Acquisition Policy Flash! 19-04 - Office of Acquisition and Logistics (OAL)
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Acquisition Policy Flash! 19-04

What's Changed?

Notification of the Establishment of the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting Core-Plus Specialization in Digital Services (FAC-C-DS)

Purpose:  This Acquisition Policy Flash informs the acquisition workforce of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s (OFPP) Core-Plus Certification in Contracting for Digital Services, known as FAC-C-DS.  This specialization is achieved through completion of a comprehensive training and development program called the Digital IT Acquisition Program (DITAP).

Effective Date:  Immediately.

Affected FAR and VAAR parts:  Not applicable.

Background:  OFPP recognized that buying digital services is not a skill gained through the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C). Effective June 1, 2018, the FAC-C-DS addresses an urgent need for digital services expertise across the Federal space. As part of an overall effort to improve capabilities for buying technology, the specialization brings new skills to those responsible for the acquisition of digital services. Additional information can be found in the OFPP Memorandum.

Applicability:  The FAC-C-DS program is primarily for those contracting professionals who are responsible for the acquisition of digital services.

  1. Initially, this FAC-C-DS core-plus specialization will only be used to certify those individuals who have completed a DITAP training and development program.
  2. Contracting professionals assigned to acquisitions consisting primarily of digital services over the FAR Subpart 13.5 certain commercial item threshold, currently $7 million (or $13 million for acquisitions as described in 13.500(c)), are required to be certified.
  3. The ability to specialize implies a demonstrated level of skill beyond the entry level, so the FAC-C-DS specialization will only be granted to those holding Level II or Level III FAC-C certification.

Action Required:

  1. Contracting professionals assigned to acquisitions consisting primarily of digital services in fiscal year FY19 through FY21 over the established threshold shall obtain specialization within two years of assignment.  Beginning in FY22, contracting professionals assigned to acquisitions consisting primarily of digital services over the established threshold shall have the specialization prior to being assigned.  Agency Senior Procurement Executives may waive this requirement and allow them to be certified within one year after being assigned.  This decision must be documented in writing and provided to the agency Acquisition Career Manager.
  2. Level II FAC-C holders who have received a FAC-C-DS core plus specialization carry this specialization to Level III if and when it is achieved, as long as the continuous learning requirements have been met.
  3. Contracting professionals holding the FAC-C-DS specialization must achieve 20 CLPs of their 80 FAC-C CLPs within the area of digital services to maintain their FAC-C-DS certification.
  4. See Attachment A for a FAC-C-DS program summary.

Additional Information:  Direct any questions or comments regarding this correspondence to Ms. Judith Dawson, VA’s Acquisition Career Manager at (202) 461-6770 or AHCMS@va.gov.  Questions specifically about DITAP training should be referred to the VA Acquisition Academy at vaacquisitionacademy@va.gov or by calling (240) 215-0561.


Attachment A:  FAC-C-DS Program Summary

The table below summarizes the FAC-C-DS specialization requirements.  See the complete OFPP policy.

Summary of FAC-C-DS Specialization Requirements
Certification Purpose Develop increased Federal acquisition digital services expertise
Compliance
  • Specialization required within two years for digital services acquisitions assigned in FY19 through FY-22.
  • By FY-22 specialization required prior to being assigned.
Pre-requisites Current FAC-C Level II or III.  DAWIA equivalent accepted.
Time Commitment
  • 15 hours webinars across 6 months
  • 9 full days of classroom instruction
  • Additional 12 hours per week to read articles, participate in online discussions, contribute to group activities and work on a live digital assignment.
Continuous Learning Requirements 80 CLPs (20 must be taken within the area of digital services)
Competencies Competency model available at FAI.
Experience No additional experience required
Training Provision VA Acquisition Academy and Industry Partners
Travel Requirements 3-three-day classroom sessions
Additional Information Expanded information about the FAC-DS and DITAP are available at FAI or contact VA’s Acquisition Career Management Office at AHCMS@va.gov or call (202) 461-6770.