Certification FAQs

CPCM
Certified Professional
Contracts Manager

NCMA Certification Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does it cost to apply for an individual certification program?

CFCM: $300 (Member Price $150)

CCCM: $300 (Member Price $150)

CPCM: $350 (Member Price $199)

 

What type of questions can I expect on each of the exams?

All exams are competency‐based and objective‐type, multiple choice. The time limit is four hours.

The 150 question CFCM exam is based on the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Special emphasis is placed on FAR Parts 12 and 15. All FAR Parts are fair game on the exam EXCEPT Parts 26 and 41. Passing score for the CFCM exam is a minimum of 70% correct answers. The CFCM certification is most appropriate for contracting professionals in both the public and private sectors who deal extensively with federal contracts and have a minimum of one year of experience. The CFCM Study Guide, Second Edition includes 108 sample questions. 

The 150 question CCCM exam is based on the Uniform Commercial Code Articles 1, 2 and 2a. Passing score for the CCCM exam is a minimum of 70% correct answers. Disclaimer: The adoption and application of the UCC varies from state to state. For the purpose of the CCCM examination all questions are drawn from http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/, a site maintained by Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law School. The CCCM certification is most appropriate for contracting professionals who deal with commercial contracts and have a minimum of one year of experience. 

The 180 question CPCM exam covers the following contract management competencies (See the Contract Management Body of Knowledge, 4th Edition):

o Pre-Award

o Acquisition Planning/Strategy

o Post-Award

o Specialized Knowledge Areas

o Business

All questions are objective-type, however, some will be based on scenarios. The CPCM certification is most appropriate for contracting professionals who have mastered the majority of the contract management competencies in the Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), have extensive business education and training, and have a minimum of 5 years of experience. Passing score for the CPCM exam is a minimum of 70% correct answers.  NOTE:  Study guides are designed to assist the candidate in preparing for examinations, but do not necessarily contain the exact questions found on the tests.

 

Does CFCM or CPCM certification have any equivalency to a DAWIA or FAC-C certification?

DAWIA and FAC-C certifications are mandatory for federal employees in the 1102 career series. They represent the minimum standard for the position occupied and are based on the completion of specific course work. Only federal employees are eligible and the actual certification is awarded by the agency for which the employee works.  NCMA certifications are awarded to professionals in both the public and private sector. Candidates must meet specific education, training and experience prerequisites and pass a rigorous examination. For Federal employees, NCMA certification is over and above the minimum DAWIA/FAC-C certification. There is no equivalency expressed or implied.

 

What is the level of education required to become certified?

An undergraduate degree of any type from a regionally accredited college or university or from a distance‐learning institution accredited by the Distance Education Training Council is required. Degrees from institutions outside the United States will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis by the NCMA Certification Department. Non‐degreed candidates for the CFCM and CCCM who have ten years of verifiable contract management experience may request a waiver. There is no degree waiver for CPCM candidates.

 

I earned my degree from an institution outside the United States. How do I know if it is accredited?

U.S. accreditation standards apply to U.S. colleges and universities. To determine the equivalency of your degree you must obtain a determination of equivalency from an independent source. World Education Services (WES) is a nonprofit organization that provides credential evaluations for international students. For a small fee WES can provide you with a "Document-by-Document" evaluation which contains a description of your credentials, including name, year awarded, name of institution attended, and major field of study. It also provides the U.S. equivalent for each credential. NCMA is not affiliated with WES in any way.


How are exams administered?

Exams are administered multiple times each week, depending on the examination site chosen at Kryterion Learning Centers. You must have an NCMA‐approved application before being allowed to schedule and sit for your exam.

 

What is the cost to take an exam at Kryterion?

Each examination costs $125 in the US & Canada; and $150 internationally. (in addition to the application fees above). Exam results are available immediately after you test.

 

What if I need to reschedule my exam?

In the event that a candidate is scheduled to test through Kryterion and needs to reschedule their exam, they must contact the certification department directly. Any reschedule requests that are made within 72 hours of the test date will result in a $55 fee.

 

Are there alternatives to taking the exam at Kryterion?

Yes. NCMA offers paper exams on‐site at its annual World Congress, at the Government Contract Management Symposium in the fall and at other selected locations. Also, your local NCMA chapter may request authorization to host paper exams on‐site. The chapter must provide a suitable exam site and an appropriate number of proctors. Candidates who opt for the paper exam pay an exam fee (in addition to the application fees above) of $50 for members and $90 for non‐members. Exam results are generally available within 15 working days.

  

What is the work experience required to become certified?

For the CFCM and CCCM, you will need one year of contract management (or related career field) experience. For the CPCM, you will need five years of contract management (or related career field) experience. Work experience outside the contract management field will be evaluated for relevancy by NCMA for purposes of certification.

 

What is the training required to become certified?

For the CFCM and CCCM, you will need 80 CPE of contract management related training. For the CPCM, you will need 120 CPE of contract management related training.

 

What qualifies as CPE?

Candidates may submit records of training received for evaluation by NCMA. CPE credit will be awarded based on NCMA’s “Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Guide.” Successfully completed college courses beyond undergraduate degree requirements may be eligible. The conversion formula is 15 CPE for each semester hour, or 10 CPE for each quarter hour. As an example, if you completed a 3‐hour graduate business course, this would qualify for 45 CPE if it was completed in a semester (3 x 15), or 30 CPE if it was completed in a quarter (3 x 10).

 

What are the recommended study materials for each exam? (All materials are available from the NCMA Bookstore unless otherwise noted.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

What are the recommended study materials for the CPCM?

 

o The Certified Professional Contracts Manager Study Guide, Third Edition

o The Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), 4th Edition

o The Desktop Guide to Basic Contracting Terms, 7th Edition

 

What are the recommended study materials for the CFCM?

o The Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) Study Guide, Second Edition

o The Desktop Guide to Basic Contracting Terms, 7th Edition

What are the optional study materials for the CFCM?

o The Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), 4th Edition

 

What are the recommended study materials for the CCCM?

o Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute web site: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/

What are the optional study materials for the CCCM

o The Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK), 4th Edition

 

What assistance does NCMA give to help candidates prepare for exams?

We have online practice exams available for the CPCM and CFCM. Research has demonstrated that passing any online exam can be attributed to 1) the familiarity of the subject matter, and 2) the familiarity of the test‐taking process. NCMA offers five separate CPCM practice exams for each of the following competencies: Acquisition Planning, Business, Pre-Award, Post-Award, and Specialized Knowledge. There is one for the CFCM. The cost for each is $25.

We also offer selected Certification Exam Review Classes at reasonable cost at most national NCMA events where the exams are given on site. Many NCMA chapters sponsor local study groups. Contact your local Chapter President or Certification Chair.






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