FAC-P/PM Certification Requirements

The Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) is governed by the December 16, 2013 OFPP memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM).

This certification program is based upon a competency model of performance outcomes which measures the knowledge, skills and abilities gained by program and project managers through professional training, job experience and continuous learning. 

The FAC-PPM core certification program certifies program and project managers (PPMs), and now includes a core-plus specialty certification for PPMs of information technology (IT) acquisitions. The core program has three certification levels: Entry, Mid and Senior. The core-plus specialty certification, FAC-PPM-IT, requires PPMs to first be core FAC-PPM Mid-level certified as a pre-requisite for attaining the FAC-PPM-IT core-plus specialty certification. Unlike the FAC-PPM core certification, the FAC-PPM-IT specialty certification is not graduated into three ascending levels of competence. The FAC-PPM core certification has a revised core competency model, and the FAC-PPM-IT core-plus specialty certification introduces a new PPM-IT competency model.  To find out more about the certification requirements, please refer to the table(s) below.  

Level:

Entry Level

Mid Level

Senior Level

Training:

Each certification level requires a range of approximately 80 to 120 hours of training, depending upon the instructional design and method of training delivery.  Training requirements are more flexible and can be tailored more to the individual and his/her competency gaps. With this approach, training vendors are expected to provide an instructional method best-suited to deliver the learning outcomes that align to the competencies.  While a specific curriculum is not articulated, training options that can assist agencies and individuals in determining their training and development needs are maintained by FAI.

Entry level training includes knowledge, comprehension and participatory skills in basic acquisition and project management. Total training hours may vary according to the instructional design and delivery method of the learning environment. Training at the entry level covers the entry or level one performance outcomes in the FAC-PPM competency model and includes such topics as:
  • knowledge and skills to contribute as an IPT member;
  • ability to manage cost, schedule and performance attributes of low risk and relatively simple projects or manage more complex projects under the supervision of a more experienced project or program manager;
  • general  understanding of project management practices, including risk management, budgeting, scheduling, technology management, performance-based business practices, cost management, stakeholder relations, program control and governance;
  • comprehension of an agency’s requirements development and life-cycle management  processes; and
  • ability to define and construct various project documents with appropriate mentoring and supervision.
Mid-Level training encompasses application, analysis, demonstration and operational skills in intermediate project and program management. Total training hours may vary according to the instructional design and delivery method of the learning environment. Training at the mid-level covers the mid or level two  performance outcomes in the FAC-PPM competency model and includes such topics as:
  • knowledge and skills to manage projects or program segments of low to moderate risks with little or no supervision;
  • ability to apply management processes, including requirements development processes and performance-based acquisition principles supporting the development of  program baselines;
  • ability to plan and manage technology integration, and apply agency policy on interoperability and product support;
  • ability to identify and track actions to initiate an acquisition program or project using cost/benefit analysis and business case development;
  • ability to understand and apply the process to prepare information for a baseline or milestone review, and assist in development of  ownership cost estimates and applications; and
  • ability to integrate and manage program cost, schedule and performance through application of comprehensive risk management planning, accounting for the scale of complexity between program and project level acquisitions. 
Senior level training includes analysis, synthesis, collaboration and evaluation skills in advanced acquisition and program management. Total training hours may vary according to the instructional design and delivery method of the learning environment. Emphasis is placed on case study, simulation and realistic challenges inherent in fast paced, high risk and high stakes programs. Training at the senior level covers the senior or level three performance outcomes in the FAC-PPM competency model and includes such topics as:
  • ability to manage and evaluate a program and create an environment for program success;
  • ability to manage and evaluate the integration of the requirements development, and  budgeting and governance processes, and apply comprehensive risk management planning, accounting for the  scale of complexity between projects and programs;
  • ability to communicate and defend the acquisition approach before decision makers and stakeholders;
  • accomplished leadership and mentoring skills to influence  subordinate-level team members in managing the functional domains of program management; and
  • expert ability to use, manage, and evaluate management processes, including performance-based management techniques and earned value management as it relates to acquisition investments.

Experience:

At least one year of project management experience within the last five years including: 
  • being a contributing member of an acquisition IPT;
  • constructing a work breakdown structure;
  • preparing project analysis documents and tailoring acquisition documents to ensure that quality, effective, efficient systems or products are delivered;
  • analyzing and/or developing requirements;
  • monitoring performance and assisting with quality assurance; and
  • analyzing and/or developing budgets.
At least two years of program or project management experience within the last five years, including:
  • leading IPTs;
  • performing market research and analysis;
  • developing documents for risk and opportunity management;
  • developing and applying technical processes and technical management processes;
  • performing or participating in source selection;
  • planning and preparing acquisition strategies;
  • applying  performance-based business processes;
  • developing and managing a project budget;
  • preparing and presenting a business case; and
  • contributing to program strategic planning.
At least four years of program or project management experience, which shall include a minimum of one year of experience on federal programs and project, within the last ten years. The one year on Federal programs can either be as a Federal civilian or member of industry. Experiences  include:
  • synthesizing and evaluating  the efforts and products of functional working groups and IPTs;
  • managing and evaluating  acquisition investment performance;
  • developing and managing a program budget;
  • building and presenting a successful business case; and
  • reporting program results, strategic planning, and high-level communication with internal and external stakeholders.