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Would appreciate some professional guidance/advice/opinions on pursuing the following certifications:

  • Certified Professional Contract Manager;
  • Certified Federal Contract Manager.

I have recently finished up my FAC-C III cert and would like to continue my acquisition education/certifications. 

What is everyone's thoughts on these two certs? Is one better the other? Should be obtained before the other? Completely useless? Carry more meaning in industry then the government? Vice-versa? 

Appreciate all replies. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think if you are already working in the Federal Government, an NCMA certification is probably not a value-add, as FAC-C (civilian) and DAWIA (DOD) are the certification standards to obtain. From my perspective having working for almost 11 years in Federal contracting, most agencies do not care about NCMA certification, but want to know one is striving towards FAC-C Level I, II, or III. On the other hand, if one is anticipating diversifying their Contract Management career with private sector experience, then I would think that an NCMA CPCM (Certified Professional Contract Manager) certification is a good idea and help show one's development in the field.

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Former friend of Wifcon PepeTheFrog and I used to discuss the value of an NCMA certification and ideas for improving the experience (we both received our CFCM around the same time). We both thought the exam itself was a poor measurement of knowledge and ability. It’s an exercise in rote memorization and the relevance of the material is questionable. 

Its value is mostly in getting your name to stand out among large pools of resumes. It shows you have some level of dedication to the contracting field because you’re willing to invest your own time and money into your development. (Although Pepe and I were lucky to work for an agency that reimbursed our costs with DAWDF funds.)

I can’t say for certain whether it’s helped my candidacy for Government positions, but I do know that some agencies specifically require a CFCM or CPCM for their contracting support contractor personnel. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think highly of DAWIA or FAC-C certifications either. All they really show is that you’ve been around the 1102 field for varying lengths of time. At least an NCMA certification shows some level of personal motivation.)

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