Public Procurement Experience

Depending on the certification, applicants will be required to document from 3 to 5 years of full-time qualifying public procurement experience at the time of application. Only employment history in the previous ten (10) years from the date the application is submitted is applicable.

Public/Government Employment - All Applicants

Public Procurement experience is required to apply for both CPPO and CPPB certifications. Some applicants may have procurement experience within the private sector as well as the public sector; however, for consideration for the CPPO and CPPB which are public procurement certifications, only the time spent employed with a public sector will be considered. Public entities include:

  • states/provinces
  • counties
  • municipalities
  • public educational enterprises
  • authorities (parks, airports, water, utilities, etc.)
  • military
  • federal governments
  • not-for-profit, independent colleges and universities, recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or similar national regulatory body

Public entities, unlike private companies, are not profit based and are funded by taxpayers.

Applicants employed by the private sector and assigned to the public sector on a full-time basis may have the portion of time assigned to the public sector considered as public procurement experience. In order for the experience to qualify, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she acted as an agent of and possessed the independent authority to act on behalf of a government entity on a full-time basis at the government entity's location. Government contractors that provide goods and services to government and interact with government do not meet the public procurement experience requirement as the work of these individuals is typically managed by procurement personnel at the government agency with whom the ability to bind the government resides.

Qualifying Procurement Experience - All Applicants

Any employment experiences submitted by the applicant for consideration toward meeting the experience requirement must be full-time, paid employment. Positions requiring less than thirty (30) work hours per week are considered part-time and are not acceptable towards meeting the experience requirement. Internships and volunteer work are also not acceptable towards meeting the experience requirement. Current employment at the time of application is not currently required nor is it a requirement that the total years of public procurement experience that is required be continuous. All positions submitted for consideration to equal the total years of experience required, must have been held within the previous ten (10) years from the date the application is submitted to the UPPCC.

Applicants must be able to document all employment experience by supplying an official position description for each position submitted for consideration towards meeting the experience requirement. Positions submitted without an official position description will not be considered.

Procurement Experience is defined as the length of time employed in a position where the applicant has the responsibility to perform essential functions within the procurement cycle. The procurement cycle is defined as the sequence of activities carried out by a procurement department in the acquisition and disposition of supplies and services, which includes the following:

  • the process of determining customer requirements,
  • reviewing specifications or requirements,
  • developing and issuing RFPs and/or IFBs/ITTs,
  • evaluating offers and selecting the vendor,
  • negotiating fair and reasonable price and terms,
  • preparing the contract and/or purchase order,
  • maintaining vendor relations,
  • ensuring timely and accurate delivery of goods/services, and
  • contract administration provisions.

Other positions involved in one or more facets of the procurement cycle are also eligible and include: managers of contracts; warehouse and inventory personnel including storekeepers, stocking personnel and property accountability personnel; contract oversight personnel such as engineers; and MBE/WBE outreach personnel. In situations where the delegation of the procurement function has been transferred from the centralized procurement department to other agents with responsibilities similar or equal to those performed within a centralized procurement department, these delegated authorities would also meet the procurement experience requirement. Additionally, training personnel who teach procurement related courses are also eligible.

Although many potential applicants will find that they have procurement responsibilities as part of their positions, only those positions where the time spent performing responsible procurement functions constitute 50% or more of the total job responsibilities are applicable towards meeting the procurement experience requirement for UPPCC certifications.

Certain job functions, although auxiliary to the procurement function do not qualify as procurement functions. Those job functions are:

  • Administrative, secretarial, office management and clerical activities

  • Budget accountability

  • Financial management and accountability including budget allocation, verification and payment of purchase orders

  • Expediting activities

  • Data input positions involved with the procurement cycle, but not directly with procurement.

Procurement Management and/or Supervisory Experience - CPPO Applicants Only

There is an additional type of experience required for those applicants applying for CPPO certification. CPPO applicants must also possess a number of years of experience in a public procurement management function. The public procurement management experience must include responsibility for overall procurement/material management activities to include the supervision of procurement personnel and/or the display of executive abilities involving economic/financial, technical, statistical, legal and administrative attributes.

Management positions may be totally dedicated to the procurement function, or shared with other responsibilities. The percentage of time managing the procurement function must be 50% or more of the applicant's total job responsibility unless the applicant has total responsibility for procurement for the entity.

Examples of procurement management functions include:

  • management of contracts either within a centralized procurement function or in a decentralized function.

  • management of user requirements, without direct supervision of procurement personnel, such as buyers.

  • management of warehouse, inventory or stores function.

  • management of a training program, which must include procurement within the curriculum.

  • management of contracts, overseeing contracts to benefit using agencies, diversity outreach programs, procurement training programs, and budget oversight of contracts.

  • supervision shall include the direct supervision of one or more individuals who are defined as procurement personnel. Procurement personnel shall include buyers, buyer assistants, diversity representatives, property auditors, procurement auditors, engineers participating in the procurement cycle, and users who are responsible for contract administration. Supervision of clerical, secretarial and other non-buying personnel within the procurement function does not satisfy the supervisory experience criteria.

Generic Positions Descriptions

Position descriptions are used to set the "generic" description of the types of duties performed by positions in specific classes of employment. An Official Position Description includes a class title; a definition of the kind of work performed in that class; distinguishing characteristics of the class; illustrative duties; knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the work; employment standards for incumbents of positions in that class; required licenses and certificates; and necessary special requirements (if any) which must be met. The UPPCC requires Official Position Descriptions, as described above, as a means of documenting experience and determining whether the applicant performs essential procurement and/or management functions; particularly in those cases where the official title of the position does not accurately reflect the work that is performed. As the UPPCC does not make decisions on applicable experiences based on position title alone, experience cannot be considered without the benefit of an Official Position Description.

Often times the Official Position Description is too generic and does not provide a true picture of the duties being performed. In such cases, the UPPCC will accept a "Working" Position Description developed by the employee's immediate supervisor and validated by an official in the Human Resources department in addition to the Official Description. Under no circumstances are applicants to develop his/her own "Working" Position Description, nor should a working description be submitted without the official description.

Alternate personnel documents issued by the Human Resources Department of the governmental entity may be accepted as a variation of the Official Position Description if an Official Position Description is not available. At a minimum, this documentation must be on government letterhead and authenticated by the Human Resources Director to the fullest extent possible. Resumes, verification of employment and annual employee performance evaluations are not acceptable substitutes for an Official Position Description.