Contract Policy - Workforce Development

As the Functional Leader for the DoD Contracting community, the Principal Director, DPC, is responsible for leading the development of the workforce certification standards for the 34,800 contracting professionals in acquisition-coded positions, in compliance with the DoDI 5000.66, “Defense Acquisition Workforce, Education, Training, Experience, and Career Development Program.” Training and professional development for a highly skilled contracting workforce is essential for achieving the National Defense Strategy’s first line of effort - To Build a More Lethal Force - capable of delivering products and services at the speed of relevance for the defense mission.

Back-to-Basics Acquisition Workforce Transformation


The Department of Defense (DoD) is modernizing the implementation of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification program to a 21st Century talent management framework. The first step in this modernization, referred to as “Back-to-Basics,” became operational on February 1, 2022. This update streamlines the acquisition career fields into core functional areas and substantially reduces required training hours. For the Contracting Functional Area, there is a single level of certification referred to as the DoD Contracting Professional Certification, which focuses on the core competencies for the contracting profession.

The continuous learning requirement of 80 hours of training every two years remains in place for the defense acquisition workforce. The modernization of the DAWIA talent management framework places increased importance on training and experience beyond certification by focusing resources on elective learning opportunities. This approach provides individuals with the flexibility to tailor training needs for a current or future job assignment and develop skills in various mission areas by taking training through the Defense Acquisition Credential Program, or through other available resources. The credentials serve as an important professional development opportunity to help meet current training needs, continuous learning requirements, and individual career goals.

Resources and Information

DoD Contracting Career Field Model

DAU Back-to-Basics website (includes Contracting Functional Area webpage)

Defense Acquisition Credential Program

Back-to-Basics Fact Sheet for the Contracting Functional Area

DAU FY21-22 Training Crosswalk for the Contracting Functional Area

DoD Contracting Professional Certification


Certification Exam Information

CON 3990V FAQs

CON 3990V User Experience Roadmap Outline

CON 3990V User Experience Roadmap Flowchart

PD, DPC, Contracting Functional Area Leader Guidance

Contracting Workforce Development and Continuous Learning


October 24, 2023

Reciprocity Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (Professional) and the Department of Defense Contracting Professional Certification


October 19, 2023

Contracting Workforce Functional Integrated Team (CON FIT) Charter


April 19, 2023

Contracting Officer Warranting Program


August 2022

Transition Plan for the DoD Contracting Professional Certification Program

January 2022

Restructuring of the Certification Program for the Contracting Functional Area


February 17, 2021

Elimination of the 24-Semester Credit Business Hour Qualification Requirement for Contracting Positions


September 3, 2020

USD(A&S) Policy Memorandums

Back-to-Basics Implementation


February 4, 2021

Back-to-Basics for the Defense Acquisition Workforce


September 2, 2020

Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce - Functional Area Reassessment


January 29, 2019

Contracting Competency Model

The DoD Contracting Competency Model, published in June 2020, is based on the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Contract Management Standard™ (reference ANSI/NCMA ASD 1-2019), and satisfies section 861 of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act requirement to use standards developed by a third party accredited program.

The DoD Contracting Competency Model is posted on the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Website

The DoD Contracting Competency Model Narrative was developed by the Contracting Certification Taskforce and is based on the NCMA Publication (reference ANSI/NCMA ASD 1-2019).