A few months ago I wrote about the National Contract Management Association’s (NCMA’s) new Industry Certification in Contract Management (ICCM) in a blog titled “New Certifications Could Help Ease Acquisition Shortfall.” The ICCM is the only available direct equivalent to Defense Acquisition Improvement Act (DAWIA) and Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting (FAC-C) certifications.
Based on the tremendous feedback from readers and the vigorous discussion that ensued, I wanted to follow-up with the latest developments in the ICCM certification program and gauge how it has progressed since it was introduced January 31. I initially predicted the ICCM would become the certification of choice among industry providers of Federal Government acquisition services. Do I stand by my prediction?
At this early juncture the ICCM program appears to be faring well and I believe it will grow as more people hear about it.
New ICCM Certification Holder’s Perspective
As a fan of LinkedIn, I queried the site to determine how many acquisition professionals on the site are claiming ICCM status. My search revealed four individuals who have obtained ICCM-F certification. In true LinkedIn fashion I connected with some of them to hear their first-hand accounts of the ICCM application process, and perspectives on how certification will help them progress in their careers. I’m proud to say I had to look no further than Integrity Management Consulting’s own Ilandus Swinson and Wanza Jonjo, who have the distinction of being among the first dozen to obtain ICCM-F certification!
Ilandus is now FAC-C Level I certified and offered this insight: “I would describe the application process as being fairly concise. To be considered, I submitted transcripts, certificates from the completed courses, and my payment for the certification. Within four days, I was informed by NCMA that my submission was accepted and that I was certified. The following day, I received my certificate in the mail and the rest is history.” Based on the experience of Ilandus, it appears that NCMA’s application and review process is timely. NCMA Director of Certifications, Charles Woodside, says NCMA has appointed a Contract Management Board of Examiners (CMBOE) with members from DAU, FAI and private industry, to ensure that ICCM standards meet DAWIA and FAC-C standards.
My colleague Ilandus believes the time and cost to apply are a worthwhile investment. “By fulfilling the requirements for this certification, I improved upon my understanding of acquisition and contracting. I feel as if I am even better equipped to meet the evolving and emerging needs of our customer and our company.”
Better training translates into better outcomes, including for your career. As I wrote in a post titled “My Top Government Contract Career Advice,” commercial certifications can be the key to increased opportunities and better pay – an average of $10,000 – $25,000 more per year, according to NCMA’s Annual Salary Survey. Knowing all the advantages of professional certification you may be wondering where to go to obtain the ICCM and whether there is an abbreviated method to fulfill the requirements.
NCMA Collaborates with Webster University
NCMA recently announced a strategic partnership with Webster University which gives current Webster Government Contracting Certificate holders advanced standing for the Industry Certification in Contract Management – Federal (ICCM-F). As a Webster Alumni it’s great to see my school at the forefront of promoting ICCM certification. I plan on utilizing the credits I earned while obtaining my Master of Arts in Procurement from Webster to submit my application. The following Webster courses are applicable to achieving ICCM-F Level I certification:
|COURSE NUMBER||COURSE TITLE||SEM HRS||TIMEFRAME||PROGRAM|
|PROC 5000||Procurement and Acquisition Mgmt||3||Jan 08 – Jun 13|
|PROC 5830||Pricing||3||Jan 08 – Jun 13||ICCM-F|
|PROC 5840||Negotiations||3||Jan 08 – Jun 13||ICCM-F|
|PROC 5860||Government Contracting||3||Jan 08 – Jun 13||ICCM-F|
|PROC 5890||Government Procurement Law||3||Jan 08 – Jun 13||ICCM-F|
While still in its infancy, the ICCM program has begun to positively affect the Federal Acquisition Community by providing an alternative source of certification to those who would otherwise be unable to achieve DAWIA or FAC-C level certification. NCMA’s partnership with Webster University is a sign that this program is growing and I’ll be watching for other universities that offer procurement education to partner with NCMA in a similar manner. Strategic partnerships with other schools will provide an expedited means for potential applicants to achieve ICCM-F certification. This can only serve to bolster the cadre of certified professionals, thereby adding tremendous value to the Federal Acquisition Process as a whole!
What has been your experience with the ICCM certification?