learning Management System (LMS) came back online Sept. 19. The LMS is accessible by CAC users only. By January, LMS will reach full capability with security-hardened username and password login. The DAU Virtual Campus website is at https://learn.dau.mil. DAU experienced two bottleneck areas after the LMS came back online because of an abundance of course enrollments. The backlog has since been depleted, and enrollments are available again in real time. DAU has identified an issue with transaction errors between the Army Training Requirements and Resources system (ATRRS) and LMS. The error is tied to unprocessed course registrations made between July 13 and Sept. 30 for the DAU/Federal Acquisition Institute Web and Continuous Learning Courses. Registration for courses made between the identified dates has been canceled; students were notified via email by ATRRS. If you fall in this category, please reapply to the course using AITAS at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas. If you are experiencing issues accessing a previously enrolled course or have not received an enrollment notification from DAU to start the course, please email the DAU help desk directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-568-6924 (toll-free), 703-805-3459, or DSN 655-3459 and choose Option 1.
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 from the start of the class. The AMC memo and DA DAU training policy and procedures are 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 addressed in the memo) for concurrence of a DAU course cancellation before submitting a cancellation request in AITAS.
Effective Oct. 1, 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. Not all ACFs have implemented changes in FY12, but the changes that have taken effect are significant. The 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 provided to those who cannot apply for FY11 certification standards because of DAU LMS unavailability. To view the memo and FAQs associated with it, go to http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/defense-acquisition-university-training/documents/.
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 changes and recommendations are 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 280 and CON 290 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 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 USAASC Section 852 manager by submitting a Program Request Form, found at https://www.usaasc.info/section852_cms. The point of contact is Chandra Evans-Mitchell at email@example.com.
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. There is Level II course availability on the FY12 schedule. DAU has expanded classroom size from 24 to 28-30 for 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 because of additional offerings and increased class size. The demand is due to a temporary surge of BCFM certification requirements, along with an increase in the BCFM workforce that needs 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 commercial-off-the-shelf new Student Information System to replace the current distinct DAU registration systems for the four services. The system, named PORTICO, is web-based and will interface with DAU and DOD systems, AITAS, and CAMP/CAPPMIS. Army workforce members will be able to authenticate via a DOD CAC. PORTICO will standardize functionality and capability for all services. It will allow 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 July 2012 and full operating capability targeted for January 2013. For more information, go to http://www.dau.mil/sis/default.aspx.