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-RDA > Acquisition Workforce > Experience


All acquisition career fields require general and/or specific acquisition experience at each certification level. Membership in the Defense Acquisition Corps requires general acquisition experience. Experience gained while serving in acquisition positions counts toward achievement of certification and statutory experience requirements. Experience requirements may also be met through comparable experience gained while performing acquisition functions in non-acquisition positions, another Government agency or private industry.


Personnel responsible for evaluating acquisition experience should take the following into consideration. If a requirement is stated as “general acquisition experience,” then any acquisition-related experience meets the requirement. If a requirement states that a certain number of years in a specific career field are required (e.g, two years of contracting experience for certification at Level II), the individual must meet requirements exactly as stated in the DoD Certification and Core Development Guides; published annually in the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) iCatalog
Experience may be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Acquisition Positions. Acquisition experience in a specific career field is credited for assignments in acquisition positions.
  • Non-Acquisition Positions
    • Acquisition experience in a specific career field may be credited for assignments in non-acquisition positions if acquisition duties were performed for a substantial amount of time and match one of the Position Category Descriptions (PCDs) found on the Defense Acquisition University website. A maximum of 50% of the time spent in the position may be credited.
    • Note: If time spent performing acquisition duties in a non-acquisition position constitutes greater than 50% of the total assignment the command should consider officially coding the position/billet for acquisition in the appropriate manpower/personnel system.
  • Non-DoD Federal Agencies and Private Industry. Acquisition experience credit may be given for assignments in federal agencies and private industry if 50% or more of the acquisition functions performed match one of the Position Category Descriptions (PCDs) on the DAU website. If the assignment was less than 50% acquisition-related, it does not count towards acquisition experience.

Additional Military Guidance

  • Military workforce members assigned to acquisition billets and who are augmented may receive applicable acquisition experience credit while on the Individual Augmentation (IA).
  • For Unrestricted Line Officers (URLs) only: Command tours at O-5 or above (Commanding Officer time only) are credited a maximum of 18 months of related acquisition experience.
  • For Navy Officers, an experience assessment must be obtained from PERS-447 before crediting toward career field certification or Defense Acquisition Corps requirements. Supporting documentation provided must be from official personnel records (e.g., Fitness Reports and Award Justifications).
  • For Marine Corps Officers, experience assessments are conducted by the Commanding General, or his/her agent at MARCORSYSCOM.


Crediting Acquisition-Related Education toward Experience

  • Acquisition-related education is defined as a graduate level degree in a technical, hard science, business field (Engineering, MBA, etc.), or acquisition related education (e.g., ICAF [Acquisition Track], Nuclear Power training, Test Pilot School, Naval Post Graduate School).
    Acquisition-related education can only be credited towards a maximum of one year of acquisition experience provided the following:
    • An individual is obtaining certification or meeting position requirement with experience requirement greater than or equal to 4 years OR
    • An individual must meet Acquisition Corps experience requirements for current position or MOS 8059
  • Acquisition-related education may only be credited for experience toward primary career field certification. Once credited for experience toward primary career field certification, education may not be substituted for experience requirements in subsidiary career field certifications.

Approving Authorities

  • For Navy Active Duty Officers through the O-6 grade, PERS-447 is approving authority for experience assessments.
  • Echelon I and II commands review and assess experience claimed toward meeting Career Field Certifications and Acquisition Corps membership requirements. For Level II and III certifications, the experience assessment must be conducted by an individual or group of individuals who are assigned to positions of authority and Level III certified in the career field in which certification is requested, with the following exceptions:
    • Purchasing experience can be assessed by an individual certified at Level III in Contracting
    • Industrial Contract Property Management experience can be assessed by an individual certified at Level III in Contracting.
  • Echelon III and IV commands that do not have Level III certified approving authorities to assess experience may request an exception to this requirement by emailing the DACM Desk .


Chapter 14 Experience “What Counts” DON DAWIA Operating Guide, June 24, 2014

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