Career Planning Steps
Civilian Steps to Planning Your Acquisition Career
The Army acquisition workforce is composed of civilian and military professionals who support the various phases of the acquisition life cycle. The Army acquisition population is diverse and crosses thirteen functional Acquisition Career Fields (ACFs): Program Management; Contracting; Industrial/Contract Property Management; Purchasing; Production, Quality and Manufacturing; Business (two tracks-Financial Management & Cost Estimating); Life Cycle Logistics; Information Technology; Facilities Engineering; Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering (three tracks – Systems Engineering, Science & Technology Manager, and Program Systems Engineer); and Test and Evaluation. Descriptions of the acquisition career fields are at http://www.dau.mil/workforce/pages/pcds.aspx. Employees should consult with their supervisor as to whether their position has been identified as an AL&TWF position.
AL&TWF members are responsible for understanding the requirements for becoming competitive at all levels to achieve success. Workforce members should establish short- and long-range career objectives and seek advice from their supervisor and/or a mentor on how best to achieve the objectives. Ensure these objectives include achieving technical competence in the primary Acquisition Career Field (ACF), academic credentials, broadening functional experience, and leadership training and experience.
In this regard, all workforce members are required to be certified in their acquisition career field and are required to participate in continuous learning activities throughout their careers. The Certification and Continuous Learning requirements are addressed below along with information on the process to follow in order to meet these requirements. While many of these “steps” may overlap, they are generally in sequence order.
Keep in mind that career planning and documentation is the workforce member’s responsibility.
Army Acquisition Civilian Development Plan (February 26, 2012)
Step One – Prepare an Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB):
The ACRB can be accessed from CAPPMIS at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the ACRB tab. The ACRB is an automated, authenticated record of your education, training, and acquisition assignment history. It is your official acquisition record and it is your responsibility to initiate changes and keep it updated through CAPPMIS. CAPPMIS is an integrated set of tools to help serve and manage your acquisition career. It provides access to the Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB), Individual Development Plan (IDP) and the ATRRS Internet Training Application System (AITAS). All three are important to you as an AL&TWF member.
Step Two – Review Certification Requirements:
The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) requires that employees meet the certification requirements (education, training and experience) associated with the position they encumber within 24 months after assignment. Certification levels are generally based on the grade (or pay band equivalent) of the position as follows: Level I – GS-05 through GS-08, Level II – GS-09 through GS-12, Level III – GS-13 and above. Certification requirements can be found in the DAU Interactive Catalog at http://icatalog.dau.mil/ (click on the “Certification & Core + Development Guides” button). Your first priority is to become certified in the Acquisition Career Field (Category) and level required by your current position. The career field category and level required for your position are shown on your ACRB under Section I (Current Position Data).
Step Three – Prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP):
AL&TWF members are required to complete and maintain a 5 year IDP. The IDP can be accessed from CAPPMIS at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the IDP tab. Preparation of the IDP is a joint venture between you and your supervisor. The IDP permits you and your supervisor to identify and track career objectives in the areas of education, training and experiential opportunities. Objectives should reflect overall broad career goals and specific developmental activities intended to accomplish them. The developmental objectives should be attainable in a reasonable time frame and do not have to be purely acquisition related. They can include items such as functional training, leadership, education, professional activities, and assignment experience that can lead toward the overall achievement of broad career goals. The IDP should be reviewed in conjunction with the normal appraisal cycles (initial review, mid-point review, and final rating period). Note for Total Employee Development (TED) users: Employee course requests, IDP goals and IDP objectives are entered first into TED – https://ted.ria.army.mil/TED_Main.cfm. TED IDP entries will then flow immediately into CAPPMIS.
Step Four – Submit your IDP for Approval:
Once you have annotated all your career goals and have entered any education, training or experience that is required to achieve the certification, you may submit your IDP to your supervisor for approval. This approval process is done electronically; therefore, you must ensure your current supervisor’s name and correct email address is listed in your IDP. If your current supervisor is not listed in your IDP, please advise your supervisor to log on to the IDP site and add you to his/her employee listing (Supervisor: log in at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/, select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, then select the IDP tab, click on “Supervisor” and then on the “Add Employee(s)” button). Your supervisor will receive a system generated email notification when you submit your IDP for review and approval. Note for TED users: TED class request, supervisor approvals and other IDP changes will post to the CAPPMIS IDP immediately.
