Steps to Planning Your Acquisition Career – For Army Acquisition Civilians.
Civilian Steps to Planning Your Acquisition Career
The Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office is proud to support the elite Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW), a dedicated team of approximately 32,000 civilians, officers, and noncommissioned officers, who provide the equipment, systems, and services that ensure Army readiness, now and in the future.
The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA), enacted by Public Law 101-510 on Nov. 5, 1990, mandated the establishment of training, education, and experience standards for certification, in order to develop and maintain a professional and relevant defense acquisition workforce. All AAW professionals are responsible for meeting the DAWIA certification requirements of their current position at the assigned level and maintaining currency in their primary Acquisition Functional Area. Below are steps needed to successfully manage your acquisition career.
Key Resources to Acquisition Career Management:
- AAW Quick Reference Guide. In order to help you understand the mandatory requirements for your acquisition position, as well as the many career development opportunities available to you as an AAW member, the Army DACM Office developed the AAW Quick Reference Guide posted on this page. We highly recommend that you become familiar with this guide.
- Your supervisor! Supervisors play an active role in assisting and advising subordinates on career development decisions; discussing education, training, and experience needs; working with their subordinates to draft an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to schedule and attain these goals; providing adequate time to pursue career development activities; and encouraging cross-functional training and assignments.
- Your Organizational Acquisition Point of Contact (OAP). Your OAP is your on-site resource for acquisition information. They are trained to respond to questions from their organizational acquisition personnel and the AAW. A list of organizational OAPs can be seen here: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/files/39843103.
- The Army DACM Office. We are here to support you with career development opportunities and initiatives. Our website is an invaluable resource for AAW policies, career management updates, training opportunities, and other important information. We also communicate with you through our monthly DACM Hot Topics (https://asc.army.mil/web/category/dacm-topics/) and quarterly DACM News (https://asc.army.mil/web/dacm-newsletter/). Ask an AAW question by submitting a ticket to the Army DACM Office’s help desk, located in the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP), at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp/index.cfm?fuseaction=support.helpRequest.
The AAW Quick Reference Guide provides basic tips regarding the mandatory requirements for your Army acquisition position as well as career development opportunities.
The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) created a Credentialing Program that provides Defense Acquisition Workforce professionals with an opportunity to develop their skills through professional learning experiences, course work, and the direct application of knowledge to a specific skillset.
Follow the steps below toward acquisition certification and beyond.
Step One – Prepare an Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB):
The ACRB is an official document of record for AAW civilians that shows your education, training, and acquisition assignment history. It was created to mirror the Officer Record Brief (ORB) which is the official document of record by Functional Area 51 officers. Many of the data fields in the ACRB are populated automatically when you are assigned to an acquisition position. It is your responsibility to ensure that your ACRB is updated, current, and accurate. The ACRB can be accessed in the Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Information System (CAPPMIS), which is located within the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP). Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the ACRB tab. CAPPMIS is an integrated set of tools to help serve and manage your acquisition career. AAW professionals can also use CAPPMIS to access and update their IDP, as well as plan and enroll in training courses and record training completion. These activities are important to you as an AAW member.
Step Two – Review Certification Requirements:
In accordance with DAWIA, AAW professionals must meet the certification requirements (education, training and experience) associated with their current acquisition position. With the exception of Key Leadership Positions, there is a grace period for most AAW professionals to achieve certification depending on the certification level required for their position: three years for Foundational/Professional, five years for Practitioner, and four years for Advanced. The DAU iCatalog is the official source of certification requirements, which can change annually or even more frequently (click on the “Certification & Development Guides” button). Your first priority is to become certified in your primary Acquisition Functional Area at the level required for your current position. The Functional Area 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):
AAW professionals are required to maintain a five-year IDP and update it every six months. Your CAPPMIS IDP is automatically populated with the courses that you are required to take in order to achieve DAWIA certification. Beyond the certification requirements, preparation of the IDP should be a joint and ongoing conversation between you and your supervisor. The IDP is a useful tool to allow you and your supervisor to identify and track acquisition 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). The IDP can be accessed from CAPPMIS. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the IDP tab. Note for Total Employee Development (TED) users: Employee course requests, IDP goals and IDP objectives are entered first into TED. TED IDP entries will then flow immediately into CAPPMIS.
