Digital IT Acquisition Professional Training (DITAP)
Traditional federal government training and procurement practices often inhibit agencies' ability to effectively acquire and implement modern IT/Digital Services, because they lag behind the rapidly changing technology and markets. Timely, relevant, and continuous training for acquisition professionals is the key to keeping pace.
Accordingly, the United States Digital Service (USDS) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) collaborated to develop a specialized and immersive training and development program called the Digital IT Acquisition Program (DITAP).
What is DITAP?
This training and development program teaches federal government acquisition professionals to design innovative and flexible procurements for IT/Digital Services, and how to become change ambassadors. Once completed all students earn 60 to 80 Continuous Learning Points (CLPs), and Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) holders earn a Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) FAC-C Credential in Digital Services (FAC-C-DS) certificate.
Each DITAP class is called a cohort
Each cohort has a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 30 students
Each cohort runs for approximately 6-months
Agency-only cohorts consist of students from one agency
Open-agency cohorts consist of students from various agencies
Due to COVID-19, all cohorts are being held remotely, and there are no travel requirements
Agencies are required to cover all travel costs for in-person cohorts
DITAP Learning Objectives, Competencies, and Performance Outcomes
After completing the program, acquisition professionals will be able to:
Execute digital service procurements and act as qualified business advisors
Work directly within an agency digital services team or acquisition innovation lab to serve as a business advisor to the team, its customers, and stakeholders
Lead agency training workshops and consult on ways to expand digital service procurement expertise throughout the federal government
Digital Services in the 21st Century Government
Describe digital services in the 21st century, including what they are, who provides them, how they are delivered, and why they are important
Digital Service Market Intel & Stakeholder Analysis
Determine the problem to be solved while effectively supporting and communicating with the customer and industry
How do you buy
Effectively use techniques for acquiring digital service solutions in your solicitation or acquisition strategy
Awarding & Administering Digital Service Contracts
Conduct and award digital service contracts, using and applying metrics and incentives appropriately, and applying proper course correction when necessary
Leading Change as a Digital IT Acquisition Professional
Apply techniques to create a culture of innovation within your sphere that enables you and others to effectively lead and influence customers to the best solutions
Application of Skills
Apply techniques learned in the course through various activities; including shadowing a real-world digital service expert or development team of the participant's choice
FAC-C-DS Policy Memo and updated guidance
The following 2018 "Establishment of Federal Acquisition Certification in Core-Plus Specialization in Digital Services" memo provides information on the creation of DITAP and further details about the DITAP program:
The following 2022 memo provides updated guidance regarding item #5 in the policy above, specifically about Fiscal Year 2022, how COVID-19 made it difficult for agencies to send participants to the DITAP training course, what happens if agencies don’t meet the FY-22 date, other common questions, and Level II/III FAC-COR and FAC-P/PM certificate holders being encouraged to take DITAP training:
The following is the 2023 OFPP memo about transitioning the legacy FAC-C to the FAC-C (Professional). The DITAP memo's above, and the overall DITAP content are not affected by this change. The only change is the certification name changing from FAC-C Digital Services Specialization to FAC-C Digital Services Credential.
Per the 2018 memo, Level II/III FAC-C acquisition professionals assigned to acquisitions consisting primarily of digital services over FAR 13.500(c) thresholds are required to enroll in DITAP.
Per the 2022 memo, Level II/III Federal Acquisition Certification for Contracting Officer’s Representatives (FAC-COR) and Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) acquisition professionals assigned to acquisitions consisting primarily of digital services over FAR 13.500(c) thresholds should be encouraged to attend DITAP training to create a cohesive team that fully understands how to buy digital services.
FAC-C holders who are required to take DITAP are given priority during registration
FAC-COR/PM holders are placed on a waitlist and allowed to complete registration if all the seats aren’t filled
Currently, FAC-COR/PM holders earn the CLPs and receive a “certificate of completion” but not a FAC-C-DS certificate. We are currently considering options regarding earning a FAC-C-DS certificate for non-FAC-C holders.
How to enroll
There are many ways students and agencies can enroll:
For large acquisition shops with the need to train at least 25 students at the same time
Agencies should contact the DITAP provider directly and negotiate a contract for an agency-only cohort
For smaller acquisition shops with the need to send one or a few students
Agencies should have their student visit the DITAP provider’s website and apply to attend a scheduled open-agency cohort
If there are no open-agency cohort dates advertised, agencies should complete the ‘Contact Us’ form on the DITAP provider's website
If enough interest is shown they may open an open-agency cohort
Periodically, the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) sponsors a no-cost open-agency cohort
This option is best for agencies with limited training budgets
FAI posts this information on FAI.gov, and in the FAI newsletter Acquisition Today
These cohorts typically fill up within 30-minutes of the posting, so interested students should sign up to receive the newsletter via email by visiting the FAI site
FAI does not cover any travel costs
There are two types of DITAP providers--Authorized and Contingent.
Authorized. Have met all the required criteria, demonstrated the ability to build and run their DITAP program, and have successfully run multiple cohorts.
Contingent. Has shown interest in becoming an Authorized provider, and built its DITAP program, but has not run a cohort. USDS works closely with these providers to ensure they meet specific criteria and demonstrate they have a full understanding of what is required to run the DITAP program before being placed in contingent status. USDS attends and closely monitors the first cohort and provides feedback. Once they complete their first cohort, they are moved to authorized or given feedback about any necessary changes before they can be moved to authorized.
DITAP providers create and schedule cohorts based on the interest they receive. If more interest is received, they can open more cohorts to meet agencies' training needs. There is no financial assistance for this training, and it is up to each agency to negotiate with the DITAP providers.
Agencies can negotiate with Authorized and Contingent providers, and can send students to open-enrollment cohorts offered by the providers. Level II/III FAC-C students who graduate from either type of provider receive a FAC-C-DS certification.
To find more detailed information about cost, schedule, or basic details visit the provider's website using the links below and fill out their 'Contact Us' form. The links may not work on all federal government computers, so you may have to copy and paste them into your browser.
The message content does not matter and the sender's email address will be removed from the list.
To join again, any current or former DITAP student with a .gov or .mil email address can join the list by creating a new email message addressed to DITAPemail@example.com (Subject and Message Body are ignored and the sender's email address will be added to the list.)
Maintaining a FAC-C-DS
Graduates need to keep their skills fresh, and keep up with new technologies, methods, and companies that are introduced to the ecosystem.
To maintain certification, 20 of the required 80 FAC-C CLPs should be earned by participating in additional IT/Digital Service training/activities. Acquisition professionals should coordinate with their acquisition career manager and/or supervisor to confirm the CLPs are approved for each activity. Once the CLPs are achieved, a document listing all the activities should be uploaded into CSOD. Do not forget to include any preparation work in the CLP count, as shown in the example below.