Step Five – Apply for Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training:
After your IDP is approved by your supervisor, you may apply for DAU courses at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas/main.asp. The ATRRS Internet Training Application System (AITAS) is the web based application system that provides dates, locations, and availability for all DAU training. AITAS works in conjunction with the IDP and allows AL&TWF members to submit their training applications electronically for both distance learning and resident courses. It is important to remember that the IDP is for planning purposes only; it is not the vehicle to register for DAU training. However, you cannot register for any DAU training unless the course is identified on your IDP and the supervisor has approved it. Note to TED Users: Notify your TED administrator when you have completed a DAU class, so that TED records can be updated.
Step Six – Apply for Certification:
Certification is not automatically granted. After completion of the appropriate training, education, and experience required by your position, you must apply for certification through the automated Certification Management System (CMS). The CMS can be accessed from CAPPMIS at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the CMS tab.
Required throughout employees’ Career – Continuous Learning Points (CLPs):
The Department of Defense (DOD) policy on continuous learning for the AL&TWF requires each workforce member earn 40 CLPs every year as a goal and 80 CLPs being mandatory within 2 years. The DOD Policy can be found at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/Docs/CL%20Policy.pdf. The purpose of the policy is to ensure workforce members participate in continuous learning activities throughout their careers. The automated IDP is the document used to annotate activities that count towards continuous learning and can be found at the CAPPMIS site at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. For Defense Acquisition University (DAU) courses (to include Continuous Learning Modules), your CLPs will be automatically entered into your ACRB/IDP via the training update process using the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS). It may take up to two weeks after completion of the course before the data is transferred to the ACRB/IDP. For all other coursework, you must enter the course in your IDP, annotate completion, and request corresponding CLPs be awarded by your supervisor. Note to TED users: TED users do not need to manually add course completions to CAPPMIS. The CLPs for all TED class completions will automatically post to CAPPMIS when the record is moved to “history.” In some cases, completion of a TED course survey is required before the record will move to “history.” Non-training events can be input directly into TED history, and will post to CAPPMIS after supervisor approval of the CLPs.
The mark of your proficiency in your acquisition career field is attainment of the level of certification required of your position. Even if your position requires that you achieve level 2 certification, you are encouraged to work towards attaining level 3 certification in your career field. The following information is provided to assist you with your career development plan.
- Core Plus – The Core Plus was designed to advance the DoD AT&L competency management model by providing a “roadmap” for the development of acquisition workforce members beyond the minimum certification standards required for their position. The Core Plus Development Guides can be found in the DAU Catalog at http://icatalog.dau.mil (click on the “Certification & Core + Development Guides” button). The Core Plus Development Guide is intended to assist employees and their super¬visors in preparing an IDP by identifying training, edu¬cation, and experience beyond certification requirements that may be beneficial to career development or performance in a particular type of assignment.
- Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) – All AL&TWF employees (regardless of grade level), should be aware of the AAC eligibility requirements. Special attention should be given to the education requirements of the AAC. Employees who do not meet the degree or business hour requirement should place special emphasis on completing those requirements. AAC requirements can be found at http://asc.army.mil/docs/policy/aac_policy_signed.pdf. (Please note that the application procedures as shown in the policy have changed; the application process is now automated). GS-13 (or broadband equivalent) employees who meet AAC requirements should apply. The automated application is at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the AAC MS tab.
- Acquisition Tuition Assistance Program (ATAP) – ATAP is available for civilian Army AL&TWF members that wish to complete an undergraduate degree, fulfill the business hour requirement, or complete a graduate degree. ATAP, funded by ASC, provides students the opportunity to attend the institution of their choice within their local commuting area and complete courses during non-duty hours. Course attendance during duty hours must be with the approval of the student’s supervisor. The program is usually announced twice per year. Further information on ATAP can be found at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-education-training-and-experience/.
- Acquisition Education, Training and Experience (AETE) – The AETE Catalog outlines those ASC funded opportunities that will assist AL&TWF members in attaining career progression. It provides basic information on available opportunities and the process by which to apply. The AETE Catalog is divided into three major categories: educational/academic opportunities, functional/technical and leadership training, and experiential and developmental opportunities. Examples of AETE programs include the Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) Program, Naval Postgraduate School Programs, Senior Service College Fellowship Programs, and School of Choice Program. A complete listing of AETE programs available and program descriptions can be found at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/acquisition-education-training-and-experience/.