Government contract management involves establishing and maintaining formal business relationships between government agencies and the private-sector contractors who supply goods or services to them. Working in this field typically requires specific knowledge and expertise.
While some of the basic principles are similar to those in commercial contract management, working with government contracts may be more complicated. Generally, only professionals with specialized knowledge, training and previous experience are considered for government contract management positions. Because these jobs require such specific expertise, they tend to have higher earning potential.
Government agencies – including federal, state and local – are required to work within the confines of stringent regulations. While it's permissible for a government agency to adjust the terms or scope of a project while that project is going on, the contractor responsible for the project has a right to be compensated for the work they do and any losses they incur because of the change.
Those working in government contract management also should be aware that a government agency can terminate a contract at any time. The contracting company must still be compensated, however, as long as the termination of the contract was not the result of a breach of the terms on their part. In order to receive proper compensation, the company must file the appropriate settlement paperwork in a timely fashion.
Also, while missing deadlines is usually frowned upon in the business world, it can be especially costly in the realm of government contract management. Because of this, government contractors and sub-contractors should be prepared, well-informed and thoroughly trained in every aspect of government contract management, so they can complete projects and close deals in the most efficient ways possible.
They should also be able to communicate effectively with the other members of their organization to ensure that everyone in the contracting agency is on the same page and understands their responsibilities.
Since there is often a great deal of information to master before competing for a government contract management job, one of the ways to prepare for a career in this field is to complete specialized training and obtain industry-recognized certification. The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and National Association of Government Contractors (NAGC) offer certifications that typically garner high esteem in the world of government contract management.
In addition to its Certified Commercial Contracts Manager (CCCM) designation, the NCMA offers Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) and Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) credentials for individuals working in government contract management.
Those who specialize in selling goods or services to government agencies can obtain NAGC certification as a Certified Government Contractor (CGC). Holding one or more of these certifications is one way to prove your mastery of the government contract management process to current or prospective employers.
If you’re interested in pursuing government contract management training but concerned about fitting classes into a demanding work schedule, online learning is one flexible option. Villanova University offers a comprehensive Certificate in Agile Contract Management program 100% online.
Consisting of three online certificate courses, the program covers topics to help participants pass the NCMA and NAGC certification exams.
Through Villanova’s unique video-based e-learning platform, students can view lectures at their convenience through streaming video. You can also learn from noted experts in the field of government contract management, and you can participate in interactions with your instructors and classmates through live chat, online message boards, email, virtual whiteboards and two-way voice over IP (VOIP). With 24/7 access, you can 'attend class' anytime and anywhere.
Upon satisfactory completion of each certificate course, you can receive a certificate of achievement from Villanova University. When you’ve finished the four-course series, you’ll earn your Certificate in Agile Contract Management – and you can be prepared to sit for the CFCM, CPCM and CGC certification exams. With Villanova credentials and industry certification, you can be ready to embark on a career in government contract management.