Step Four – Submit your IDP for Approval:
Once you have annotated your acquisition career goals and have entered any education, training or experience required to achieve certification, you should submit your IDP to your supervisor for approval. This approval process is done electronically; therefore, you must ensure your current supervisor’s name and email address are correctly listed in your IDP. If your current supervisor is not listed in your IDP, please ask your supervisor to log on to the IDP site and add you to his/her employee listing (Supervisor: log in at CAPPMIS, 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. Once your supervisor has approved or denied your request, you will receive email notification. Note for TED users: TED class request, supervisor approvals and other IDP changes will post to the CAPPMIS IDP.
Step Five – Apply for Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training:
After your IDP is approved by your supervisor, you may apply for DAU courses at ATRRS. The ATRRS Internet Training Application System (AITAS) is the web-based application system that provides dates, locations, and availability for all DAU training courses. AITAS works in conjunction with the IDP and allows AAW professionals to submit their training applications electronically for both virtual and instructor-led training 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:
DAWIA certification is not automatically granted. After completing all the training, education and experience requirements for your acquisition position, you may apply for certification through the automated Certification Management System (CMS). The DACM Office strongly recommends that you apply for certification as soon as you meet the training, education, and experience standards since these standards may change at the start of every fiscal year (or more frequently as needed). The CMS can be accessed from CAPPMIS. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the CMS tab. After the certifying official reviews your application, you will be notified by email of the approval or denial decision. If approved, the certification will be added to Section X of your ACRB. If your application is denied, a justification will be provided with further instructions, if applicable. Becoming certified in your position is mandatory. Once you are placed into your acquisition position, you have 3-, 5-, or 4-year grace period to earn your certification, depending on the certification level required. Failure to achieve DAWIA certification within the prescribed grace period may result in an adverse personnel actions or removal from the position. Your command may request a waiver, using DD Form 2905, to give you extra time to achieve certification beyond the initial grace period, if there are extenuating circumstances (for example, if mandatory classes are filled).
Once you are certified…
Continuous Learning Points (CLPs):
Continuous Learning Points (CLPs): The Department of Defense (DoD) policy on continuous learning requires each AAW member earn at least 80 CLPs during a two-year cycle. The two-year cycle begins October 1 of the even year and runs through September 30 of the following even year (for example, the current cycle runs from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2024). The Department of Defense (DOD) places a strong emphasis on continuous learning to ensure workforce members remain current and relevant in their Functional Area throughout their acquisition careers. The CAPPMIS IDP is the document used to annotate courses and other activities that count toward this continuous learning requirement. For DAU courses (including Continuous Learning Modules), your CLPs will be automatically entered into your CAPPMIS record 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.
Developmental opportunities exist at every grade/rank, Functional Area, and organization. You should consider experiences at every level to develop both breadth and depth within your acquisition career level. Speak to your supervisor or mentor about developmental opportunities.
Functional Area Specific Professional Certifications:
Functional Area specific professional certifications are an additional level of professional recognition regarding a specific body of knowledge, i.e., Business Finance Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) certification, DoD Financial Managers certification program, Program Manager Professional (PMP), etc.
The mark of your proficiency in your Functional Area is attainment of the level of DAWIA certification required of your position. Even if your position requires that you achieve the baseline level of certification, you are encouraged to work toward attaining the next higher level of certification in your Functional Area.
Civilian Career Models
The Army DACM Office has worked closely with the Army Acquisition Functional Leader (AAFL) and Army Acquisition Functional Advisor (AAFA) for each Functional Area to develop Career Models which are intended as notional guides for professional growth.