iCatalog Home DoD Acquisition Certification Facts and “Not So Frequent” Questions


Certification Facts: 

  • Once a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification is achieved, the acquisition workforce member is always certified in that career field/functional area and level/tier.
  • DAWIA certification is available for DoD employees, military and appropriated fund (APF) civilians assigned to an acquisition-coded position as well as select military officers whose career development includes assignment to acquisition-coded positions.
  • DAWIA certification standards – training, experience, education – cannot be waived. Some functional areas may also have an assessment requirement, e.g., CON in FY22, PM in FY23.
  • DAU does not certify anyone. The Services/DoD agencies certify acquisition workforce members. Each Service/DoD agency has web-based systems to facilitate certification. To learn more, visit your Service/Agency site:
  • Based on position coding, all DoD acquisition-coded personnel will have a grace period to meet their position certification requirements. Traditionally, the grace period was two years for everyone. Post 1 February 2022, DoD is working to extend the grace period to 3 or 5 or 4 years depending on each position’s certification requirement. Once finalized, the grace period will start the day an acquisition workforce member begins an acquisition-coded position or when the position requirement changes, e.g., functional area, tier, etc.
  • Certification standards may change. Acquisition workforce members must meet the standards in place at the time of their certification request application.
  • The DAU iCatalog lists predecessors (legacy courses) that may be used to meet current certification training requirements. It also lists course prerequisites that may need to be completed prior to receiving a class reservation in a DAU course. DAWIA certifications do not substitute for course prerequisite requirements.
  • Defense Acquisition workforce members (AWF) can be certified in a functional area other than the one currently assigned, i.e., secondary certifications, as long as all the certification requirements have been met. The workforce member’s first priority should be meeting current position requirements, i.e., primary certification.
  • There is reciprocity among all DoD organizations with respect to acquisition certifications. When you receive a DAWIA certification from a Service/DoD agency, it will be recognized and accepted by other Services/DoD agencies.
  • Non-DAWIA certifications, e.g., FAC-C, FAC-PPM., etc., issued by federal (non DoD) organizations are not accepted within DoD.


“Not So Frequent” Questions

Q - Standards for my DAWIA certification requirement have changed. Can I still apply without meeting the new requirements?

A: No. You must meet the current certification requirements at the time of application.

Q - How can I complete the training standards associated with my position?

A: There are usually three (3) ways to meet training standards:

  1. Complete a DAU course.
  2. Complete a DAU-approved equivalent course.
  3. Submit a fulfillment to your Service/DoD agency for consideration.

Q - I am a support contractor working in a program office doing acquisition functions. How do I get certified? 

A: DAWIA certifications are available only to DoD employees (military and civilian) who are assigned to an acquisition-coded position at the time the employee applies for certification.

Q - I have 30 years of experience in Systems Engineering while working on government programs in Industry plus a Masters in Electronic Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Systems. How do I get equivalency for these towards DAWIA certification?

A: Equivalency is not the term you want to reference, as the DAU Equivalency Program applies only to courses or programs that have been previously reviewed and approved by DAU at the request of the provider. In this case, you are most likely interested in the DAU Fulfillment Program where previous education, training and/or experience can be assessed by your organization against the competencies associated with specific DAU courses.

Q - Why doesn’t my record show that I am certified when I have met my position training requirements?

A: The Services/DoD agencies are require to validate you have met all the certification requirements. Every acquisition workforce member must meet all requirements before achieving their certification. Each Service has their own system to validate and track awarded certification(s).

Q - I’m required to be certified at the Advanced tier for my position. Do I first have to be certified at a lower tier?

A: No. You only need to meet the requirements of the tier assigned to your position. However, keep in mind however, that higher tier courses may include lower tier prerequisite training requirements.

Q - I was certified in Contracting when I was with the Coast Guard. Is my certification still good?

A: Yes, for the Coast Guard but not for DoD. The United States Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense. To learn more details for your situation, go to your DACM/DATM office:


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