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-RDA > Acquisition Workforce > Certifications


Certification is the process through which DON management determines that an Acquisition Workforce (AWF) member meets the mandatory (Core) standards (experience, education and training) established for a career field. All personnel occupying acquisition positions have a primary certification requirement which is determined by the position category and certification level assigned to the position.

There are three levels of career field certification. The certification level assigned to the position is based on the duties, responsibilities and authorities of the position. Once AWF members become certified, they remain certified even if the certification requirements change. Certified AWF members shall maintain currency in their career fields.

Career Field Certification is reciprocal among the military departments and other DoD Components. Certifications awarded by the DON are recognized by other DoD Components. Similarly, the DON recognizes certifications approved by military departments and other DoD Components.


The following DON employees are permitted to request career field certification:

  • Civilians assigned to acquisition positions.
  • Active Duty Military Officers currently serving in acquisition or serving in an acquisition career track.
  • Enlisted personnel in acquisition positions. For detailed information refer to Chapter 21 of DON DAWIA Operating Guide, Acquisition Position Designation.

Certification Standards

There are two sets of standards identified for certification - Core (mandatory) and Core Plus (recommended). DoD publishes the certification standards annually. They may be found in the . AWF Members must meet the Core (mandatory) certification standards in place at the time of request for certification.

AWF members in positions that require Level II or Level III certification are encouraged, but not required to become certified at the lower level(s). However, all course prerequisites must be met and may require that lower level training be taken or fulfilled.

All acquisition career field certifications have specific experience requirements at each level that are identified in the Certification and Core Development Guides in the DAU iCatalog . Some career field certifications also have specific education requirements. For detailed information refer to Chapter 14 of DON DAWIA Operating Guide, Experience.

Certification Levels

There are several factors to consider when determining the certification level for acquisition positions. Certification levels should not be based solely on the position’s grade or rank, but on the direct influence and accountability for Defense acquisition programs. provide guidance for determining certification levels. Note: With the exception of KLPs, military certification levels are still tied to the grade of the position to which assigned. Certification Level Requirements

Certification Application Process

AWF members who have met all mandatory training, education and experience requirements submit certification requests online via eDACM /Manage Career/Manage Certification Requests.

Certification Approval Process & Authorities

  • Supervisors and approving officials are responsible for ensuring that applicant credentials support the certification standards.
  • Commands have the authority to certify all others assigned to acquisition positions. For Level II and III certifications, the approval authority must be Level III certified in the career field in which certification is requested, with the following exceptions: certification requests in the Purchasing and Industrial Contract Property Management career fields can be assessed by an individual Level III certified in Contracting.
  • Commands that do not have Level III certified approving authorities per the above, may request an exception to this requirement by emailing the DACM Desk. The request should include the reason for the exception, and the career field(s) affected.
  • All Navy Officer certification requests must be routed through PERS-447 for an assessment of the officer’s experience before final certification approval is granted. PERS-447 maintains the approval authority for Active Duty Navy Officers not assigned to acquisition positions.
  • The Commanding General, or his/her agent at Marine Corps Systems Command, maintains the approval authority for Marine Corps Officers not assigned to acquisition positions.
  • The DACM has the authority to approve Flag Officer, General Officer, and SES certifications.

Additional Information

Primary Career Field Certification
Subsidiary Career Field Certification
Certification Levels

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