Earning contract management certification can be an important stepping stone if you’re looking to pursue or advance into a career in contract management. Several different certifications are available from the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and the National Association of Government Contractors (NAGC). Each reflects a candidate’s mastery of critical government and/or commercial contract management concepts to an industry-recognized standard. While earning contract management certification may take time and effort, the expanded job prospects and increased earning potential can make it well worth the investment.
The NCMA offers three different contract management certifications: Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM), Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) and Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM). In order to obtain CCCM or CFCM certification, you must typically have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university, one year of work experience in the field of contract management and 80 hours of continuing professional education. Participants are also typically required to pass an exam on the relevant body of knowledge.
Participants are permitted to take the exam while they are still working toward education or work experience requirements. If you pass the exam, you can receive a contract management certification as a CCCM or CFCM once you have attained the necessary work experience and continuing education credits. However, your chances of passing the contract management certification exam may be higher if you have completed some level of formal training.
Obtaining CPCM certification represents mastery of all aspects of contract management – both government and commercial. If you intend to apply for CPCM certification, you must typically have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited educational institution, at least five years of relevant work experience and a minimum of 120 hours of continuing professional education.
The NAGC awards the Certified Government Contractor (CGC) distinction. In order to obtain this credential, you must typically be a member of the NAGC, complete qualifying coursework and pass a government contract management certification exam. CGC certification is valid for one year, and recertification is contingent upon completion of continuing education credits.
The type of contract management certification you choose to pursue can depend on several factors. Specific work experience and the type of career path may affect your decision to enter into a particular degree program. Professionals with CCCM certification generally work exclusively in the private sector, while those with CFCM or CGC credential primarily deal with government contracts. Individuals with the CPCM designation are qualified to work in either field.
Some people opt to pursue government or commercial agile contract management certification toward the beginning of their careers, and apply for CPCM certification after they have attained five years of work experience. Whichever contract management certification you choose, having official industry recognition of your expertise can be a tremendous asset as you look to advance your career in this field.
Because many contract management certifications require continuing professional education as well as an exam, one option is to enroll in a training program that counts toward continuing education credits and can help prepare you for the industry exams. Many successful contract management professionals have already chosen to obtain their training 100% online through Villanova University.
Recognized as a leader in online professional education, Villanova offers a Certificate in Agile Contract Management. The program consists of four online certificate courses that prepare professionals for the contract management certification exams and count as continuing education credit for both the NCMA and NAGC.
Through Villanova’s proven, video-based e-learning platform, you can:
With Villanova’s flexible online training programs, professionals can choose to focus on government contract management or commercial contract management, making it even easier to tailor education to their specific career goals.