DAU and NCMA Collboration to Deliver a New Way to Train the Workforce

Jennifer Knowlton, Director of Marketing
Phone: 571-382-1127
Email: [email protected]


ASHBURN, VA - The collaboration is intended to promote competencies in training by establishing a foundation competency in contract management and certification portability between government and industry. It comes in response to NDAA 2020, Section 861, which, as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding between DAU and NCMA, requires the DoD to “implement a professional certification program based on standards developed by a third-party accredited program that utilizes nationally or internationally recognized standards.”

Moreover, DAU and NCMA are now able to collaborate in an official capacity in areas pertaining, but not limited to: seller processes, perceptions and challenges; leadership for contracting professionals; risk management for contracting professionals; supply chain challenges; innovation; becoming solution-makers; and buyer/seller case studies.

The agreement allows the organizations to share and/or coordinate on a myriad of content development for training; for example, magazine publications, podcasts, and technology for special events. The organizations may additionally collaborate on best practices, co-sponsor industry days and other acquisition-related events, and lend guest speakers and panel members to the other in instances beneficial to both government and industry contracting professionals.

Representatives from DAU and NCMA view this as a wonderful opportunity that will advance the mission of both organizations.

On the DAU side, Center Director for Contracting & Small Business Kevin Linden is enthusiastic about reaching with a new corner of the workforce that DAU may not have otherwise reached.

“One of the goals of redesigning the Contracting Talent Development Model is to eliminate barriers of entry for new employees from industry, colleges, military or other Federal agencies into the DoD workforce and to provide flexibility in addressing the training needs of all,” Linden said.

Linden explained that the collaboration permits joint participation in the development and delivery of curriculum and training.

“DAU training would be able to count towards NCMA's training requirements for their certification exams,” Linden explained. This training will extend to Continuing Professional Education (CPEs) and Continuous Learning Points (CLPs). “We also have the ability to bring in guest lecturers or speakers from industry so that our adult learners get to hear directly from industry as to what their experiences and perspectives are in doing business with DoD. This allows the learner to gain insight as to what are the concerns of industry and hopefully make improvements in how we do business.”

NCMA’s Chief Professional Development Officer Denean Machis is equally optimistic about a chance to bring together partners and sellers in a new atmosphere. She maintained that the partnership is critical for both sides, not only in terms of training, but in forging impactful business connections. 

"The better the buyer understands how the seller thinks, the better the buyer will be,” Machis stated. “We're building relationships.”

Machis and Linden anticipate starting a joint webinar series, which will discuss both government and industry topics and offer further perspective on competencies.

"It's going to be purposeful training where they come away with a better understanding of the other party,” Machis said.

As of now, the series is still in the concept phase, but Machis hopes to have something tangible by winter of this year. Based on what DAU and NCMA have managed to accomplish thus far, a webinar certainly doesn’t seem to be out of the realm of possibility. 


The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), which was founded in 1959 and is the world’s leading association in the field of contract management. The organization, which has over 18,000 members, is dedicated to the professional growth and educational advancement of procurement and acquisition personnel worldwide. NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession and industry it represents and to offer opportunities for the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. To find out more, please visit www.ncmahq.org.