The Federal government recognizes that a well-trained and experienced program and project managers are critical to the acquisition process and the successful accomplishment of mission goals. A strong partnership between program and project managers and contracting professionals requires a common understanding of how to meet the government’s needs through acquisitions that deliver quality goods and services in an effective and efficient manner.

A certification is now required for program and project managers in the Federal Government that are assigned to major acquisitions as defined in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, Part 7, exhibit 300, Planning, Budgeting, Acquisition, and Management of Capital Assets. The Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) program is for acquisition professionals in the Federal Government performing program and project management activities and functions. The FAC-P/PM program is run by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) and is restricted to eligible Federal employees.

After FAI’s analyses and collaboration with the Program and Project Management Functional Advisory Board (P/PM-FAB), FAI established a letter of understanding with the Project Management Institute (PMI) outlining competency alignment, training equivalency, and continuous learning (CL) credit for the PMI credentials per the listed matrix below. This competency alignment and CL credit comply with: (1) the certification training standards contained in the December 16, 2013, Memo on Revisions to the Federal Acquisition Certification in Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) from OFPP; and (2) the FAC-P/PM Core Competency Model (version 2.1, dated September 26, 2013). The competency crosswalk determined that the PMP certificate is equivalent to FAC-P/PM Senior-Level, as depicted in the graphic below.

FAC PPM vs PMP crossover letter

Federal acquisition organizations recognize that contractor program and project managers should align with the FAC-P/PM standards. However, since non-Federal employees are not eligible for FAC-P/PM certifications, many Federal requests-for-proposals (RFP) now specifically require that successful award to contractors require that the contractor program and project managers be certified PMPs.