OASN(FM&C), specifically the Human Capital Division, FMH, is responsible to coordinate the implementation of the program for the DON. FMH provides guidance and updates to Budget Submitting Offices (BSOs). Each BSO has a POC that should be able to address your questions. To the extent that they cannot, the BSO HQ POC will address with FMH. The BSO POCs are as follows:
The program was established to further professionalize the DoD FM community and to ensure consistency of training and competencies. If you are a member of the DON FM community, you will get certified after you have completed the requirements of the certification level your position is assigned (certification level 1, 2 or 3) and the responsible official has deemed that you are complete.
2. What is the FM certification program and how would I actually get certified?
No there is no grandfathering. Employees will work with their supervisor to provide necessary documentation of the training and experience required.
3. Will anyone be grandfathered in?
The only positions exempted at this time are NAFI, foreign national direct and indirect, and 599 positions. Otherwise all other 5xx positions within the DON and Navy or USMC military members that are in a FM billet are in the program.
4. I’ve been working in the FM community for years now and I am only several years away from retirement. Am I exempt from the program?
The DON will be implementing the program through approximately 30 September 2014. You will be notified by your supervisor if you are in the program and what level your position has been designated.
5. Who is in the program and how will I know if I am included or not?
Civilian position descriptions and vacancy announcements will include a note that delineates the certification level. Military positions will be coded with a required level of the position in the Service manpower authorization systems.
6. If I want to apply for another position, how will I know if it requires the FM certification and what level is required?
Similar to DAWIA, a person does not have to be FM certified at the level of the vacancy in order to be selected for the position. They need to be capable of achieving the certification level of the position within two years and otherwise deemed qualified by the selecting official.
7. Will a person “not be hired” if they do not meet the certification level for a specific job vacancy?
Once a person is certified at a level, their certification is applicable if they change to another FM position of the same certification level. Components/commands may have specific training that an individual may need in addition to the certification training, but the certification level transfers with the employee. The only exception may be if the employee does not maintain their continuing education and training (CETs) hours. This could be grounds to require recertification.
8. Once I get certified at a certain level, will my certification transfer with me if I move to other positions, either within the DON or within the DoD, at that same level?
The competencies to be obtained at each level are standard throughout DoD. The training to attain those competencies will differ by Component.
9. Are the FM certification requirements standard throughout DoD?
The OSD policy document states, “Ensure all FM members are provided the opportunity to complete the requirements of the Certification Program coursework and professional development during normal duty hours to the greatest extent possible.” It should be noted that the sentence focuses on training. To the extent an employee chooses to take an education course (undergrad/grad) and apply the course towards the certification program, the OSD policy statement noted above does not apply. Employees should work with their supervisors on a case-by-case basis for completing Continuing Education and Training hours required for earning and sustaining Certification Levels.
10. Will employees/supervisors be given adequate time while at work to accomplish the training or will it need to be accomplished on employee's off time?
It is not clear yet how long employees will stay in the Learning Management System (LMS). Therefore, it is recommended that you keep a copy of your certificate that you will get with each level attained. Upon returning to DoD, you may have to either show that you have maintained the CETs or you will have to attain the CETs so that your certification level is considered valid.
11. What happens to my training if I leave DoD and come back?
Specific FM and leadership training or education should count if mapped in the LMS. If not mapped, see answer to Question 18. Experience will count only if it is deemed truly FM.
12. If I retire from the military and become a civilian will my training, education and/or experience count?
Once your position is assigned a FM Certification level, you do not have to go back and take the training for any lower level. For example, if your position is Level 2, you just need to meet the requirements of Level 2, not level 1 and 2.
13. Do I need to take the FM and leadership requirements at the lower levels or only at the current level assigned?
Yes, within the fiscal constraints of their command and within availability of DON/DoD sponsored in-classroom training opportunities. In other words, with likely limited training budgets, commands must ensure funding is provided to employees requiring training to achieve an assigned level. Additionally, in-classroom seats will go first to employees requiring the level the class provides. However, the LMS will not currently allow an employee to attain a higher certification than their position is coded in the system.
14. Can civilians or military members work towards meeting higher-level Certification requirements?
Yes, some education courses may count towards the FM Certification Program. Refer to the latest FM and leadership academic matrixes posted on-line (https://fmonline.ousdc.osd.mil/FMmyLearn/AcademicMatrix.aspx) for additional guidance. In general, 400 or higher level undergrad classes and graduate classes that are germane to a competency will be mapped to Certification Level 3. Other undergrad classes (100 – 300 level) may be mapped to Level 1 or 2. The classes must, however, be germane to the competency.
