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February 21, 2008 Vol. 1, Issue 2


As project management has become increasingly critical to the successful execution of the work of government, the White House Office of Management and Budget has developed a certification program to ensure that federal project managers possess the necessary competencies to succeed at various stages of their careers.

In April 2007, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced certification requirements for program and project managers assigned to major acquisitions. The Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) will apply to all major acquisitions as defined in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-11, Part 7, exhibit 300, Planning, Budgeting, Acquisition, and Management of Capital Assets.(PDF).

The FAC-P/PM will recognize three levels of certification: entry-level, mid-level, and senior. It will also feature continuous learning requirements that can be satisfied through participation in a range of activities, including:

  • training activities, such as teaching, self-directed study, mentoring;
  • courses completed to achieve certification at the next higher level;
  • professional activities, such as attending/speaking/presenting at professional seminars/symposia/conferences, publishing and attending workshops;
  • educational activities, such as formal training, and formal academic programs; and
  • experiences such as developmental or rotation assignments.

As an agency-wide resource for technical workforce development, the Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership will play an instrumental role in NASA’s response to these requirements. The Academy already has a competency-based professional development program for program/project management that addresses the three levels specified by OMB as well as the executive level. Through its formal training curriculum, direct support to project teams (which features mentoring and coaching), and knowledge sharing activities (including the PM Challenge, Masters Forums, case studies, and ASK Magazine), the Academy provides or supports a variety of continuous learning opportunities that correlate with those specified by OMB.

In the coming months, the Academy will announce detailed plans that will enable NASA program/project managers to meet the requirements of the FAC-P/PM program. We are committed to helping all NASA project personnel adopt best practices in all facets of project management, including practices for performance measure baseline control, scheduling, and performance measurement and evaluation. I look forward to talking with you about how we can work together to make the most of this opportunity to build an even stronger technical workforce.

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