15. Do Undergraduate or Master’s Degree courses count towards the FM certification?
If a person is already certified and they take graduate courses and the courses are related to financial management, they make count as continuing education training hours needed to maintain your certification level. They may also count towards attaining a certification level (e.g. person is certified at level 2 and striving for level 3).
16. Could a Master’s Degree help maintain my certification?
Yes, if you can get in the other Component courses and those courses have been mapped to a competency that you need to attain. If you are a person coming from a different Component to the DON and have previously taken other FM courses, they will count as long as the course is mapped and documentation can be provided.
17. Can we take courses from different DoD organizations such as “Army?”
Provide the information on the course, such as learning objectives, syllabus, length of course, etc. to the BSO POC and they will in turn provide to us at FMH. We will then work with OSD to get the course mapped in the LMS.
18. I’ve taken a non-DoD FM course but I don’t see it mapped in the LMS. What do I do?
None of the 20 DoD approved programs will convert and equal a DoD certification level. Training courses taken to prepare for the certification tests, however, may fulfill FM certification requirements.
19. If you have one of the 20 DoD approved certificate programs, such as CDFM or CPA, will this be converted somehow to the new program?
No. As a matter of fact a degree is not a requirement of the program. An undergraduate degree is recommended at Certification Level 2 and a master’s degree is highly recommended at Cert Level 3.
20. Do you have to have a certain college degree for the certification program?
By OSD policy, if you are a 5XX employee (except 0599), you will be included in the FM Certification Program and will therefore have to attain both DAWIA and FM Certifications. In the DON, if you are not a 5XX employee, you will not be in the FM Certification Program. Military members will only be in the FM Certification Program if their billet is designated as FM. Those designations will be reviewed by FMH.
21. I’m a member of the Acquisition community (DAWIA). Will I be in the FM certification program?
In accordance with DoD policy, you are to work on your DAWIA certification first. Many of the DAWIA classes map to FM competencies and therefore the FM certification program. There are some gaps and you will be expected to take FM training to fill those gaps. Much of the training will be on line courses.
22. If I’m required to attain DAWIA and FM certification which do I do first and how do I get all the training done?
23. Once I’m certified DAWIA and FM, will the continuing education/training hours that I take count for both certifications?
Yes. There are administrators at each BSO and we at FMH will be looking at metrics for the DON FM community. Your supervisor should also be tracking your progress via the LMS.
24. Is someone tracking whether or not I am certified?
The policy provides for one-year time waivers should an employee not be able to complete the required certification level within the first two years. The number and reason for the waivers will be reviewed by FMH. The DoD guidance requires attainment of the certification as a condition of employment so if not attained and a time waiver not granted, adverse action could be implemented.
25. What would the consequence be for not completing the FM certification level requirements in the allotted time frame?
If you have been a 5XX series and properly on a standard PD for 501s and 503s, there should be no issues with documenting your experience. If you have been in non-5XX series, it is possible that with the proper documentation some experience or portions of that experience may be documented as FM. This will be reviewed carefully by CCAs because if a position was so significantly financial as to be deemed to count completely towards experience, perhaps that position is misclassified and should be converted to 5XX.
26. Can the DoD FM experience requirement possibly come from different series that were FM related?
Contractor experience that is determined to be truly FM may count towards experience. It should be noted that each level, however, requires at least two years of DoD experience (and those two years must be as a government (civilian employee or military member) before an individual may be considered for certification.
27. Do you get DoD FM years if you’re a contractor for DoD or if you have worked in other parts of the Federal Government as a FM employee?
All DON positions will be coded based on the grade level/pay band/rank and position requirements. The following guidelines will be used for 501 and 503 employees as we have standard PDs. Similar guidelines will be used for 505, 510 and 511 series. No other series are addressed as commands were to align ALL 5XX positions to the five series used by the DON.
28. What are the guidelines for the level of certification required for each Civilian and Military position?
Yes, there are no expiration dates for courses so you would be able to apply relevant classes to the FM Certification Program if the current education matrix applies to your certification level.
29. If I completed my MBA 15 years ago, would I be able to apply relevant coursework to the FM Certification Program?
Military members will need to comply with the FM experience requirement; however there will be one-year time waivers to attain FM certification if the member is unable to attain within the allotted two years and they are still assigned to an FM coded position.
30. Will there be experience time waivers for Military members?